How We May Be Able To Distinguish Belief From True Knowledge

1648 words - 7 pages

Theory of Knowledge EssayAs a Russian IB student who spent more than half of his 18 year life in China, I have been a witness to varied, conflicting and numerous forms of belief and knowledge. This led me to an opinion that every one of us perceives things differently and our diversified forms of knowledge and belief bring us to different conclusions and opinions on specific subjects. Our ethnicity, upbringing, nationality, as well as mentality all affect our believes and the knowledge we gain as well as make us think differently whether from emotion or reason. Nevertheless we must be able to distinguish belief from true knowledge. This is a basic instinct every intelligent human being ...view middle of the document...

And this is what I personally consider or hold as true knowledge which is fully proven, documented and presented by eminent historians and scholars. Such knowledge is extracted from unbiased facts, not emotion or beliefs. Mao who is seen as the nation's fatherly figure and whatever utterly heroic legends and myths are ascribed or associated with him, the fact is this was in fact a man who caused the deaths, starvation and executions of more people then Stalin and Hitler combined. Even though access to such information is strictly limited, censored and guarded in China and no mention of such outlawed "stories" is made almost anywhere (which in fact creates a society who's people remain blind or uninformed about their own history), there are still many people who do not forget the torments of the Cultural Revolution or the hunger and despair of the Great Leap Forward. On the other hand there are people who blindly believe that although Mao committed minor errors and mistakes (the official Party line is that he was 70% right and 30% wrong) he needs to be venerated as a semi- God, since certain positive associations, beliefs and heroic tales persist about him. It is better for most Chinese not to challenge the status quo of the Communist Party and not to attempt to rewrite or even find out about their nations history as it really was. It is hard to go against the government bombardment of lies based on emotion, belief and propaganda if one does not possess true, factual knowledge. So the Chinese people remain in their world of belief and legends.Even knowledge does not have to be dry and devoid of emotion. On the contrary it can create emotion and passionate discourse. As with historical knowledge, it can be a very uplifting subject of debate, controversy where emotional responses are generated in people. History being my favorite subject , I admit that it is sometimes necessary for me to question its certain elements and facts, out of my emotion. This applies to especially those which are unfavorable to my own nation Poland or myself personally, which of course explains some of Chinese peoples desire to remain silent about Mao. Nevertheless it is hard to question a lot of this historical knowledge especially if its taught by good professors, preached by famous writers and historians and proven through primary documents and authority. My question is though, can authority be simply wrong, as is the case with the Chinese government? One needs to be able to receive and process all kinds of information which is fed to us and be able to objectively to separate the grain of truth from the sea of myth and belief.In 1989 when I arrived in China , my nation begun its path towards democracy and transformation from communism. That very year the Chinese government headed by Deng Xiaoping decided to crackdown on Chinese democracy and student movements. This culminated in the Tiananmen Square Massacre in July, 1989 where countless thousands (the exact statistics...

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