Variety In The Pursuit Of Knowledge

1369 words - 5 pages

Variety is essential in the pursuit of knowledge. Not every problem can be solved in the same way. Many different tools are necessary to acquire knowledge and be able to solve problems. This provides the Knowledge Issue: to what extent must multiple ways of knowing and areas of knowledge be used in order to gain a deeper understanding of knowledge? When a situation is perceived from a single point of view, or a preconceived notion, it can be overlooked, or not given the appropriate amount of thought. The difference between the way people want things to be, based on their backgrounds or preferences, and the way they actually are can be skewed. The biases that people hold can be formed in a couple of ways. People’s opinions and views of the world are strongly affected by the people and events that surround them. This is true for most children, who grow up being taught the values and beliefs of their parents. Most children share the opinions of their parents on many subjects. However, these views and opinions can be narrow, and conclusions made based off of only a single perception can be obscured from the truth. Decisions made exclusively from ethics, emotion, or perception cannot bring a deep knowledge of the subject to the situation.
Looking at a situation from a solely ethical standpoint will not bring a deeper understanding of that situation. There are many benefits that can be missed when the subject is approached from only an ethical point of view. This comes into play with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). GMOs are a very controversial topic because there are a lot of arguments that they are unethical. Many believe that altering nature is morally wrong. In addition, GMOs have potentially negative effects on the health of species that previously depended on the crops that have been altered, and are no longer able to feed themselves. There are also unforeseen effects on the health of humans as new allergies have developed from the use of GMOs and there is little long-term research on the subject. Looking at these facts from an ethical point of view would be enough to rule out the idea of GMOs entirely. However, if this were to happen, all of the benefits of GMOs would not even be given a chance. GMOs have made the idea of feeding the hungry and preventing a global food shortage a possibility. GMOs are just one of the many situations that if viewed from solely an ethical standpoint, full knowledge of the subject cannot be acquired.
While a person cannot create a deeper understanding with the use of ethics alone, ethics can be pivotal in making decisions. For example, Edward Snowden’s decision to leak confidential government information to several media outlets was driven by his feelings that it was his moral duty to expose the government for what he saw as serious breaches of privacy. Snowden was not the first to put what he perceived to be the good of the public ahead of what was best for him. This decision was not based solely on...

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