The Morally Permissible Leap of Faith

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dc.contributor.advisor Bishop, J en Woodhouse, Frederick en 2012-08-31T03:26:41Z en 2012 en
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dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this thesis is to defend the doctrine of fideism. It is accepted that religious faith-commitments are frequently ventured without sufficient evidence, and that such commitments require moral as well as epistemic justification. This thesis focuses in particular on the moral justification for religious faith-commitments. The thesis builds on the work of John Bishop, whose defence of supra-evidential fideism is inspired by the famous Will to Believe doctrine, articulated by William James. Bishop holds that as it stands, James's thesis is too permissive, and that a moral clause needs to be introduced which would restrict potential faith-commitments. The second chapter of this thesis will attempt to sketch out a comprehensive ethical theory to augment the James-inspired fideist thesis advanced by Bishop. The ethical theory I outline is based on James's own ethical theory, which I argue is heavily influenced by Humean ethics and should be counted as a moral sense theory. I also demonstrate the similarity between James's moral sense theory and various positions within contemporary cognitive psychology, particularly to those that posit the existence of a moral faculty. I also consider a number of contemporary objections to moral innatism. Once the meta-ethical issue has been settled, I outline how James's moral theory can function normatively, and show that it can appropriately restrict religious faith-ventures. In particular, it rules out strongly exclusivist and dogmatic faith ventures in addition to those faith ventures that breach correct morality. In the final chapter I consider possible arguments that would secure fideism as a preferable alternative to hard-line evidentialism, and conclude that we may have moral reasons for thinking that fideism is the superior thesis. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
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dc.title The Morally Permissible Leap of Faith en
dc.type Thesis en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 360696 en Arts en Humanities en Philosophy en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2012-08-31 en
dc.identifier.wikidata Q112892075

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