Question: What kinds of knowledge have you taken as true? What have you doubted? As the knower, there is a type of knowledge that I can actually accept to be true; retrospectively, there are many types of knowledge that I can’t accept to be true. This type of question is really poignant due to the way certain people just find it easier to just submit their opinions submissively, rather than fighting for what they believe to the death. Without doubting something, we are unaware of the other side of the story; by just accepting something we aren’t truly certain is true, we are inherently making our world languish and remain at a standstill.
I accept knowledge by acquaintance to be true. Since it is coming from me, I have an insight into whether something is true or not. This knowledge is rooted in my own experiences and how I am able to implement it to everyday life. I am cognitively aware that something is to be true in one situation; therefore it must be true in another situation. For example, if my foot hurts, I am the only one who knows this to be true. Others looking at my foot can say that it can’t hurt because it doesn’t look like it hurts, but from my perspective I can cognitively say that my foot hurts.
The other person isn’t directly acquainted with the pain, thus they can’t truly depict what is actually occurring. I doubt knowledge by description because it is knowledge based on description of experience. We can’t accept the validity of that person’s recalling of an event because it isn’t necessarily exactly what happened; also, if we experience something firsthand, we are more inclined to remembering it because of its emotional attachment to ourselves. We don’t know what actually happened, and if the source is reputable enough to trust.
An element of sabotage is introduced in this knowledge because someone can say something to you to get a leg-up. There also might be something “lost in translation” when someone is telling something to me and because of this I can’t accept it. An English saying might not translate into another language the same way and can be taken the wrong way; each language has idioms and don’t translate the same way. I doubt knowledge by consensus because it is based upon community agreement. Everyone in the middle ages thought that the earth was at the center of the universe; in what way does this false assumption make any truth?
If we are unaware of something we shouldn’t say anything until it is proven to be true. The Chinese used to believe in ethnocentrism; the idea that they were at the middle of the universe; is that true because everyone believed it? No, it isn’t. Therefore, knowledge by consensus is not necessarily a valid way of retrieving knowledge. Lastly, I doubt knowledge by authority. What does someone who is “higher than I am” having any idea that it is true? As humans, we are infallible; henceforth knowledge by authority is flawed. A doctor can misdiagnose a patient as having strep throat, when in reality the patient has throat cancer.
This misdiagnosis can lead do the death of people. People seem to justify that something must be true because someone smarter or someone in a highly ranked political position or a doctor says something to be true. Knowledge is the crossing of beliefs and truths; as the knower, it is I who can say since something is proven to be true, it must be true, but if I don’t believe it to be true, it is not knowledge. Knowledge is taking a proposition and justifying it to be true. As knowers in the world, we should all question things to be true because of the positive effect it has on our world.