Thursday, August 15, 2019
Ethics of Belief – Clifford
Clifford focuses on three main points throughout the Ethics of Belief article. He believes that in order to have a sense of belief one must inquire on the belief, question authority, and the limit the usage of inference. He believes that without these three factors it is difficult to come to a consensus on what are the right and wrong principles of belief. At the beginning of the article Clifford focuses on the duty of inquiry. In order to set the background, Clifford introduces a story about a man who sent a ship out into the sea knowing it was not seaworthy.The ships condition inevitably led to its sinking, and the death of the people aboard. Now, Clifford claims that the man is guilty of the death of these people because, Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ ¦ he had no right to believe such evidence was before himÃ¢â¬ (pg 236). This is true for a number of reasons. Paraphrasing what Clifford mentioned, mans belief is never a private matter, and every insignificant moment counts. Clifford states, Ã¢â¬ Å"Ã¢â¬ ¦it is not the belief which is judged to be wrong, but the action following upon itÃ¢â¬ (pg 237).If the man had taken use of his time and taken the extra initiative to double check if the ship was in sea-worthy condition, he could have not been in a guilty position. Skipping this action effected lives of many. Clifford's argues that when one has a belief it does not matter whether the belief is true or false, but rather if it is followed through upon fair grounds. When speaking of the duty of inquiry, it is very important to inquire on the belief and obtain evidence as to create a fair inquiry.Second the weight of authority plays a role in the ethic of belief. One argument throughout the article is supporting the reason why should we believe something that goes beyond our own experience or even beyond the understanding of mankind. People tend to believe men with power and authority, but there may not be a justifiable reason to believe that they are not deluded themselves. Unless a belief created by authority is within their area of knowledge, how can we be justified in believing them.This question has helped people ask more questions, to examine, and to investigate beliefs and to determine what a belief should be based on before it should be believed to be true. The last point he made was on the limits of inference. The basis of this argument is that it is wrong to believe without sufficient evidence and that ultimately no evidence can be justified if it is beyond our knowledge and the uniformity of nature. I believe there is no flaw in Clifford's article.He believes that in order to have a valid belief it must have the principles of inquiry, limitations on authority, and the need for more evidence. Without inquiring more into the evidence, it can lead to false belief which can only cause trouble. I agree with Clifford's view of gaining knowledge through inquiry, examining and investigating the perspective of authority because there is no reason to b elieve that they themselves are in a position to know right from wrong, that their authority and command on belief is one to be trusted.Lastly I agree with his ideas on the limits of inference. A belief may be something that is beyond our experience and we might never understand this experience unless we have experienced it. Anyone can infer, but without evidence they can't justify a belief especially if it outside what is known to them. Every moment in life is precious it is very important that we take advantage of each moment. Clifford's views resonate with me because he cherishes the power of knowledge. It is crucial to constantly question, examine and investigate all beliefs and assumptions.Another important idea to note is that just because someone has a belief doesn't mean it has any grounds of truth. No amount of authority is grounds to believe any idea. Lastly it is important to always find evidence to support beliefs and never make unjustifiable assumptions as seen in that ship example. Belief gives humans a sense of power and allows them to gain a better understanding of life. Though it is important to recognize that this power can also easily be abused if not properly analyzed.