October 20, 2020
Are there any ways of knowing that are better than others at leading to the truth?
Have you ever taken a second and wondered why does 1+1 = 2, or why you know when to laugh or cry during a movie? It is common sense that when we were born, we started out not knowing anything except from the most fundamental skills of survival. It is later in life when we progressively acquire knowledge from the world around us; when speaking of ways of acquiring knowledge most people instantly relate knowledge to school, a very common false perception that people tend to share : the idea that we most of our knowledge are acquired from textbooks and teachers. However, ways of knowing are far vaster than simply that. These ways of knowing can be categorized as 8 major components: language, sense perception, emotion, reason/logic, imagination, intuition, memory, and faith/ religion. To explain why I believe logic and reasoning is the most effective way of knowing at finding the truth, I will show how the advantages of logic outweighs the disadvantage of it, and how it ultimately is best at leading towards the truth.
Logic is the most effective way of knowing at leading to the truth because it is completely objective and free of personal feelings and prejudice. Humans are extremely perceptual, which is why we might tend to rely on sense perception and memory as it “feels” more real to us while number and graphs might be more abstract and therefore harder to understand. However, our preference and reliance on perceptuality is what causes dispute, illusions, and conflicts. When it comes to logic however, perceptuality no longer plays a role and that allows us to investigate the world with complete rationality and a leaves a clear process of how we arrived at the conclusion. An example of this can be how we know the shape of the earth. If it wasn’t for scientific experiments proving that the earth is a sphere, we will never be able to discover that fact through our own senses as they lead us to think that it is actually flat. Furthermore, even if, through ways of knowing like imagination, which could possibly lead us to think that the earth is a sphere, there are no concrete evidences that supports the claim, and eventually the claim becomes less strong. Conversely, this is the strong suit of using logic to make claims, as with quantifiable evidences, claims that are made rarely ever is debated upon and is the biggest reason why scientific facts like the earth is round are considered as a universal truth.
The flaw with purely relying on logic as a way of knowing is that it is simply impossible for humans. This the fundamental difference between how a computer thinks and how a human think, while computers processes information and executes its task, its decisions are completely free of emotions and it performs what it is told to do. Humans are far more complicated and uncertain, and when we make decisions sometimes emotion overrides us to do something that is completely irrational. An example of this can be two people fighting because of an argument, although both people know the consequences of doing so outweighs the benefits, they are override by anger and ends up still doing it. Furthermore, because of our reliance on science to understand the world around us, if one fact is proven to be wrong, a lot of our knowledge of the world around us will also collapse.
In conclusion, although logic is best at finding the truth because its free of human emotions and uses clear evidences to prove the claim’s credibility, in reality it is impossible for a human to think completely logically. Therefore, I believe that a combination of logic, imagination, and emotion will be the best at arriving to the truth, this is because as humans our emotions are inevitable and a when humans combines subjective and objective thinking with a touch of imagination, we’ve reached far into the universe without ever stepping out of it.