Weblog of a Christian philosophy student

Weblog of a Christian philosophy student. Please feel free to comment. All of my posts are public domain. Subscribe to posts [Atom]. Email me at countaltair [at] yahoo.com.au. I also run a Chinese to English translation business at www.willfanyi.com.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Monday, May 02, 2011

Can some beliefs be immoral to believe and what does that imply?

Are some beliefs immoral? Imagine someone who believes that certain people are sub-human. We would react to that person as having an immoral belief.

What about a dictator who believes that people who disagree with him are evildoers opposed to everything good, and that they are comparable to murderers who need to be put in prison?

So it seems that some beliefs can be immoral, and not just true/false.

If some beliefs are immoral, then this shows people have some control over what they believe. It indicates that people are not helplessly tossed here and there by their beliefs. Otherwise how can any belief be immoral? You can't criticise someone for something that they have no control over.

This does not show that people can choose to believe that the moon is made of green cheese, but I think it does show that there is something we can control about our beliefs.

Although it's possible that people can't choose to believe that the moon is made of green cheese because it goes against their self-interest completely. If someone decides that the moon is made of green cheese, then that person is choosing to let go of their sanity to some extent. It's a crazy belief. Maybe we can't choose to believe the moon is green cheese because of a strong desire not to get rid of our sanity?

It might be that we always have a desire for our beliefs to reflect reality and, although we can choose to a degree what we believe, we won't very willingly choose for our beliefs to be insane. So, because we want our beliefs to reflect reality, we won't exercise our power to believe the moon is cheese. But, in theory, we have quite a lot of power to affect what we believe, but this power is hidden, or protected, by our desire to be accurate in our beliefs.

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