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Folk beliefs and truth in practice

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Please address the following in a three-page paper:

Identify a belief that you (or someone in your community) thinks is true.
Present an account of at least one metaphysical account of reality from the assigned readings with support from the course texts and online lectures. For example, you might discuss Plato, Aristotle, or the Cartesian method. Make sure that you include an account of reality and truth and discuss how (and/or whether) human beings are capable of knowing reality with any certainty. For instance, is there a difference between a well-founded opinion and a false one? How are opinions/beliefs related to the truth as such?
Explain how the account of truth set forth by the chosen theory of reality might apply to their belief.
Identify and explain an additional metaphysical theory that would take a different approach.

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Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) of presenting examples of beliefs (in this case Filipino folk beliefs) as practiced by particular members of the community. It discusses a belief in relation to the Cartesian system of doubt and Plato's method of division and knowledge tethers. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic. An outline is also listed for further exploration of the topic.

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Dear Student,
Hi and thank you for using BrainMass. This is an interesting topic as it will allow you to look into the beliefs currently in practice in your community. I suggest using this simple outline:

1. The belief in question (describe in detail) - 200 words
2. The Cartesian Daemon - 300 words
3. Validating opinion and falsehood and beliefs vs. the truth - 100 words
4. Application to belief from #1 - 200 words
5. Apply Plato's theory - 100 words

This outline should yield around 900 words which should cover what you need. Just let me know via the feedback section if you need further clarification. All the best with your studies.

Belief, Truth and Practice

As far as I can remember, people in my life since childhood have always believed in something - either for religious purposes or from a philosophical viewpoint. Both paths, however, contribute to how they live their lives, how they make sense of the world and how they process reality. I come from a religious family; a Catholic home. This is because my family had always been Catholic for generations - thus since birth, it is the Catholic faith that has become the religious de rigueur for my family as can be expected in most traditional Roman Catholic/Christian homes. But what I find most fascinating, outside of the fact that our family and community are devout Catholics, I see my elders and relatives practice beliefs that can be deemed as non-Catholic in origin, something folk - one drawn from the history and experience of my community and the many cultures that make it up. For example, there are many Asian-Americans, including Filipinos in our community and they bring with them a good number of beliefs that they practice outside of their Catholic Faith. Essentially, they fall under the following categories (Lopez, 2006) - the cycle of human life, the supernatural, cosmology and the natural world. A list (just an example, by no means exhaustive) of such examples I have supplied below, having witnessed them in practice in our community among the Filipino members who are close to my family and myself (Borlongan, 2009):

Beliefs about Omens

• A black cat crossing your path is a bad omen. A black cat is a demon in disguise.
• Encountering a yellow butterfly will bring you good luck.
• If a brown butterfly enters your house, you will lose money.
• If you are awakened by chirping birds at dawn, luck awaits you.
• Dreaming of fish, trees, or snakes means good fortune, money, or happiness.

Beliefs on Dos and Don'ts

• Lying down with your feet facing the door will bring you an early death.
• Adorning your dress with pearls means you will shed many tears.
• Do not mend your clothes while wearing them, or harm will befall you.

• Stepping on a pillow brings misfortune.
• A person who is headed somewhere should not proceed with her journey if she trips on something after leaving the house. Otherwise, something terrible will happen to her.
• If you sit on your bag while travelling, you will not reach your destination.
• A person who breaks mirrors faces seven years of bad luck.
• At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, eat twelve grapes which represent the twelve months of the year. This will ensure money and good luck throughout the year.
• Whistling at night invites evil spirits.
• Wearing a diamond ...

Solution provided by:
  • MPhil/PhD (IP), Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • MA, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Certificate, Geva Ulpan (via Universita Tel Aviv)
  • BA, University of the Philippines
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