The second Secular Cafe is on the books for next Tuesday, May 13th. That’s a week from today. It will be held in the library starting at 7:00 PM. The topic is “The Ethics of Belief”.
It is often expected that beliefs will influence actions although sometimes we expect people to recognize that the actions associated with their beliefs might not be acceptable. In those cases, the belief might be set aside, but the believer might struggle for a time reconciling their action and the belief. At other times the belief might not require any action at the present and the believer might not need to face the question of whether the action and belief raise problems.
When push comes to shove, all beliefs probably entail a need to consider whether the actions required mean that the belief needs reconsideration or defense. What if there is no evidence to support your belief? Can you justify any action in that case? What if you choose to make no effort to gather credible evidence that your belief is true? Are you morally culpable for the harm that might arise from your failure to investigate?
The questions to consider are extensive and the problems are real if unsupported beliefs go unchallenged or unsupported. This discussion could make for a lively debate. I’m hopeful that Nathan Bergsted’s efforts will help bring some from the believing community into the conversation.