Levy, Hannah

May 26, 2021

(11) Can new knowledge change established values or beliefs?

Object 1: A Mezuzah I made when I was young


A Mezuzah is a tradition in Judaism. The physical Mezuzah is scriptural versus encased in an elongated box and is placed slanted on a doorframe. I made my own Mezuzah when I was young and it reminds me of my culture.

The Mezuzah scriptures are placed on the doorframe to remind Jewish people of their obligations and faith towards God. However, as the world has become more technologically, and scientifically advanced many people turn away from these beliefs. Technological discoveries and advancements like discovery of cells and the moon landing are arguments against the existence of God because of the intricacies of these operations. This scientific knowledge proves why many people lose faith in religion, like Judaism. This loss of belief in religion does not mean that people will turn away from their culture, resulting in people continuing to place a Mezuzah on their door frame.

Knowledge gained from self-realization, growing up, and personal experience can also change beliefs in religion and practices like the Mezuzah. This personal acquisition of knowledge can cause people to lose their faith in a religion they were raised in. Although this self-realisation differs from scientific discovery, it is self-discovery, which helps guide people to their beliefs. Although this knew personal or scientific knowledge is gained, the Mezuzah is still a tradition found in most Jewish households, and is a value people hold onto, despite changed beliefs. The Mezuzah could be seen to many people as a cultural symbol, rather than a religious one. As Judaism is an ethno-religion, that does not require a belief in God to be Jewish, the Mezuzah is often used, as in my case, as remembrance of culture and family.

Object 2: The earliest existent terrestrial globe


The earliest reported extant terrestrial globe was created in 1492. This globe is evidence of a paradigm shift from the belief the earth was flat, to spherical. However, the concept of the spherical shape of Earth dates back to the 3rd century BC, and the 5th century BC, where Greek philosophers mentioned the Earths spherical shape. However, the first documented globe was only made in 14923.

The first allegations of the spherical shape of the earth were made in the 3rd and 5th Century BC, however this belief was only acted on by the globe’s creation in 1492. Several years past where the newfound knowledge was doubted, even though there was scientific evidence. The passing on of this knowledge was not successful, shown by the gap between its discovery and the creation of the globe. This issue can be seen today, as some people still believe that the Earth is flat. The reluctance of people to doubt their views and beliefs is prominent here as for thousands of years people refused to take on and learn about new views and theories.

The globe has the possibility to change people’s view on society, as many maps previous to the globe centred certain countries and regions, primarily Europe (Eurocentrism). The globe displays that there is not a centred country to the world, whereas before the globe many societies viewed the world in different ways because of the map system. This may lead to some countries or areas believing they have superiority because of their placement. The globes creation showed society a closely true interpretation of the earth and perhaps changed people’s views and beliefs, without enlarging, shrinking, or placing any countries or regions in the centre.

Object 3: My camera on my iPhone

Object 3: My camera on my iPhone

My iPhone camera I use to capture moments of my life that are important to me through taking photos. I would find it difficult using a large camera that is impractical, or a camera that has limited storage. Rapid technological advancement means that traditional ways of photography are disappearing because peoples’ preference to new technology.

The increasing rate of technological development involving cameras results in more people gaining access to smartphones. As demand for new camera phones increase, more knowledge into smartphone technology and engineering will be gained. This new knowledge allows people to build on and discover values and beliefs about the world. Smartphones are deemed easier to use which encourages the switch from film camera to the smartphone. While film cameras are associated with patience, modern cameras give us our photo instantly, prizing innovation. This switch from traditional to smartphone cameras shows that new knowledge can change values and beliefs through consumer preferences.

The new camera technology proposes that you can ‘redo’ a moment in time. Whereas when this was not possible, more people may have had the mindset of ‘living in the moment’. Many people had a camera as an added luxury, instead of modern smartphone cameras, which purpose is usually taking images to post on social media. Cameras now could be seen as overused as they have been made extremely efficient. Often people will have thousands of photos stored, whereas in the past people may feel they did not take enough photos. People that owned both traditional and smartphone cameras possibly have a preference between both caused by their newfound knowledge. The gaining of knowledge about modern smartphones and traditional cameras, will change and develop views and beliefs towards both.

N/A. N/A. ‘Erdapfel’. Wikipedia. Updated April 20, 2021. Accessed April 24, 2021.


N/A. N/A. ‘Spherical Earth’. Wikipedia. Updated May 8, 2021. Accessed May 9, 2021.


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