Morality vs. Obedience

Topics: Truth, Critical thinking, Epistemology Pages: 2 (658 words) Published: March 31, 2013
“If you can’t give a good reason for believing what you believe, then it’s not your belief;
it’s someone else’s.”

Morality vs. Obedience

How would someone tease apart this blanket statement and how would they compare it to morality and obedience in less than three pages? Well, this is how I would.
First, I’d start by making clear that belief is different from knowledge. Knowledge can be defined as “a clear perception of a truth or fact, erudition; skill from practice.” A belief can be defined as "an assent to anything proposed or declared, and its acceptance as fact by reason of the authority from whence it proceeds, apart from personal knowledge; faith.” So, to be clear, knowledge is dropping a ball and knowing that it will fall to the ground because of prior experience and the perception that the existence of gravity is a fact. Belief would be dropping the ball and believing it will float because your older brother told you it would.

Next, I would establish that this statement is not staking claim on any measure of truth as it relates to beliefs or knowledge. Beliefs and knowledge are both dynamic concepts on all organizational levels of the human experience, from the individual to the global. Lets take for example the statement, “The Earth is flat.” Five hundred years ago, this statement was knowledge. Today, it’s knowledge that this statement is false. Knowledge changes based on the information and evidence available to us at any point in time. This is also true of beliefs but in a different way. When most of us were young, we believed in the Tooth Fairy. Why? Because someone told us she was real. However, this belief changed as we began to mature and rely more upon our own abilities to discern truth from fiction.

Thus, we have established that both knowledge and belief are subjective but for different reasons. Belief requires no evidence, while knowledge requires evidence and/or experience. I would now like to make a comparative argument...
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