Theory of Knowledge Essay Eli Mitchell 000746-023

Question 8: Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of using faith as a basis of knowledge in religion and one more area of knowledge from the TOK diagram.

Shawnee Mission East High School May 2012 Word Count: 1,351

Take a look at certain parts of the Bible. That¶s not to say faith doesn¶t have a good side. It is here where we find the primary faults of faith in religion. and yet it prevails. faith is used to describe intense loyalty or fidelity towards a person or figure. These are all leftover necessities from a time that required things to be in order through primitive methods. The implications of taking this passage literally in our modern society are startling. Other religious texts are guilty as well. Are the benefits of faith worth the inevitable downsides? To write this essay one must first explore the connotation of the word faith in western society. someone who considers themselves a moderate Christian might believe that homosexuality grants one access to Hell while ignoring the parts of the Bible that discuss things like shellfish consumption being just as much of an abomination as homosexual relations. but rather with an emotional conviction. In this mindset. in our modern world where religion remains a heavy weight on the balance. The use of faith as justification is a practice as old as religion itself. Countless times a day. The Quran proudly instructs believers to kill any nonMuslims that they ever meet. for hundreds of years. Why keep them around simply because of faith alone? Faith in these principles has caused many a tragedy over time. massacre innocent human beings. many divinely inspired works of art are hallmarks of culture and exemplify beauty. The names of many gods have been evoked as terrible acts have been committed. is an inherently flawed system of knowledge.Eli Mitchell 0746-023 Shawnee Mission East Question 8 Faith. any damn thing. faith is almost certainly destructive. A Biblical literalist will believe in certain things that a non-Christian won¶t based solely on their faith. God sends two bears after a group of children who make fun of Elisha¶s baldness. However. The entire caste system is written in one of Hinduisms many religious texts.´ When someone says they have faith in the Christian God. Biblical literalists have been claiming for centuries that the word of God is infallible and everything he writes must be true. certainly things that a secular person would not subscribe to. How can someone who considers themselves to have just as much faith in God as a Biblical literalist not have as much faith in certain tenets of the Bible? It comes down to pinpointing the exact difference between faith in a higher power and faith in something supposedly written by a higher power. without thought or consideration. In Kings. However. well. Outside of these contexts. This line represents a dangerous set of beliefs. Traditionally. a trust in a higher power. It was faith in God that made the Inquisition think it was a good idea to torture and kill thousands upon thousands of Jews. it¶s not a stretch to say that they probably have faith in certain tenets of the Bible that they otherwise wouldn¶t believe. it has come to represent a more singular trust. by its own nature. it can also mean to believe in something without reason. it¶s not uncommon to hear that someone subscribed to a religion because it ³just feels right. It was faith in Allah that planned and executed the crashing of two airplanes into the Twin Towers in 2 . the word ³faith´ is tossed around as an excuse for believing in. It was faith in God that gave the Crusaders the courage to. They might believe that Hell awaits those who wear clothing made with mixed fabrics or those who consume shellfish.

These works were made with God in mind. the heart-stopping amount of work he put into his painting through his faith in God. For instance. but the list is almost endless. The elegance and finesse of Greek sculpture tells a story about their faith in its own right. Music is an integral part of our culture. this piece is clearly named and inspired after Jesus. do the benefits of faith outweigh the disadvantages? It appears not²whereas the beauty of art and inspiration offered by faith is often material or mental. take Bach¶s Jesus. Faith alone has also inspired many beautiful works of art. take the charitable donations of religious organizations across the world. Creativity has also been stifled by faith. and they are. But a certain extension of this good will is being cut short based on faith alone. Faith causes people to do horrible things they wouldn¶t normally do. All in all. not all charities are as model as they are. faith does have a positive angle. Any man who takes a stroll through the Sistine Chapel can glance upwards and see the years of Michelangelo¶s labor. Charities are. per se. For example. The question of faith was brought up and I 3 . Walking through a museum of human history. However. This does not change the fact that. The only music to emerge from this time period were forms of Gregorian chants. HFH has. Mozart¶s Requiem is a scoring of a series of religious songs for the Catholic church. Despite its weaknesses. a time before the Renaissance when the Church had dominion over all of Europe. because they are a church that owns some thrift stores and not really a charity or a business. I could go on. they were able to get around a law requiring them to offer benefits to gay employees¶ partners. The Dark Ages. The Salvation Army has always been portrayed as a sort of perfect group. They portray themselves as a simple organization dedicated to creating housing for those in need. My mom raised me secularly despite being a ³spiritual´ woman. and have contributed volumes to human culture. throughout their entire existence in America.Eli Mitchell 0746-023 Shawnee Mission East Question 8 declaration of a religious war on America. It¶s not only music that has been divinely inspired. Joy of Man¶s Desiring. They claim that. Habitat For Humanity. Their faith alone prevented them from allowing art to be made. For instance. the downsides often cut short human lives. was remarkably stagnant in terms of the arts and sciences. That¶s not to say that they¶re a bad organization. created houses for people that wouldn¶t be able to otherwise afford them. dedicated to helping the poor and everyone else in need. It¶s also simply illogical. I remember one occasion when she was reading to my sister and I. they¶ve been trying to get around discrimination laws concerning homosexuality. Although Bach is usually hailed as one of the foremost composers of the secular genre. for years. one can find a plethora of works ranging from the Egyptians to the nineteenth century all inspired by various Gods or forces. and belief in God has inspired many works of music that it wouldn¶t have otherwise. mostly religious organizations. In New York City in 2004. one of my favorite works of classical music. and the only significant development was polyphony. they are exempt from traditional hiring laws and are allowed to discriminate based on religious beliefs. anyone can recognize the sorrowful melody from Lacrymosa or the rumbling timpani of Dies irae. by a large margin. and is one of the most iconic pieces of music in history. The Church wanted to control art and make sure none of it would offend God. they do occasionally do good things for the poor.

faith is something that isn¶t really necessary. I have come to believe that faith.Eli Mitchell 0746-023 Shawnee Mission East Question 8 remember telling her that I didn¶t believe in God or anything supernatural. She asked me why and I told her it didn¶t make any sense to me. We have so many choices that allowing any sort of doctrine to tell us what to do is only detrimental. Why believe in something that I had no evidence for believing in? In our modern world. 4 . We¶ve advanced to a point in society where we don¶t need a Church telling us what to do or how to live. As a ten-year-old who was raised without any knowledge of religion whatsoever. fails due to its overwhelming potential to tear us apart as a society. though it has its benefits. I still chose the atheistic path. From this.

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