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By Daniela Ortiz, V Form
Faith and Doubt: Emotion’s Place in Epistemology
In this paper, I will argue that faith is comprised of knowing God without certainty. I will argue that this kind of faith does more good in the world than absolute certainty in God. People of faith must face doubt to strengthen belief. Although this seems paradoxical, the outcome of continuously facing doubt is a stronger commitment to looking beyond one’s self and following through on a commitment to treat all other people with respect.
Can we know God? Let us first define knowing.
Knowing is split into two categories- the logical knowing and emotional knowing. Logical knowing is what is certain and can be derived from the senses. In this, I agree with Hume. Knowledge of this kind is about the physical world around us and is known through data of the empirical kind such as our sensory information. There are limitations to what our senses can have us knowing. If a person’s senses deceived them, for example, by seeing a fake oasis in a desert, then this knowing may be faulty. But a singular type of incident should not be taken to alter the whole principle that logical knowing is defined by what we can perceive and what we can think. Also, logical knowing is similar to the way mathematics is used to model occurrences in the world. The use of logic conduces one answer. When there is only one answer, we shall call this certainty. When there are multiple answers, uncertainty begins. The category of emotional knowing often resides with uncertainty because our emotions are hard to maintain a grasp on long enough for one answer and train of thought to be maintained from the impression of the emotion. In section 2, paragraph 12, Hume makes a clear distinction between our thoughts and our impressions. Ideas are limited only to what we can expand upon from our sensory information, or from our desires and feelings. The argument here is sound. In paragraph 14, Hume explains that every thought we have is copied from a similar, earlier impression. Emotions may be short-lived, but they are more vivid, and all of our ideas about the world are formed from them (Hume 2). To bring it to a point: although emotions are fleeting, the emotional knowing should not be discounted as our impressions are stronger and more vivid than the ideas they will eventually inform.(more…)
By Natalie Novak, VI Form
On Knowledge and Knowing God
At the heart of any civilization lies a fundamental core centered on religion. Many great empires have risen and fallen, while maintaining their devotion to some kind of transcendent being or reality. Ethics, morality, governing laws, and codes of conduct all stem from some kind of religious or higher rule. However, the being that has created these ideals always comes into question when one is deciding whether to follow these “rules.” This brings about the discussion of God’s existence. Is it possible to know God? Can we prove his validity? Is this knowledge truly sound? What even is it “to know?” The question of God is a complex one, furthered by the complexity of the phrase to know. To fully grasp the notion of knowing god, it is essential to comprehend the notion of knowing. (more…)
By Adriana Roman, VI Form
The majority of people do not believe in the existence of anything if it cannot be seen, felt, smelled, or touched. This notion has to do partly with the time period we live in—the era of technological advances, where almost anything in the world can be proven through tangible proofs and reasons. As a result, everything we experience externally, through the world, can be “known”, or believed in, because there is irrefutable evidence that will produce the same result every time a specific situation occurs or a question is brought up. For example, gravity’s existence can be “known” because we have experienced countless times that a dropped pencil will fall to the ground due to the pulling force of gravity. Experience (more…)