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Perception of Religion

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We as human beings go through life knowing many things. We know that the sky is blue. We know who our parents are. Some of us even know that there is a God and that he is a he and even has a name. Yet, not everyone always knows the same things. Some of us know that Allah will reward us with 72 virgins if we martyr ourselves for him. Some of us know that Jesus will welcome us into his kingdom if we repent of our sins. Some of us know that we'll merely provide sustenance for a tree when we expire. These are things that we know. In the field of epistemology (the study of truth), practitioners know that truth isn't always true. I categorize truth into two types: Perceived Truth and Absolute Truth.

Perceived Truth is the most common form. A perceived truth is anything that we "know" with the information we have before us at our disposal. For instance, we know that there is no air in space. How do we really know? Well, we have satellites and astronauts who have been to space. This information has been put into books and television. Based on the information we are given, we know that there is no air in space. However, this is still a perceived truth for most people because they have never been in space before. This leads us into the definition of absolute truth, which is a fact that is actually true, whether we have experienced it or not. John Glenn has been in space. He knows beyond any doubt that there is no air in space. For him, this fact is an absolute truth because there is no information or experience that can prove anything to the contrary. Yet, how do we really know that John Glenn has been in space? We've seen him in television and heard his radio signals from the Friendship 7, but we were not there with him. Therefore, John Glenn being is space is merely a perceived truth for us.

It is important to note that just because something is a perceived truth does not make it false. It is simply adhering to Descartes principle of reasonable doubt. If we have not experienced something for ourselves, it cannot be considered an absolute truth. This simply means that before we argue so strongly about what we "know", all of us should consider the possibility that we may have a perceived truth, rather than absolute.



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