Ethics of Belief

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Essay 1: The Ethics of Belief

Begin by reading Part I of Clifford's "The Ethics of Belief" by W.T Clifford. Write a 200-300 word essay that describes his attitude towards belief. Be sure to address the following issues:

Why does Clifford say what we believe is not merely a private matter, but a moral issue?

What is morally permissible for us to believe?

What implications does his view have for religious faith? Before answering this question, you may want to look at the last few lines of Part III that begin with "To sum up."

Use examples where appropriate in your discussion.

Essay 2: The Will to Believe.

The second essay, "The Will to Believe," contains William James' response to Clifford.

You are to write 200-300 words explaining James' response to Clifford's position. Be sure to include the following:

Explain James classification of hypotheses as alive or dead and the types of options used in deciding between alternative hypotheses.

Explain why James does

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Running head: THE ETHICS OF BELIEF1The Ethics of BeliefNameClassDateProfessorRunning head: THE ETHICS OF BELIEF2The Ethics of BeliefClifford found, beliefs are not ethical if they are not sound. It is wrong to believeanything if there is no sufficient evidence showing this belief is true. People should havesufficient evidence to support their beliefs. Clifford pronounces what people morally shouldntbelieve. He uses the example of the ship to show even if the ship had safely made the voyage, theship owner would still be morally wrong because his thinking was flawed. The wrongness of thebelief does not change because nothing bad happens.According to Clifford (1879), the action is either right or wrong regardless of theaccidental failure of its good or evil fruits. In order for an action to be proper, there must firstbe a conscientious inquiry. If the ship owner had investigated the sea worthiness of the ship andthe honesty of the ship builders and found the ship to be sound and the ship builders to be honest,then allowing the ship to make a safe voyage would not have been providence but the result ofa conscientious inquiry.Clifford is decidi
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