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Doubt is the key to knowledge (Persian Proverb). To what extent is this true in two areas of knowledge?

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Introduction

?Doubt is the key to knowledge? (Persian Proverb). To what extent is this true in two areas of knowledge? The world we live in is made of opposites-good and evil; day and night; summer and winter; life and death; joy and sorrow. Everything in this world is not black and white-things are gray as well. Man is distinguished from animals by his incessant quest for knowledge. By his reason and intellect he can differentiate between good and evil; and day and night. He is obsessed with seeking complete knowledge. In this golden age of science man has found answers to those questions that were incomprehensible to his ancestors. But is it really so? No. Has man been able to establish the existence of god? Does he man know the meaning of life? Man?s acquisition of knowledge can certainly be doubted. Doubt is uncertainty about anything. Superficially doubt and knowledge stand poles apart as doubt is said to be the enemy of faith and truth. It is claimed that doubt is an obstacle in the way to new truths and awakening. But on deep reflections, it can be analyzed that the principles of doubt are based on reasoning which stands no different from thinking. It is the spirit of doubt alone that has helped man break the fetters of orthodoxy and rudiments, and accept the new emerging truths. ...read more.

Middle

No, the spirit of doubt is immanent in human nature, and every scientific invention that is based on assumptions comes under the sickle of doubt. Every scientific law was once a hypothesis and it became a law only after it had been tested on the anvil of doubt. Moreover all scientific knowledge is not absolute knowledge; it is rather contingent knowledge. For example as per the claims of a Texan Biologist, Theophilus Painter, in 1923, it was believed that human beings had twenty pair of chromosomes2. His theory was doubted after thirty years when it was established that we have only 23 pair! The claims of the scientists are rendered dumb when it comes to elucidating the creation of life on earth. As per the Panspermia Hypothesis, seeds of life exist all over the universe and it is from there that the seeds or sperms came to the earth to commence life. Some paleontologists doubted this hypothesis on discovering Martian fossils in Antarctica and claimed that the seeds of life came to the earth from Mars through an asteroid. Others exact that amino acids synthesized in the presence of atmospheric gases initiated life on earth. Now whose theory can be called the most genuine, most indubitable? Probably none! Thus even scientific claims can be doubted. Science contradicts itself; one theory negates the other and the outcome is a better and more accessible scientific fact. ...read more.

Conclusion

I can never forget the cataclysm that befell my motherland on 26-11-2008. It so transpired that a contingent of Islamic terrorists, belonging to Lashkar ?E- Taiba, landed on the Indian shore in Mumbai to disseminate their subversive activities. The terrorists brutally massacred the innocent men, women and children in the name if Jihad. After two days of gore and violence, the Indian forces managed to capture a terrorist Amjad Ahmad Kasab alive. It is the irony of the human kind that a number of moralists extended their support to the dreaded terrorist as capital punishment is a sin in their eyes. I ask these so called men of ethics as to the repercussions of giving him a fair court trial and a reprieve. Is not killing one better to save humanity? To conclude I would like to say that doubt serves as an important tool of knowledge as the more you doubt the deeper the knowledge it provides you with. There are a number of incidents where the power of doubt as a decisive tool is witnessed. In the cricket matches batsmen have been given another chance to play under the benefit of doubt. Doubt is so powerful a tool that even a hardcore criminal can escape under its cover. Doubt is essential to the progress of humanity. It is to be welcomed not feared. If necessity is the mother of invention, doubt is its father. 1. (http://www.philosophicalsociety.com/Archives/Plato%20And%20The%20Theory%20Of%20Forms.htm) 2. assets.cambridge.org/97805215/.../9780521542982_excerpt.pdf 3. http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/PtolemyAstronomy.htm 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10119297 ...read more.

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