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Old Wednesday, January 25, 2023
hammadtahir hammadtahir is offline
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Post 2015 Comprehension

Read the following text carefully and answer the questions below:
Experience has quite definitely shown that some reasons for holding a belief are much more likely to be justified by the event than others. It might naturally be supposed, for instance, that the best of all reasons for a belief was a strong conviction of certainty accompanying the belief. Experience, however, shows that this is not so, and that as a matter of fact, conviction by itself is more likely to mislead than it is to guarantee truth. On the other hand, lack of assurance and persistent hesitation to come to any belief whatever are an equally poor guarantee that the few beliefs which are arrived at are sound. Experience also shows that assertion, however long continued, although it is unfortunately with many people an effective enough means of inducing belief, is not an any way a ground for holding it.
The method which has proved effective, as a matter of actual fact, in providing of firm foundation for belief wherever it has been capable of application, is what is usually called the scientific method. I firmly believe that the scientific method, although slow and never claiming to lead to complete truth, is the only method which in the long run will give satisfactory foundations for beliefs. It consists in demanding facts as the only basis for conclusions, and inconsistently and continuously testing any conclusions which may have been reached, against the test of new facts and, wherever possible, by the crucial test of experiment. It consists also in full publication of the evidence on which conclusions are based, so that other workers may be assisted in new researchers, or enabled to develop their own interpretations and arrive at possibly very different conclusions.
There are, however, all sorts of occasions on which the scientific method is not applicable. That method involves slow testing, frequent suspension of judgment, restricted conclusions. The exigencies of everyday life, on the other hand, often make it necessary to act on a hasty balancing of admittedly incomplete evidence, to take immediate action, and to draw conclusions in advance of evidence. It is also true that such action will always be necessary, and necessary in respect of ever larger issues; and this inspite of the fact that one of the most important trends of civilization is to remove sphere after sphere of life out of the domain of such intuitive judgment into the domain of rigid calculation based on science. It is here that belief pays its most important role. When we cannot be certain, we must proceed in part by faith-faith not only in the validity of our own capacity of making judgments, but also in the existence of certain other realities, pre-eminently moral and spiritual realities. It has been said that faith consists in acting always on the nobler hypothesis; and though this definition is a trifle rhetorical, it embodies a seed of real truth.

1. Give the meaning of the underlined phrases as they are used in the passage.
  • justified by the event – means that certain reasons for holding a belief are more likely to be proven true by the outcome or event.
  • an effective enough means of inducing belief – refers to the idea that simply asserting a belief for a long period of time does not necessarily make it true.
  • trends of civilization – refers to the tendency of society to move away from relying on intuition and towards using scientific methods to make decisions.
  • the nobler hypothesis – refers to the idea of choosing the best possible explanation or belief, even if it is uncertain.

2. What justification does the author claim for his belief in the scientific method?
The author gives the justification for his belief in scientific method is that scientific method only makes conclusions by basing them on some solid facts, which can be repeatedly tested by experiments at any time. Scientific method also guides other researchers – assist them in developing their own interpretation and arriving at very different conclusions – when they refer the publications of previous studies.

3. Do you gather from the passage that conclusions reached by the scientific method should we considered final? Give reasons for your answer.
The conclusions reached by scientific method should not be considered final because it is the beauty of scientific method that it never claims complete truth. It is always subjected to testing and experimentation and can be modified based on new findings and interpretations.

4. In what circumstances, according to the author, is it necessary to abandon the scientific method?
As the scientific method involves slow testing, repeated suspension of judgement and restricted conclusions it is better to abandon scientific method in the intricacies of the daily life where the immediate action is the utmost requirement of the time.

5. How does the basis of “intuitive judgment” differ from the scientific decision?
The intuitive judgement differs from the scientific method because intuitive judgement is based on faith rather than on experiments and conclusions. Faith helps in decision making when one is unsure while scientific decision helps when one wanted to take a pragmatic decision by consulting past studies and findings.
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