Teachers believe that knowledge should be acquired through active class participation and critical thinking. Yet in many Polish schools, students are taught to take the information for granted, memorize it, and to never question the teacher. Secondly, students often use emotion as a way of knowing. For example, the students may be Russian and thus, nationalism, which is an emotional feeling, may cause him to react in such a manner. Also, some students are afraid to ask questions and accept everything that is said to them. Intelligence also plays a role.
The more intelligent the person is, the less likely he/she is likely to take in information without reasoning. Lastly, knowledge or education on the subject is also important. Some believe that we are more likely to believe the unfamiliar. For example, we are less likely to believe a lie about a certain cultures history than our culture’s due to the fact that we are not familiar with it. Yet other philosophers believe that no one can ever fully understand another culture and therefore, we will consider even repetitive concepts as the truth (Abel 26). We should also look into our history books to find examples.
Our past has let us witness the rise of single-party states, whose rulers used repetition of concepts to persuade people to believe certain things, thus propaganda. Through the use of language and posters, they influenced people’s thoughts, behavior, beliefs, and emotions. Through repetition of concepts, even if they were lies, they caused the masses to believe everything they said. Therefore, we see that language shapes human beliefs, thus what we categorize as the “truth. ” Nowadays, we also experience “propaganda” in the form of advertisements. Everyday we are bombarded with repetitive concepts (slogans) which persuade us to buy products.
Many commercials influence our emotions, which cause our reasoning skills, which we use in science and math, to become undermined. We often tend to buy things that we don’t really need due to this. Ethics is an area of knowledge that is a part of our daily lives and therefore should also be tested. Like history, it also cannot be evaluated scientifically/empirically. Every person is affected by an ethical or moral system which is accepted by their society. Let’s take into account an ethical principle that is present in most cultures and believed to be true by most people: “killing is wrong.
” The question that we must pose at now is: do we believe that killing is wrong because it is told to us by society or do we, ourselves come to the belief that it is wrong ourselves? In other words, we are placing two arguments. The first one is that we believe that killing is wrong because “we have been told so three times. ” Thus, that our society has forced such moral values upon us, which we subject ourselves to and believe to be true. The second argument is that these moral values are formed within us. We use intuition and reason, as a way of knowing, to decide ourselves what is right or wrong.
Therefore, it’s not our society that inflicts the values upon us. We ourselves, seeing the results of killings, the emotional and physical affects that they have on others and the whole world make us believe that the principle “killing is wrong” is true. Lastly I have chosen to look at religion. I will use Catholicism as the basis of my argument due to the cultural surroundings in which I was brought up in. Catholics reason and recognize that the belief that humans were created by God cannot be known with absolute certainty due to a lack of evidence.
However, they take this idea for granted due to the fact that they have been exposed to it since birth, thus it is a tradition, a repetitive concept in their lives. Convention persuades them to believe that the idea that God created the world is the absolute truth. This concept applies to all religions due to the fact that unlike they all rely on belief itself and not evidence. While in science, a theory has to be proven scientifically, in religion, faith and belief itself is enough to convince someone that for example, God exists.
I was able to test Lewis Carrol’s formula in several areas of knowledge, paying particular attention to ways of knowing such as reason, emotion, and language. On the basis of various renown, personal, and cross-cultural examples, I was able to find that this “formula” only applies in certain areas and situations. Scientists use the scientific method to determine what they believe to be true, unless physical or intellectual factors limit them. In history we see that the beliefs of some students are formed through reason, while others are affected by the idea”what I tell you three times is true.
” In everyday life situations, we see that this formula does create our beliefs, such as in our religions and reaction to slogans. It is important to take int Klaudia Loretti, D-0721- 020, page 2 Klaudia Loretti IB # D- 0721- 020 May 2003 Exam Session Theory of Knowledge Number of words: Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.