Genuine Knowledge vs True Opinion

Oct 25, 2013 by

There is a difference between opinion and knowledge,  This difference can best be illustrated by saying that opinion is that which we hear about while knowledge is what we reason.  When someone tells us something, and we memorize it or believe it because it is a reliable source, that is opinion.  We have no reason to believe it to be true, we just accept it since the source is reliable.  Let us compare this to when we actually reason something.  When we think about something, what we are doing is internalizing the information.  The reliability of the information is us, and so the information becomes a part of us rather than merely the borrowing of the thoughts of another.  When this information is true, we call this knowledge.  Genuine knowledge is something very rare, but, when discovered, it is a very precious thing.  It is not something that can be shared or taught, for this can only be received as opinion.  It can only be talked about and hoped that the listener will reason it for his or herself and make it a part of their Genuine Knowledge as well.  When people come across others who possess Genuine Knowledge, most times they are unable to reason the information themselves.  It is upon them, then, to use the Genuine information as their True Opinion.  However, this True Opinion will always be subservient to Genuine Knowledge, for it relies on the justification of another.  This is one reason why reason and thinking should be something encouraged in schools far more than memorization of facts.  If the students are unable to reason the information, they will never truly understand it, for it is foreign to them.  It is like grasping the idea of infinity, we understand it exists, but we have no way of imagining it in reality.  Without Genuine Knowledge, application is a shadow of what it could be, and the learned information, wasted.

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