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Notes from Free Will Defense and Reading - Ethics of Belief

by: Sydney Dowd

Notes from Free Will Defense and Reading - Ethics of Belief Phil 2010 016

Marketplace > Georgia State University > Phil 2010 016 > Notes from Free Will Defense and Reading Ethics of Belief
Sydney Dowd
GPA 4.0
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About this Document

These notes are from last week's class and from tomorrow's reading, for your reference and use.
Introduction to Philosophy
Aaron Cochran
Class Notes
Clifford, Ethics of Belief, philosophy, Free will defense




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sydney Dowd on Monday March 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Phil 2010 016 at Georgia State University taught by Aaron Cochran in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 60 views.


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Date Created: 03/07/16
Reading notes – Clifford, The Ethics of Belief (March 8) “When an action is once done, it is right or wrong for ever; no accidental failure of its good or  evil fruits can possibly alter that.”   Question of right or wrong  origin of belief  Man always has chance to act on what evidence suggests.   No person with beliefs can be unbiased ­ “No man holding a strong belief on one side of a question, or even wishing to hold a  belief on one side, can investigate it with such fairness and completeness as if he  were really in doubt and unbiased.”   If beliefs are not stored immediately after experience, they are used for future guidance.  ­ “An awful privilege or an awful responsibility, that we should help to create the world  in which posterity will live.”   Belief is violated when… ­ Given to unproved and unquestioned statements ­ Used for solace/private pleasure  “No simplicity of mind, no obscurity or station, can escape the universal duty of questioning all  that we believe.”   Sense of power + sense of knowledge = desirous of belief, afraid to doubt   Sense of power gained by tested beliefs = highest  Everyone suffers from false beliefs and from supporting them – they lead to false actions ­ danger of unworthy belief = loss of habit of testing/inquiring into things  “It is wrong, always, everywhere and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”  If a man says he does not have time to research or look into proof behind his beliefs then he does not have time to believe   Scientific beliefs/facts do not need investigation or “acts of faith” to believe   We have a duty to accept past struggle of others and accept the truths they have come to  prove  How we may add to our beliefs using experiences: 1. Processes behind the act (e.g. gravity when considering why an apple falls) must be  understood by having a reasonable backing  ­ Scientific inferences = somewhat certain 2. We assume men would not historically account with ulterior motives ­ Historical inference = uncertain   If any case is uncertain  investigate   No evidence can justify belief in things contrary/outside uniformity of nature   We can believe someone if there is proof he knows what he’s talking about, and is  speaking the truth as far as he knows “It is wrong in all cases to believe on insufficient evidence and where it is presumption to  doubt and investigate, there it is worse than presumption to believe.”


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