It is now a fact that the Earth is round, evaporation occurs upon heating, the air is made of particles and atoms and the law of gravity applies to everything on Earth. These evidence are strong because they are valid, consistent, reliable and accurate. This knowledge are also accepted by scientists all over the world, and could not be proved to be otherwise and we uses these concepts by testing it again and again. Malcolm Gladwell, a renowned sociologist, states that with only 10 000 hours of practice can one be successful in their own fields from his study of humans and through his observations.
For example, he found that Asians excel better at mathematics because of their culture, tradition and beliefs, where it is an essential part of academic study for a brighter future and for the pride of their parents. Long time athletes and musicians who are self-motivated and hardworking achieve rewarding results in their work. By training relentlessly, at the right timing and luck, we could be successful in what we do. Thus, the evidence for successful people: “10 000 hours of practice” is consistent, valid, accurate, reliable, consistent and satisfactory.
Sociologists have mainly agreed on this propositional knowledge, calling him a “genius” and Gladwell is named by Time magazine to be the top ten influential people. This propositional knowledge could not be disproved either. In history, we have to appeal to authority to gain knowledge because the past is something that could not be tested again. We could rely on historians to know our past because we ourselves cant conduct fieldworks or look at artifacts as those practiced historians have. Figures of authority are reliable because of their depth of experience.
Evidence is strong enough when historians cross reference enough, similar traits will come out to be identified as a reliable source of knowledge occur they are consistent. When historians together agree on a given fact, then the limit is established and we could accept this knowledge as a part of our lives. For example, a historian may want to affirm if the cold war started in the 1940s. He may gather a group of primary sources-survivors of the cold war or their family members-and analyze the piece of information.
When a similar account is constant, the historian can go on to sustain it with empirical evidence or physical evidence. When a group of established historians comes together and agree that the cold war occurred in the 1940s, this knowledge have become knowledge and used in textbooks. Any history professor at Harvard or Yale will agree that the cold war started in the 1940s. It could not be disproved. History of Shaolin monks have come a long way where they are capable of controlling their body functions so accurately and precisely that they could will their mind to not notice pain and remain calm.
This is achieved through rigorous training of yoga exercises that relaxes the body and tricks the sensory perceptions of the human brain. Through empirical justification and observation, historians together study the shaolin monks and conclude that anyone could reach the mastery Shaolin monks have reached because throughout history, it have been constant, reliable, accurate, valid and satisfactory that shaolin monks one after the other could withstand high levels of pain. In conjunction to what Gladwell said, “10 000 hours of practice” enables one to shine.
Hence, from looking at three different Areas of knowledge, I conclude that in order for it to be considered strong, evidence have to be sustainable, valid, accurate, reliable, consistent and satisfactory. On a sidenote, the Mathematician Raymond Wilder stated: “we do not possess, and probably will never posses, any standard of proof that is independent of time, the thing to be proved, or the person or school of thought using it. ” Consistency is time; and only time can prove propositional knowledge. However, time is infinity, so we can never know when our knowledge is the Truth!
Also, the strong evidence for whatever knowledge we have only gives us a side of reality; the supreme reality is something we may never know. There’s also the Gettier-proof justification, where it resists the truth by basing belief on luck rather than what that actually justifies the propositional knowledge. One may get a justified true belief but believed on different grounds that support the knowledge. However, for now, we can settle on evidence that are strong for the knowledge we currently have; by having sufficient, valid, accurate, reliable, consistent and satisfactory evidence, we could trust.
We also have to trust and rely on the authority, the agreement of the various communites of experts in all Areas of Knowledge, to know certain truths because we could not know everything. We may not live to know the Truth, but our approximated truths may let us live.
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