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#8 "Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of using faith as a basis for knowledge in religion and in one area of knowledge"

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Heyy guys!

Was just wishing to discuss this Question

"Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of using faith as a basis for knowledge in religion and in one area of knowledge from the ToK diagram."

Any ideas on how to approach?

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I also need help!

Basis of knowledge, I think they mean like when you develop a knowledge, faith is the most important fact/idea from which that knowledge is developed. In other words, all knowledge is based on faith..?

By 'faith', do they mean a particular religion or just a great trust in something? What other AOKs can I relate this to? Can I relate this with Natural Sciences or Human Sciences?

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Faith is having full trust in the unseen or the unknown. Generally, it applies for spiritual and religious aspects, but if you were to stretch it into specified circumstances, like having faith in someone, for example...that's a whole other case. But, having faith in someone else won't be a basis for knowledge and religion, lol. Unless that person is 'the knower', then that's, yet again, a whole other case. So in this case, faith could be full trust in God/religion, and full trust in the Knower that could be detailing said religion/faith for you.

We discussed this in our class several times. We questioned why faith wasn't included in the ways of knowing, because in countless circumstances, many of us used our faith as a basis of what we believe. There's no arguing that many people follow what their religion dictates, right? Then come people who don't really follow a certain faith or religion. Does this make using faith as a way of knowing less legitimate? Not necessarily; like emotion, some use it and some don't. So, essentially ways of knowing are up to the person.

And that's all I got :P

...My brain, lol.

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basis of knowledge is basically defined as a way to justify knowledge, or justification of knowledge.

faith, in my opinion, is probably the hardest thing in this question to define.

i would personally define it as a way to justify a belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

opinions people?

also, what would be the possible assumptions for this question?

Edited by sanross

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please may i have help on my tok essay, im doing it on number9. Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of using faith as a basis for knowledge in religion and in one area of knowledge from the ToK diagram. (i have chosen history) i need help on how to write it on a tok point of view as i am a bit confused and how much of an online source can u copy without being accused of plagerism..?

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using faith as the basis for knowledge can either bring pros and cons. some people claim that having faith on something unseen is illogical and impossible like the atheist. but, in my opinion, to make the faith can be used as a basis for knowledge in religion, we need the 'help' from emotion and feelings. that's why i think that faith cannot be one of the ways of knowing. but, at the same time, when most people around us make an agreement about having faith in this religion, we tend to be agree with them and from this basis, we may develop other knowledge such as history. of course, what we learned in history was not 100% absolute truth about the past, but we tend to use faith to agree with the certain events. (for example: the Muslims were having faith in their religion on reasons why their empire suddenly collapse). It may sounds impossible for ultimate Muslims to be suddenly collapse, but the Muslims just have to accept it, which is having faith.

sorry for any mistakes.

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Faith, like Minuet said, is the unconditional beleif in something which can be justified by the sentence "because it's in my faith".

The reason why it's not used as a bases of knowledge, is because its limitations outweigh its strengths.

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please could i have help in incorporating knowledge issues into my tok essay. i have trouble with understanding tok and any help is much appreciated. my topic is: 9. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of using faith as a basis for knowledge in religion and in one area of knowledge from the ToK diagram. i have used history as an area of knowledge and i would like to use hitler and the jews as an example.

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i have used history as an area of knowledge and i would like to use hitler and the jews as an example.

Hi,

I think you need to be careful about using history as an example because the AoK History doesn’t use ‘faith’ as a method to search for knowledge. Although I can see where the ‘faith’ fits in with the Nazis and the Jews, a historic event which involved faith, but I don’t think that’s to do with History as an AoK.

You can, however, question the faith in the method and I think this can be applied to History, Human Sciences and the Natural Sciences which all use particular procedures to answer questions in their own field. For example, you can bring in the scientific method and how we have faith that it will advance our knowledge. You could also say that we have faith in inductive reasoning and empirical observation; we believe that since things have happened so many times in the past they must always happen again in the future. We also have faith in theories which people haven’t been able to prove false. I think ethics is the closest AoK to religion so you might want to use that; we have faith that if we follow a moral code the world would be a better place ect.

