4. How can the different ways of knowing help us to distinguish between something that is true and something that is believed to be true?
In order to distinguish between what is true and what we simply believe to be true we will first have to define what truth and belief is and how these two terms differ from each other. This paper will then seek to determine how the four different ways of knowing – perception, language, emotions and reason – can help us distinguish between truth and belief.
It is believed that Plato once defined knowledge as “justified true belief” – this implies that in order to obtain knowledge, we need to know a certain thing as a fact, and that merely believing it is not sufficient. The idea of truth is simply that no matter what we believe to be the case, some things will always be true and other things will always be false. Our beliefs, whatever they are, have no bearing on the facts of the world around us. That which is true is always true – even if we stop believing it. Hence, if everyone were to stop believing that all bodies on earth experience a gravitational force, everything would not suddenly float around randomly.
Belief, on the other hand, is free thought – it can be fact or fiction. If you merely believe something, then it may be true or it may be false. Simply believing that something is true does not make it so. Furthermore, if everyone were to share the same belief it could eventually turn out to be completely false. For centuries everyone thought they knew that the earth was flat, which we now know is incorrect. Additionally, on an individual level truth and belief are interchangeable terms. If I believe the sky is blue, then that is my truth. If I were to believe that an oppressive institution were actually noble and honest, then for me that, too, would be my ‘truth’. I might even be so foolish as to actively support an oppressive body, believing it to be noble and good. Someone, standing on... [continues]
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(2011, 01). How Can the Different Ways of Knowing Help Us to Distinguish Between Something That Is True and Something That Is Believed to Be True?. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 01, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/How-Can-The-Different-Ways-Of-536890.html
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"How Can the Different Ways of Knowing Help Us to Distinguish Between Something That Is True and Something That Is Believed to Be True?." StudyMode.com. 01, 2011. Accessed 01, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/How-Can-The-Different-Ways-Of-536890.html.