One definition of knowledge is true belief based on strong evidence. What makes evidence “strong” enough and how can this limit be established?
The making of knowledge is the process in which personal opinion is fortified by pragmatic evidence. It is to my belief that, evidence is a keystone in the justification of truth, because it is something solid and concrete. Significance of evidence is also magnified by our society as we develop. In major areas such as: scientific investigations, judicial examinations, historical assessments and many other field of knowledge, the value of creditable evidence are strongly advocated. While evidence is a strong factor in eliminating doubts of knowledge, different types of evidence can also affect the reliability of the truth claim which it supports. The fine line dividing valuable evidence and unreliable proof has since been drawn and debated over from the first schools of thoughts to today’s broad fields of knowledge. Likewise, I will also call upon my own experience and understanding to draw my own line in the grey vicinity of this spectrum.
Before the declaration of my knowledge claims, I would like to clarify my understanding of evidence and its characteristics; which will be the foundation of this discussion. On a broad view, evidence can be identified as a fact-like assertion that proves or disproves ¯ to a certain degree ¯ a notion to be true, and trustworthy. On a closer examination, I realized, it is the evidence’s degree of relevance and authenticity that establishes its value and strength. Relevance, I believe, is the relationship which the evidence has with the theory that it is trying to uphold. As two things with strong connections tend to support each other, evidence with close relationship to the hypothesis, is also able to support the truth within that assumption. Authenticity, on the other hand, is the creditability of evidence. Only when the evidence is valid, will the knowledge that it is trying to justify be accurate. Furthermore, evidence’s strength also lies within its objectivity and creditability. With less personal bias, evidence will be regarded as objective, therefore easier to admit universally. At the end, creditability finalizes strong evidence through the influence of trust. Even though strong evidence can stand as a fact of its own, they still can be employed in the defence of false knowledge. With the diverse roles evidence can play, the classification of sound, truth-validating evidence still proves to be difficult. Finally, with the two sides of the spectrum identified, I will now seek the line of partition.
With half of the world believing in a religion of some kind, it is hard to ignore the fact that many people’s beliefs are based on evidence that seem to have little precision and authenticity. However through the inspection of a more plain case, such as The Turin Shroud, we will see the evidence that...