Knowledge and its True Value

The Value of Knowledge Acquired with Difficulty

The usefulness or value of information is determined, among other things, by its ability to deliver long-term power or solutions to issues. We treasure and value knowledge produced with difficulties because of the breadth of its practical application. There is a distinction between simple and effortful knowledge in epistemology. Basically, effortless knowledge is that which we are born with and which aids us in developing a theory of mind to relate to others. Effortful knowledge, on the other hand, is that which is gained via experience until it becomes knowledge; such knowledge is preceded by days, months, or years of research and investigation. Therefore, it is should be noted that although every bit of knowledge is important, knowledge acquired with difficulty is more valuable than simple knowledge. The real value of knowledge is often determined by its long lasting extensive application in solving problems by providing practical solutions.

The Difficulty of Gaining and Producing Knowledge

In this essay, the difficulty is about the efforts or method of gaining and producing knowledge. The steps involved for an individual to create new knowledge and its application; whether it is personal knowledge or the world’s knowledge. In areas of natural sciences and human sciences, most often, knowledge is acquired through observation and actual experiments of discovered concepts. As such, the value of such knowledge can only be attached to the person who discovered and made conclusions. To other people, such knowledge is a matter of memorizing and reproducing it in tests or presentations as required (Gertler 88). Since we can easily acquire most discoveries in literature and on the internet dilutes the value of such knowledge to the user; therefore, the value of knowledge can only be determined importance and relevance to the discoverer.

The Subjectivity of Value in Knowledge

Value has many interpretations since what an individual value is biased and subjective. As such, what is important to one person can be completely different or meaningless to someone else. For instance, taking history to a particular person can be a great experience depending on the importance of evolution, and other aspects taught in history. To another individual, learning about past events is of no significance to the present life, and therefore, there is no need to waste time in gaining such knowledge. The difficulty and value of knowledge are different from one person to another. The application and impact of knowledge also have different effects on different people (Martin, Alex, et al 649). As such, understanding the relevance of certain knowledge to an individual and the process through which such knowledge is acquired is important in determining the value of such knowledge to a person.

The Value of Produced Knowledge

Knowledge produced always indicates a strong correlation with the value attributed to it when associated with cognitive ability, success, and achievement. Moreover, its application in our lives further helps find the maximum value in our lives. Therefore, knowledge produced with difficulty is more respected and impressive, and most people hold such knowledge with a greater value. This aspect is relevant to practical research and academic context. For instance, if an individual understands certain mathematical models, this might seem a limited value in the abstract; however, when such knowledge is applied to epidemiological research, it becomes of immense value (Nuthall 320). Learning the mathematical formula might not be of much relevance since one has to differentiate between gaining knowledge and producing it. However, an accidental discovery of penicillin would be considered valuable knowledge and interesting to discuss. The fact that the knowledge of penicillin is truly useful is concerning its application despite being produced with ease.

The Importance of the Method in Knowledge Discovery

Additionally, the method used to discover knowledge is also a determinant of the value of such knowledge. As such, it can be and cannot be considered differently when produced through various ways of knowing, which include Reason, and Emotion. Emotion and reason play a great role in valuing certain knowledge, which applies to certain aspects of life or groups of people (Gibbons 230). For instance, a person can be emotionally attached to a particular task and will dedicate his time and energy in acquiring all knowledge related to that work. As such, the value of such knowledge to that person is through difficulty because, regardless of the efforts made, its emotional attachment is valuable.

Value of Knowledge from Effortful Processes

On the other hand, reason involves the process through which knowledge is created; the more complicated a process is translated to its value, especially to the people involved in it. For example, discovering the law of gravity by Newton is today seen as fundamental knowledge; as simple as observing an apple falling from a tree. However, the process by which the discovery was made was complicated and took a lot of time and energy for Newton. As such, the value of knowledge is determined by the difficulty of obtaining and producing such knowledge (Gertler 89). The usefulness is in addition to the impact of such knowledge in our lives; this is of greater significance in valuing knowledge for the users of such knowledge apart from the producer.

