Philosophy homework help. Assignment 2
Papers must: • Defend a thesis and should proceed according to the following format: Thesis, Argument, Objection(s), Response(s), and Conclusion. • Include citations to the primary required class readings. These and any additional sources must be properly cited using MLA format. • Fall within the following length requirements: 1200-1500 words. Use a standard 10-12 pt. font and be double-spaced.
Clifford’s Ship Owner
In “The Ethics of Belief,” a nineteenth century philosopher, W.K. Clifford, tells a story about a ship owner who, instead of thoroughly inspecting his ship and readying it for voyage, convinces himself that the ship is in fine working order on the basis of wishful thinking rather than evidence. In order to save money on potential repairs, the ship-owner sincerely but conveniently believes that the ship will make the voyage without trouble. But when the ship goes down at sea, and the crew drowns, the ship owner will be culpable. He has no right to base his opinion on anything except thorough investigation.
Responsible Belief
Like Clifford’s ship owner, none of us have any right to believe anything except on the basis of thorough investigation and good evidence. We should not believe in God or miracles or angels on the basis that believing in such things makes us feel good. We have no such right. The only good reason to believe anything at all is on the basis of solid evidence. If we want to be able to rationally believe that God exists, or that miracles can occur, then we had better be able to produce a good argument to back up our claims. We cannot simply go around believing whatever we want. As the ship owner story shows, beliefs have real consequences, sometimes very serious consequences. Accordingly, we ought to form our beliefs with the utmost care.
Evidentialism and Religion
If Clifford is right about the view that beliefs need to be regulated by evidence, there are major implications for how we should approach the subject of religious belief and the relationship of faith to reason.
Evidentialist vs. Nonevidentialist Theism
Theists (i.e., people that believe in God) obviously aren’t going to agree with the conclusion of the evidentialist argument against belief in God. Acceptance of the evidentialist argument against belief in God as sound implies atheism, or at least agnosticism with respect to belief in God.
Theists, however, come in all kinds of various stripes and so not all theists would reject the evidentialist argument against belief in God for the same reason.
One important distinction is the distinction between evidentialist theism on the one hand and nonevidentialist theism on the other. Click the buttons to learn more about each theism.
An evidentialist theist is one who accepts the epistemological theory of evidentialism as it is maintained by people like Hume and Clifford, but rejects the second premise of the argument, and argues that there actually is good solid evidence for belief in God.
The nonevidentialist theist may or may not question the truth of the second premise of the evidentialist argument against belief in God, but he or she will clearly and emphatically reject the first premise of the argument. According to nonevidentialist theism, we don’t need evidence for belief in God. Rather, there are good nonevidential reasons to believe in God.

Philosophy homework help