ToK Essay: Some people say that religious beliefs can be neither justified nor refuted by reason. However, while sometimes this claim is used as a reason for rejecting religious beliefs, at other times it is used to conclude that these beliefs are established by faith. To what extent is faith a legitimate basis for knowledge claims, in religion and different areas of knowledge?
Faith and science undoubtedly share contradictory aspects yet nevertheless I believe they both can be used for generating knowledge. Religion, relying as it does on faith, can be seen as a means by which we may come closer to the truth of our existence, the central theme of civilisation throughout history. Could one then consider atheism as a barrier to understanding our existence? By this I don't mean that religion and atheism cannot have similar views in different areas of knowledge although they are quite liable to arrive from different basis and in different ways.
Belief is likely to come from different premises, being more to the emotions of a person, one who chooses to believe something in the feeling that it confirms to his own feelings. However knowledge derives itself from actual facts that have been either ascertained or proven by other people both now and in the past.
It could be argued that faith alone cannot be a legitimate basis for knowledge. In the ToK course model the ways of knowing are offered to us as emotion, reason, language, and perception. What would make religion untrustworthy would be the lack of evidence it provides and its controversial views. This can be seen first by examining one religion and comparing more than one religion. Islam considers Jesus a prophet while in Christianity he is literally the Son of God, an idea that deeply disturbs Muslims. Another...