Tok vocabularies – defining terms like truth

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However, to make a reasonable knowledge, people should not only think about their side, but also think about the opposing side, as it will make the knowledge more accurate and less biased. Evidence is a piece of information that supports a belief in order for it to be reasonable. There is a lot of knowledge out in the world but there are many biased and inaccurate ones as well. So there should be support for an argument or belief for it to be reasonable and that is evidence. Evidence can be in many different forms. Photos, videos, witnesses, and so on could be evidences.

For example, in a court, to prove an argument people provide evidences such as witnesses, photos, and many more. To support that a person robbed a bank, photos of the person robbing the bank could be an obvious piece of evidence. Knowledge that is not proven with evidence could be dangerous as they could be wrong. So evidence is important as they make reasons to accept beliefs. Gullibility is the believing in wrong information due to failure in applying reason or logic. Sometimes, people become gullible when they talk to people with authority so they tend to believe everything they say without any doubt.

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Sometimes, situation makes people gullible. For example, many people tend to “follow the crowd”. So whenever they see big crowds, they are more likely to join them without any application of reason or logic. According to my mom, she was once deceived by a “voice phishing” call. Voice phishing is a very popular method of tricking people with weak judgment. Phishing is from privacy harvesting. Anyway, my mom got a call from a man saying that he is a postman and he said that she had a delivery and that there is a problem with it. So he told her she should send money to the post office.

She thought it was real, but later she realized that she was being deceived. For a moment she thought it was real just because he had authority. Relativism is the belief that sometimes truths are not true but varies according to certain conditions. According to this belief, there are no truths that are always true but depend on each independent. Certain condition is referring to personal experiences, cultures, religion, and knowledge. As mentioned before, what people think is true is very closely related to what people know. Therefore, there should be respect for other point of views because there could be different interpretation of a truth.

From my experience, I find this true in some cases but not mostly because when we think of god, people that believe in god say god exists, but people who doesn’t believe in god could think otherwise. However, when we think about whether the sun rotates around the earth or vice versa, relativism is a contradiction. A person who does not know about Galileo’s theory may think that the sun is moving around the earth. Even if this person believes so, it is not true. So relativism can be a paradox in some occasions. Skepticism is a tendency not to accept new ideas. This could be the opposite of gullibility.

If gullibility was because people did not apply the right amount of reason and logic, being skeptic is to be too logical and think too much about a situation. Being skeptic is not a bad thing because people should be cautious when accepting new ideas. However, being too skeptic could be a barrier to self-development because, people require new ideas in order to be a better person. For example, many kings in Korea back in the 18th and 19th century were very skeptic that they ignored all advanced technology from abroad and they kept their own. However, that has only brought them slow development in many ways.

Authority worship is blindly accepting knowledge from people with authority. There are many ways in gathering knowledge such as, Internet, TV, Radio, Newspaper, Books, and so on. A considerable portion of our knowledge is obtained from another person. So we accept what other people say and make it our knowledge. However, there is a big danger in this. People just listen to people who are more experienced and powerful and think that it is always correct. Just because they are more experienced does not mean that they are always giving out correct information. However, many people fall into authority worship.

From my experience, I feel like I fall into authority worship very easily. Since I do not like to obtain knowledge from books, or any reading, I mostly learn from what other people say. However, Context is the background information behind what we know or want to know. Before believing something, we should judge the context, which is the situation and condition behind it. Culture can affect what people know and how people look at the world. Culture can make a person think differently. For example, Koreans think there is no problem patting on a stranger’s child because it simply means that the child is cute.

However, many parents from other cultures it is a big concern. So two people with different cultures can also even cause conflict between them. Each culture have their own knowledge and commonsense to learn. From my personal experience, it was very hard to get used to opening the door behind me. Where I was from, most people were in a hurry even if they are not so busy. So most of the times, people wouldn’t open the door for the person behind. However, when I first came here, I was so unfamiliar with opening doors for other people. So I think we should respect other cultures and try to accept them.

Expert opinion is, as the word suggests, an opinion of a person who knows a lot about a certain topic. A person with deep and wide variety of knowledge with many experiences of a topic could be an expert. What they say is expert opinion and people that are not experts tend to believe them without doubt. Just like authority worship, the experts are the ones with authority. This is getting worse because nowadays, many things are complicated and specialized. Experts are more likely to be better than who are not, but people should know that there are limitations to what they say.

Their opinion could be biased because they are also human beings. Indoctrination is the process of forcing people to learn ideas, knowledge, attitudes, or any thing that a person can remember through repetitive instructions. It is a big problem that many schools in Korea use this method to teach. Teachers give repetitive instructions in order to make the students remember things. However, this only makes the students tired and the knowledge they acquire in this way does not last long. Back in the 20th century, in many communist countries, people were Justified true belief: Justified true belief can be a definition for word ‘knowledge’.

Knowledge is something that can only be understood through experience and reflection. If something hasn’t been proved to be true, it cannot be knowledge. The most obvious thing that distinguishes knowledge from belief is truth. To be knowledge, it should be a truth and a belief, which is not perfectly certain, should be justified to be true. Some people talk a lot and try to show how much they have knowledge but they are not actually smart if he or she just pretends to look smart with beliefs, which are not perfectly true and not justified to be true yet.

A belief cannot be knowledge because it is not justified to be true. If it’s justified to be true, it can now be considered as knowledge because justification is done with certain evidences. Knowledge by authority: Knowledge by authority is also known as ‘second-hand knowledge’. People have acquired lots of knowledge and have got lots of information from the past. They acquire knowledge from diverse resources such as media, the internet, friends, school, etc. People actually mostly use those resources in order to acquire new knowledge and get new information.

However, people should always be aware and seriously consider their resources. They should determine if the resources they are using are reliable. Otherwise, they would get information that are not actually true and therefore, it should be said that they acquire ‘knowledge’ because knowledge should be proven to be true. For example, some knowledge I had acquired from the internet was later turned out to be not true. Therefore, since most people get new information and acquire new knowledge from resources which are called second-hand knowledge or knowledge by authority, they should be careful about the resources they use.


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