For example, the prediction of Osama Bin Laden being dead. Because of his liver problems, his walking using a cane and an immobilized arm, he was said to be dead. Some reasoned that because he suffered from these problems, he was dead. This of course is based on some evidence of injury however there is no solid evidence that proves his death; therefore, imagination has played an evident role. The mind develops the point of view. The people who had a particular form of perceiving and reasoning assumed and believed he was dead. However, not everyone, of course, agreed on this opinion.
Because of the fact that every person has different perceptions, emotions, language and reasoning, its likely to have several different conclusions drawn from the same piece of evidence. This is why, unlike rigor, imagination refers more to the subjective part of history. Both rigor and imagination are necessary to history. While rigor allows the objectivity and main facts to enter into the historian’s knowledge, the imagination fills in the voids uncovered by the rigor. This imagination is -of course- influenced by the individual historian’s perception, reason, emotion and language.
He or she will connect the dots brought upon by the rigor using his or her mind. The fact that ones imagination is unique to that of someone else’s proves that it is possible to reach new perspectives on events. This means that new ideas flourish around the world and wide varieties of conclusions are drawn. For example, the political differences which have resulted in the creation of two branches of Muslim religion-the Shias and the Sunnis. The shias believe that Ali, the prophet’s son in law, should have followed in throne after the prophet Muhammad died.
The Sunnis, on the other hand, proposed that the new leader should be elected from those capable of the job. While these two groups shared the major ideas and fundaments of the Islamic religion (rigor) it was up to their own way of thinking and imagining by which they picked their branch. It is important to note that without rigor and interpretation, the world would have one uniform belief. Without rigor and interpretation, it is clear that history could not be neither interpreted by the historians and therefore nor by the future generations of the world.
This would mean that either there wouldn’t be vast knowledge on previous events or everybody would think the same over a certain event, which is not good for the prosperity of history. If many people would believe that Nazi Germany was the best thing that ever happened, nobody would go into why it was the worst thing. This would mean that multiple perspectives would not occur. Without multiple perspectives, there is a loss of analysis and understanding of history. This results in a loss of enrichment, seen as though there would be a more restricted way of looking at things.
Plain acknowledgement of a counterargument does not mean that you believe in it. If anything, it makes you grow by adapting your argument to other person’s beliefs, therefore strengthening your argument, and connecting it to their new perception and reasoning levels. In conclusion, rigor is important because it provides the main facts behind an event, excluding the bias and basis of unreal facts. Imagination, on the other hand, is what allows the historians to interpret the historical facts. Without the imagination, there would be no interpretation, and without any interpretation, there would be no opinion.
Without opinions, there wouldn’t be different beliefs and therefore uncertainty is maximized; seen as though there is just a void and uniformity of belief. Everybody would believe the same thing, and their beliefs would be based on their imagination, therefore increasing uncertainty. All these sources of uncertainty play a role in the confidence of the historian. Because historians imagine things differently, depending on their individual reasoning and perceiving of the real world, they are each going to have individual conclusions that would differ from other historians.
Because there are so many perspectives towards historical events, there is increased uncertainty. When a historian takes into consideration these two important sources of error-large number of opinions and lack of certainty-, it’s hard for them be confident about conclusions. Anyhow, since historians trust that evidence is real and believe in their analysis of the events, they are confident about their own conclusions. After they undergo the twofold process of rigor and imagination, they can make a conclusion based on the evidence. This doesn’t mean that they are absolutely certain about what happened.
What they record is what they believe, but they of course leave a leeway and are open to error, inaccuracy, and opposing ideas. In conclusion, since the role of rigor and imagination are crucial to the interpretation of historical events, they are also crucial to the creation of opinions. Because rigor and imagination shape the way in which history is presented to us and since opinions stem from different interpretations of history, rigor and imagination are related to opinions. The creation of more opinions and the difference in thought both increase uncertainty, whose degree describes the confidence that the historian has.