Ethics of belief clifford essay

One argument for the claim that knowledge is the norm of belief seeks to infer that result from the claim that knowledge is the aim of belief.

The ethics of belief clifford summary

Although initially the group wanted to exclude opponents of Christianity from discussions, they soon became convinced that inviting opponents of Christianity into the Society would guarantee lively discussions of the evidences for Christian belief Metcalf The epistemic norm to gather as much evidence as possible may conflict with the prudential norm to believe in such a way as to save time and effort example: the fastidious boss who never hires anyone until he has investigated a candidate's entire past, called every reference, and confirmed every qualification. Of course, whether or not one takes an umbrella along in the morning is not a forced option: one could stay home; it is more trivial than momentous. Do you rely on the priest in the pulpit to determine the historical basis of Christianity, or a historian trained in the examination of ancient texts and alive to questions of authorship, authenticity, dating, etc? According to the interpretation of Clifford presented above, there is a strong connection between the epistemic and the moral types: the fact that there is an epistemic norm to believe always and only on sufficient evidence entails that there is an analogous moral norm. If evidence is not merely in the head, so to speak, then the possession condition in Evidentialist norms may turn out to be quite complex. For arguments that extra-mental facts in the world often constitute evidence, see McDowell and Ginsborg ; for further discussion see Williamson and Dancy , ch. In order to see how such requirements can play a role, consider the following prudential doxastic norm: A If S has end E, and if S's believing that p is likely to make E obtain, then S has a prima facie prudential obligation to believe that p. Clifford tells a story of a ship captain a story that has sparked many arguments across the world and made people question their beliefs. Clifford fought many battles that are still with us today, and his armoury remains a powerful resource in the defence of a rational humanism. And if we empirically find that adhering to epistemic norms also promotes the moral good, then there will be an argument from the moral to the epistemic. For example: in the case of peer disagreement, knowing that a peer disagrees with you is a piece of higher-order evidence regarding your first-order belief. He does not, of course, advocate ignoring or denying real evidence. It is quite another to say that no belief can count as properly formed unless it also counts as knowledge for more on all this, see Benton, Other Internet Resources 3. Also controversial — and proving an ongoing struggle for secular humanists today — was his opposition to those who thought that a spread of disbelief would lead to moral decline.

Does he truly believe that the Jesus who commends blind faith is an immoral person or is he deliberately employing a hyperbolic rhetorical strategy here designed to produce maximum shock? Do you rely on the priest in the pulpit to determine the historical basis of Christianity, or a historian trained in the examination of ancient texts and alive to questions of authorship, authenticity, dating, etc?

The ethics of belief clifford citation

Either way, the recommendation here aims at a kind of prudential or pragmatic value, and not at the truth per se. Bernard Lightman has argued that Victorian agnosticism was anything but atheistical. Clifford and Locke, as we have seen, claim that the issue of whether we have done our doxastic best is an epistemic one and also given a few further premises a moral one. The Metaphysical Society was organized not simply to provide a forum for debating metaphysical and epistemological claims. The Holy Bible. In the context of a search for certain knowledge scientia , Descartes maintains, we have the obligation to withhold assent from all propositions whose truth we do not clearly and distinctly perceive clear and distinct perceptions themselves, by contrast, will produce belief ineluctably. Wace, Henry. He uses two stories to illustrate wrong ways through which people arrive at beliefs. Today geometry, tomorrow the Gospels — why should either be exempt from conscientious inquiry? In English law, a crime is committed when actus reus and mens rea together make a person guilty: there must be blameworthiness in both action and mind. Finally, some ethicists of belief seek to argue that there are some obligations on direct belief-formation while also absorbing the putative empirical datum that much of it is not under the control of the will see Feldman and Conee , Feldman , Adler , Hieronymi and Richard J. If this is right, then the case would not be in tension with Clifford's Principle after all. Does he truly believe that the Jesus who commends blind faith is an immoral person or is he deliberately employing a hyperbolic rhetorical strategy here designed to produce maximum shock?

Everyone lives by a different code. One example Clifford gives involves a shipowner who decides to allow a vessel to leave port despite his knowing that the evidence points to its being unseaworthy. In this respect, Clifford anticipates the more complex view of the social nature of human identity that was outlined in by J.

Primitivists think of beliefs as basic mental states which do not admit of analysis.

the ethics of belief clifford pdf

In the context of a search for certain knowledge scientiaDescartes maintains, we have the obligation to withhold assent from all propositions whose truth we do not clearly and distinctly perceive clear and distinct perceptions themselves, by contrast, will produce belief ineluctably.

As difficult as it is to defend strict or thoroughgoing Evidentialism, it is even harder to defend the view that Evidentialism is inappropriate in every domain. With respect to most if not all of the propositions we consider as candidates for belief, says Clifford, we are obliged to go out and gather evidence, remain open to new evidence, and consider the evidence offered by others.

Others, like William James, would offer a philosophical justification for religious faith, and would argue against evidence and reason behind beliefs. In this essay.

wk clifford

Richard J. Secondly, some decisions are forced or avoidable, and thirdly some are momentous or trivial.

Rated 6/10 based on 108 review
Download
Daniel Bivona, “On W. K. Clifford and ‘The Ethics of Belief,’ 11 April ”