Web Knowledge: fighting believe

There is a view that all seeming knowledge is less than certain. Though individuals may feel a high degree of confidence in a seeming fact, this is not the same as certain knowledge, so much as a feeling or attitude. This is often demonstrated in courts of law, sometimes years after the fact of seeming evidence. It is also demonstrated by history, in terms of strongly held beliefs that later lost credence, to be replaced by other beliefs.

Movements of the planets were conisdered to be the activity of gods, then simply descriptions of their changing direction and circling the earth daily, and eventually an explanation suggesting that they revolve about the sun.

Knowledge of medicine, seen centuries later, also reveals that the “knowledge” was in fact knowledge of what had been said or written, and not knowledge of nature. Though we may feel that what we experience in the modern time is finally knowledge of nature, centuries in the future people may look back on what may be seen as 21st-century folly by that time, and the current day will not be considered “modern times.”

Differences in religious faith also illustrates the difference between strongly held belief and certain knowledge. One may “know” that religious facts are written in a current document. He may believe it is an exact replica of what was written millennia ago. He may believe that what was originally written exactly reported on actual events of the time. He may believe that the events of the time demonstrated with certainty certain theological truths.

This is not exactly the same as knowing those things with certainty, other than that certain things are currently written. The fact that a person of a different religion may believe differently illustrates the uncertainty of all those facts other than that certain things are written.