How Far Can We Speak with Certainty About Anything in the Past?

Topics: History, September 11 attacks, World Trade Center Pages: 2 (464 words) Published: May 21, 2012
How far can we speak with certainty about anything in the past?

Although history is an ongoing study of the past, it is a study that can only be interpreted through records of the past, whether they be documented or passed on aurally. These records may not always be reliable or trustworthy, as the story could differ from source to source and is often incomplete. However, many historical facts can be supported by evidence, and that’s where historians play their part. We can generally feel secure in the knowledge that historical facts that are supported by sufficient evidence are true. History, although it often depends on the situation, does not always tell the full story. This opens records up to potential bias, false interpretations, different perspectives and exclusions. These factors can heavily influence the accountability of the given knowledge of history. In the case of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, it can be speculated as to where the gunman actually fired the shot from. History claims that he was shot from behind, up from a nearby building; however, many believe that he was shot from the front/side. This has many known factors that make this a likely possibility, such as the projected path of the bullet, which would have had to go through the man who was in front of Kennedy’s right arm, yet ended up in his left hand. This leads people to question how accurate history is, even if the overall picture remains the same. Countless occurrences in history are known to have definitely happened, proving that history is still generally reliable. This can include, through sense perception and reason, personal experiences, proof and known fact. History can include anything that has past, whether it is a day back, a year, or several millennia. This shows especially that recent history is almost always reliable, depending on the source. For example, there can be no debate over whether the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks on the world trade centre,...
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