An analysis of the compatibility of faith and reason in w k cliffords and william jamess works

Grass seems green to me. The sky appears to me to be blue. Limiting yourself to propositions that are self-evident, evident to the senses or incorrigible, you can expand this list as exhaustively as you like.

An analysis of the compatibility of faith and reason in w k cliffords and william jamess works

It is not intended to be--and should not be used as--a source of modern, up-to-date information regarding atheistic issues. Clifford Originally published in Contemporary Review, Reprinted in Lectures and Essays He knew that she was old, and not overwell 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. These doubts preyed upon his mind, and made him unhappy; he thought that perhaps he ought to have her thoroughly overhauled and refitted, even though this should put him at great expense.

Before the ship sailed, however, he succeeded in overcoming these melancholy reflections.

He said to himself that she had gone safely through so many voyages and weathered so many storms that it was idle to suppose she would not come safely home from this trip also.

He would put his trust in Providence, which could hardly fail to protect all these unhappy families that were leaving their fatherland to seek for better times elsewhere.

He would dismiss from his mind all ungenerous suspicions about the honesty of builders and contractors. In such ways he acquired a sincere and comfortable conviction that his vessel was thoroughly safe and seaworthy; he watched her departure with a light heart, and benevolent wishes for the success of the exiles in their strange new home that was to be; and he got his insurance-money when she went down in mid-ocean and told no tales.

What shall we say of him? Surely this, that he was verily guilty of the death of those men. It is admitted that he did sincerely believe in the soundness of his ship; but the sincerity of his conviction can in no wise help him, because he had no right to believe on such evidence as was before him.

He had acquired his belief not by honestly earning it in patient investigation, but by stifling his doubts. And although in the end he may have felt so sure about it that he could not think otherwise, yet inasmuch as he had knowingly and willingly worked himself into that frame of mind, he must be held responsible for it.

Let us alter the case a little, and suppose that the ship was not unsound after all; that she made her voyage safely, and many others after it. Will that diminish the guilt of her owner?

When an action is once done, it is right or wrong for ever; no accidental failure of its good or evil fruits can possibly alter that.

An analysis of the compatibility of faith and reason in w k cliffords and william jamess works

The man would not have been innocent, he would only have been not found out. The question of right or wrong has to do with the origin of his belief, not the matter of it; not what it was, but how he got it; not whether it turned out to be true or false, but whether he had a right to believe on such evidence as was before him.

There was once an island in which some of the inhabitants professed a religion teaching neither the doctrine of original sin nor that of eternal punishment. A suspicion got abroad that the professors of this religion had made use of unfair means to get their doctrines taught to children.

They were accused of wresting the laws of their country in such a way as to remove children from the care of their natural and legal guardians; and even of stealing them away and keeping them concealed from their friends and relations.

A certain number of men formed themselves into a society for the purpose of agitating the public about this matter. They published grave accusations against individual citizens of the highest position and character, and did all in their power to injure these citizens in their exercise of their professions.

So great was the noise they made, that a Commission was appointed to investigate the facts; but after the Commission had carefully inquired into all the evidence that could be got, it appeared that the accused were innocent.Tags Blaise Pascal, Evidentialism vs Non-Evidentialism, Faith & Philosophy, Pascal's Wager, The Ethics of Belief, The Will to Believe, W.

K. Clifford, William James Comments Leave a comment Blog at The Ethics of Belief () William K. Clifford. Originally published in Contemporary Review, Reprinted in Lectures and Essays (). Presently in print in The Ethics of Belief and Other Essays (Prometheus Books, ).

Clifford and James on Religious Belief. I. William Clifford, “The Ethics of Belief” The Shipowner. doubts the safety of his ship. this makes him uncomfortable (the discomfort of doubt). W.K.

William K. Clifford

Clifford's essay is called The Ethics of Belief, and for good wants to convince us that forming our beliefs in the right way is a matter of real ethical importance. Thus, he begins with an example where the co nnection between belief. Non evidentialism, then, is not the opposite of evidentialism, but rather allows for more personal evidence to justify one’s belief.

Since our class is about faith and philosophy, these two arguments will be centered particularly in regards to religious faith and belief in the existence of God.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

William K. Clifford ‘The Ethics of Belief’ Contemporary Review () 1. ’It is wrong always, everywhere, for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient.

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