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Week One Individual Assignment Essay

Define free will, truth, knowledge, and opinion. Explain how we use them to form thoughts. “Free will is the capacity to respond in ways that oppose even the strongest influences. Free will is itself a causative factor, and one that can trump all others” (Ruggiero, 2019, p. 37). We all have a choice in any situation, although one’s ethics or morals can influence choices, nevertheless the choice to react in one way or another is one’s free will.

“Truth is what is so about something, the reality of the matter, as distinguished from what people wish were so, believe to be so, or assert to be so” (Ruggiero, 2019, p. 7) . Truth does not change. Although our belief and knowledge may change about a subject, the truth remains as it was when it was just a belief and not known. Knowledge is what we know to be true, what we understand as fact about a subject. “We can obtain authentic knowledge in any one of three ways: personal experience, observation, and report from others” (Ruggiero, 2019, p. 30). Opinions are an intensely personal way to express one’s judgment of a particular subject.

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It is one’s own thoughts of what they perceive of the matter and how they interpret a belief or truth. One uses free will, truth, knowledge, and opinions in the thought process about many things each day. Some as simple as deciding where to eat lunch and other more serious such as the choice of doctor to use for a medical problem. We use them when problem solving, an important characteristic in today’s world of technology and knowledge. When one is debating things such as God, discussions can become heated and sometimes are best left alone.

However, when debating what seems to be an injustice it is imperative that one have the skills needed to know the facts and think critically. For example, if a reporter is investigating a remote Pacific Islander tribe who still practices sending their elders away to die alone he or she will need these skills to make an informed decision about the story. They would first need to recognize their personal opinions and lay them aside. Then they need to obtain knowledge about the tribe and the practice. He or she would use this knowledge to distinguish what is fact from fiction.

The reporter could objectively analyze the pro’s and con’s to form unbiased thoughts on the practice. The reporter may even choose not to run the story at all upon a clearer understanding of the practice. The reporter has all the information he or she needs to think it through and form a clearer opinion of this tribal practice. They may conclude that the practice is not as brutal as thought in the beginning of the story. “The ideas you have about free will, truth, knowledge, opinion, and the debating of moral issues will make a difference in your development as a thinker”

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