When one believe on insufficient evidence it leads to more questions being asked than answered [Re]. The whole purpose to holding belief was for it to be justifiable [Ep]. As quoted from Clifford "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe in anything on insufficient evidence". [S] Why believe with insufficient evidence when it will leave an area open for debate [Ec]. Most times when one argue about their beliefs they are trying to persuade their audience to view the situation as they do [Em/Ep] and if one don"t state enough information they fail to sway their audience to their point of view [Re]. For example if I say someone is guilty of a wrong doing, then I have to prove that they are guilty with evidence that leaves nothing to question [S]. So leaving unanswered questions allow the audience to see the person as, lacking on information pertaining to their belief they hold [Re].
Believing without sufficient evidence is vital because there is no possible way for every single instance that occurs to be proven by any evidence .[Re]Although Clifford does say that " it is wrong always, everywhere , and for everyone , to believe anything upon insufficient evidence", it is also said by James that what we believe is not just settled by pure reason.[S] James says " For many of our beliefs , the evidence plays only a small part in determining what I believe".[S] It is difficult to identify valid proof or evidence for our beliefs especially since we can not clearly identify what causes us to have those beliefs in the first place. [Ri]Also Clifford fails to state what suffices as sufficient or insufficient evidence , so on what scale are we basing the evidence on and how can we identify whether or not the evidence is enough proof for a particular situation, not being able to do so makes it easier to just believe without evidence"[Re]
Some may say Clifford theory on Ethics shows that one shouldn"t believe anything without evidence, which is not the case. What the philosopher is trying to say is don"t hold certain beliefs without a justifiable reason. Holding strong beliefs is dangerous because it allows one to lose their individuality [Ec]. By not inquiring more evidence results in one being confirm to the belief of society (the norm) [S/Ri], which is dangerous to the person and society as well [Re]. For example if everyone believe its right to kill for wrong doing, then everyone will be dead [S]. Forming one"s own belief allows them to justification for their own beliefs and others [Ep] due to how they formulate their own evidence, which could be corroborated with others [S].
Most individuals that hold beliefs on insufficient evidence tend to been influence by their culture or parental/guardian, which is also dangerous [S]. Their belief are not voluntary thus making the person gullible [Re]. Throughout ones life we are influence on everything someone in a higher authority state to us [Ec] due to how we are not in position to inquire. For example I grew up believing in a man known as Santa or when I believe if I lie my nose will grow longer [S]. There are no support for holding these beliefs therefore one is somewhat consider to be in darkness [Ri]. According to Plato the person that escape outside of the cave finds the truth but when one stay, they fail to come to term that they have no control over the formation of their beliefs [S]. Therefore, is your loss if you don"t inquire [Ri] . To quote Richard Dawkins "Science offers us an explanation of how complexity arose out of simplicity", therefore if one still don"t believe they are living with self-deception [q]. Allen Wood stated that we "have the moral responsibility to form the right belief"[S] thus we need evidence or we deceiving ourselves, which result in us being blinded to the truth [Re].
James counters Clifford argument by establishing a difference between live and dead hypothesis. (MP) He explains through the dollar example that just because one may want their dollar bill to turn into a hundred dollars that does"t mean that it will become a hundred dollars. (S) In the example that the opponent mentioned "if everyone believe its right to kill for wrong doing, then everyone will be dead" that does"t mean that it can be will. There are several beliefs that can"t be realized.[S] James also explains that our psychology is limited and we can"t confirm all our beliefs because that can take lifetimes and we won"t be able to have any significant beliefs if we spend all of our lives trying to figure it them out. [RE]
Opponent mentioned that it would take a lifetime to figure out a belief, we disagree. Another argument that can come forward to the reason why you shouldn"t believe on insufficient evidence is that one tends to still look for answers to try and justify it [Ec]. Clifford stated "if a belief is not realized immediately in open deeds, it is stored up for the guidance of the future", therefore we are still searching for answers to hold our beliefs [Ri]. For example if a man never rock never rock climb before, he still search for stories in himself that was told about first time climbers, or he make up a story that justify the reason why he can do, since he have never done it before [S]. So if one needs to look for evidence to still try and hold that belief then it serves no purpose for holding it [I].
Belief leads to actions [Re], therefore one needs to hold beliefs that are morally right [Ri]. Morally right beliefs are beliefs that have sufficient or evidence that prove beyond unreasonable doubt to support it [S]. Just like officers look for evidence to solve or justify a crime [i] one should do the same. It"s like the story Clifford speaks about with the shipowner, "he still has a choice in the action"". And so cannot escape the duty of investigating on the grounds of the strength of his convictions". All actions have consequences [Ri] thus one should have evidence that society would find justifiable reasons for performing the act [S]. Because if the shipowner"s ship was to sink one will say "he had no right to believe on such evidence as was before him" [Re] because there is a "conceptual link between holding a belief and responding to evidence regarding it". One can argue that we are all guilty of this by something happening in the past and believing it will happen again but that not a correct belief due to how conditions of the situation changes [S]. Just like Wood and Clifford state "we should always "proportion our belief to the evidence" just like court on how they make convictions [q]. Justice is blind until evidence sways the balance of the scale [i].
I disagree with the opponent when saying that it does not take a lifetime to figure out and justify beliefs. [MP]As human beings our beliefs are constantly changing and morphing based on our experiences. According to James there are two options when wondering whether or not to believe in things. [S]Experiences in which we are forced to believe certain things at the exact moment which are momentous moments that are without sufficient evidence or things that we just have to believe because there is no other choice than to do so which are called trivial or avoidable moments. In the example of the rock climbing ,[S] James would say that you do not need sufficient evidence to be successful at rock climbing. All you could need would be the belief that you re capable of being successful . [RI]That has shown to be of true value in many situations. Although proof of this beforehand is not necessary to be able to accomplish the task and be successful. [RI] James says that " we are all absolutist by instinct an only by reflection can we achieve empiricist moderation". [RE]By saying this it is to say that by nature we are always believing things without sufficient evidence. When we begin to reflect and delve further into our beliefs Is when we begin to question them . [I]
In the example of the rock climbing, as my opponent mentioned, one could argue that someone believed they are capable of succeeding at rock climbing without prior experience ,they"re wrong [Ri]. They"re wrong because they are still searching for evidence, whether it could based on their prior experiences with other similar situations or others situations they"ve heard [re]. When one holds a belief without a sufficient evidence , they"re searching for evidence throughout their life to justify those beliefs they hold or once held [em]. Like Woods stated, " Maybe beliefs themselves are not (or aren"t often) directly voluntary, but the ways we form and maintain them- by looking for evidence or not looking for it, considering it or not considering it, letting ourselves be swayed by irrational factors or resisting their influence- are often up to us" [s]. Believing without evidence could lead to self- deception due to how one could become ignorant to others idea and thoughts [ri]. They become close minded and don"t have other life perceptions but their own [q]. How could you succeed in life with that state of mind? [ri] I will rest my case by saying that if one is too busy to inquire for more evidence then one have no right to uphold a belief [I].
To counter my opponent, James explains that sometimes you are not able to wait for sufficient evidence to be provided.[re] In the example used one is not able to wait for sufficient evidence in order to find out if he would survive or not. [s] One example of how you don"t have time to wait for sufficient evidence is wen individuals" work together together. [s]If one were to wait for evidence to find out if the potential business client is genuine then the world would come to a standstill to confirm such belief. [i]
Reasons for voting decision: Con is correct in arguing that there is no possible way for every last little thing can be explained with sufficient evidence, and con couldnt really overcome that argument in my opinion. Argument points go to the con, everything else a tie
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.