From once who told me they had a

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From once who told me they had a

From
one point of view, one could say that with knowledge, doubt increases. In fact,
with more knowledge, more questions pop up and therefore doubt increases, which
does not lead to further knowledge. Confidence is therefore the product of
ignorance. Taking example of the natural sciences, in his book
« Ignorance : How it drives science », Stuart Firestein mentions
a quote about George Bernard Show saluting Albert Einsten, when he said that
science never solves a problem without generating ten more. He further
discusses that science is like fishing and that it is driven by what scientists
don’t know and always leads to more questionning. Even though the natural
sciences is considered the most factual of the areas of knowledge, doubt is
always present at the highest point of knowledge. In the area of knowledge of
history, if one uses emotion, doubt towards historical facts will not create
more knowledge. I had a friend once who told me they had a strong opinion about
a historical event, and when a new contradicting fact was revealed by
historians, they had doubt about the fact as it was totally against their
belief. Therefore, the expansion of knowledge is limited by emotion and no new
knowledge was produced. In the natural sciences, too much uncertainty can lead
to confusion and therefore no expansion of knowledge. Doubt will then become
the inhibitor to knowledge, as the more complicated the theory, the more
complex it will be for the scientist to do the right experiment in order to
falsify the theory. As an example, most of the scientists doing research on
life in outer-space at the moment are doubtful about the existence of aliens.
However, no conclusion can be made as we do not have the necessary technology
to prove their existence right or wrong.

 

From
another point of view, one could say that doubt does not increase with
knowledge. In fact, if one knows about a topic, they are able to speak about it
more and have arguments regarding it. This claim discusses the definition of
doubt, as one is aware of the unknown and the questions, but is this considered
as doubt ? One can question theories, assumptions, arguments but this
could be part of the knowledge-seeking process, that eventually leads to more
knowledge, and thus more centrainty. Knowledge is also the ability ot answer
those questions and think critically. For instance, in the natural sciences and
the maths, you realise that there is usually only one answer, so we figure out
our doubts by increasing our knowledge. In the human sciences and history,
there is never only one answer, so the increase of knowledge can go two ways.
The fact that there could be more than one explanation doesn’t increase doubt,
but increases our acceptance of more knowledge. It also expands our minds, as
we learn to look at things from two perspectives and argue them against each
other. In religion for example, people use faith to be confident in what they
personally believe in. As knowledge of aletrnative belief systems leads to
doubt in their own religion.

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A
Persian proverb says that doubt is the key to knowledge. This means that that
this feeling of uncertainty that we call doubt brings us closer to the truth,
which therefore expands our knowledge. In the area of knowledge of history,
doubt can widen our knowledge. In fact, when studying history at school, we do
research in order to understand an event or prove a point. This research is
generally caused by doubt, and then leads to more knowledge being produced. For
example, to prove that an event really happened, one could search information
through journals, history books and other research materials. Thus, doubt is
history can increase knowledge by bringing the knowledge closer to the truth. In
the natural sciences, there is a process called falsification, introduced by
the philospher Karl Popper. It is the process scientists go through to clarify
their uncertainty towards an existant theory. The scientist would first make an
assumption, using logic and intuiton, based on the orginal theory. This then
leads to them formulating a hypothesis, and then conduct the experiment in
order to prove the theory wrong and produce a new theory based on the
experiment. Before every known theory, many experiments were conducted and
therefore discoveries found. For instance, the period table has gone through
many different rearrangements by scientists to come up with the final version
that we know study, found by Dmitri Mendeleev. Therefore, doubt in this
specific area of knowledge leads to the scientist to do research in order to
make progress and expand knowledge. Last year, scientists found that Pancreatic
Cancer is basically four different diseases requiring different types of
medicine all put together. One could ask if this discovery increase confidence
in the scientific method, or if it introduces doubt as something that we
thought was scientifically correct was actually wong. Doubt is extremely
important important to bring all types of knowledge together, and then
eventually leading to the truth.

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