Before we head any further,let us first try to understand various terms so we could get a lead of what we are about to come across during the rest of this post.
Epistemology is a philosophical noun that in the dictionary translates to the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.
Just from which justified branches from,is an adjective to mean factually fair,among other definitions.
Belief is trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.
Opinion is a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
So this means to us that epistemology is a set of laws to put aside Facts from Beliefs and opinions.
Traditional performers of the olden civilization in Kenya still believe in the possession of rain making powers;They would go through a number of gibberish chants and animal sacrifices and promise the community healthy upcoming prospects.When rain fails to shower,a serious reason is attached,’The gods must be angry’or a similar sort of reason to blind the society from their incapabilities.The society in turn heads on to bring forth their best for sacrifice.I don’t know if the system works,but all I know is that we all have those things we believe in which in turn help us to grow.
Eating Icecubes to help you get rid of your drug addiction,is merely a fact but is a belief that manages your addiction.So in essence,A belief may be only of importance if its relevance has a great significance to our shaping.So most of the times we tend to ignore facts and choose to believe because one thing a belief has is the power of hope.When you have faith in something,you expect something out of it.The only reason why man lives today is because of the hope factor.A student works hard in his studies with a hope for a brighter future.A soldier goes to the battle field with a hope that he will see his family again.
Some beliefs are just misleading,others,well,they can be proved factually and continue to exist effectively,and others can never be proved but help us to cope within our environment.I personally wouldn’t give a hoot about the archeologist who discovered the ten commandments in dusty tied scrolls or if some ancient philosopher came up with an Idea to maintain a still humanity so he wrote a list of ten things that should be eliminated from the society and accredited the message to a supreme being,still I don’t care.As long as it’s working and helping humanity cut across survival in systematic procedures.
From a good belief system,sub-roots of weaker strands of opinions which result from a need to break things down and have a wide scope of knowledge emerge from the stem of the root.Philosophers come in to argue their opinions against a certain belief because again,a belief isn’t yet a fact.Thanks to the likes of Plato,David Hume,Socrates,B.F Skinner,Freud Sigmund and many among the great philosophers,the world has transformed a great deal to the better.
Frederick F. Schmitt spoke of having an epistemic responsibility for your beliefs,in the sense that you can believe what you want to but if it has no factual content,then it should not extend to the building of the lives of other people.