What Are The Differences Between Knowledge And Belief? How Do These Apply To Claims About Existence Of Objects?

1361 words - 5 pages

To most, knowledge is what we 'know' through learning and general knowledge. But to sit down and explore the idea of knowledge and the idea of belief brings up some philosophical questions; what is knowledge? If it is what we have learnt, how do we know it is definite, if it is scientifically proven, then is it science that navigates and has the final say in what can be classed as 'knowledge?' Belief is what we have all been told, since childhood we have been told things such as there is a heaven and an earth, our bodies need food to grow. Whether it be religious or just general information, whether we be told of this by our parents, or our friends, our schools, or our churches, what is it exactly that is classed as 'knowledge' or 'belief', and what are the differences between the two? This has been of great interest to many, especially philosophers who spend their lives exploring such questions. These questions will be explored here.Knowledge and belief are different concepts. Knowledge is a true belief. Here inevitably enters the question, what makes something real? To some, science and empirical testing proves beliefs true. To others it is the feeling inside, the strong belief, usually religious, that does not need to be 'proved,' it is unquestionable, or at least to those who believe in such metaphysical entities as God, believe so. So truth has two principles: the scientific side and the religious side. A belief is, according to Plato, that which can be proved false, or that which has insufficient evidence to prove itself (Bowie 2000 p.229). Knowledge is more than an idea or inkling. The claim to 'know' something should have secure foundations and should be scientifically testable. Only once this belief withstands testing, it's then worthy of being classed as knowledge. In science the hypothesis is the belief, 'Does blood contains oxygen', the procedure of the experiment is to test the degree of truth in this statement, and the results of this testing, is what actually classifies or doesn't classify something as a 'fact,' if it resists testing its then classed as knowledge, 'blood does contain oxygen.'In a sentence such as, "I believe a fact," it suggests your choice in believing this fact. The words 'belief' and 'fact' donnot go together. Perhaps it is possible to believe a fact, if you are told this fact. However if no appropriate evidence or proof is given with the fact, trust would be involved. Just as when you are a child, you're mother says that if you don't eat all your vegetables, your ears will begin to grow potatoes, you believe her, as you trust her. One may strongly believe in something, which shows their unaltering thought of its existence, but one should use phrases such as 'I would like to believe...' which illustrates their hope in its existence. An example of this is the fact that nobody can say, "I know God exists," because there has been no proof of his existence physically or metaphysically. Arguments inevitably arise...

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