Essay on The Concepts of Belief, Certainty, and Knowledge

1945 Words Feb 14th, 2013 8 Pages
TOK Essay
Jeana Joy Tan

Belief has been described as “certainty about what cannot be seen”. Does this statement hold true any, some or all areas of knowledge?

Over the years, philosophers have tried to grapple with the concepts of belief, certainty and knowledge. Despite numerous controversial claims and arguments that come from both sides, we have yet to come upon a general consensus. However, the contention here is that belief can contribute to all areas of knowledge.

Even though belief can be associated with all areas of knowledge, it is a complex concept that exists in different degrees and preconditions. Therefore not all kinds of beliefs can contribute to knowledge as there are certain limitations we need to be
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It should be clear to us that faith is not a belief without evidence, but rather a decision to reckon as true something that is not visible. For instance, most religions, even Agnosticism (except for Atheism and Scientology) believe in an unseen divinity and claim that faith is not a resignation in view of our limitations to knowledge nor a retreat into the irrational, but rather an act of affirmation[5], and therefore embracing the idea that the universe itself was designed by a Designer and did not randomly appear out of nowhere. They believe that this proposition is based on reason which contributes to the development of knowledge about the natural world. We may use deductive reasoning, which moves from the general to the particular, to explain the logic behind this. Syllogisms, which consist of two premises and a conclusion, three terms and quantifiers, enable us to form the structure of this reasoning method. For example, Every physical thing in the universe that exists has an origin and a creative design/ God is a pre-existent Creator/Therefore, when we trace all the way back, every physical thing that exists comes from God. Thus, the fact that the human mind is able to gain knowledge based on its cognitive ability to reason without any sensory evidence whatsoever embodies the essence of rationalism - that there are

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