Theory of Knowledge

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But it’s not impossible. About six years ago, I faced a mysterious event myself. I was vacationing with my family in the small village of Dalkey in Ireland. We stayed at an old inn near a church. I remember waking up to church bells early in the morning, before the sun had risen. My Irish aunt heard these too. I had never seen a ceremony in an Irish church so I begged my aunt to take me to the church. It was a bit queer that the gates were closed, but we didn’t take much notice. When we entered the church we saw an old priest reciting an extract from the Bible fairly loudly.

There was one other younger priest lighting candles. There was no one else in the church. For some reason, things did not seem right. There was an eerie chill in the room, and I felt a prickly feeling down my spine. I wanted to leave, but my aunt said that we had to stay till the sermon was over. Very reluctantly, I sat there with my aunt clutching my wrist. As soon as she let go, I sprang up and ran out towards our inn. Surprisingly my aunt did not chide me when she found me; she might have felt the same thing. We returned to be church at noon, and the gates were open.

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We found a priest, but he looked very different from the one we saw earlier. We asked him if there was any other priest conducting a sermon early in the morning. He replied that there was no one. I could not believe it. I had seen the priest, I heard the sermon and the bells and I smelt the candle as they burned. It had to be true; my senses could not have lied to me. And I could not have been hallucinating, because my aunt saw it as well! However, the priest maintained that there was nobody in the church at that time.

He said that the Bible was untouched on the mantle on the exact page, and the number of candles was the same as he had left it last night before he had slept. Either his senses were saying the truth or mine. He had the empirical evidence and reason was on his side. Had I had an encounter with a ghost? Paranormal activity, as suggested by my aunt, seemed like a plausible answer. Even today, I fail to understand how science does not have an answer to explain paranormal activity. How can two worlds, one of the living and one of the dead coexist? It is intuitively not possible, but I saw it!

All these years I have tried to suppress this memory and have regarded it as untrue. My strong fearful emotion makes sure that I regarded it as untrue. Many people have had encounters with ghosts. My encounter corresponds to something in reality, it wasn’t false because it had happened to my aunt as well and it has happened to many others too. So, according to all the theories of truth, my senses were telling me the truth. However, I still cannot come to terms with it. If everything around us is matter made up of particles which we can see, how can we see ghosts?

They are not known to be made up of particles, they are just energy. An old myth says that when we die, our soul escapes our body, which is why we lose exactly twenty one grams. The Paranormal Research Society has attributed this to ghost sightings, saying that the energy is the person’s soul, and when it is powerful enough it crosses the realms of the world of the dead to enter the world of the living. If one concentrates one can see it and even talk to it. If that is indeed true, then I don’t think my senses are telling me the truth all the time.

There must be energies lurking around, which my senses do not seem to be able to pick up. In conclusion, many factors influence the perception of the knowledge that our senses give us. When deciding whether they provide the truth, it is best to consider the three theories of coherence, correspondence and pragmatism, and see if the senses are depicting the truth. (1589 words) Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.


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