Critique of William Cliffords Ethics of Belief

Topics: Truth, Religion, Morality Pages: 2 (840 words) Published: February 15, 2011
In this paper, I will reveal how you can make yourself believe; along with this, I plan to illustrate the inherent dangers that lurk in building belief systems on an illegitimate foundation and why you are morally obligated to hold true belief systems.

What is a belief? It is a thought(s) that is truth to the mind. Beliefs may not always be true or legitimate, but the fact that the mind believes them forges them in to concrete building blocks. This creates a foundation on which actions come to fruition and morals come in to play. Once beliefs are held, they can be very difficult to break. However, believing something is a lot easier than unbelieving. I will show this throughout the course of this paper. It is important to note that before we begin to delve in to what beliefs are we must answer an important question on how beliefs are accumulated and carried out. What entitles us to believe? Could it be sincerity, justification or truth? The answer is only truth, concrete fact that has been arrived at through logic and reason alone, it is self-justifying in this sense. Beliefs have a moral obligation to be based on truth; this is because they contribute to the overall social fabric of society. What I mean by this is if you were to hold a false belief, there would be bad consequences and the eventual weakening of your critical powers to be able to assess unjustified belief systems. As you begin to accumulate false beliefs you become credulous, the danger in becoming credulous is that it weakens you ability to reason and may eventually lead towards the path of disaster for yourself and others who may share your beliefs or be affected by them. In the following example, it will become evident that there lies a moral obligation to the truth. Without it, a person creates the foundation for undesirable consequences. It is your friend’s birthday at a bar. You drove there to celebrate, after a night of heavy drinking everyone is making his or her way home. You...
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