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As a society, we, intentionally or unintentionally, assign values to some of the knowledge gained. This knowledge can be gained through many ways, that is, through the eight ways of knowing. However, as mentioned before, the knowledge gained will not be of equal status, that is some knowledge gained will be considered at a higher value than others depending on whether it is part of shared or personal knowledge and also on other factors which will be mentioned in the essay. This value of the knowledge gained and accepted by society can depend on many reasons including the ease of accessibility of the new knowledge. These reasons will be discussed further ahead in this essay. I will be taking the help of two Areas of Knowledge: Natural Sciences and Religious Knowledge Systems to explore the reasons.The first knowledge question, one can get from this title is “The easier the accessibility of the knowledge is, the more valuable will it be. To what extent is this statement true?” This question can be approached by looking at the various real life examples across a couple of areas of knowledge and see whether or not the ease of accessibility is playing or has played an important part in giving value to a knowledge.A knowledge claim that can be framed from our first knowledge question is “A easier accessibility of a knowledge does make it more valuable.” This means that a knowledge will be at a higher value or prestige if it’s easy to gain access to or it was easy to produce this knowledge in the first place. A number of examples can be derived from the Area of Knowledge of Natural Science. Natural Sciences consists of a lot of proofs and laws mostly using the Way of Knowing, Reason. However, there are certain elements within Natural Science where it seems that no Reason was used to bring about a particular Knowledge. An example that can be brought about to justify the previous statement is the story about the scientist, August Kekulé, who claimed that he came up with his Benzene ring structure theory from his dreams where he, supposedly, saw a snake biting itself, thus forming a ring structure. This story is not backed up by any hard evidence, like most of all ideas and facts from sciences are supposed to do. Yet, the modern structure of Benzene does take into account of August Kekulé’s theory. This example gives us a proof that an easier accessibility of Knowledge does make it more valuable.A counter-claim can also be discussed here, that is “A easier accessibility of a knowledge does not make it more valuable.” This statement can mean that there is no correlation between its ease of accessibility and its value. Another example can be fashioned out from the Area of Knowledge of Natural Science. That is, the recent discovery of gravitational waves was huge accomplishment to the field of astrophysics. This is because, Albert Einstein penned down this idea about 100 years ago. Then, recently, the setup of LIGO Scientific Collaboration built structures that should detect gravitational waves and which it did. The method of discovery was indeed very difficult and expensive, and yet, this discovery is held at a high value among physicists, though it was not as easy to derive as in August Kekulé’s case.Thus, we can see that there are examples to support both the claim and counterclaim.A second knowledge question that can be framed for this topic can be “To what extent does emotion play in giving value to knowledge?” This knowledge question refers to the fact that the Way of Knowing, Emotion, may play a part in assigning a value to a Knowledge. This way of knowing contradicts with the Way of Knowing of Reason since they are usually said to exist on the opposite ends of a spectrum. An important Area of Knowledge that should be discussed with the Way of Knowing of Emotion is Religious Knowledge System. This is because usually the Way of Knowing of Faith and Emotion play an important part in the Area of Knowledge of Religious Knowledge Systems and they may or may not have roles in assigning values to Knowledge gained or utilised.A claim that can be formed from my second knowledge question is “Emotion does play an important part in assigning value to Knowledge gained.” There are some real life examples one can discuss to support this claim. In the 1600s, when Galileo came up with his theory that the Earth was not at the centre of the universe but revolving around the Sun, this theory was not accepted by the church and he did not publish his work. This is a prime example of when the ease of accessibility of the knowledge is not paying an important part in assigning value to the Knowledge gained but rather ‘Emotion’ and ‘Faith’ playing a more important factor here.A counterclaim that can be formed from the second Knowledge question is “Emotion plays a relatively small part in assigning value to Knowledge gained.” This statement can be interpreted as saying that the other Ways  of Knowing play a bigger role than Emotion does.Coming back to the Area of Knowledge of Natural Sciences, we can argue that the Way of Knowing of Sense Perception can also play a significant role in bringing about new Knowledge. A personal real life example that can brought about here is regarding to the subject of IB HL Chemistry where I have to use my sense perceptions like sight and smell to differentiate chemicals. This is important for my IB Chemistry course as I have to use the aforementioned sense perceptions to conduct experiments. Also, another real-life example where sense perception was used was when a scientist decided to give his life to get the taste of a poisonous chemical, cyanide. This example links back to the topic proving that knowledge produced with difficulty is also highly valued.A third Knowledge question that can be framed is “To what extent does the value of Knowledge depend on the fact whether it is part of personal or shared knowledge?” Usually knowledge is labelled as one of two categories, personal and shared. The former category referring to the knowledge that is accepted by a single or a small group of people and not by the society and the later referring to knowledge where the majority of the human race believes in accepts, thus being part of the social norm.A Knowledge claim that can be strongly put forward is “The value of Knowledge is largely based on whether the knowledge is part of personal or shared knowledge.” This claim means that society is biased in assigning value to knowledge mainly basing it on the fact whether the majority of the society accepts or follows it or not. Using the Area of Knowledge of Religious Knowledge system, this claim may be supported. That is, when it comes to the most popular religion of Christianity, it is often assumed that the basics of Christian mythology is known to all and is part of society’s general knowledge. Although there is a lack of the Way of Knowing of Reason in this religion (and many other religions), its teachings and claims are accepted by a majority around the world and given a high value.Other teachings and claims of lesser-known religions that do not many followers around the world are said to be part of personal knowledge and accepted by few, thus given a lower value in comparison. Even in the Area of Knowledge of Natural Sciences, some theories and claims are given a higher value than others due to the fact that the ones with higher value are part of a shared knowledge, that is a majority of people accept them. For example, there are a group of people who firmly believe that the Earth is flat, however since there is a larger group in society, including myself, who believe that the Flat-Earth theory is wrong, it is given a very low value. In contrary, a few centuries ago, when the majority of people believed that the Earth was flat and not round, the “Round-Earth theory” was given a lower value. A counterclaim that can put forth is “The value of Knowledge does not have any correlation with the categorisation of the Knowledge.” This statement means that values are not assigned merely on the fact that they are part of personal or shared knowledge. This claim can be supported if we take a small community who believe in similar ideas. Taking the previous example that lesser-known religions are given less value can be falsified if the scenario is taken differently, that is, in a community where a particular religion is widespread, its beliefs would be given a very high value when compared to other religions in that area or in the world. The reason to understand the relation between the value of knowledge and the ease of accessibility is so that we can understand human thinking better and understand what really motivates us in our prioritisation of knowledge over others. Personally, I try not to assign value based on its ease of accessibility since that can give biased views and opinions that are not properly analysed. However, we can see that there are examples where the ease of accessibility does play a part in assigning value to knowledge gained. But in the end, a firm response of the question cannot be given as it varies from situation to situation and from person to person.

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