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is faith a legitimate basis for knowledge claims?

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Theory of Knowledge Essay Some people say that religious beliefs can be neither satisfied nor refuted by reason. Sometimes this claim is used to reject different religious beliefs but other times it is used to conclude that this beliefs are established by faith. In you opinion, to what extent is faith a legitimate basis for knowledge claims in religion and other areas of knowledge? Faith is usually defined either as belief not based on evidence and reason or as belief in what cannot be comprehended or explained, while rationality is belief based on logic and evidence. Let us consider two terms- "Rationalism" holds that truth should be deduced by reason and factual analysis, rather than faith or religious teaching. "Fideism" implies that faith is a necessity and a belief must be accepted without a proof or a reason to back it. However rationalism makes no statement either way about the existence of a God or the soundness or worth of religion, but it rejects any belief based on faith alone. To sum it up, faith and rationalism are in technically opposite. A layman holds his belief "by faith" in three kinds of ways with respect to rationality: * Faith as basic rationality: According to this, the knowledge acquired by him and his reasons are dependent on faith itself. This faith is the one that we have in our own senses, our reason, in our memories and in the knowledge that we receive from people and tradition throughout our life that we believe or have "faith"(again) ...read more.


They want to believe that the world was created by a form, a force because well it cannot be created by "nobody". That is all the reason they can come up with to contradict an atheist like me. Many of these people deny that our epics are very fairy-tale like and that Lord Krishna didn't exist in Human form and lifted a mountain on his tiny fingers. Instead they get furious when I try to prove them wrong and refuse to continue to participate in the argument which indicates that their it is their strong faith that are stubborn to maintain. All religions involve some kind of hypocrisy and contradiction in some way. Basically they are unstable, unorganized and not based on much analysis, dictating their own principles and laws of morality, which makes them pretty unreliable. The reasons people still believe in them is that they are cowards to defy their faith even after knowing that they cannot back their belief with a reason, they fear things that cannot be explained by science, and their faith in the religion itself defies them by dictating a punishment to those who do not hold on to their respective religions (Islam is an evident example). To a considerable extent, religion has dampened the progress of humanity causing war, exploitation and suppression of many things, for both man and his society. ...read more.


are learning are facts that can never have stable proofs which brings us to the conclusion that we are having faith in what we are told about the subject. Considering history, we all know that our text books comprises mostly of information that is passed on from different authors to their successors so their works can not actually be proved by them unless they are eyewitnesses to the events. Moral values, for example, can neither be proved. One may believe that it is wrong to undertake a certain deed but will run out of a single proof to explain why we believe it is wrong. I asked my sister why she feels killing a person is wrong, to which replied that religious texts, law and society consider it wrong which is why she must do as well. Here again we come down to faith, don't we? I admit that it is wrong to kill humans but my reason is that I believe in it and I confess of having no proof to back my belief. This argument, I believe, is long enough to put before you my conclusion that we are able to know things without being able to prove things, as is the case with most areas of knowledge and that belief in something comes down to your faith in it and not evidence. Amazingly nothing is "absolutely true" because nothing can have stable evidence. Abhishek Chhabria TOK 1 ...read more.

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