To what extent do we need evidence to support our belief philosophy essay

In "Self-Reliance," philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson argues that polite society has an adverse effect on one's personal growth. Self-sufficiency, he writes, gives one the freedom to discover one'strue self and attain true independence. Emerson urges his readers to follow their individual will instead of conforming to social expectations. Emerson encourages his readers to be honest in their relationships with others.

To what extent do we need evidence to support our belief philosophy essay

Excerpt I first heard The Ramayana and The Mahabharata, the famous Hindu epics, as a young child when I visited my grandmother during one of my summer vacations. I would sit on her lap on her favourite rocking chair while she, a skilled raconteur, retold the epics with verve and fervor.

In my callowness, I believed the events happened as dramatically narrated by her. For a practicing Hindu, like my grandmother, it is a matter of belief that the epics are faithful depictions of events as they transpired and are meshed into ancient Indian history.

To what extent do we need evidence to support our belief philosophy essay

For a historian however, there is not a shred of evidence to support the epics. No monuments, parchments or inscriptions of that period have been found so far. Considering the Bronze Age is around 3, BC, humans had not yet evolved to a level of sophistication to have the wherewithal for some of the reported incidents to happen.

If this is the case, how does a historian sift fact from fiction? This essay deals with History, the Human Sciences and Natural Sciences by examining how emotion, perception and biases influence our beliefs and the need for evidence to counterbalance them.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are an invaluable source of information about an early Jewish sect of the 2nd century BC — 2nd century AD called the Essenes in Palestine and of those biblical times. While tempting to straightaway accept the Dead Sea Scrolls as authoritative, a lingering doubt always persists if the scrolls are the ancient version of our paperback novel.

A finicky historian painstakingly dates and cross references the scrolls with material gleaned from The Old Testament, ancient Roman and Greek records and looks for corroborating evidence in other sources like coins, pottery, hieroglyphs, ancient biographies and other religious texts like The Talmud.

Although many theories exist, only those founded on irrefutable evidence become facts. Take the case of the famous iron pillar at the Qutab Minar, Delhi, India. The techniques used by ancient Indian blacksmiths to prevent corrosion of the pillar have baffled metallurgists. The pillar is believed to be about years old, though some historians date it even earlier to BC.

Many alternate theories for corrosion resistance like environmental factors and surface coating have been propounded. These remain theories until conclusively proven by modern metallurgists through rigorous experiments and studies.

Some even suggest that an unknown visitor from outer space built the pillar, but that remains a theory and belief until supported by irrefutable evidence. Taflinger, What is Evidence? Cambridge University Press, THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMON REVISITED by Beryl Crowe () reprinted in MANAGING THE COMMONS by Garrett Hardin and John Baden W.H.

Freeman, ; ISBN Immanuel Kant (–) is the central figure in modern philosophy. He synthesized early modern rationalism and empiricism, set the terms for much of nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, and continues to exercise a significant influence today in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, and other fields.

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Defined narrowly, epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief. As the study of knowledge, epistemology is concerned with the following questions: What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge? Epistemology (/ ɪ ˌ p ɪ s t ɪ ˈ m ɒ l ə dʒ i / (); from Greek, Modern ἐπιστήμη, epistēmē, meaning 'knowledge', and λόγος, logos, meaning 'logical discourse') is the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge..

Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. Much debate in epistemology centers on four. The “ethics of belief” refers to a cluster of questions at the intersection of epistemology, ethics, philosophy of mind, and psychology.

The central question in the debate is whether there are norms of some sort governing our habits of belief-formation, belief-maintenance, and belief-relinquishment. Question 4: To what extent do we need evidence to support our beliefs in at least two areas of knowledge? “A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.” (David Hume).

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