Do Good Questions Have to Be True? Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1518 Words
Date:  2022-11-20

An explanation is a statement or account that sheds light on some event to make it easy and clear to understand. An explanation might be considered as either realistic or unrealistic. A realist explanation is the literal description of external reality. Unrealistic explanation, on the other hand, does not necessarily exist in any literal sense but is somewhat useful for organizing human experience. Whenever any kind of justification of a question is given, we always ask ourselves if it is true or false, depending on our interpretation or understanding. If we consider the concept of an explanation, we compare the clarifications from different perspectives of knowledge such as science, religion or even history.

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Until today, there is a confusion of the distinction between the literal truth of a theory and the power to explain observable phenomena. Some may argue that any explanation which has been rationalized is accepted. Human nature always applies an attitude known as acceptance towards any explanations, when we believe a specific aspect of explanation to be correct. Stephen Hawking, argues that ''we always want to make sense of what is around us. Hence believe in any observational evidence given to us, as we tend to create our world pictures in it.'' That is the human nature (International Baccalaureate 2).

An accurate explanation tries to find answers to questions without contradicting the already known facts. It is considered as one which helps someone understand, but it may not be true. On the contrary, a bad explanation is one which may be true but does not help one understand. A poor clarification might even be confusing. A theory that is both true and explanatory gives people insight into the structure of the world. Saying that theories that refer to unobservable entities explain phenomena, which may not be true, is one of the ways of distinguishing between truth and explanation. The other way is saying that these specific theories are accurate and do not explain the phenomena.

Some people think that we should only stick to facts. Some of them who are termed as ''activists'' think that all explanations require facts or factual evidence. ''Notion-activists'' on the other hand, think that explanations do not require truth. The ''notion-activists'' believe that an explanation mostly needs understanding. Giving my example in terms of religion, Christians believe that some people experience hardships such as poverty or sickness so that God can manifest Himself in them. Hindus believe that people experience hardships because of their evil past and it is a form of punishment. Both of these is true and false, depending on our own understanding and how this phenomenon was disclosed to us. The Christians' belief is based on explanations while the Hindus' is based on facts.

A good explanation is considered to be ambiguous between plausible and true explanation. It might not necessarily be a correct clarification. An example of a plausible explanation might be this. I might be walking along a footpath and spot a note dropped on the ground. There is someone who is walking too along the same path but in front of me. There are other people ahead of us. A plausible explanation, given the evidence that I was the one who spotted the note, is that the person who is right in front of me is the one who has dropped the cash. This however may be false. It may be that the person right in front of me did not even see the note while walking. What actually might have happened is that the money was dropped by someone who passed through there a few minutes ago and no one noticed it. That might be the accurate information.

It is always considered meaningful to evaluate the sources and information one uses for references before explaining. If the sources are not credible, neither is one's explanation or opinion based on those sources is credible. In my opinion, good justifications do not necessarily have to be true. One may be giving a clarification based on their thinking. Whether what they say is true or false, it can only be proven by facts (International Baccalaureate 3). Despite that, as long as the explanation given is good, it does not have to be true. Bloggers are a perfect example in such a case. They have written stories of things that have not been proven and they do that by giving clarifications of their understanding. Intellectuals may argue the same way. A person who is a thinker tends to have many ideas and opinions which they may use while giving explanations about things. That being their own opinion, it does not necessarily have to be factual. A bad clarification is the one which may be questioned.

That is evident as it may give contradicting ideas or statements to the person being explained to. In such instances, the understanding of the person being justified to is what will determine if the justification is somewhat true or false. According to this, a good explanation may end up being considered factual, depending on how well one has expressed themselves.

However, we often cannot tell if we do have the ultimate explanation for anything. Therefore we cannot say that an clarification is worthy. Assumptions are always made to be associated with the phenomena which have no viable explanation. Some people believe that ghosts do not exist in real life while some do not. While most think that they are just hallucinations, others have tried to suggest that ghosts are associated with the low-frequency sounds associated with human beings. Most clarifications are often based on concepts. If two explanations are given regarding the same issue, only one of them is regarded as being better than the other. The one with the lowest complexity is often the one preferred.

It is very important for one to understand the question ''how'' or ''why'' before giving any explanation. Good explanations usually require some form of context from the asked questions like using an example to give a better understanding. Also in offering a favorable justification one needs to use the easiest language possible. The amount of details stated in an explanation also determines how good the information is. It explains the depth and comfortability of the person explaining. On the other hand, a poor clarification is contrary to that. A bad explanation does not clear any doubts and ends up confusing the audience. It contains unwanted explanations and mixed up entities often expressed without a systematic sequence. This explanation is considered false.

The truthfulness of an explanation does not need to be factual. Sometimes people ask for explanations of things that have never been proven by anyone, and no one knows about their phenomena. A good example in science is why we yawn. Scientists have tried to come up with reasons to explain that but it is still a mystery. Various people argue that we yawn to cool the brain while others suggested that yawning is brought by either hunger or sleep. The way people argue about that specific phenomena is what determines how truthful their explanations are, depending on how their ideas and thoughts have been expressed. When we view past justifications about theories, most of them have never been proven to be either true or false. The good explanations about their existence are what made us believe that they were true.

It is therefore evident to say that good explanations do not have to be true. We all have a different understanding of things and how we understand and interpret those things is what may make us either verify or refute. Often some of these good explanations are the ones that end up being considered later as justifications of things and people always believe in them. Most students always pass exam due to their commendable explanations. Teachers at times give points on how well a question has been explained, and it does not necessarily mean that the teacher has to follow a marking scheme to the latter. Good explanations always prove that a person is a critical thinker.


In conclusion, in my opinion, and through the evidence, I can agree that well explained detailed explanations can be considered verifiable without giving any factual evidence. Worthy explanations can be considered false only if there is circumstantial or factual evidence of the question being discussed. The audience too can be able to tell if good explanation is accurate. That is a topic that has over the years created a debate and up to date, it is still a matter of discussion. No accurate conclusion has been made to determine whether nice clarifications have to be correct. More views and opinions of different people need to be presented on the table to come up with a concrete answer. It would not harm either if some good explanations were to be considered true. That will shed more light on the questions that do not have factual answers and encourage more people to be expressive in their thoughts and ideas.


International Baccalaureate. "Theory of Knowledge." 9 January 2019. International Baccalaureate Organization. 23 January 2019.

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