Essay about Definition Of Belief And Its Effect On Society

1073 Words Oct 11th, 2015 5 Pages
Although an undeniably disquieting notion, the thought that all our beliefs are false is one which warrants some serious inspection, given the ramifications of such an idea possessing some credence. One immediate issue of note, regarding the question itself, is that believing in the statement ‘all your beliefs are false’ would create a paradox; by surmising that this particular postulation is correct, the ensuing conviction of all beliefs as spurious renders one’s ability to believe that there are so obsolete.
Firstly, we must consider what it means to believe something. The very definition of belief is ‘an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially without proof’. Let us initially forgo looking at the more unsettling thought that reality itself does not exist, and that it may be merely a subconsciously-created figment of your imagination. Instead, let us look at the concept of truth, which is particularly germane to the theme of epistemology; Plato once said that in order to know something, said thing must be true, and have justification for being believed. Accepting ideas as categorically ‘true’ is common in humans, despite the fact that no one should claim to know the truth about anything, even with what we call ‘proof’.
This inadvertent hubris was exhibited during the Copernican Revolution, when the Ptolemaic model of the cosmos was discovered to be incorrect, despite ardent claims that it was wholly veracious up until circa 1550. The mistake here was that…

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