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“A belief is what we accept as the truth” (JW Apps). Is this a claim you could defend?

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Introduction

Theory of Knowledge Essay Ho Mei Chau D 0638 011 Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong 1. "A belief is what we accept as the truth" (JW Apps). Is this a claim you could defend? Introduction: Truth and belief are both terms used in the definition of knowledge. The Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names1 defines knowledge as justified true belief, a statement accepted by nearly all Western philosophers. Therefore by looking J.W. Apps' statement "A belief is what we accept as the truth", we must somehow take into account its context in knowledge and how knowledge can be justified. However, being a TOK question, the statement is quite likely to be justifiable or else J.W. Apps would not have made such a statement in the first place. Definitions Simply speaking, belief can be defined as the affirmation of, or conviction regarding the truth of a proposition, especially when one is not yet in procession of sufficient evidence adequate to justify a claim that the proposition is known without certainty. As you must believe in something to "know" it, then does belief equal the truth? Let us take a look at the definition of truth. ...read more.

Middle

The point of view In the statement "A belief is what we accept as the truth", the words "belief" implies the self. It does not take into account what other people accept to be true or not, only what you believe. Belief is a personal perception of propositions which exists in the world. Even if one thing is justifiable through science or other empirical evidence, it opens up many other questions open for interpretations. Going back to the previous example, if there was sufficient proof for the theory of evolution to be true and it became accepted as knowledge, it would prompt further unanswerable questions such as "what is the meaning of our existence". Additionally if there was only one interpretation of everything on each, belief would not exist and we would all become identical in our thinking. It takes a belief to reach a truth This goes back to the question of whether it is possible to know something without believing in it. In a way this is possible in real life. An example of this would be the past belief where seeing is believing. In the today's world of optical illusions, we know when justification through sensory perception deceives us, hence the saying "I don't believe my eyes". ...read more.

Conclusion

You could also say you don't believe it to be red or you don't want to believe it to be red, but in the end you must because you know it is so. A truth implies belief but not vice versa. So what is it that we accept as the truth? Since knowledge is defined as "justified true belief", knowing something to be true does not qualify to be knowledge until you can justify and believe in it. But does acceptance imply belief? Obviously not, but belief clearly implies what you see to be true, regardless of it being justifiable or not. It would be meaningless to believe in something that we believed or knew to be false or irrelevant, for no matter how important truth may be, it is no excuse for irrelevance. Conclusion: "A belief is what we accept as the truth". I wholly agree with J.W. Apps in this statement as I believe the statement, hence to me it is true whether or not anyone else believes the same way. It would be meaningless to believe in something which was false or else clearly it would be meaningless to exist. Word Count: 1250 1 A Philosophical Dictionary, (c)1997-2001 Garth Kemerling, www.philosophypages.com ?? ?? ?? ?? Ho Mei Chau International Baccalaureate TOK Essay Candidate No. D0638011 ...read more.

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