ToK essay: Discuss the importance of reason and emotion in distinguishing between belief and knowledge?

Essay by KeirHigh School, 12th grade March 2006

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"Welcome back to the motherland!" said my Beijing friends. "Our ancestors came from the same place; we share the same Chinese culture and values. Taiwan is part of mainland China" they continued saying with passion. I have good reasons to reject this although I wasn't allowed. One day in my IB geography class the teacher explained, with valid reasons, how food aid would cause further problems in LEDCs. I thought the points were thoughtful and insightful. However, with my previous experience of volunteer helping in LEDCs, I can't agree that we shouldn't give them food. Events such as these draw my attention to the importance of reason and emotion in daily discussions. It also highlights the controversial and "symbiotic" relationship between belief and knowledge. First of all, I will define the general meaning of reason, emotion, belief, and knowledge and the question. Secondly, I will discuss how reason and emotion go against each other, yet they should both be used in realm of belief and knowledge.

Third, I will prove that belief is part of the knowledge therefore we can't separate belief from knowledge.

The definitions of the four things are diverse, which might lead to different results. Due to this reason, I will use others' definitions which I also agree with to approach the question. Reason is one of the ways of knowing with a similar meaning to intellect, and in contrast to feelings and desires. It is a rational exercise that deduces inferences from premises in order to reach a conclusion. Emotion is another way of knowing which is closer to the meaning of sensibility. Knowledge is the conclusion based on justified reasons and approval through our knowing and logical thinking. Belief may not be justified because it is personal ideas or thoughts combining with strong...