Doubt and Confidence symbolise two sides of a coin emerging from the bedrock of our beliefs. They can never lie on the same spectrum. As inversely proportional ideas of our society, the growth of one leads to the disappearance of the other. Yet, these concepts walk handing in hand to form robust knowledge. Confidence refers to the fullest form of protection error in the process of the formation of reliable robust knowledge. Certainty is an element that aids the confidence of knowledge as it facilitates the establishment of trust, hence deduces that the growth of confidence can be procured by learning and acquiring more personal knowledge. However, this may merely be an illusion of reality that will be explored through this essay.
We know beyond what our conscience perceives as doubt and the reality external to our conscience, hence establishing doubt as an inevitable and pre-existing phenomenon. While a large proportion of our knowledge unfold from our understanding of the nature of these two existents making it impossible for such derived knowledge to be absolutely sure, leaving behind hesitance in knowledge and a sense of uncertainty through the element of doubt. The world is objectively real, we can learn about it by using reason to integrate sensory input, memory and experiment through experience.
How does Reason and Emotion aid in the development of doubt when integrated into historical knowledge with a scientific inclination? Illusive confidence is perceived to be instilled by intuition. Whilst passion to defy and challenge existing knowledge grows through the grassroots of emotion driving the desire for more knowledge, Reason enables the procured knowledge to be filtered with existing knowledge, bringing the gaps of uncertainty to create new perspectives with confidence outgrowing the state of doubt. These elements significantly influence the quantitative variable of doubt with correspondence to areas of knowledge within the boundaries of history and ethics. The study of the past that may be recorded through scriptures and testimonials that is often acquired through investigation helps gain historical knowledge paving way to ethical considerations influenced by an individual or societies reception to the distinction between right and wrong within morality shaped by social order, creating a potent relationship between the areas of knowledge.
The past is malleable and flexible, changing as our recollection interprets and re-explains what has happened. There is a lack of conviction that arises and we aim at reasoning the happenings of the past and questioning the truth of facts while evaluating the ethics of time. The feeling of uncertainty triggers a sense of curiosity that may lead to the expansion of ideas, perspectives and opinions of pre – existing facts that facilitate the expansion of knowledge.
The world crackles with real and imaginary hazards, and distinguishing the former from the latter isn’t easy. Members of the Flat Earth Society claim to believe the Earth is flat. Walking around on the planet’s surface, it looks and feels flat, so they deem all evidence to the contrary, such as satellite photos of Earth as a sphere, to be fabrications of a “round Earth conspiracy” orchestrated by NASA and other government agencies. Endorsing conspiracy theories, is a form of “motivated reasoning” – an effort to gather facts and construct frameworks that “protect or bolster one’s worldview.” The belief that the Earth is flat has been described as the ultimate conspiracy theory.
Spherical Earth is conceptualised by the perception passed on through historians, but to what extent can the Stone Age ideologies be carried forward and time progresses and science evolves. Our sense perception enables us to draw conclusions towards a flat earth through our physical experiences while in contrary, this perception may differ as individuals have different sense perceptions thus, may tend to be more inclined towards the existing knowledge of photographic or visual representation that stands as evidence to idea of the spherical Earth proposed by NASA and government agencies. Evolution wired us with both hardware and software that would allow us to easily “grock” concepts like force, acceleration, and temperature, but only over the limited range that applies to our daily lives – concepts that are needed for our physical survival. But it simply did not provide us with wiring to intuit the quantum behavior of an electron, or velocities near the speed of light, or the powerful gravitational fields of black holes, or a universe that closes back on itself like the surface of the Earth. A classic example of the limitations of our neural wiring is the inability to picture more than three dimensions. Why would nature provide us with the capacity to visualize things that no living creature had ever experienced? Where intuition and common sense failed, they had to create new forms of intuition, mainly through the use of abstract mathematics: Einstein’s four dimensional elastic space-time; the infinite dimensional Hilbert space of quantum mechanics; the difficult mathematics of string theory; and, if necessary, multiple universes.
When common sense fails, uncommon sense must be created. In today’s scientific and technologically progressed world, the proliferating rate of doubt and reason has lead to expansion and emotive need in the quest for REAL knowledge – facts that are backed with evidence. Whilst, gravity may have been a significant theory to prove the spherical formation of the Earth, the doubt on the narrated happen to Issac Newton has directly been questioned as a result of doubt emerging from lack of reliable evidence than mere writings. However, the flat earth believers are accused of being psychologically unequipped when attempting to defy and challenge pre-existing historical knowledge. Hence, this instance proves that the element of doubt leads to the need for further exploration of knowledge primarily to build confidence within the parameters of personal knowledge to further pitch into society and create a shared network of societal information, factually represented with evidence and reliable elements of science. The factor of reason and intuition therefore aid in enabling individuals to gain more knowledge to increase the degree of confidence aligned with personal beliefs and code of ethics.
As social beings, humans work on the principle of social acceptance and are emotionally inclined. Science often emotively evokes individuals when there is a direct influence that may affect their survival. For instance the spread of the proliferating deadly Ebola virus which is spread only by direct contact with bodily fluids that was deemed to mutate into an airborne superplague. Whilst the scientific consensus says that’s extremely unlikely: No virus has ever been observed to completely change its mode of transmission in humans, and there’s zero evidence that the latest strain of Ebola is any different. On the contrary, Internet search engines to “airborne Ebola” offers a dystopia where this virus has almost supernatural powers, including the power to kill us all. In this bewildering world we have to decide what to believe and how to act on that. With correspondence to this principle, ethics plays a crucial role within the classification of true facts. Personal beliefs, cultures, traditions often influence the perception of individuals and filter the vast information conforming with the existing ideologies. Science is therefore a method for deciding whether what we choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not. Ethics is therefore a vital element that influences perception of pre-existing knowledge to form personal knowledge and influences the acceptance the facts carried down from the past and proposed in the field of science.
In defence of the cluster of controversies within the existing religious systems, doubt and skepticism are very healthy, while certainity can be a disaster. Knowledge leads one to doubt , and enables one to challenge ones pre established ideas , that one takes for granted. Religious systems may always be upheld as evidence to this statement. An individuals personal beliefs are rooted within the sub conscience by the existing religious systems that develops a sense of belonging, often shielding projected questions defying existing social norms and knowledge with the rigid scriptures thrusted from early stages of life. Millions of people around the world belonging to various religions believe firmly in many erroneous ideas. As they have been born and brought up in these respective cultures , they are bound to believe many false and discriminatory ideas. Many times leading to violent and disastrous outcomes. Theses rigid beliefs shaped by faith are formed upon personal ethical considerations abiding by the individual’s perception of morality and classification between right and wrong. Most of these people are absolutely Certain of their beliefs. Exposure to the bigger picture of society and the shared knowledge within communities lead individuals to Doubt. Hence, categorised as an agent for developing an emotive need for new knowledge. While an individual’s personal knowledge and beliefs may be ethically correct within the cultural and religious system they belong to, the variable of doubt opens scope for introspection leading to liberation from previously held False beliefs.
This essay deduces that while the variables of doubt and confidence may be interdependent or inversely proportional, when aligned with the quantitative element of knowledge, we know that the element of doubt develops scope for the expansion of personal and shared knowledge through the passion to learn that may be evoked by emotion and aided by reasoning the existing knowledge. These have been established through the ‘Flat Earth’ conspiracy in the field of historical knowledge inclined to a scientific data base with the proliferation of Ebola virus and the perception of knowledge int he field of religions systems. Thus, the development of doubt with the increase in knowledge yields in the formation of confident robust knowledge with a wide spectrum of perspectives.