In my opinion, I think religion tries to explain the unexplainable. It tries to offer answers to questions science (and similar subjects) cannot answer. So one of the ‘strengths’ of religion, is that it may provide us with answers beyond our understanding. Whether these answers are ‘true’ or valid is extremely questionable as they are not based on the conventional (maybe practical?) way of obtaining knowledge.

I don’t know if I’m on the right track here, but these are just some ideas that sprang into mind when I saw the question.

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hey fellow Ib students~! i would like help on my ToK topic, (Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of using faith as a basis for knowledge in religion and in one area of knowledge from the ToK diagram. ) it is not my best subject and basically i would appreciate help on incorporating knowledge issues into my essay. i have chosen history as my area of knowledge and i would like to use the Jews as an example to reinforce my point. please help me with ideas and any ways to improve my essay. im really struggling.... thank you:)

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hey guys!

Okay im also doin this question and i have got an idea in mind. I just do not know how to follow it up with research and also im very afraid of plagarising.

My idea is that i am going to look at a Muslims view on faith, the whole terrorism issue, and look at a Catholics view on faith, the Extremism issue. (or i might scratch out Catholics and look at Scientology..still deciding)

The other aspect i have chosen to look at is Biology, and use Charles Darwins Theory in it.

Thanks guys XD any help is much appreciated!

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hey guys!

Okay im also doin this question and i have got an idea in mind. I just do not know how to follow it up with research and also im very afraid of plagarising.

My idea is that i am going to look at a Muslims view on faith, the whole terrorism issue, and look at a Catholics view on faith, the Extremism issue. (or i might scratch out Catholics and look at Scientology..still deciding)

The other aspect i have chosen to look at is Biology, and use Charles Darwins Theory in it.

Thanks guys :( any help is much appreciated!

Hi,

You shouldn’t be afraid of plagiarising! People write books and articles so they will be read and used to stimulate ideas. There’s nothing wrong with using other people’s ideas to support your view as long as you acknowledge them and reference the source.

A good way to start would be to plan out what you are going to include in the essay. Try to guess what the question is trying to get you to do. Then choose the area of knowledge which you will analyse (you’ve chosen a natural science). So the question becomes: “Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of using faith as a basis for knowledge in religion and the natural sciences”. I’m advising this because you want to maintain good question focus and actually answer the question set.

You then break apart the question and divide it into areas of discussion (or knowledge issues) which will be included in the essay. That is when you start to research and find evidence for your individual points. E.g.:

-One of the roles of faith within religion is…

-Example (real life situation)

-Analyse the example and bring it back into question focus.

You want to think about how the real life examples support your point and how you are going to explain them. So it might be the case that some of the examples you mentioned might not be suitable to support a point or relevant to the question. But not to worry, there are an infinite number of examples out there which you can use. You also want to include some ‘personal’ things eg. personal experience or your own views ect.

I hope this has helped you and that you will be researching in no time.

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In my opinion this is an awful question! To be avoided etc. :( It seems to me like a question asking "to what extent can you use monopoly money to buy a car?" ...the whole point of faith is, surely, that it is an act of disregarding knowledge and believing without knowledge at all, so how can faith be the basis of any kind of knowledge?!

For people trying to find another area of knowledge to look at, I would suggest looking at the building blocks of 'knowledge' in religion and then try to find an area of knowledge where the acquisition or structure of knowledge has similarities. For instance, one way we gain 'knowledge' in religion is via reading a book somebody else has told us is true. For instance, the bible, the qu'ran etc. So you can look at it and think "we're basing our 'knowledge' in religion on a faith in the veracity of written sources" and suddenly you see a link over to History, where the process of acquiring knowledge is similarly based on a certain faith in written sources. The big difference of course being that in History you can be critical of how valid the source is, whereas you can't actually criticise the sources in religion, so faith is in fact not hugely necessary in History. Even if you don't know whether something is 100% true or 100% false, you can include that with the source, so you don't actually need to bother with faith at all, you can just be honest about how much or little it seems valid.

