Knowledge can be defined as understanding, familiarity or awareness of someone or something. For knowledge to exist there must be descriptions, information, facts as well as skills. All these are acquired through education or experience as an individual perceives, discovers and learns more about living and nonliving things (Butchvarov &Panayot, 2005, 4). Furthermore, knowledge has two critical aspects that include: practical and theoretical. That in essence means that a subject can be understood both theoretically and practically. This can further lead to the understanding that knowledge is explicit since it offers a theoretical understanding of a subject. Also, knowledge is implicit since it requires the expertise or skill to understand a phenomenon and act upon it.
Philosophically, epistemology has fully explored knowledge. Knowledge involves cognitive or mental processes, communication within the body organs to respond to stimuli, perception as well as reasoning. This can mean that without knowledge it becomes even difficult to acknowledge humanity and the universe. Knowledge therefore, remains a central component of humanity. It controls several aspects of life. It changes one's worldview and it is capable of removing doubts that mankind has towards a subject. It makes everything understood. However, knowledge is derived from the interaction humanity has with the environment (Butchvarov &Panayot, 2005, 4). The environment that humans occupy has several mysteries and through perpetual interaction with that environment it becomes possible to discover and explain the mysteries that humans encounter in their environment.
Moreover, the value of knowledge is the biggest concern that humans have. If one has the knowledge of a subject or something, what becomes significant in such a situation is the application of that knowledge.
Knowledge from different sources like disciplines have been applied by learners, scholars and any other interested parties. Plato is widely known to have committed himself to the study of knowledge has enabled human beings to see other people to have knowledge or lack it. Meaning that what particular individuals understand through their beliefs cannot be challenged easily. However, some happenings which are true cannot be challenged easily for example one cannot challenge the existence of light. This is because everyone sees it when it sets and rises. This truth of the existence of the sun is observable and it is difficult to challenge the knower that the sun does not exist.
In addition, knowledge is interpreted differently depending on one's culture, beliefs, time place, age, personality as well sex. Therefore, as one pursues knowledge, it means they are seeking information and that information shall be interpreted differently therefore giving people different perspectives. Taking the example of exams. It is true all students can be attending the same lessons taught by similar teachers but when examinations are administered some will excel and some shall fail terribly. This means, in the pursuit of knowledge the students were able to interpret the information given by their teachers from different perspectives.
Also, knowledge can be pursued from multiple perspectives. For example one can interpret Second World War from multiple perspectives. From the knower's historical perspective, an individual can take into account numerous things for instance the motives of Adolf Hitler during the war. On the scientific perspective, one can consider how the bomb was developed objectively to understand how they can make more sophisticated weapons. On the social perspective, the knower can consider how families were put asunder, the suffering of women and children as well as the loss of human-based relationships. This means that knowledge is based on one's perspective which include, scientific, social as well as historical. Without these perspectives humans could not even be thinking of the past occurrences. This means that when one pursues knowledge they seek its application, if its application does not exist such knowledge becomes useless and lacks value.
Application of knowledge can be witnessed from the following:
Communication knowledge- Communication is an integral aspect of humanity. People communicate to share created meanings from a subject or any phenomenon. As people communicate there is exchange of knowledge. People who are not aware of something can be put in the picture, to understand that "something". Communication also has a symbolic representation of objects and that is used to give the meaning of something. In brief, communication is a dynamic process and ascription process where knowledge is transferred to other people. Taking an example of a teacher who goes to class every day to impart knowledge to his or her students, it is indeed true that such a teacher is sharing knowledge through use of symbols to make his/her students acquire that knowledge so that they can be important people in the society in future. If such a teacher acquired knowledge from college and stayed at home, that knowledge would not have added any value to them and it would have diminished. They have to share knowledge so that learners can become teachers, doctors, pilots as well as engineers. In addition, communication, can also be done through observation, verbal exchange, audio recordings as well as video recordings.
If one looks at the aircrafts, vehicles, superior weapons and modern infrastructure today across the world, they can appreciate the value of knowledge. The development of the scientific method has significantly contributed to the application of knowledge on the physical world. Scientific method has helped scientists to develop inquiry by gathering measurable evidence as well as observable evidence of a subject (Moser & Paul, 2005, 3). This evidence is important in the principles of experimentation and reasoning. Data is collected by observing, experimenting and testing of hypothesis. With the collection of data, mankind has acquired knowledge that is applied in manufacturing of drugs to treat diseases like malaria. Considering, civil engineers, the knowledge they have acquired has not just been left dormant but they are using it to develop durable tarmac roads which can accommodate both commercial, passengers and private vehicles. If the civil engineers did not apply their knowledge then it could have lacked value in the eyes of the public. People seek knowledge that adds value to their lives and if it does not then no human shall be interested in it.
Religion and knowledge
Sir Francis Bacon, indeed came up with an aphorism that knowledge is power. This aphorism can be extended to religion. Religions like Christianity, Islamic and Buddhism have a belief in the supernatural being. Religion has brought about the inquiry into, who created the world and all the things available in the Universe. Therefore, it takes knowledge to understand the world itself.
Christians see knowledge as a spiritual gift. The traditional Jewish believed that the most valuable trait one can acquire is knowledge. Understanding God to them requires knowledge and it is God who gives the knowledge itself. The faith, beliefs, hopes and relationships that human beings have today is based on the religious knowledge people have acquired. In Christianity people are guided by the Ten Commandments that command people, to love, forgive, care and coexist with others. That in essence means that knowledge is the greatest trait that man needs to make the world a great and a wonderful place.
However, religiosity has been subjected to measure. Mervin Verbit who is a sociologist understand that knowledge is a great element of religiosity. However, religious knowledge can be measured by content, centrality, intensity and frequency. The content of religious knowledge varies from one person to another that is why not all believers are religious teachers. Therefore, having the religious knowledge has today brought humanity together regardless of race, age or social class. However, people who do not apply religious knowledge today kill, murder, hate, deny others aid and leave in isolation (Moser & Paul, 2005, 3). People who have religious knowledge fear doing wrong to others to avoid the consequences where God is believed to punish wrong doers.
In conclusion, knowledge is of relevance once it is applied. When knowledge is applied humans can understand the abilities they have. Furthermore, people go to school to acquire knowledge which they can apply to better their lives and develop the world. All the developments in infrastructure and technology have been as a result of application of knowledge. If knowledge is not applied then roads, internet and human understanding could not be possible. Therefore, if knowledge is not applied then its value will gradually diminish. Thus Knowledge depreciates in value. If it is not applied the power of holding it on one's memory diminishes. However, the power of holding knowledge among people vary depending on age, state of the mind and beliefs one holds on to.
Butchvarov, Panayot. The Concept of Knowledge. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2005. Print.
Moser, Paul K. Knowledge and Evidence. Cambridge u.a: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2005. Print.
Blake, Sally, Denise Winsor, and Lee Allen. Child Development and the Use of Technology: Perspectives, Applications and Experiences. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2012. Print.
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