“…the idea that you can believe whatever you want to is irresponsible and undesirable,” says Daniel DeNicola, professor and chair of philosophy at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.
It might be difficult for juveniles, and for adults who have exercised their intellect less often than what is needed to develop an understanding of ourself, to appreciate this rider to the Right To Freedom Of Belief enshrined in most constitutions of democratic nations today. If we were to recall some of the related judgements pronounced in superior courts of law, and the attitudes esteemed lawyers take while arguing the legalese around this ‘fundamental’ right, you will know how little responsibility is factored in their deliberations.
“What we do have is a right to know,” says DeNicola. “For example, you can certainly demand to know what the taxes on petrol and diesel are. That’s why there is a right to information. But knowing is not the same as believing. Everybody learns in school that Earth is round and revolves around the Sun, but there are many who choose not to believe it for religious or other reasons. Just as we know that all people, whether white or black or brown, are equally human, but some refuse to believe it.”
“Even the idea that your beliefs are your own is flawed, for beliefs are often handed down families, or acquired from the influence of peers or persons in authority. For instance, the belief that spending long hours in office increases productivity. While you can’t help being born into a flat-earther family and learning that Earth is flat, the problem arises when you persist with this belief even after getting a masters in planetary science.
“It is rather the sustaining of such beliefs, the refusal to disbelieve or discard them that can be voluntary and ethically wrong.”
“When our beliefs are challenged, it is easy to snap: “who are you to tell me what to believe?” But this common retort has a big problem — it implies that “somebody” does have the authority to tell you what to believe. It’s not the person trying to argue you out of your position, but somebody else, maybe a parent, priest or the head of a political party. Maybe Osama bin Laden. (Or, Adolf Hitler.)
“It also means that your belief is not answerable to reason.”
If it has provoked your thought, read more @ the link herebelow : https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/#