Equally you can say that in science we have a 'faith' that "what follows for one follows for all" -- i.e. to give the famous example from the IB Chemistry textbook, in Northern Europe they only ever saw white swans so believed that all swans were white (i.e. a 'faith' that swans would all continue being white). Then they went down under and in Australia they have black swans. So to some extent there is faith -- but again it's a faith which can be expressed, like history, in conjunction with a rating of its uncertainty and also which we seek very strongly to disprove. So again, it's an example of 'faith' in an Area of Knowledge that doesn't seem to mean all that much on the grand scale of things.

So yes. Those are some ideas/thoughts, but the overriding thing I'd say is that this title is one to be avoided. The role of faith in other areas of knowledge is less 'faith' and more an uncertainty measure. That and I personally see no strengths of using faith to find knowledge because, as I said at the beginning, it's somewhat inherent in faith that its relationship to knowledge is best described as 'fleeting'. Either that or the word 'knowledge' has to have a serious definition downgrade.

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Hej guys

Am doing the same question(Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of using faith as a basis for knowledge in religion and in one area of knowledge from the ToK diagram.)and i need help. i choose math as my AoK and am using axioms to reinforce my point. I want to know if am on the right track

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Hello everyone who is doing this question,

I've just thought of something that hasn't been mentioned yet and that is: doubt. I think there was a ToK question before which stated 'Doubt is the key to knowledge' or something of the sort. This, in my opinion, is very related to this title and extends the area which faith covers. We always believe that we don't have perfect knowledge. We usually think that there is knowledge out there to be discovered. But why?

There is no evidence to say that there is knowledge out there to be found. Just because there are things that occur which we cannot explain, it doesn't mean that we will ever find an explanation for them. How do we know we haven't reached the limits of knowledge at this point in time? Just because there have been discoveries in the past doesn't mean that there will be any more discoveries in the future. (Do you get my point?) Yet we still go on searching for explanations and "undiscovered" knowledge. Is this not faith? Do we not have faith that knowledge to some extend is infinite? Does this faith that there are things to be learned or doubt in our understanding of reality not motivate us to discover 'truth'?

I hope that this was helpful and that it is a valid point to include. I just thought that the notion of doubt in relation to faith was quite interesting and maybe you could use it and expand on it in your essays if you wished to.

@Stephanie Tapia

how would i approach the same question when Im doing my area of knowledge on human science and the stem cell research?

would I have to pick a religion as well to answer the question?

Well the first question to ask is what is the role of faith in the human sciences? (if that is the area of knowledge you wish to explore). As I think Sandwich and I mentioned above, in most Areas of Knowledge, we believe that the theories that exist are true and valid for everything. At some point in time people believed that the world was flat, it wasn't. If you are an economist: At some point in time, people had faith that if the price of a good increased, the demand would always fall; not until Veblen and Griffen goods were found. Often when a new theories are discovered we assume that they must be 100% true in all cases. Why? Because we don't have a better explanation. Thus we have faith in that theory even if neon question marks are flashing all over it.

I don't think you have to pick a particular religion. Remember you are talking about the role of faith in religion in general. You would use particular region for your real life examples and to support your point.

Edited by Keel
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One of the first questions we must ask ourselves when we read this topic is the ambiguity of the word "faith". We can interpret it as mundane, everyday faith, or the spiritual faith experienced in religion. How are they different? Another question we must discuss is how is scientific knowledge different from religious/mythological knowledge? This will help us sort out the strengths and weaknessess of using faith (both mundane and religiou)as a foundation for knowledge and understanding.

I go to a catholic based school with a very religious directrice, however it is also an international school with diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. I'm planning on interviewing her for the the strengths aspect of using faith as a basis for knowledge, because she started this school for those reasons. So hopefully I'll get some good responses from her and if any one else has anything to contribute, we will be able to help eachother.

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