Religious Knowledge Systems TOK Day

One idea that was consistently present throughout the religious knowledge systems day was that it is not possible to argue religion because arguments depend on the presentation and reception of facts to further the discussion and religion is rarely if ever built upon facts therefore it is extremely difficult to convince someone with preconceived ideas or someone that has committed to a particular system of thought that they are wrong. It is also particularly difficult because these systems tend to come with ways of explaining the inconsistencies within the religion therefore disproving using ways of knowing such as logic or scientific method are futile as there is always something to explain why this inconsistency occurred rather than throwing the system away.

I think that scientific knowledge is more important than religious knowledge if there is no god however if there is a god and knowledge of this god is obtainable in some sense than religious knowledge is more important than scientific knowledge particularly if belief in this god provides a path to a good place such as heaven. However if there is no god or the god in question does not care about belief and is different to what holy texts describe it as then everything that is religious knowledge is just fiction and therefore meaningless. The belief that there is a god may make one feel good, etc., which would mean that the belief itself has a meaningful affect however this sort of falls under the idea that “ignorance is bliss”. This depends on the person: Would you rather be wrong yet happy, or right and not happy? It might depend on the particular topic.

Addendum 

Key concepts of religious knowledge systems:

  • Explain the unknown
  • Moral standards/framework
  • Authority (shared knowledge)

 

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marti43537@gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg

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