Belief, is a word that is perhaps one of the most over used and over abused wordsof the English language. Belief actually stands for what you have thewillingness to stick to even in the face of opposition. It is what leads to thedevelopment of the philosophy of the individual. Suspension of disbeliefstands for being open to ideas that may be so averse to the view points thatone holds, that they might seem almost like a blasphemy. My essay will have alook at whether what we believe in must be put aside and in order to gainknowledge? I hold that one has to be open to new ideas and not be averse toopinions, how so ever other worldly they may sound if one has to attain whatcan be considered to be knowledge which in itself is a very wide term. Knowledgethey say is the ability to comprehend the given set of facts and get to theconclusion that best fits the given space. This essay will use examples fromnatural and human sciences in order to reach a conclusion that would be able toclarify whether the stand that I have taken is the right one or not. People have faith in different religions theysee or follow.
However, as a kid, we are taught by our parents the religion weneed to follow in our life but however as we grow up and become mature ourperspective change about life and all the religions present in the world. Thereare about 4300 religions in the world. There are many people who follow 1-2religions or maybe more. My parents always taught me that I need to follow theIndian religion where there are many goddesses and god such as lord vishnu,brahma and Saraswati etc. However, as I grew up, I understood that peopleblindly follow these religions only for their personal satisfaction.
Suspensionof disbelief plays a major role when we talk about religions. Endless peoplefollow some or the other kind of religion only for their own sake. This is seenin areas of knowledge such as religious knowledge systems where we have tosuspend our disbelief in order to look at the world from a whole different kindof perspective according to the religion.
Religious knowledge systems have adeep impact on our personal knowledge. People while suspending their disbeliefallow the religion to shape the mind however it wants in order for the us tocompletely understand what the religion talks about and why it is essential forus to follow it. Myths become realities for those who follow a particularreligion.
It was the same in my case. I believe that suspension of disbelief isof essence when dealing with religion. Understanding about it requires that onemust put one’s own logical reasoning and experiences aside, in order to soak inwhat they get.
If wemove on to the domain of Geography, we find that in the initial span ofdevelopment of the field, the Earth was believed to be flat. This was a beliefthat was accepted by laymen as well as those who were dealing with the study ofthis planet’s geography, astronomy, etc. As a result of this belief, evensailors did not venture to explore regions that were beyond their exploreddomains.
It was Christopher Columbus who finally decided against the collectivewisdom of his time and set out to explore the uncharted ocean. It was he whodecided to put his disbelief on the other possibilities that were advanced anddecided to work upon them instead of the common disbelief. We are all aware ofhow he ended up not just enhancing our knowledge about the actual shape of theEarth, but also discovered a whole new World in the process. Thus, we find thatin his case, it was the suspension of the disbelief that the Earth could beanything else but flat, which led to the eventual growth in knowledge.
At theother end of the spectrum there are others who held on to another one of theenduring myths about the geography of this planet. There are many who believethat there are layers of civilisation beneath our civilisation. From certainpoints of this planet you can actually access the World or Worlds which arebeneath the World that we live in. The belief is not just restricted toconspiracy theorists many of whom actually believe that Hitler is still alivein one of these subterranean domains, there are many others. The most popularamongst these others might be Jules Verne who wrote the famous book- Journey tothe centre of the Earth.
They clung on to this belief of theirs even in theface of logical opposition and common derision aimed at them. They kept onbelieving 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 bethe ones who can be considered to be disbelievers of the knowledge that iscommon to the age.
These disbelievers however, are responsible for the growthand evolution of a number of concepts and methodologies that are of immenseimportance to modern day students of the subject and those who are in the thefield of mining. What is paradoxical though, is that what these peoplediscovered 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 thesuspension of disbelief and the sinking in of objectivity might not beessential for the growth of knowledge. Even individuals biased and polarisedtowards a line of thought might end up contributing a lot to the collective bodyof knowledge. The field of Economics is what hasdriven my attention as I contemplate upon this question more.
Economics isconsidered to be somewhat of a young discipline of study, with Adam Smithemerging with the basics only in the 1700s. Many people called it the study ofhuman greed as it tended to focus primarily on wealth. However, with the turnof the century further challenges emerged. We realised that unplanned growthand development might not be the answer to all human problems. So, the theoryof sustainable development and the whole foundation work for Green Economicscame into existence. However, most of those who witnessed the contention beingraised did not believe it. The period uncontrolled and unplanned industrialdevelopment continued. It is only in recent years that people have startedpaying attention to it and there are still countries like America and China whodo not really consider it a serious issue.
The abandonment of disbelief on thefact that pollution and exhaustion of resources can be a real economicchallenge, is what has led to our increased knowledge about the planet, abouthow we are affecting it and how our industrial and development policies need toalter in order to tackle the challenge. Suspension of disbelief is of essencehere. On the other hand there are many whodo not still believe in the whole concept of green economics. They cling ontothe age old theory that development is actually what takes care of everything.We owe many of the recent developments in developmental economics and the worksin the field of Neo Classical Economics to this lot. These are people who didnot abandon their disbelief on Green Economics. Yet, these are also people thathave 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 andabandonment of disbelief becomes necessary when we are to achieve path breakingnew heights.
When what is there in front of us is something that was notearlier even on the horizon. Yet, the beliefs and disbeliefs that havedeveloped over a long period of time, must have grown due to some reason. Whatcan be said at the end is that you must not be over cautious, but you shouldnot throw caution to the wind either on the quest for deeper knowledge.