February 17 2017, President Donald Trump stated the following, “The FAKE NEWS
media is not my enemy, it is the enemy to the American People!” With the
President of the United States doubting mainstream media, we must ask
ourselves, how important are opinions of experts in our search for knowledge? Humans
should form their own opinions. If this ‘expert’ we are basing our opinion off
of has not done his research, than the opinion being made is false. But, if an
average man gave us an opinion he has not research and tells us its fact, then
we should not believe it. We can base our opinions on experts, but to an
extent. There are three main reasons why we should base our opinions on
experts, nut only to a certain extent. Firstly, experts who have gone against society’s
norms have found truth previously not found. Secondly, many people fall under
the trap of what is called an authoritative fallacy, because they do not form
their own opinions. Thirdly, we must base our opinions on knowledge we have
found for ourselvesLW1 .
Many of the discoveries in our world today
are thanks to somebody challenging the norms of society. We must first define
an expert: a person who has a comprehensive
and authoritative knowledge of a skill in a particular area. WouldLW2 Galileo had discover that the universe is heliocentric had he not
challenged the Church? No! The world would have kept believing that the world
was geocentric and we would still be leaning about this in school had he not
gone against the opinions of an ‘expert.’ Another example would be the history
of the atom. Around 460 B.C, a Greek philosopher, Democritus, developed the
idea of atoms. He thought about matter and how many you could break it until
you broke it no further. He called these atoms. Aristotle threw the idea away
and for 2000 years no one questioned it. Until a man named John Dalton took
matters into his own hand and questioned matter. In the early 1800’s, he came
out with the ‘Raisin in the Pudding model’. Fast-forward to 1911 and the
Rutherford came out with the Rutherford-Borh model. All these expert opinions
have come to what we now know as the Atomic Cloud model. Every single one of
these experts had opinions and had done research to support them. Their
researched opinion are what most of the world considers now common knowledge.
Authoritative fallacy is one of the many
logical fallacies. It is presented as when a person making a claim is presented as an expert who
should be trusted when his or her expertise is not in the area being discussed.
For example, let’s say this headlines appears in the Winnipeg Free Press, “Dr.
Bill, TV’s hottest new psychologist says that coffee enemas are the fountain of
youth!” There are many things wrong with this statement. The most obvious one
being that our ‘Dr. Bill’ is most likely a psychologist and has no expertise in
coffee enemas, thus he’s not qualified to give his advice on non-psychological
issues. Extending is expertise on psychology to issues of coffee is a fallacy.
Another real life example would be of a man named Mitch Synder. Mitch Snyder
was a man born in 1940. He was an advocate for homeless people all over
America. He’s what one might call an ‘expert’. He made a claim in the late 80’s
that 3 million people in America were homeless. This seemed outrageous because
it would mean that 1 in 3 Americans are homeless. This was disproved by basic
economics, but for over a year people believed him and donated to his ‘campaign
for the homeless’. This is an example of an authoritative fallacy. Is people
would have form their own opinions, people would not have donated to Mr.
Snyder’s campaign based on a lie.
A great man once said, “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard
it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious
books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and
elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for
many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that
anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and
all, then accept it and live up to it.” (Buddha). He basically telling us
to form our own opinion for ourselves, because passed down knowledge can be
corrupt. An example of this is the Catholic Church deleting passages from its
own Bible! The main stream version of the Bible, known as the NIV (New International
version), that is accepted by the Catholic religion as its main doctrine has
many differences with the King James Bible. The King James Bible being the most
exact translation we have. There are more than 64,000 words missing from the
NIV. On top of that, a whole chunk of the second commandment is missing!
Needless to say, Buddha’s words ring true here, “Do not believe in anything
simply because it is found and written in your religious books.” We must form
our own opinions based on knowledge we have found.
We can base our opinions on experts, but
only to an extent. Firstly, experts who have gone against society’s norms have
found truth previously not found. Secondly, many people fall under the trap of
what is called an authoritative fallacy, because they do not form their own
opinions. Thirdly, we must base our opinions on knowledge we have found for
ourselves. As humans we should stop
basing our opinions on opinions of expert, they can be wrong. To move forward
unto new discoveries me must come up with our own knowledge to make humanity
LW1In your introduction, it is important that you have a clearly stated
knowledge question (KQ) as most of the marking (see marking rubric here: https://goo.gl/h2jbTn) depends on it. The KQ is derived from the prescribed title, but is
not the title itself.
This gives you room to draw out a KQ of your own that is related to the title
but fits with the examples you choose in the essay. If the idea of a KQ is
unclear, here is an I.B. document that also explains it: https://goo.gl/CjspZZ
You should also define some of the
terms in the title and knowledge question. For example, what is your definition