Evidence in my opinion can be described as some type of an authentication or a proof that is used to support one individual’s own belief and thought. In other words, evidence is something that leads us to proof. This proof can be further used to strengthen or validate some kind of belief that we hold. That can then be considered to be a truth or a fact. For e.g. in today’s world we don’t accept something to be true until and unless suitable evidence is provided.
Belief is a truth which might be considered as a truth not necessarily depending on the evidence of some sort. Beliefs in the beginning are thought to be as realistic by many people even when it has not been proved with evidence. It depends if that is going to be true or false. If a belief is proved then it becomes a fact. This undoubtedly means that beliefs are facts that are unproved. In case of past events, since we never had existed in the earlier period world we can never say if history was true at all. But to prove that we need evidences. Till we don’t get an evidence for something it remains a belief. It is evidence that acts as a cause or a reason why beliefs can be thought of as something that does exist or is right.
History is one such subject that requires some kind of evidence to make people believe that the past events that had occurred did exist. Even when I was taught history in the yester years we only had text books that were a stimulus material to learn and believe history. We were completely dependent on the text books but the examples provided in them sounded realistic. For e.g. we actually don’t know if a Mughal emperor named as Shah Jahan ever existed in the Indian history. But to support this we have the beautiful Taj Mahal that is said was built by him for his wife. Here the Taj Mahal is regarded as evidence. Hence, we believe that there was a ruler called Shah Jahan. Likewise, there are many monuments and archaeological evidences that tell us about history i.e. the Harappa civilization and the rule of the British Empire etc. But there are many controversial things and different interpretations based on evidences that they get to know. The question that arises here is “If evidence can affect our beliefs? How can one guarantee the truth involved in the evidences?
A human’s belief system does not always work on the basis of evidence. I think belief is made up of many diverse incidents which influence people’s mindset and their behavior. Hence, there is a high chance for someone to simply believe something if it is implanted within their belief even if the evidence is very less or not at all. For e.g. in our childhood days parents embed a thought in our mind that God exists, when in reality we don’t really have a concrete evidence to support it. No one has actually seen God. But as we grow up the power of beliefs that are embedded in us slowly decline due to many extrinsic or intrinsic factors. Very little evidence is present in case of religions. Religion is somewhat an area where people believe in it even after being aware of the less evidence or sometimes no evidence present for it. Here, it’s a personal choice of a person whether to believe it or not. Its faith, that makes them believe in certain things.
Many unlike ways of knowing such as perception, reason, emotions and language other than evidence affect the way people form or organize their beliefs in the natural sciences. Science is an area which can be experimented carefully only with the help of proper attentive methods which verify the theories that we have created with the help of other different ways of knowing we have. For example scientists believe that the whole evolution theory was developed. In natural science, we need some kind of a belief or in other words we an assumption to make. With the help of this belief in mind we can further prove them and then they can be known as facts. An example that can be given is when in the previous years the church used to say that its earth that is at the center and the other planets and sun rotate around it. But later this was proved wrong by Galileo Galilei with proper evidence. These types of evidences ultimately thought to be as true. People are more likely to focus on one particular piece of evidence which supports what they already believe.
However, many areas of natural sciences are very unclear and open to different interpretations for different people. There always comes up evidence which contradicts the other one. That opens up new dimensions to the subject. As many people’s belief systems are so strong, they often choose to only pay attention to the evidence which support their claims. In our daily life, we tend to believe things that we see, hear or feel. There are many facts which are first deemed to be beliefs which if proved with proper evidence are considered to be facts. But there are many facts that don’t need to be proved or were not proved. An example for this can be that we don’t need to prove that Sun is the source from where we get light. Another example that can be given is it is the gravitational pull that pulls down objects.
Evidence is a kind of theory that affects human mind a lot. Humans tend to believe things which have at least some kind of evidence attached to it. Human belief system is biased to the dissimilar ways of knowing. It acts according to the way they come to know about something. Psychologically it can be very difficult for our mind to accept something that has been taught to be right is in fact wrong.
Areas of Knowledge:
History, Arts, Ethics, Natural Science, mathematics, social sciences