Summary Of Clifford's The Ethics Of Belief

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In Clifford’s “The Ethics of Belief,” Clifford argues the immorality of believing without sufficient evidence. In most situations, Clifford’s point of view would be practical; if we wish to be true seekers of the truth, it would be unethical to ever believe in something without sufficient evidence. This is a valid statement, but there are exceptions to this idea which are dependent on the situation. When it comes to the type of evidence presented, a belief can be justified or found to be wrong. Clifford sets two questions we are to ask ourselves when it comes to believing things that aren’t proven with physical evidence, rather shown by testimony. Generally, Clifford is right that believing without sufficient evidence is wrong, but there …show more content…
Suppose this friend tells me that people that are older than me only want to control the youth and I believe it; this belief would have a consequence upon others. Clifford would say that “No belief is real unless it guides our actions and those very actions supply a test of its truth” (9) Therefore, if I truly believe my friend and this statement, I might begin to mistreat individuals older than me. On the other hand, I might say that just because I believe this I don’t necessarily have to act out on my belief. I may keep my belief to myself, but Clifford would say that even though I am keeping this belief to myself I might still be unconsciously acting upon it mentally. It may cause distrust in an older individual or even cause me to distance myself from any interaction that will have me act upon my belief. As a result, this would be guiding my …show more content…
There have also been people who have had spiritual experiences as groups and felt that was valid as evidence as well. For instance, in a city in Mexico, a group of individuals have a church in which diamonds have been shown to fall during their worship time. The evidence that God was real to them was that he had answered their financial necessities by provided them with a sky raining diamonds. This is physical evidence of something spiritual, diamonds that rain from the sky isn’t something that can be accomplished every time we wanted to convince others of Gods existence. The miracle itself continues to occur to this group and only to this group, yet we can see how this occurs if we were to visit. This miracle occurred after they had been frequently praying for the necessities of their members. Clifford may try to disagree once again to such miracle and testimony, but this miracle has brought a physical element to something

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