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What are the differences between"I am certain and it is certain", and is passionate conviction ever sufficient for justifying knowledge?

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Introduction

Jenny Alexander Year 12, TOK What are the differences between "I am certain" and "it is certain", and is passionate conviction ever sufficient for justifying knowledge? Though "I am certain" and "It is certain" sound very familiar, they are quite different. The definition of certainty is "something established beyond doubt or question, something defiantly known". This arouses a new question of whether we as humans are able to know if something is definite? "I am certain" is a personal point of view, and may not be the belief of another person. Being certain is a condition of mind. I am certain that I was born on the 4th of September 1992. But I can't say it is certain that I was born on the 4th of September 1992, because though I have proof of a birth certificate, passport, and my parents, I can not say that it is absolutely certain that I am who I believe I am. ...read more.

Middle

But can we say that every organism dies eventually is an absolute fact? Well so far we haven't had anything living for more than 1000 years, but we have plants and animals as old as 200 years. We cannot predict that they will not go on living. So the statement contains a slight uncertainty, but not enough for us to reject it. Scientists use experiments to increase their certainty in theorems. They attempt to produce facts that are absolutely true. However it is impossible to ensure absolute truth, so it just becomes an accepted truth to allow further scientific advancement. This is because the basic ideas are treated as fact, so that new theories can be built upon these axioms. There is always some uncertainty in every statement. ...read more.

Conclusion

People didn't question this theory because it seemed obvious. But the scientist proved that the earth had a gravitational force, and it was possible for the earth to be round. Now it is certain that the earth is spherical and there are many ways to prove it. Passionate conviction is a firmly held belief and may not be enough to justify the knowledge. For example a person may be passionately convinced that there is a god. But there is not enough evidence of there ever being a god. But god is used as a reason why. Why we exist, why we think, why there is a universes. These things we are also uncertain about. However for something to be an accepted truth or axiom, we need substantial evidence. A proved chain of reasoning and accepted axioms therefore effectively establishes knowledge of truth. ...read more.

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