The Value of Knowledge in Religion and Faith

In the Bible, knowledge is acquired by reading and hearing the word of God. As a result, an individual develops Faith. However, faith is to believe in the unseen, that there are greater power and purpose in life. As such, gaining such knowledge is a complicated process as it involves understanding the deeper meaning of life and its purpose according to the Bible. It is not easy to produce such knowledge, especially to those who do not share the same perspective as Christians. Developing faith and being able to create such knowledge requires dedication and commitment to reading the Bible and observing the rules as stipulated by the creator. Also, such knowledge is as valuable as the meaning of religion to a person or society. For example, to Christians, if one is saved, they get an eternal life where they will live forever after their earthly life (McDaniel, Mark A., et al 646). As such, they strive to live in agreement with God’s will. On the other hand, to non-believers, such knowledge is irrelevant and has no much meaning.

The Debate on the Value of Knowledge

Critics argue that all knowledge is valuable regardless of the simple or effortful process involved in acquiring knowledge. According to them, knowledge is diverse areas and in our lives helps us cope and find solutions to various problems affecting us. As such, there is no direct relationship between the difficulty in producing knowledge and the value of such knowledge. Mostly, the difficult part is on the producer while the value of such knowledge concerns the beholder. It is, therefore, not possible to define the value of knowledge from a broad perspective (Gibbons 230). For instance, the fact that certain knowledge is essential on a specific timeframe does not render such knowledge less valuable when the task is done. On the other hand, one requires all forms of knowledge, both basic and advanced to lead a healthy and normal life. Therefore, its value depends on the need for such knowledge to an individual.

Differentiating Value based on the Difficulty of Acquiring Knowledge

In response to the critic's argument, there is a difference in the value of knowledge depending on the ease or difficulty involved in acquiring such knowledge. For instance, the basic understanding is only valuable when one is young and learning, for example, learning how to walk; however, such knowledge is not valuable later in life. On the other hand, scientific discoveries require months or years of research and experiments. A person puts a lot of effort and energy in discovering new knowledge; consequently, some professionals such as physicians and engineers undergo difficulty in acquiring knowledge. As such, their knowledge is valuable as it helps patients to get well and enables development through technology. As such, all knowledge is not valuable; it depends on the process through which it is acquired, its application in our life and its impacts in as far as enhancing different aspects of life is concerned (Nuthall 311). It is evident that some types of knowledge are valuable than others; it is important to recognize the value and difficulty depend on an individual.

The Value of Knowledge and its Impact on individuals and Society

In conclusion, knowledge is essential to the survival of humankind, whether basic or advanced. However, it is important to realize that we tend to value that which requires greater effort to accomplish. Although sometimes the value of knowledge is not always attached to the difficulty undergone, such as in the case of penicillin, in most cases it matters. Of great importance is the fact that obtaining knowledge requires learning, which later translates to experience; without knowledge and expertise, one cannot value anything. In our contemporary society, new and more complicated discoveries are more celebrated due to the difficult process involved. The same notion can be applied to everything about life; the cost and difficulty of finding something are more valued than something acquired or seen easily. Although the value of knowledge is subjective and biased, depending on personal preference, its application and impact on a person or to the world play a significant role in determining the value of such knowledge.

Work Cited

Gertler, Meric S. "Tacit knowledge and the economic geography of context, or the undefinable

tactness of being (there)." Journal of economic geography 3.1 (2003): 75-99.

Gibbons, Michael, et al. “The new production of knowledge”: The dynamics of science and

research in contemporary societies. Sage, (2004): 229-243.

Martin, Alex, et al. "Neural correlates of category-specific knowledge." Nature 379.6566 (2006):


McDaniel, Mark A., et al. "Encoding difficulty and memory: Toward a unifying theory." Journal

of Memory and Language 25.6 (2006): 645-656.

Nuthall, Graham. "The way students learn: Acquiring knowledge from an integrated science and

social studies unit." The elementary school journal 99.4 (1999): 303-341.

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