Reason not to believe 1

January 7, 2005

Justin Thacker takes issue with my claim that in the absence of independent reasons to believe in something - independent of mere assertion - we are entitled to not believe it and asks what reasons can be advanced to accept my proposal (Letters, December 24/31).

I was referring to the acceptance of empirical claims about the world and not recommendations for standards of argument. Thacker can reject the idea of offering supporting reasons to buttress claims about the way the world is, but he thereby identifies himself as someone who can hold beliefs for no particular reason.

Perhaps recognising the potential pitfalls of this, he offers a reason for accepting Christianity: that other people continue to believe it. I refrain from comment on the confidence one should place in such an approach to knowledge.

Daniel Jones

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