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# To what extent do beliefs and rationality affect our conclusions?

2020-07-08 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

To what extent do beliefs and rationality affect our conclusions?

Knowledge question: To what extent do faith and reason affect the conclusions what we reach?

When trying to solve problems, people may rely on different concepts and use various methods. However, whether these methods or concepts will eventually result in a similar conclusion or not depends on the field of the knowledge. If the problem belongs to the natural science, I think the accurate conclusion should be an exclusive answer. While if the issue belongs to human science, people may have different opinions and it is almost impossible to distinguish the accuracy of these opinions.

First of all, let’s see how various methods affect the conclusions in nature science field. In some degree, the conclusions in nature science are mainly subjected to scientific logics. The methods we choose may not affect the final conclusion. For instance, in nature science class, our teacher asks us to calculate the displacement of a car if it can accelerate from standstill to 45m/s in 6 seconds. Several methods can be used to solve the question. The first way is to use calculation formula. From a=v/t, we can get the acceleration equals to 7.5 m/s^2, and then from S (displacement)=1/2at^2 it is easy to get that the displacement is 135m. These calculation formulas are concluded by previous physicists and we may apply them directly when we meet similar questions. In addition, we can also use diagrams to solve the problem.

From this diagram, we can find that the velocity of the car is increased at the same rate, and the area between the green line and x-axis is the value of displacement, which is 6*45/2=135m.

We can find that even though we use two different concepts to solve the problem, the answer we get is exactly the same. This example demonstrates that changing the methods may not change the final conclusion. Why different ways result in same conclusion? This is because that in natural science area, all the conclusions are based on the laws of nature. Scientists may rely on different theories to verify a theory, but actually, they just try to discovery the logics that have already exist in the world. People cannot create or invite the law of nature.

However, it is undeniable that new concepts may change previous conclusions and such circumstances normally occur in the emerging days of nature science.  Actually, most theories raised by scientists are based on conjectures. After that, they tried various methods to testify their theories. It is possible that some widely accepted theories today may be demolished someday in the future. The history of atomic theory is a good example. In 1800, John Dalton, a well-known English chemist, physicist and meteorologist, pointed out that element is composed of atoms. The atom is the smallest element and it is uncuttable. The stoichiometry experiment he did supported his theory. In 1897, physicist J.J. Thomson did cathode ray tube experiment and discovered the existence of electron. After that, he made another conclusion and it is that an atom must have a negative charge (electron) and a positive charge. He also concluded that atom is not the smallest part of an element. From this example, we can find that in the area of nature science, various experiment methods may result in completely different conclusions. However, I believe the reason that Thomson and Dalton can get opposite conclusions is that they are on the road of exploring the scientific facts and their conclusions are limited to the depth of their study. The natural facts wait us to study and if people finally get the truth, various methods may also result in the same conclusion.

Secondly, faiths can shape the conclusions in some degree. Basically, faith is confidence or trust in a person, deity, or in the doctrines or teachings of a religion. It is mainly based on spiritual conviction. Similarly, culture diversity may result that people may have different perspectives to the same issue. For instance, people may have various opinions on the definition of a good life and numerous reasons result in such diversity. In traditional Chinese culture, Confucius advocated the rule of the golden mean, which means that people should stay in the medium social level. People in the upper class level may bear more pressure and have more trouble. To keep their social status, upper class people may spend more time on their business and fail to experience the happiness they should have when staying with family. Similarly, people in the lower class may not have enough money to live and have to lower their quality of life. Lower class people may also suffer unequal treatments in their daily lives. Confucius’s theory has been widely accepted by Chinese people, but it might be difficult for people in other countries, such as Americans, to understand. In America, most people spare no efforts to enter the upper class, since they believe that it is the only method to show their personal value and contribute to American society. Some even strive to change the world to some extent and they take it as his/her supreme honor.  When discussing The Great Gatsby in one of my classes, I get the chance to know other classmates’ opinion on Gatsby’s life. It is easy to realize the culture differences from my classmates’ comments on Gatsby. Some Asian students point out that Gatsby is a self-centered guy. He has the right to chase his dream, but before leaving his family, he should at least talk to his parents. Gatsby’s parents would be worried about him. As a son, Gatsby hasn’t fulfilled his obligations to take care of his parents. Also, he should respect his family and should not change his last name. These Asian students’ opinions demonstrate the eastern culture in some extent. However, western students express their admiration for Gatsby’s insistence. He spares no effort in pursing his dream and never gives up. To realize his dream, he makes a specific plan and ultimately makes it come true.

However, I also believe that various faiths can coexist and result in the same conclusion. My personal experience testifies my idea. My boyfriend is a Christian, while I am an atheist. He believes in the existence of God, but I don’t think so. However, when discussing how we can have a better future, we never have any arguments on that. Moreover, my boyfriend and I have different career plans. He wants to be a businessman, but I want to be an engineer. Even though my boyfriend believes in God, he never thinks that God could offer all best chances for him. Both of us believe that our lives are created by ourselves. Besides these differences in faith, we have similar attitude to life and act in concert without previous arrangement. Although we come from different countries and have different backgrounds, the conclusions we made didn't have too much difference. I think my experience can demonstrate that faith cannot be the only factor to determine the conclusion.

Through observing phenomenon and conducting experiences, natural scientists get numerous laws, such as Newton’s Law and Coulomb’s Law, to help people better understand the world. Then based on these laws and theorems found by former scientists, talented scientists invite numerous tools, machines and facilities to easier people’s lives. Hence, it is reasonable to say that the science and technology promote the development of the society. Some even feel that the contribution made by nature scientists is greater than that made by human scientists. Natural science is mainly based on facts. If these widely accepted laws are inconsistent with the practical situation, these laws may not be laws any more. When learning different laws in natural science, we can utilize one law to test the accuracy of another. The laws in the same field may have various expressions, but the conclusions we can get by using these laws should be the same. In this way, the knowledge we learn in natural science can be rule-based and withstand repeated inspections. That's why we can have several ways to solve a problem, but the ultimate conclusion keeps the same. However, there are so many areas in the world that have not been known yet. With natural scientists continuously studying, it is possible and reasonable that some widely-accepted laws or theorems today would be demolished by some new laws someday in the future. Nevertheless, we should not suspect the relationship between methods and conclusion.

While, for the fields involved in human sciences, the conclusion for this question might be different.  Human science is the study and interpretation of the experiences, activities and artifacts associated with human beings. Culture is an indispensible part of human science. Different countries may have different cultures. It is easy to find that people come from same country may have certain common perspectives to an issue. This circumstance is due to their similar faith.  A person's faith is not inherent. The growing environment, educational level and experiences would have a huge impact on his/her faith. People who have different faiths may have various conclusions on an issue. However, this circumstance is not absolute. People share a common understanding on certain issues. For most countries in the world, killing, stealing and robbing are illegal behaviors and the actors should be subject to legal sanctions.

To sum it up, whether concepts or faiths will eventually generate a similar conclusion or not relies on the field of the knowledge. If the problem belongs to the natural science, such as physical or chemical, the conclusion is unique. It means that no matter what methods used in the process, the final result is determined. However, if the issue belongs to human science, people may have various opinions.

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