Faith As a way of knowing

Note the solar system model seen at my old school

  • Lucas Melanson
  • Rhea, Simren & Chris
  • March 8 - 20
  • WOK Badge: Faith

Project Works and Outcomes:

For this badge project, the class did a TOK-style paragraph that would be seen in a TOK essay. This paragraph was challenging to write so we spent some time analyzing example paragraphs. The structure that we observed was similar to what one would see in English class, where there is a point, followed by evidence, and then an analysis. The main difference in a TOK paragraph is the point, or the first part. Instead of a typical point, you decide on a knowledge question that you want to ask, then turn it into a knowledge claim, that you then support.

In accordance with our way of knowing, faith, we chose a question from the list of prescribed title, which was:

Does faith meet a physiological need

Which was then turned into a knowledge claim:

Faith exists as a way to answer metaphysical questions and therefore satisfying a physiological need

The resulting project was the following paragraph:

Although there is a difference between religious and faith in terms of trust, it can be said that faith exists as a way to answer metaphysical questions and therefore satisfying a physiological need. People can live their lives denying religion, but when faced with times of trouble, many turn to it. For example, it is sometimes seen that people that have spent their lives denying faith turn to religion on their deathbed. It is also seen that people who have lived their lives with little regard for religion are found repenting moments before their death. In moments of hardship, such as death, it can be seen as comforting to turn to something that can give you answers. Although there are atheists that deny religion, atheism does provide answers about what happens after death. For example if you ask an atheist what happens after death, they will tell you nothing. It could be said that atheists are faced with the same physiological need to know answers to metaphysical questions such as what happens after death. In short, it can be said that faith does meet s physiological need. For example, the need to know the answers to metaphysical questions that can’t be readily answered via conventional means. Faith provides a way to know the answers to these questions which can be comforting to some.

Elective reading thoughts:

The elective reading was the TED radio hour on believers and doubters, Listened to the part where Billy Graham's daughter talks about the difference between faith and Belief.

In short, the preacher's daughter highlights the difference between the thought of synonyms of belief and faith. She quotes Jesus where he said that even the demons in Hell believe in him. So they believed in Jesus. They knew he was the son of God, the Messiah, but they had no faith.

This argument for different definitions does raise some interesting questions about knowledge, for example you can believe in the answer, but have no faith in it.

Extension proposal:

I think that it would be interesting to learn a bit about cults and dogmatic beliefs, and how people follow them, therefore I recommend the reading from Wikipedia, and to follow the links in the article to end up in some cool places.

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