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Article Title

The Ethics of Belief

Abstract

There is an ethics of thought, as well as of practice, and that ethics is the same outside religion as within it. We may not be able to control our beliefs directly, but we can control them indirectly. So we are accountable for the ways in which we form our beliefs. Some say that beliefs are private affairs, but our beliefs affect our actions, and our actions have consequences for others. Thus we are accountable for our beliefs. Religious traditions that promote unquestioning acceptance of belief without evidence are violating the ethics of belief. William James’ defense of belief without evidence is enticing, but ultimately unsuccessful.

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