Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of using faith as a basis for knowledge in religion and in one area of knowledge from the ToK diagram

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TOK Essay Title Number 8: Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of using faith as a basis for knowledge in religion and in one area of knowledge from the ToK diagram.

Using faith as a method for gaining knowledge was always questionable and unconvincing. As defined in the bible (English standard version 2001), Faith, a vital aspect in this area is “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” However, faith is an assured credence that is not dependent upon substantial testimony or rational data. My intention is to exhibit that faith is a justifiable method of gaining knowledge in Religion but has confines and precincts in the more corroboration based Natural Science.

Religion is a divine sphere of influence that depends largely upon the axioms consequential to faith. This faith can be derived via absolute belief in an authority (like a prophet) or through a sacred anxiety, rather than evidence or rational grounds. Of late, people have started relying largely upon matters that are supported by the existence of proof or a reasonable explanation to verify its validity and assurance. Faith is now a ‘fallible’ suggestion as people plainly do not regard it to be a fundamental method of gaining knowledge with the lack of any supporting evidence. This is what makes faith a contentious theme in the first place. On the other hand, there are also several strengths of using faith to gain knowledge. It paves a path for individuals to resolve principles that appear uplifting and inspirational. It dissolves coherent gaps, connects perception with language and allows for the acceptance of matters that are afar intellectual capacity, for example, the fact that God is omnipresent, the reincarnation of the soul or the presence and existence of spirits. These are all beliefs that can neither be warranted with reason nor denied completely. Hence, it gives individuals the choice to decide for themselves.

However, some people may argue that the deficiency of evidence results in the wrong interpretation of certain data or matters that are actually vague or that people take advantage of the situation and interpret the data according to what suits their interest best. Hence, faith becomes an untrustworthy way of knowing. On the contrary, it should be accredited that since complete reliability cannot be found in the other areas of knowledge, it should not be expected in an aspect so complex and contentious such as Religion.

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Satirically, as opposed to other ways of knowing, emotional feedback is consequential to faith in religion, or is faith solely based on emotions or can there be a logical justification for religious convictions? For instance, a religious follower may refrain from war because he states that it is against Gods values i.e. he believes in the existence of the almighty. However, a person who does not believe in the existence of God may also abstain from war on the basis that war creates devastation of possessions, life and economic unsteadiness. The atheist is concerned about the resulting effects on the ...

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