Knowledge from other cultures
I also believe that our beliefs and traditions play an important part when it comes to seeking the truth. As a Hindu I have a belief in life after death and this belief has lead me to seek deeper knowledge on the issue so as to prove the truth about life after death maybe not to anybody else but to myself at least, thus my belief has lead me towards a personal truth and to seek knowledge so as to re-affirm my truth.
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Our traditions also affect our ability to gain the truth, take for example the issue of arranged marriages in the Indian society where two individuals who have never met before are married is a norm, but when seen by a person who comes from a society where they are free to choose whom they want to marry, they will have a perception that arranged marriages are a violation of the sovereignty of the individuals getting married.
But for a person who has lived in an Indian village with no outsiders for his entire life, the arranged marriage is perfectly normal and they will not give a second thought when they are told about the violation of sovereignty because tradition has taught them that there is nothing wrong about arranged marriages, thus their sensations will give them a truth that is line with tradition, and this will make them unreceptive to new knowledge about arranged marriages unless they are willing to seek knowledge from other cultures.
The truth also changes when new knowledge comes forth. For example the constitution of the atom was thought to be like a “plum pudding” with positive and negative charges embedded in it by J. J Thompson, this was considered the truth about the atom till Geiger and Marsden’s experiment proved this to be false and the explanation of the results of this experiment by Danish scientist Henrik Bohr is the structure of the atom we know today. Therefore the truth is affected by new knowledge as time progresses.
In conclusion I would like to say that our senses play an important role in obtaining the truth because without our senses giving us the information we cannot gain any information which will give us knowledge as our brain primarily uses the senses to obtain information which it can process to knowledge. However the type and amount of knowledge that is received by our brain and whether we consider it to be true or false depends on our perception, emotions, reasoning and the way we analyze and use language.
This implies that different people can have their own version of truth on a particular issue as the way they analyze the information from their senses if affected by a number of reasons which vary from one individual to another, of which I have mentioned a few above, these different reasons from my perspective are the ones that may lead us to obtain further knowledge so as to reinforce our version of the truth and in doing so will also give us a better understanding of other versions of truth and thus increasing our knowledge.
However I also feel that as we develop our version of the truth we tend to shun away knowledge which disregards our truth, therefore our minds fail to obtain priceless information and knowledge whose use is unknown to us. Therefore when we are seeking the truth we must understand that it is not only our senses that give us truth but how we interpret these senses is what leads us to the truth, and thus we must be as objective as possible when we interpret our senses so as to obtain a truth which is free from any factor that will influence our gaining of knowledge and therefore our ability to get the truth, as far as we possibly can.