To What Extent Do We Need Evidence To Support Our Beliefs In Different Areas Of Knowledge?

1471 words - 6 pages

As a TOK student, I have been taught to question everything around me, rather than blindly believe anything I am told. For this reason, I have learned to ask for evidence for many of the concepts that my teachers, family members and friends tell me about. However, this is usually in topics taught in the educational system such as mathematics and the natural sciences, where evidence and reason are necessary in order to conclude if an answer or theory is correct/ reasonable. In more complex topics such as religion, which relies mainly on faith, emotion and beliefs, evidence plays a very different and often minimal role. This is also often the case with ethics where our morals, and our views of ...view middle of the document...

I have also encountered this recently when my math teacher told me that if you add all the numbers from 1 to infinity you get 1/12. I did not believe him until he showed me evidence of a video explaining the reasoning behind this. Nevertheless, there are still many mathematicians that are skeptical of this theory because, it just does not seem logical even with evidence. In this area of knowledge that is made up of facts, evidence is necessary to support out beliefs, otherwise it can be easily discarded through reasoning.
Moreover, natural sciences need some sort of evidence to support it in order for a hypothesis to become a theory and for it to be believed. E.g. evolution, For example, before ____ people believed that earth was the center of the universe as the bible stated that “the Lord set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. It required the evidence that __ in order for people to believe this. Because people had “Known” that the earth was the center of the universe for so long, that they did not want to accept any other option. ___’s theory was eventually accepted because the evidence that was collected inspired by ___’s theory, allowed us to realize that he was right. Therefore through this evidence, most of society’s belief that the earth is the center of the universe has changed. Those who still believe this, are ridiculed as the idea that the sun is the center of the universe is now considered a fact, and whoever does not know this is considered uneducated.
In natural sciences nearly everything is a theory that relies on induction, which is a great limitation, as can be seen by the constant paradigm shifts due to new discoveries disproving previous ones. In addition, the knowledge in the sciences in reality is never-ending, as there will always be something new to study in the world and in humans, making it hard to study for obvious reasons. Overall, really nothing is certain and many of the things that we consider facts in our lives are in reality theories since induction is the main scientific method and scientists have to be constantly aware that the latest theory is a simply a best fit model
On the other hand, in the area of knowledge of ethics and our moral views of people, we often do not require evidence to come up with our opinions and instead use intuitive perception. This way of knowing is the “gut” feeling that we sometimes get. It is often unknown where this knowledge comes from and so it can be nearly impossible to justify, especially because it varies from person to person, making it hard to explain to others. Through sense perception, we are able to see an individual and their appearance, and through intuition, we “know” an individual ‘s intentions and attitude. Therefore making moral judgments that although could be mistaken will not be changed no matter the evidence against it because of how strong intuition and that “gut feeling” is.
Without having justification, it is very unlikely for someone...

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