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Which sources of knowledge-books, web sites, the media, personal experience, authorities or some other-do you consider most trustworthy, and why?

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Introduction

Which sources of knowledge-books, web sites, the media, personal experience, authorities or some other-do you consider most trustworthy, and why? Trust, a confident reliance on the integrity, honesty, or justice of another, exists as a medium in the pursuit of knowledge. Becoming visible in various varieties, our lives encompass evident amounts of trust. Consider one's personal relationship or their relationship with another, do they not exhibit loyalty to each other? Emerging in all religions, trust outlines one's devotion to a supernatural being. In contrast, which trust comprises the most reliability for this search? When examining assorted resources - books, the media, websites, authorities and personal experience - which one is the most reliable? More often than not, personal experience can be potentially the most reliable source of knowledge. To begin with, books are knowledge resources that supply information entirely accurate according to an author's opinion. What we do not know when reading a book is how original an author's opinion is. In many cases, authors plagiarize their information from other documents and claim it as their own ideas. Keeping this in mind, plagiarism causes a reliability and truthfulness conflict in books. From stone tablets to paperbacks, books have been in existence for thousands of years and have been the source of information for all our history. With the desire to spread their personal message, authors have written books attempting to change history. ...read more.

Middle

As Ambrose Bierce stated a century ago, "Reporter: A writer who guesses his way to the truth and dispels it with a tempest of words."2 One of the most recent resources for information is the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web is a collection of internet sites that offer text, graphics, sound and animation resources through a hypertext transfer protocol. These internet or web sites are a set of interconnected pages, located on a server, and prepared and maintained by a person, group, or organization. A reliability side effect of website information is accessibility, which could be occupied by any person, at any time, over the entire world. Consequently, any person could alter the information files to represent their views, thus causing a website's information to be vulnerable to abuse. An individual who uses programming skills to gain illegal access to a computer network or file is classified as a hacker. Hackers in the past have even been known to infiltrate government systems and modify essential information accessible to the public. Hospitals and other critical community services have been victimized by hackers penetrating their computer network systems. "Officials at the University of Washington Medical Center said the hacker -- who calls himself 'Kane' -- stole user passwords and copied thousands of files while he had access to the hospital's systems."3 Ultimately, because of hackers, the World Wide Web has limited defences to protect its truthfulness, resulting in a resource containing unreliable information. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus, when we have confidence in our values and experiences then we can distinguish between truth and untruth. In various situations we have to experience an event firsthand in order to gain knowledge. Occasionally, in third world countries, children are taught to avoid fire by being allowed to venture too close to the fire in order to experience firsthand how dangerous and painful fire can actually be. By trusting in what we see or experience firsthand, one agrees with Dogen's statement, "We discover that the truth is already in us."6 Likewise, knowledge is easier to believe when observed or experienced directly, rather than revealed secondhand. For thousands of years this concept for reliability has been true. The ancient Greek philosopher, Herodotus, summed it up when he said, "Men trust their ears less than their eyes."7 Accordingly, from long-ago history until today personal experience still stands as reliable information. From examining all the resources, each one contains biases, untruthfulness, and plagiarism, except for one, personal experience, which stands out as the most reliable. Taking any form, one's personal relationship or their relationship with another, personal experience exhibits the most reliability when trusting oneself and accepting one's beliefs as truth. In the same way, what knowledge and information we have observed with our eyes, heard with our ears and actually experienced, we know must be true because we have witnessed them firsthand. In conclusion, reliability in our lives is most trustworthy when coming in the form of personal experience. ...read more.

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