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"That which is accepted as knowledge today is sometimes discarded tomorrow." Consider some of the knowledge issues raised by this statement in two areas of knowledge

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Introduction

"That which is accepted as knowledge today is sometimes discarded tomorrow." Consider some of the knowledge issues raised by this statement in two areas of knowledge. A few years ago, when my grandfather was diagnosed of Diabetes, his endocrinologists recommended that he take artificial sweeteners, and stop all sugar intakes. The sweetener, ?Splenda?, helped him control his sugar levels to a vast extent. But recently my grandfather has started suffering from illnesses such as nausea, headache, dizziness and a slight loss of memory. Epidemiological evidence points to a link between a variety of negative health and the consumption of high-intensity artificial sweeteners. This example set me thinking and therefore raised a knowledge issues before me as to ?what are the grounds upon which we give up the accepted knowledge, and adapt ourselves to the new knowledge?? and ?to what extent does the role of authority impact what is accepted as knowledge?? To me, knowledge is an entity that is an amalgamation of information and facts that is attained by an individual via education, observation and exposure. My grandfather exhibited belief in his doctor?s prognoses. When I asked him why, he claimed not only that he trusted his doctor to give him the right advice but also was of the belief that his doctor was his source of knowledge as the advice of the doctor satisfied his reason and perception. ...read more.

Middle

This is how we derive new knowledge, and discard the accepted one. In such cases I feel that authority has a major role in enlightening the masses. Bentinck had authority, and he exercised it. There had been various voices of dissent on the sati practice before him too, but those pleas fell on deaf ears. New knowledge comes, not on the wings of imagination alone, but accompanied by the ways of knowing, our observations and experiences. New knowledge does not dawn on us spontaneously; it takes time to apply to our ways of knowledge and ways of life. And once it applies, there is no gainsaying that the accepted knowledge is discarded in favour of the new one. But it does not amount to saying that every old knowledge is changeable with the passage of time. Nor is everyone willing to learn this knowledge and discard his perception on an issue. Despite so many hue and cries on the Sati practice, an 18-year-old woman, Roop Kanwar, immolated herself on the pyre of her husband in the state of Rajasthan in 1987 in the company of all her relatives. Despite the new knowledge we are not always willing to adapt ourselves to the changes that should be welcome. For example there are millions of people who do not endorse Darwin?s views that we have evolved from monkeys and apes. ...read more.

Conclusion

But again, it will not be right to say that every knowledge that we know is bound to change. No. We still believe that the value of Pi is 3.14 and that it takes 8 minutes for the light from the sun to reach us. Every theory cannot be challenged. To challenge a theory a scientist, be he a human scientist or a natural scientist, has to be twice as vigil as the earlier ones. He is not only supposed to bring a new claim but also has to break the fetters that have engulfed us human beings. Now to answer the knowledge issue taken by me that ?what are the grounds upon which we give up the accepted knowledge, and adapt ourselves to the new knowledge?? and ?to what extent does the role of authority impact what is accepted as knowledge?? I am of the opinion that ?The old order changeth yielding place to new.? Knowledge is a concept that re-corrects itself, as there exists no absolute knowledge in this world. Every thing is changeable in nature, and hence it is mandatory on the part of every knower that he make a proper balance between his reason and emotion, and not get influenced by language until it apples to his perceptions. Human progress is remarkable in that it does not stick to the old ways; it changes but only when the changes come accompanied by evidence and the voice of authority. And whenever it happens the old knowledge will always be discarded tomorrow. ...read more.

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