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Belief, is a word that is perhaps one of the most over used and over abused words
of the English language. Belief actually stands for what you have the
willingness to stick to even in the face of opposition. It is what leads to the
development of the philosophy of the individual. Suspension of disbelief
stands for being open to ideas that may be so averse to the view points that
one holds, that they might seem almost like a blasphemy. My essay will have a
look at whether what we believe in must be put aside and in order to gain
knowledge? I hold that one has to be open to new ideas and not be averse to
opinions, how so ever other worldly they may sound if one has to attain what
can be considered to be knowledge which in itself is a very wide term. Knowledge
they say is the ability to comprehend the given set of facts and get to the
conclusion that best fits the given space. This essay will use examples from
natural and human sciences in order to reach a conclusion that would be able to
clarify whether the stand that I have taken is the right one or not.

 People have faith in different religions they
see or follow. However, as a kid, we are taught by our parents the religion we
need to follow in our life but however as we grow up and become mature our
perspective change about life and all the religions present in the world. There
are about 4300 religions in the world. There are many people who follow 1-2
religions or maybe more. My parents always taught me that I need to follow the
Indian religion where there are many goddesses and god such as lord vishnu,
brahma and Saraswati etc. However, as I grew up, I understood that people
blindly follow these religions only for their personal satisfaction. Suspension
of disbelief plays a major role when we talk about religions. Endless people
follow some or the other kind of religion only for their own sake. This is seen
in areas of knowledge such as religious knowledge systems where we have to
suspend our disbelief in order to look at the world from a whole different kind
of perspective according to the religion. Religious knowledge systems have a
deep impact on our personal knowledge. People while suspending their disbelief
allow the religion to shape the mind however it wants in order for the us to
completely understand what the religion talks about and why it is essential for
us to follow it. Myths become realities for those who follow a particular
religion. It was the same in my case. I believe that suspension of disbelief is
of essence when dealing with religion. Understanding about it requires that one
must put one’s own logical reasoning and experiences aside, in order to soak in
what they get.

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If we
move on to the domain of Geography, we find that in the initial span of
development of the field, the Earth was believed to be flat. This was a belief
that was accepted by laymen as well as those who were dealing with the study of
this planet’s geography, astronomy, etc. As a result of this belief, even
sailors did not venture to explore regions that were beyond their explored
domains. It was Christopher Columbus who finally decided against the collective
wisdom of his time and set out to explore the uncharted ocean. It was he who
decided to put his disbelief on the other possibilities that were advanced and
decided to work upon them instead of the common disbelief. We are all aware of
how he ended up not just enhancing our knowledge about the actual shape of the
Earth, but also discovered a whole new World in the process. Thus, we find that
in his case, it was the suspension of the disbelief that the Earth could be
anything else but flat, which led to the eventual growth in knowledge.

 

At the
other end of the spectrum there are others who held on to another one of the
enduring myths about the geography of this planet. There are many who believe
that there are layers of civilisation beneath our civilisation. From certain
points of this planet you can actually access the World or Worlds which are
beneath the World that we live in. The belief is not just restricted to
conspiracy theorists many of whom actually believe that Hitler is still alive
in one of these subterranean domains, there are many others. The most popular
amongst these others might be Jules Verne who wrote the famous book- Journey to
the centre of the Earth. They clung on to this belief of theirs even in the
face of logical opposition and common derision aimed at them. They kept on
believing it even when the latest technology seems to deny anything like this.

Thus, in terms of the modern day theories and logical deductions, they might be
the ones who can be considered to be disbelievers of the knowledge that is
common to the age. These disbelievers however, are responsible for the growth
and evolution of a number of concepts and methodologies that are of immense
importance to modern day students of the subject and those who are in the the
field of mining. What is paradoxical though, is that what these people
discovered is being utilised by those in whom they have the disbelief. However,
to an extent what can be concluded is that there are situations where the
suspension of disbelief and the sinking in of objectivity might not be
essential for the growth of knowledge. Even individuals biased and polarised
towards a line of thought might end up contributing a lot to the collective body
of knowledge.

            The field of Economics is what has
driven my attention as I contemplate upon this question more. Economics is
considered to be somewhat of a young discipline of study, with Adam Smith
emerging with the basics only in the 1700s. Many people called it the study of
human greed as it tended to focus primarily on wealth. However, with the turn
of the century further challenges emerged. We realised that unplanned growth
and development might not be the answer to all human problems. So, the theory
of sustainable development and the whole foundation work for Green Economics
came into existence. However, most of those who witnessed the contention being
raised did not believe it. The period uncontrolled and unplanned industrial
development continued. It is only in recent years that people have started
paying attention to it and there are still countries like America and China who
do not really consider it a serious issue. The abandonment of disbelief on the
fact that pollution and exhaustion of resources can be a real economic
challenge, is what has led to our increased knowledge about the planet, about
how we are affecting it and how our industrial and development policies need to
alter in order to tackle the challenge. Suspension of disbelief is of essence
here.

 

            On the other hand there are many who
do not still believe in the whole concept of green economics. They cling onto
the age old theory that development is actually what takes care of everything.

We owe many of the recent developments in developmental economics and the works
in the field of Neo Classical Economics to this lot. These are people who did
not abandon their disbelief on Green Economics. Yet, these are also people that
have contributed to the richening of the knowledge base of the same field.

 

What can be said with certainty at the end though is that objectivity and
abandonment of disbelief becomes necessary when we are to achieve path breaking
new heights. When what is there in front of us is something that was not
earlier even on the horizon. Yet, the beliefs and disbeliefs that have
developed over a long period of time, must have grown due to some reason. What
can be said at the end is that you must not be over cautious, but you should
not throw caution to the wind either on the quest for deeper knowledge.

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