I BELIEVE SO THAT I MIGHT UNDERSTAND: AN EPISTEMIC STUDY ON THE RELATION OF BELIEF TO KNOWLEDGE IN SAINT AUGUSTINE

Halil KAYIKCI

Abstract


If we weren’t creatures hungry to believing, we could not reach to the belief. The confirmation of the need to believing depends upon the mind’s awareness of its limits. Life is so short that, if we wait all of our questions to be answered, our life does not suffice. Probably no people live so long to get immediate and individual knowledege of all truths. Besides, belief is brought to be necessary by the constraints of human knowledge. Non of us never can be in a stuation in which we can know every thing immediately. Every time there are a great many truths that should be approved depending on the testimony of some authorities. We know much more thing via belief than that we know via experience untill now and those things are much more important from the point of our spiritual and wordly happiness. Once we decide not to believe any thing that we comprehend by means of our senses, than no human institution can remain robust. Faith also stands in the foundation of love and respect. As paralel to his those thoughts, Augustine’s understanding of knowledge is opposite to the contemporary empirical understanding. Contemporary empirical understanding allocates knowledge to the assertions which are believed by people depending upon a robust evidence when they are true. However, for Augustine (AD 354-430), basic knowledge is belief. Belief is necessary, because it’s antecedent to understanding temporarily. The person who don’t believe will not understand. Because the people who don’t believe will not experience and the people who don’t experience will not know. It’s our duty to understand what we believe in sincerely and to get sight of rationality of our belief. Understanding is not only getting an additional evidence for belief to justify belief, but also in understanding foundations of belief or meaning of the thing believed or both of them become more robust..

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n19p307


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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