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What are the advantages and disadvantages of believing something without first...

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granny54 | Student, College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted December 15, 2011 at 11:00 AM via web

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of believing something without first examining it?

Many philosophers insist that our most strongly held beliefs should be examined and critically evaluated. Many people believe certain things without giving those beliefs critical scrutiny. However, there are some beliefs worth defending.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 15, 2011 at 11:10 AM (Answer #1)

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The major disadvantage of this is that it leads to blind certainty and even to what might be called bigotry.  If we simply believe things without thinking about them, we are closing our minds.  We are rejecting the possibility of change or growth in terms of our ideas.

The major advantage of unexamined belief is that it can in some way humanize us.  If we only believe things for which we have proof, we lose some of the emotional side of us that makes us human.  For example, I cannot prove that such a thing as love exists.  But if I did not believe that love can exist, how would I be able to fall in love and how would I be able to love my children?  These things are part of human existence and cannot exist if we insist on objective proof for everything.

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