Doubt is the key to knowledge (Persian Proverb). To what extent is this true in two areas of knowledge?

Authors Avatar by sc_rahulgrah (student)

“Doubt is the key to knowledge” (Persian Proverb). To what extent is this true in two areas of knowledge?

The world we live in is made of opposites-good and evil; day and night; summer and winter; life and death; joy and sorrow. Everything in this world is not black and white-things are gray as well. Man is distinguished from animals by his incessant quest for knowledge. By his reason and intellect he can differentiate between good and evil; and day and night. He is obsessed with seeking complete knowledge. In this golden age of science man has found answers to those questions that were incomprehensible to his ancestors. But is it really so? No. Has man been able to establish the existence of god? Does he man know the meaning of life? Man’s acquisition of knowledge can certainly be doubted.  Doubt is uncertainty about anything. Superficially doubt and knowledge stand poles apart as doubt is said to be the enemy of faith and truth. It is claimed that doubt is an obstacle in the way to new truths and awakening. But on deep reflections, it can be analyzed that the principles of doubt are based on reasoning which stands no different from thinking.  It is the spirit of doubt alone that has helped man break the fetters of orthodoxy and rudiments, and accept the new emerging truths. For example we know that the color of a man’s skin has nothing to do with the sins of his previous life, and that the birth of twins is a natural process. In my opinion doubt is a very important tool of knowledge. It is man’s rationality that has engendered the instinct of doubt. Doubt is the dawn!

Doubt is rendered all the more penetrative as nothing in this world is certain. Plato calls this world as an unreal world made of the shadows of the real world in the heaven. According to his doctrine there are forms that exist outside the material realm, and are unchanging, and consequently we live amid illusions and phantoms1. The famous philosopher Descartes in his Meditations claims that things are not always just as they seem at first glance. He is of the opinion that even our sensory perceptions are illusions. According to him nothing is indubitable in this delusive world except that he exists. Thus doubt plays a vital role in understanding the mystery of this incomprehensible world where every argument is flawed and every idea biased. The instinct of doubt makes man more inquisitive-it makes him explore and unravel answers to the mysterious and the arcane. And it is the gift of doubt that makes man more pragmatic and prepared by providing him with the answers to his questioning spirit. Yes doubt is the key to knowledge. I will elucidate the efficacy of this thesis statement by emphasizing role of doubt in the areas of knowledge such as natural sciences and ethics.

Join now!

Science is a unique area of knowledge owing to its precise, testable and self-correcting attributes. It is known as the ultimate justified belief – the certain way of knowing. There is no doubt that the sun gives us life and plants give us oxygen. It is assumed that the facts science gives us are true as they are based on empirical proof and substantial evidence. Through the scientific enquiry we have known today that leprosy has got nothing to do with the sins of one’s previous life Bur is science beyond the periphery of doubt? No, ...

This is a preview of the whole essay