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Belief and Certitude Essay

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´╗┐Erickson David Erickson Humanities Group C 9 October 2012 TOK Belief and Certitude Truth is the one thing in which everyone seeks, yet no one can agree to be absolute. It is that fleeting entity which blows past in the wind. Yet as human beings we desperately try to grasp at the wind while it runs through our fingers. Although it is the plasticity of many pathways in which one can arrive at a truth, Logic is the chief pathway in which we find truth and certitude in the world and in ourselves. Logic, although not foolproof, is the most efficient and concrete way to arrive at a truth. It is logic which enables us to make sense out of things. ...read more.


Logic is one of only two ?formal systems? the other being mathematics (which is saturated with logic). Logic begins with axioms, statements accepted without proof and considered to be self-evident. This illustrates how a truth can be deduced if that truth is recognized by anyone who understands it, and who reflects back on it with thought. For example, 22 divided by 2 is 11, and although this is not self-evident, one can find truth based on the calculations, which in this case are self-evident, making it true and allowing it to lack observational evidence. This can also be seen in history. Let?s take the statement ?Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States.? By using logic I can deduce that the USA has a president, there can be only one president at a time, there were ...read more.


Perception and empirical evidence are definitely a part of the formula, however logic is used to make sense out of what we perceive and know, thus making logic the helmsman of the ship to certitude. We perceive thousands of different stimuli through our senses, but sometimes our senses deceive us. We gain evidence to support our beliefs through observation and experimentation. However these are not enough on their own, we need logic to sort, make patterns, and discern what this barrage of information actually means. Although, this act of making patterns could be us inserting our own beliefs, thus no longer satisfying the second characteristic of truth. Other weaknesses of logic include Russell?s Paradox, and Einstein?s repudiation of Euclid?s theory, which was thought to be truth for hundreds of years. Logic may have its flaws, but it is still the best pathway to take to arrive at a truth. ...read more.

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