Hutchinson, Marley

May 26, 2021

How Can We Distinguish Between Knowledge, Belief and Opinion?

Object 1: The Bible

Object+1%3A++The+Bible

The Bible is a group of religious texts of Judaism or Christianity which includes laws, stories, prayers, songs, and wise words.

The Bible would be educative for the exhibition as they determine and encourage people’s beliefs as well, by feeding their followers knowledge, leading them to form a belief and have their own opinions on what is written in these texts.

Religion is formed around belief and each individual person tends to have different opinions and beliefs based on the knowledge they have consumed from their religion and the texts within. Religious knowledge is second-hand knowledge that has been passed through generations in different interpretations of the text or educators’ interpretation of the texts. This means that depending on where followers learn their knowledge from, each persons ‘knowledge’ on their religion varies, and each person will therefore have different beliefs and opinions based on what they think to be knowledge, but is actually an interpretation on someone else’s beliefs, that leads someone else to consume that as knowledge.

The reason that, probably, the biggest debate on this Earth whether God is real or not, is because we have no proof of anything that happened before we existed. Stories have been passed on through millennials and can easily be altered by one person, and changed for the rest of the world.

Furthermore, each individual will have a different view on whether what is said in the bible contains belief, knowledge or opinion.

Generally speaking, people who belong to a religion, will interpret what is said in the bible as knowledge because they believe that what is said in the bible is simply facts. Whereas, people who may not belong to a particular religion might interpret the bible as belief and opinion. Because they think that believing what happened in the bible is what you believe to be true and everybody has their own opinion on religion. Due to the information not able to be proven, you can’t consider it as knowledge because it’s not 100%.

Object 2: Wikipedia

Object+2%3A++Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a universal website containing semi-reliable knowledge. Wikipedia is used for readers to access a free, widely accessible, online encyclopaedia that contains information on all branches of knowledge. However, wikipedia can be edited by anyone at anytime, therefore is not the most reliable source. Wikipedia does tend to contain correct knowledge most of the time, I believe, from what I have seen. Although, Wikipedia is secondary source knowledge as it is all written by people based off what they think they know or have read, so you can never be sure what you are reading is 100% correct. Information from Wikipedia can be vandalism, unfinished work or just false information.

In reference to the specific Wikipedia page shown above, is the page on the American Civil War. I can’t confirm or deny whether everything in this page is 100% correct, but due to this being a common interest and a topic that many people know about, I would expect it to be a reliable source. If there was any incorrect information, specialists in the topic would probably alter it and it wouldn’t be incorrect for long. However, there may be false information in this page that I haven’t recognised as I have not studied the subject very thoroughly. Although, it’s possible that if I researched greatly into this, I may find some errors.

Furthermore, with a topic like the Civil War, it is hard to confirm or deny whether the data is true or false. This is because the event was in the 1800’s and I believe there is nobody alive now, who was alive in the 1800’s. Therefore, that makes everything we know now to be secondary knowledge as the knowledge has been passed down among decades. This might suggest that the information can be misunderstood or misinterpreted as it has been passed on.

So, is this really knowledge? How do we know what we know to be knowledge is actually knowledge and not just misinformation wronged through the years and ears?

 Essentially, this is what we all, today, believe happened, but we don’t have primary sources to prove that it’s not just belief and is, in fact, knowledge.

It is an important object to display in the exhibition because it is a common source of what some people think is reliable knowledge, and many people do rely on Wikipedia for basic and extensive knowledge or even definitions. However, can it even be considered knowledge? Of course what is written correctly on the site is knowledge people have gathered but due to the pages being written by anyone, anywhere, any age, Wikipedia can be bias because people are formally writing what they know and can also write what they believe. Therefore, Wikipedia cannot be a reliable ‘encyclopaedia’ if it can contain peoples beliefs and opinions, rather than being determined and certified knowledge.

Object 3: Canadian Flag

Object+3%3A+Canadian+Flag
 A flag is a common form of a symbol or emblem to represent a country or institution, which can be used by anyone of any religion, country or organisation. Flags as recognised today, are made of a piece of cloth. The flag was invented in the Indian subcontinent or Chinese Zhou dynasty (1046-256 BCE).

Coming from a patriotic Canadian family, the Canadian Flag hangs in our home gym in our basement at home. The flag is the only thing hanging within the gym and is used as motivation when working out, as thats what represents us.

Flags were traditionally, largely used in warfare and have somewhat remained as a sign of leadership. In most institutions in which flags are used, it is their most important and valued symbol to represent their institution. Therefore, there are actually laws on what you can and can’t do with the flag that can actually result in penalties such as fining or even imprisonment, if disrespected. For example, in the U.S. there are 11 laws against the flag. An example of a few of the things that are against the law to do with the American flag are:

1. ‘The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.’

2. ‘The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.’

3. ‘The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.’

Those were a few of many examples of the laws of flags in the U.S., as they believe disrespecting the flag is disrespecting the country in itself.

The flag is a relevant object for this exhibition as everybody represents at least one flag, but each is their own and there is so much behind the object. Behind each flag, represents something different and unique. There is so much knowledge behind what it represents and is congested in its own beliefs, and everyone a part of what it represents has their own opinion on what exactly its symbolising and why.

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