• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent do we need evidence to support our beliefs in different areas of knowledge?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Theory of Knowledge Essay To what extent do we need evidence to support our beliefs in different areas of knowledge? The common phrase, 'seeing is believing', implies the message that you can only believe in something once you have seen it with your own eyes. The topic question for this essay, to what extent do we need evidence to support our beliefs in different areas of knowledge, challenges the idea of whether we need to see something in order to confirm our beliefs; or if through other ways of knowing such as reason, language and emotion we can support and trust in our own beliefs and ideals. This topic forces you to question the trust you have in yourself, in other people and in the world around you; it makes you think about the different areas of knowledge and to what extent we need different types of evidence to eliminate any doubts in our minds. For the purpose of this essay I am going to define the term 'evidence' as physical evidence, examples of this type of evidence can range from fossils to written accounts of events. The knowledge we gain from this type of evidence is empirical knowledge, we interact with the evidence through sense perception. I would also like to define the term 'beliefs' as your personal opinions on a particular issue/subject; deciding whether something is real or fictitious. ...read more.

Middle

Next I would like to evaluate history as an area of knowledge. In history there is a need for physical evidence to confirm and validate events that have taken place in the past. History, in this sense, is a difficult area of knowledge to fully grasp and understand as for the most part we were not there to witness the events we believe to have taken place. We are uncovering and learning more about our history each day, but there are still many blank spaces. For historians some of the most important and accurate information comes from primary source documents, written accounts of events from people who witnessed the event take place. I have included documents to the definition of physical evidence, however you must be careful about biases that may affect the validity of the evidence and the area of knowledge itself. The arousal of biases prompted my next knowledge issue, to what extent do biases affect the validity of the evidence? History, as an area of knowledge, can be passed down primarily through language. Language allows us to expand beyond our experience and learn about events in the past and in other areas of the world. Language as a way of knowing can become biased because the views told can be affected by the person's opinion. ...read more.

Conclusion

Implications that could arise based on my arguments and claims that history and natural sciences need evidence to support people's beliefs suggest that creativity and the childhood happiness from the use of imagination is a bad thing. Quite frankly, I think that we would live in a pretty boring world if people were forced to prove everything; and I don't think we would have progressed nearly as far as we have. An assumption I have made is that evidence that is not physical is less valid than non empirical evidence. I have taken this stance because that is my own personal opinion and I recognize that other people, perhaps those who are from a different culture, age or gender may have different views. To conclude, this topic has made me both doubt and confirm my own sense of belief in the knowledge areas, and in my life. I questioned whether it is harmful or beneficial to accept things as they are? And does that illustrate a lack of interest or judgment? I don't have a definite answer, but I think it's important to have a balance of both - I think it's actually quite refreshing to be able to both have the need for and not need evidence at the same time . No one can live their life searching for, or requesting proof to every question or doubt, it's just impractical, and sometimes there isn't any, we just need to have a little faith. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. People Need To Believe that order can be glimpsed in the chaos of events

    as that the neutron can turn into a proton and an electron much like the frog turns into a prince in the fairy tales. The point of this example was to show that instead of accepting "chaos" people seem to be able to find order in anything, much like the theory of confirmation bias.

  2. To what extent should our actions be guided by our theories in ethics and ...

    In physics, Maxwell's electromagnetism and Newtonian physics have proven to be inconsistent and incompatible with modern technological development, e.g. computing. At the extreme margins of microscopic levels and hi-speed near the speed of light are where these theories fail to meet the level of complexity to explain reality, thus becoming unreliable.

  1. Doubt is the key to knowledge (Persian Proverb). To what extent is this true ...

    to know who were in America when it was discovered, and how did Hitler died after assigning different doubts, then search for evidence to illustrate one of doubts as the true doubt to gain more knowledge about historical events. Another area of knowledge can be proven by doubt, and it

  2. Theory of Knowledge People need to believe that order can be glimpsed in the ...

    Ultimately, one can argue that natural scientists need to see order in chaotic situations so that they can truly justify their own perceptions and theories of the universe. This is akin to how the artist draws from their perceptions to draw order from chaos.

  1. All knowledge claims should be open to rational criticism. On what grounds and to ...

    together with rational criticism in order to establish new truths which may lead to a more subjective approach to mathematics.

  2. Knowledge gives us a sense of who we are. To what extent is this ...

    From the human comparitier level, the ramdom variation of each of these genes and their unique combinatory permutaions, creates no two individuals alike. This scientific genetic determinim seems to be at the core of what one really is. Inductive and deductive reasoning have placed ?Homo Homo Sapiens? at the forefront of evolution.

  1. Extended Essay. How do social class and gender affect the pursuit of happiness ...

    We see Jane?s knowledge and understanding of this when she is hesitant of marrying Rochester. She knows she loves him but she knows she feels like she?ll be holding him back if she agrees. And she only does agree to marry him when she comes into her late uncle?s wealth.

  2. Can we know when to trust our emotions in the pursuit of knowledge? Consider ...

    Remember Oscar Schindler! Emotions are very important in the development of one?s individuality but a person cannot be considered a sum total of his emotions. What happens if a judge uses his emotions while dealing with a hardcore convict? A man has to overcome his emotions and use his reason, a contrasting force to emotion.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work