Perspective, a word that differentiates us as human beings.

Perspective, a word that differentiates us as human beings. We are different because we have different perspectives of the same thing and different perspectives are what usually leads us to disagreement. Even with only one ‘Truth’ and one ‘Reality’, many perspectives of that reality may exist. Experts from within an area of knowledge and even experts from completely different areas of knowledge may disagree, even with the same data, about the resulting interpretation . The underlying reasons for conflicting claims are attributed to rigidly held moral values, beliefs, identities and interests crucial for survival. The interplay of these reasons form the bedrock for creating disagreements. Depending on the strength and nature of claims and conflicting claims these contradictions are reconcilable while sometimes they are not. When the claims and conflicting claims are based on unyielding fundamental moral, religious, and personal values, the perspectives that are formed in the process even by the experts, in the same discipline, are uncompromising and not easily reconcilable. That is where the role of having a consensus becomes crucial and critical in progress and development of knowledge along with bringing in robustness within a particular area of knowledge. Consensus is basically general agreement between people who may or may not have the same opinion on the debatable topic at hand. Robustness can be defined as something that is strong and resilient which brings reassurance, certainty and trust. Karl Popper’s theory of falsification which suggests that one must always try to disprove theories and methods in order for them to be unfalsifiable is a great example of this. This is very true for natural sciences whereas on the other hand, There are areas of knowledge which doesn’t require consensus or disagreements in order to be robust such as the religious knowledge systems.Different areas of knowledge have different definitions of robustness which is what makes knowledge and robustness intangible and difficult to measure. One must know how to measure robustness in order to conclude in order to justify the statement of robust knowledge requiring both consensus and disagreement, and a general measure of robustness of knowledge would be its proximity to the truth but this measure is specific to it’s area of knowledge as well because different areas of knowledge have different conceptions of the truth. For example,  in religious system, whatever written in the religious book or said by the god or his messenger/messiah is the truth without any further questions but as for natural sciences, the ability to find evidence and the inability to disprove it, is the truth.The theories in Natural Sciences call for a general consensus amongst the scientific community after the observations, experiments, investigations and results are found to be consistent, reproducible and in agreement over time(Website ). The claims and counterclaims stand to persevere from scrutiny and exploration, the resulting outcome is based on a well balanced and robust foundation. This examination through claims and conflicting claims entails deeper recognition and judgment instead of mere accommodation. Taking for instance, theory building or theory change in natural sciences involve a community process of sharing experiments, observations, feedback and interpreting the data in distinct ways and in varied settings. The process entails rigor and prolonged deliberation that has the higher objective to seek ‘accurate knowledge’ for the entire humanity. The world around us consists of multidimensional, complex, dynamic and interconnected systems that necessitates knowing and understanding built through multiple claims and counterclaims/conflicting claims. There lies an inherent value in getting to know the ‘other side’ of the argument. Not only the disagreements steer towards scrutiny and exploration, the outcome also depends on a balanced and robust foundation. The scientific controversies involve strong disagreements either over the interpretation of the data, availability of conclusive evidence to support the idea or future investigation and yet the discussion and debate to overcome opposition is what persuades the entire scientific community for the theory or the idea to be ‘convincing’ if not ‘infallible’. Many a times, disagreements settle when further experiments are conducted and fresh data is generated. Science works because scientists disagree – they challenge each other’s ideas, find better ways to interpret and analyse and and eventually come to conclusions that bring us closer to truth.However, Science can also be very unreliable because of its nature of continuously finding evidence against current theories. In the world of science, facts are being altered, theories are falsified or are constantly upgraded and new scientific knowledge is produced every now and then. Earlier, robustness is defined as knowledge that’s resilient and is able to withstand criticism and measured by its proximity to the truth which juxtapose the scientific nature because truth is being changed so how would one know the proximity to the truth when the truth that was present earlier is not present anymore. How is scientific knowledge resilient when its criticised and changed? The scientific knowledge is always open to question and revision; no idea is proved for eternity; ideas that we accept today may get modified or rejected outrightly when tested with new evidence in future. For example, up until 1938, paleontologists accepted the idea that coelacanths (an ancient fish) went extinct about 80 million years ago. But that year, a live coelacanth was discovered off the coast of South Africa, causing scientists to revise their ideas and begin to investigate how this animal survives in the deep sea. Over time the best of theories have been shown to be incomplete in the area of natural sciences. The theories might explain a lot of phenomena using a few basic principles, predict new results but sooner or later new and more precise experiments show a discrepancy between the workings of nature and the predictions of these theories.Contrastingly, Religious systems drive on faith and emotions and when it comes to faith and emotions, one doesn’t require any consensus or disagreement in order to believe it be robust because faith and emotions are on a personal level. Robustness is measured by its proximity to the truth and to people who firmly believe on a certain religion, the existence of god and his words through different medium is the truth. Religions are considered robust by the believers because it relates to their life and teaches the way of life, in some cases, it talks about facts which are then proven to be true by the science. For example, The splitting of the moon (Arabic: ?????? ??????) mentioned in the Holy Quran, the sacred book of muslims was a claimed miracle attributed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is derived from the Quranic verses 54:1-2, and mentioned by Muslim traditions such as the Asbab al-nuzul (context of revelation). Religion is not up for any questions let alone consensus or disagreement because everything stated by the religion is believed to be true without any need of evidence. Also, consensus and disagreement arises when the knowledge acquired is shared knowledge but religious knowledge is individual knowledge rather than shared as it uses emotions, faith and sense perception which are rather personal ways of knowing. In addition, consensus and disagreement arises in knowledge system which are constantly changing such as the natural sciences or history. Religious knowledge does not change over the years especially written religious knowledge so it doesn’t leave any space for disagreement and when there are no disagreements, there is no need of consensus.However, Most religious knowledge systems rely on sacred books to deliver the message of god and those books are up to interpretations of it’s readers and those interpretation do change over time as the world becomes more globalized resulting in disagreements between religious leaders and it’s followers followed by consensus. This consensus may be within a smaller group of people emerging from a large group leading towards different denominations of the same religion such as catholicism and baptism in christianity, shiites and sunnis in Islam and etc.


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