Ap History

Topics: God, Epistemology, Religion Pages: 3 (947 words) Published: May 6, 2013
A lot of people view “knowledge” as how smart you are, or what you know and what you don’t, but there is much more to what “knowledge” really is. According to Charles van Doren, knowledge is the accumulation of information and the understanding of how things work. There are three types of knowledge: knowledge in particulars, general knowledge, and certain knowledge. Particular knowledge is knowing where you are well enough to survive and general knowledge is understanding concepts. Van Doren gives these examples as a pieces of general knowledge, “All living things are born and also die,” and “...winter follows summer, and summer winter” (pg. xx). General knowledge is understanding the cause and effect of things. Finally, certain knowledge is grouped into two types: Self-evident propositions and faith. There are few self-evident propositions. Many math statements are considered certainly true (self-evident propositions), as well as real world statements such as, “A finite whole is greater than any of its parts,” as van Doren explains (pg. xxi). The other part of certain knowledge is faith. The pieces of information that God has given us through His Word. Accepting this knowledge from God as certain truths is difficult for many, and is even said to be impossible without His grace. People desire for knowledge. And the one cure for our desire of knowledge is faith (pg. xxiii). Faith answers so many questions that the other types of knowledge fail to answer. So, why is all this knowledge important? Because of its impact on civilization. Through knowledge, our world has learned to survive (particular knowledge), to please and connect to the divine being(s) (certain knowledge), and to learn from our mistakes to plan for the future (general knowledge). Fifty centuries ago, humanity learned to do an awful lot of things that would help them to survive. Humans discovered how to weave wool, cotton, and flax to create fabric, and they learned to use the hide of...
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