“We know with confidence only when we know little, with knowledge doubt increases”. Knowledge can be analysed as possession of information or skills derived by explanation, reasoning, interpretation, language ,emotion or experience. Accuracy of knowledge can be obtained when there is less interception of shared knowledge but however when there is existence of knowledge,there is substantial of doubt.
Doubt is directly proportional to knowledge .This is because when knowledge is discovered,doubt acts as a preliminary trigger in our mind.The question is whether obtaining a piece of information lead to existence of doubt? Religious Knowledge and Natural Science are good area of knowledge to see whether the fundamental of knowledge in it will increase doubt.Natural Science can be seen as more reliable because it uses scientific reasonings,methodologies and observation.
Religious knowledge can be less reliable to certain people because it relies on one’s faith,observation and evidences. Science is about “how” it tries to find natural “facts” through ideas, theory, postulation, experiment and empirical evidence. It is not meant to find “truth”. Science is based on statistical probabilities and experimental evidence.During the process of discovery, it is prone to errors.On the other hand, religion is about “why”, it gives meaning to our life through a metaphysical approach, searching for ultimate “truth”. Religion’s emphasis is on morality and behaviour. Believers are asked to keep an open mind, observe, question, reflect, contemplate and then act.
By claiming that, ” with knowledge doubt increases” there is an assumption that doubt had a profound influence on us when we acquired knowledge. Doubt had a profound influence on my life when I was five years old.During this age, I was frequently told that as a muslim, I need to have faith towards the existence of God and the prophet Muhammad pbuh.
Prior to that, I need to pray,reciting Al-quran and fast during the month of Ramadan.I was taught that religion is crucial in each of muslim’s life. But then, when I discover more, I began to question is God exists? We know that seeing is believing.How do we justify knowledge if we can not see what we are learning.Therefore, when the knowledge that we have is limited, we have confidence. When we learn a bit more, we start to question everything. But in this case, knowledge is justified true belief.In religion, our knowledge is solidly based on our faith.
As what we have learned about senses in science, we can feel the wind but do we see it ? This answer same goes when we question about the existence of God.This makes me believes that doubt will always increase when we gained knowledge because as human we keen to know something until we see the truth in front of our eyes. The present of doubt make us to keep questioning in discovering new things.If our curiosity has been piqued and we desire to look into this matter further, we should observe more phenomena that surely can be done by the power that we can not perceive via our mental abilities.
For example,discoveries in astronomy have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did, in fact, have a beginning. There was a single moment of creation.Next.
advances in molecular biology have revealed vast amounts of information encoded in each and every living cell, and molecular biologists have discovered thousands upon thousands of exquisitely designed machines at the molecular level. Information requires intelligence and design requires a designer. The process of establishing knowledge by experts in Natural Science are basically accomplished through the use of sense perception and reasoning in observing and analysing scientific experiment . Natural scientist opt to seek for easily detectable regularities happening around through their senses in order to construct knowledge. They make observations and measurements to detect regularities and consistencies for a certain event based on their doubt and uncertainty of knowledge they obtained.In Biology, Charles Darwin has made a theory of biological evolution called Darwinism through his perception and observation of survival of a species.
This theory was formulated to quench his thirst in seeking information on how a species is developed.The theory of evolution by natural selection as stated in Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species” in 1859, is the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits. Changes that allow an organism to better adapt to its environment will help it survive and have more offspring. Evolution by natural selection is one of the best substantiated theories in the history of science, supported by evidence from a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including paleontology, geology, genetics and developmental biology.Many people and Natural scientist find this theory is very convincing and they have no doubt to believe this theory.
Nevertheless, this theory is contradict to my prior knowledge as a muslim and some of the scientist agreed that this knowledge contradict to the modern scientific understanding.My prior knowledge is that man was created not evolved ‘self-made’ from the origin of an ape.I believe with confidence that man was made through the fertilization of a sperm and an ovum.Furthermore, this is scientifically proven life could not possibly have come from chemicals alone, since the information residing in DNA required an input from outside of nature.But with the knowledge of Darwinism,my doubt increases about what is the real origin of a human as there is no correlation between these two shared knowledges. A scientific approach cannot find for sure whether our universe was created or self-made, for example. As our knowledge expands, many “established” scientific theories have been thrown away. Scientific giants understood this and accepted the “new” knowledge with humility.
Science explorers and scientists differ. On the issue of human evolution even Darwin’s supporters could not agree, because some thought that “the mental capacities and the moral sensibilities of humans could not be explained by natural selection”. This is understandable. Our individual life on Earth is infinitesimal compared to the age of our known universe; our personal sphere is also minuscule compared to the expanse of the universe we are in. To pretend that we would be able to know the “truth” of our life and about the universe would be sheer arrogance.So, is the confidence comes when we know little? Does doubt increases with knowledge? Doubt is useful tool in knowledge specifically in Religious Knowledge System and Natural Science used to come up with a myriad of views which helps in testing reliability and accuracy of sources thus aiding in discovering new knowledge, however, when doubt is overused , this can lead to confusion and uncertainty.Thus, it will do not end up finding to a real theory that a knower may be looking for.The accuracy of evidence and explanation in Natural Science can be tested through doubt that triggers a scientist but not exactly in Religious Knowledge.
In Natural Science, a knower was encouraged to develop new findings as it will help in the future of society, their researches even though is different but somehow it will be accepted through the justification of methodologies and observation.However, in religious knowledge, doubt is allowed in certain field to assist us acquire knowledge but there are in few cases where question are not post as it may lead to confusion and digression.In Islam , there are verses in Quran namely ‘Muhkamat’ (entirely clear and plain) and ‘Mutashabihat’ (ambiguous ) which have well established meaning, well organised and there is no chance for any discontinuity or contradiction in it . Muhkamat can be defined as self explanatory or one that has a clear-cut meaning and argument and in which Naskh (abrogation) is not possible whereas Mutashabihat needs some explanation,or one that cannot rely only upon the literal meaning but needs some other clues to understand it clearly and those which are about the beliefs and are to be believed whether one understands them or not (ulama Suyuti (RA) ) . For example , the verse of Mutashabihat in the Holy Quran,”The hand of Allah is over their hands”. (48:10).
The word ‘hand’ in this verse does not depict the hand of God ‘ Allah’ but it was explained by the Islamic scholars as ‘the Power of God’. Therefore, certain language used in Quran can not be simply be interpreted as it may lead to a wrong translation and justification.There should not be existence of doubt in this context.
The philosophy of this ayah (verse) helps to differentiate between true believer and a false believer. False believer questions the Mutashabih whereas true believer believes these things quietly and honestly.Based on the above explanation and evidences,we can see that it is difficult to classify either doubt will make or more likely that a knower has reached the real knowledge (justified,true).Existence in Religious Knowledge System and Natural Science both aim to enhance more knowledge in their subject matter. Natural Science can induce doubt to a larger extent proved through accuracy of the knowledge but increasing of doubt in Religious Knowledge System can not be overused as its fundamental really vary in many aspects.Doubt will increase with knowledge but to some extent doubt need to be eliminated to justify knowledge.As a conclusion , it is hard to balance between how much to doubt and how much to believe and it is varies from one case to another.