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Discuss The Importance Of Reason And Emotion In Distinguishing Between Belief And Knowledge.

1396 words - 6 pages

Sometimes we hear reasoned arguments that oppose a view to which we are emotionally committed; sometimes we hear a passionate plea for a view we have good reasons to reject.Distinguishing between belief and knowledge is not easy. Perhaps defining these concepts in terms of reason and emotion helps, but every person has their own view of what belief constitutes. Believing is not based on something we can see; it is not based on statistics or senses. Beliefs rarely have to be justified, for many cases it is enough that you believe in something yourself. Therefore, beliefs are backed up by your emotions. There is no way to know whether God exists. Beliefs are often kept to oneself; knowledge is stated as a universal fact, but it is commonly known that beliefs are not as easily debated over, because there is no right answer.Knowledge is something we can prove with statistics or experiments. Knowledge is often based on calculations and observations of scientists. I think the difference between knowledge and belief is that knowledge is created for the purpose of being proved wrong; belief is not. As Albert Einstein said, "no amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong." Knowledge can be proved wrong, but not right, but beliefs cannot be proved to be anything, only the product of somebody's mind. Beliefs can be debated over, but no one will ever reach a final conclusion, not to mention it ever being universally acknowledged.Then there is the aspect of religion, which is in many ways an interesting view when discussing this topic. Christians believe that God created the Earth; scientists believe it was created through an explosion. Both parties display their beliefs as facts - as knowledge. Both have found some kind of evidence to justify their beliefs, but the scientists' point of view is universally acknowledged as the truth. So is knowledge just a belief that most of the world supports? Does it make something knowledge that one hundred, one million, two billion people, or a certain percentage of the world, believe in it?If belief is justified through emotion and knowledge through reasoning, is it possible belief be backed up by reasoning, and knowledge by emotions? I feel that I am in love; therefore I know I love the person towards whom these feelings are directed. This argument is entirely based on perception of one's own feelings and therefore should be a belief. But in that case it would be wrong to use the word "know", even if the person was sure of their feelings.How to define things that other people take as given facts and other people have never heard of as knowledge? I know that after every autumn there is a winter, and every winter it snows. This can be proved by many people in many ways; I can ask my grandmother, and she will tell you that it is so and has been so for the past 70 years. I can look at books dating back hundreds of years and read that it was so also then. This can be proved by...

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