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Believing by FaithAn Essay in the Epistemology and Ethics of Religious Belief$
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John Bishop

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199205547

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199205547.001.0001

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The ‘Justifiability’ of Faith‐beliefs: An Ultimately Moral Issue

The ‘Justifiability’ of Faith‐beliefs: An Ultimately Moral Issue

Chapter:
(p.26) 2 The ‘Justifiability’ of Faith‐beliefs: An Ultimately Moral Issue
Source:
Believing by Faith
Author(s):

John Bishop (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199205547.003.0002

This chapter argues that reflective believers' concern is ultimately not just for the epistemic, but for the moral justifiability of their taking faith-beliefs to be true. In response to the doxastic voluntarism this seems to imply, it is argued that control in relation to beliefs is exercised at two ‘loci’: indirect control over what we hold to be true, and direct control over what we take to be true in our practical reasoning. This latter is open to moral evaluation whenever the actions to which such reasoning can lead are morally significant. This condition is met in the case of theistic faith-beliefs, which pervasively influence how people live. We therefore need an ethics of belief, or better, of faith-commitment that specifies the conditions under which it is morally permissible to commit oneself practically to the truth of a theistic (or any other) faith-belief.

Keywords:   ethics of belief, control, doxastic voluntarism, epistemic justification, moral justifiability, practical reasoning

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