“The Ethics of Belief” by William K. Clifford
Clifford’s main thesis in “The Ethics of belief” is it it always wrong to believe something without sufficient evidence. It means people cannot believe and trust anything with no evidence to prove if it’s wrong or right. And also no matter what evidence is, wrong belief is wrong event. Like you can’t believe God because there’s no such evidence to prove the God is really exists. No one actually see the God and talk to s/he, to prove that God is a person. So the belief and action are together, because when you really believe in something like you believe God then you actually would follow your belief and take action, this is how the Christian comes that they believe God is exists so their action is follow their belief.
Clifford uses The Ship example as a reason to support his main point. A shipowner was about to send to sea an emigrant-ship. He knew that she was old, and not well built at the first; that she had seen many seas and climes, and often had needed repairs. Doubts had been suggested to him that possibly she was not seaworthy. Before the ship sailed, he succeeded in overcoming these melancholy reflections. He believe that the ship is safe and seaworthy without sufficient evidence. The result is that everyone aboard his boat drowned. So it helps Clifford’s main point that the shipowner had not right to believe his ship is safe and seaworthy since his evidence didn’t support it. We consider the shipowner to be blameworthy that his action is follow his belief so that he didn’t even check and fix his ship. On the other hand, we assume that the result is everyone alive, it’s still wrong to believe that this ship is safe and seaworthy, the shipowner still have to take whole response for it. Because wrong belief is wrong event, no matter what evidence is, this ship didn’t shipwreck at this time but can’t make sure it won’t happen next time. It is always wrong to believe everywhere and for...
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