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Articles

Irrefutable Ethics

Richard Taylor on the intractable beliefs people hold about how we should behave.

Given the certitude with which people proclaim a certain class of beliefs one would think that these must rest upon incontestable fact and evidence. In truth, they rest upon no evidence at all and are usually incompatible with fact. I shall call such beliefs ‘intractables.’

The clearest examples are religious beliefs, which, the more far-fetched they are, the more tenaciously they are held. Indeed, it is worse than this, for the very evidence that would seem to discredit them is thought instead to authenticate them.