How Can the Different Ways of Knowing Help Us to Distinguish Between Something That Is True and Something That Is Believed to Be True

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
???We create knowledge ourselves, through the four ways of knowing;??? (Dombrowski, 91-92) sense perception, language, reasoning and emotion. These ways of knowing are also the means by which knowledge claims are judged for their credibility, validity and most importantly, their likelihood to be true. When a knowledge claim is made, three scenarios are presented with the least problematic being that the claim is false based on the four ways of knowing coupled with past experiences. A claim is not said to be true just because it is false. The aim of this essay will be to illuminate how certainty, confidence and the convincing nature of claims distinguish between claims believed to be true and claims that are known to be true.???True??? and ???false???, in simplicity, can be viewed as divisors for separating knowledge claims or beliefs but in reality, we view ???true??? and ???false??? as the extreme boundaries of a scale that determines with reason whether or not claims should be accepted as true or not. In history, where we make value claims, ???Claims that embed evaluations on a scale that is not calibrated in measurable units??? (Dombrowski, 106), there seems to be a lot of subjectivity as these claims themselves are subjective. They hold some truth because they are actually made from observational claims. In the story of Nazi Anschluss with Austria, where a plebiscite was held to ask whether Austria wanted to become a part of Nazi Germany and the Nazi??™s ???claim to have received 99.73% of the vote??? (???Anschluss???), two value claims that could come out will be that the Austrians loved Nazis and wanted to be a part of it or that the Austrians feared Nazi Germany and did not have any other option than to be part of Nazis. These two opinions show the subjective nature of such areas but these statements cannot be taken as false. The fact that there is more than one view affects the certainty of the claim. However both claims are convincing and so we can only believe that they are true since reason does not prove any to be false.Even though there are tests for truth, (Coherence test, correspondence test and pragmatic test) these tests themselves do have their flaws. In actual fact, even after using the tests, we still have cases where different people arrive at different results. In this light, truth should be looked at as truth for all (Something majority accepts to be true) and not truth for me (Something only you accept as true). Many will disagree with the existence of truth for all as truth is often referred to as relative but rational claims, ???claims that follow steps in rational thinking??? (Dombrowski, 105) do sometimes present truth for all where the certainty is high. In mathematics for example, we make use of rational claims. An example will be in the claim:x2 > x for all x > or =1 and for all x < or = -1This will always be true so if we are given a claim that states that for x=0.5, x2 >x, we can use reasoning and past experience to tell that it is false. The use of the precise language of math removes all grey areas and the fact that it passes the pragmatic and correspondence test go on to our emotions that it is certain. Precision of the language assure that the claim is convincing and so there we are able to know that the claim is true.Many scientists of today suggest that all ???we observe, including our life forms, came about by chance and probability.??? (Trainer) If that is the case, then why do we have so much order in the things that exist in our world It is believed that ???Fibonacci sequence of numbers appears in nature in the form of two consecutive Fibonacci numbers. This is noticed in branching in trees, arrangement of leaves on a stem and even the arrangement of a pine cone.??? (???Fibonacci Numbers???) This is the very nature of science; science searches for patterns and the regularities in nature and from these generalizations are made. This just tells us that science makes observational claims, ???statements about what we observe.??? (Dombrowski, 105) Could Fibonacci numbers suggest that there is actually someone controlling the world and its creation This could give people reason to believe in the existence of a supreme being but then again how convincing is the evidence. All the examples given above could be coincidence and it will be very hard to prove otherwise considering the number of items that will have to go under consideration.Those who believe the world came about as a result of chance base their argument on the big bang theory, a theory which suggests that ???all that exists in the universe emerged from one tiny particle of imponderable substance.???(Trainer) This theory, backed by the Freidmann equations suggests that ???the world was created by rapid expansions and collision of alpha particles??? (Trainer) and may seem plausible because it employs the use of mathematics a universal and accurate language. However as a theory it has not been proven to be right or wrong. In light of this we can believe that it is true because it passes the pragmatic test (Does it work) but not know certainly whether it is true. The example about Fibonacci numbers however causes me to wonder. Does our search for knowledge cause us to find order in things that have no order What does this mean to the reliability of our reasoning as a way of knowing If we are bent on explaining our world, then how much does the quest to explain our world cause us to be biased with our reasoning The fact that we are limited in sense perception affects reasoning. Though the other ways of knowing have helped us to distinguish this claim from claims that are false, the lack of sense perception and the resultant limitation of our reasoning leave the claim as believed to be true as we cannot show the degree of certainty to which the claim can be taken.In religion, many claims made are metaphysical claims, ???statements about nature of reality outside the physical reality??? (Dombrowski, 106), such as claims about the soul or God. These claims cannot be tested using any of our truth tests. Does this however mean that they are all false Robert Pennock says in his book Tower of Babel that ???The first thing and most basic characteristic about the supernatural agents and powers is that they are above and beyond the natural world and its agents and powers.??? (Pennock, 289) He implies that there is no link between what we see and the explanation we derive for it or how our mind interprets it. This tells us that in beliefs we cannot know for certain whether the claim is true and we can only believe it based on reasoning and our emotions.An attempt to reason out such claims will however refer us to past experiences which make the claim more acceptable. The phenomenon of interference of light, which explains how a water bubble on the water could show different arrays of colour ???as a result of constructive interference between light reflected from the two surfaces of thin film??? (Giancoli, 679), makes use of accurate mathematical equations making the phenomenon believable. But how will it be possible to measure the thickness of the bubble at these points. Even though we cannot link what we see with the reason we have for it, we are able to view it as possible because our intuition tells us that it may be right. Language goes on to back the fact that it might be true. Hence such claims are not presumed to be false but are believed to be true based on how convincing the evidence provided is. Physics, together with math, uses its concepts to explain how the theory is possible. However, is this suggesting that once a knowledge claim can work, it immediately passes the false barrier If we accept everything that works for us as truth, then truth for all will not be attainable as we all think about things differently. Hence in such areas as religion and some aspects of science, where we deal with metaphysical claims, we cannot know what is true considering the fact that these are claims beyond the physical. Hence we can only believe they are true depending on how convincing they are.Do the above paragraphs tell us those lacking in any of the four ways of knowing cannot know truth Could a person who looses all their sensing ability know truth This makes us wonder, are all the ways of knowing equally important Once someone looses their senses, there is no way someone can know what is true. If you lack the ability to observe, then you lack the ability to know truth since claims are made based on observation and truth is built from this. Depending on how confident you are about the claim you believe it is true. This makes confidence important in distinguishing between knowing truth and believing something is true.In order for one to know that something is true, all four ways of knowing must accept that it is true. If this is not achieved, we look into whether it is believed to be true. In looking on whether it is believed to be true issues of how convincing it is and its certainty. However in a claim I feel that if something is not known to be true, it is up to reason to make sure it is not untrue before it is accepted as believed to be true.Word Count: 1600Bibliography ??? Dombrowski, Eileen, Lena Rotenburg, and Mimi Bick. Theory of Knowledge Course Companion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. ??? Trainer, Matthew. Big Question. 11 Mar. 2008. Web. 20 Sep. 2009 ??? Giancoli, Douglas C. Physics. 6th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2005. 679. ??? ???Fibonacci Numbers???. Wikipedia ??“ The Free Encyclopedia. 13 Oct. 2009. 14 Oct. 2009. ??? ???Anschluss???. Wikipedia ??“ The Free Encyclopedia. 13 Oct. 2009. 14 Oct. 2009. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anschluss> ??? Pennock, Robert. Tower of Babel: The evidence Against the New Creationism. Oregon: MIT Press, 1999.

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