Doomstead Diner Menu => Doom Psychology & Philosophy => Topic started by: azozeo on November 21, 2019, 03:00:19 PM

Title: Believing Without Evidence Is Always Morally Wrong
Post by: azozeo on November 21, 2019, 03:00:19 PM
When beliefs dictate actions, you owe it to yourself to demand proof.

You have probably never heard of William Kingdon Clifford. He is not in the pantheon of great philosophers – perhaps because his life was cut short at the age of 33 – but I cannot think of anyone whose ideas are more relevant for our interconnected, AI-driven, digital age. This might seem strange given that we are talking about a Victorian Briton whose most famous philosophical work is an essay nearly 150 years ago. However, reality has caught up with Clifford. His once seemingly exaggerated claim that ‘it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence’ is no longer hyperbole but a technical reality.

In ‘The Ethics of Belief’ (1877)