Hey brother, you define knowledge as the possession of truth right? If so, then is anything that is thought in school, courts, or anywhere that is not divinely inspired is opinion.
For example, if a teacher tells me that Abraham Lincoln existed, she is giving me her opinion because it is not divinely inspired. She might not be able to justify it like a historian might be able to justify it. But the historian too will be giving me his opinion because his claim is also not divinely inspired..
Here are 3 questions I have.
How can I know Abraham Lincoln existed?
Are opinions sometimes knowledge (possession of truth)?
What is the difference between justified knowledge and knowledge? Can people have truth but not be justified? Does knowledge always have to be justified?
Thanks for writing, Jonathan.
You are correct about my definition of knowledge. I define knowledge as ‘the possession of the truth.’
As for your three questions, I am happy to answer them. If ‘Abraham Lincoln existed’ cannot be derived from the scriptures, then the proposition is an opinion. Since it cannot be derived, it is indeed an opinion. Opinions are never knowledge because in order to call a proposition knowledge, an account must be given for it. Now, there may be a proposition that one believes is an opinion that turns out to be true (and would technically be ‘knowledge’), but in the system of philosophy that I espouse, a proposition cannot be called knowledge unless it can be accounted for (via scripture, of course).
Your third question is a bit more nuanced. Any proposition that is true is knowledge regardless of whether or not one can account for it; however, we cannot call propositions that cannot be accounted for ‘knowledge’ because in order for us to know it’s ‘knowledge,’ we must be able to show that it is indeed knowledge. Can people possess truth that they cannot justify? Indeed they can; however, since ‘knowledge’ and ‘opinion’ are categories, those of us that use those categories to organize our philosophical system must organize propositions according those categories lest we obfuscate our own position.
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