2nd Ways of Knowing Essay “We see and understand things not as they are but as we are. ” Discuss this claim in relation to at least two ways of knowing. (Emotion and faith) I think that this quote is saying that who we are and our experiences in life influence the way we see things. This would mean that the way that one person sees and understands something can differ from the way another person sees that same thing. I think that this is true when a person’s emotions influence their understanding.
Emotions and a person’s faith can influence how things are seen and understood from person to person. Emotions play an important role in life. They tell you what you like and dislike; help you to decide if you want to do one thing or another. If you have bad emotions towards something you aren’t going to want to do it nor will you enjoy doing it if you have to. Emotions also play a part in the way things are seen. If a person has bad feelings towards their teacher, those emotions are going to influence the way they respond to the lessons that the teacher decides to teach.
The same goes for if a student has good feelings towards that same teacher. These two students with their different emotions towards the same teacher and lessons are an example of how emotions can influence the way things are seen. If a person has a bad experience with a dog as a child, they might now have a prejudice caused by the emotions that resulted from their childhood experience. Now, because of the bad experience, they are afraid of dogs or see them all as a threat. But a person who has never gone through a bad experience with dogs will see them differently.
They might really like dogs. They might see all dogs as nice, loving animals who would never try to hurt them. The different emotions and the different experiences change the way that things are seen. A person’s faith can also influence the way they see things. A person who has a lot of faith in something will see things differently from a person who has little or no faith. For example, a person who strongly believes that there is a God will see things differently from a person who believes there is no God. Say that two couples get into a car accident.
One is a couple of devout Christians, the other a pair of Atheists. In this accident, one person from both couples dies. The person who believes in God may say “Everything happens for a reason”, or “God wouldn’t give me something I couldn’t handle”. Their faith in God would make them try to look for the good in a bad situation. On the other hand, the Atheist would see the situation for all of its severity. They wouldn’t try to justify what had happened. When faith is involved, the way a situation is understood may change.
Kierkegaard believed that truth is subjective. By this he meant that all of the most important truths are personal. “Only these truths are ‘true for me’. ” Kierkegaard believed that truths that are objective and general are immaterial to each man’s own existence. This supports the claim that things are seen and understood as we are not as the things themselves are. “We see and understand things not as they are but as we are”.
Emotions and faith play a role in who you become. They influence the way you see things; the way you interpret things. Not everyone sees and understands everything in the same way because everyone doesn’t have the same emotions or believe the same things. Their own personal experiences influence their outlook on things. When we see things our emotions and biases are not removed so as to see the thing clearly. You cannot see something purely on its own, without you, yourself, and your experiences. Sophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder, p. 376-377