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There are many different authorities, including academics, politicians, global organizations and companies who make knowledge claims. As an experienced TOK student, what criteria do you to distinguish between knowledge, opinion and propaganda?

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TOK ESSAY #2 There are many different authorities, including academics, politicians, global organizations and companies who make knowledge claims. As an experienced TOK student, what criteria do you to distinguish between knowledge, opinion and propaganda? Name : Chantelle McMullin Date: April 15th/08 Word count: 1316 In present ay society, everywhere you look people in our society are engulfed in the mass media and receive many kinds of information. Newspapers, magazines, TV. computers and also teachers and friends are always filling us in on the latest information. All this information raises fundamental questions on the information itself. How much of this information is true? What sources can be trusted? From all of these opinions and propaganda we are exposed to each day, how much of it has turned into our knowledge? What is the difference and how can we distinguish between it? First of all to define the terms so that we can see the differences. Although most people around us know what knowledge is , it is a very hard thing to define. Knowledge is often defined as expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education. It can be what is known in a certain field or in total; facts or information. ...read more.


This is why it is important to have class discussions and always question everything! An opinion or belief is a person's ideas and thoughts towards something. It is an assessment, judgement or evaluation of something. An opinion is not a fact, because opinions are either falsifiable, or the opinion has not been proven or verified. If it later becomes proven or verified, it is no longer an opinion but a fact. Unfortunately many of our beliefs are groundless. We have no adequate reasons for holding them at all. As many people say, you are a product of you environment. It is through our environment that we develop many of our beliefs or opinions. More often McMullin 3 then not your religious and political beliefs, attitudes and commitments have been absorbed from your social environment. How else can you explain that those born in Christian countries tend to become Christians, while those brought up in Muslim countries tend to become Muslims? People born in Canada think Canada is the best country ( which it OBVIOUSLY is ), when those born in the USA award the prize to their own country. People also always think that their child is the best. Although people may deliver this information as if it is knowledge, but how can this be so? ...read more.


They may do this using all of the media at their disposal; public speeches, posters, newspaper articles, books, movies, radio advertisements and television programs or advertisements. Propaganda is communication in which considerations of truth and reason are subordinated to effectiveness of persuasion. The aim of the propagandist is to govern or control our beliefs and desires, and hence to control our actions. All of this being said, propaganda is not necessarily false or wrong information. The most effective propaganda messages contain a substantial amount of the truth which gives the propaganda it's credibility and helps us swallow the fabrications presented to us. All of this being said we have to realise that propaganda cannot be considered as a type of knowledge because it is logically incoherent. In conclusion you now know the difference between knowledge, opinion and propaganda. Sometimes it is easy to tell the difference between them, you can often see McMullin 5 that there is no proof behind what a person is saying. This does not mean that it is not true, but it is also not knowledge. Also remember that knowledge is not always correct but it is the best thing at the time. Watch out for propaganda, for it exists in excess in our society. Be careful and do not believe everything you hear from people, television or newspapers. Remember always question everything! ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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