Anti-Vaxxers, Conspiracy Theories, & Epistemic Responsibility: Crash Course Philosophy #14

Posted By on August 22, 2019

Crash Course Philosophy is brought to you
by Squarespace. Squarespace: share your passion with the world. For generations, just about everybody in the
United States got vaccinations. And I’m sure there will be no conversation
about this in the comments. And as a result, diseases like measles were
all but eradicated. But in 1998, a study published in a scientific
journal linked vaccines with autism. Even though that study was later discredited,
ever since then, a small but vocal subset of parents have refused
to vaccinate their kids. Now, measles are back, as is whooping cough, mumps, and other diseases that were nearly wiped out. Children’s lives are being endangered because
some parents are acting on beliefs that have no scientific evidence to support them. So, why am I talking about this on Crash Course
Philosophy? Normally, when we talk about responsibility,
we’re talking about things that you do. But in philosophy, we sometimes face other
obligations. Some philosophers have argued that we all
have epistemic responsibility – that is, responsibility we have regarding
our beliefs. Epistemic responsibility is an especially
interesting area of philosophy because it’s where many of its sub-disciplines
overlap – where epistemology brushes up against philosophy
of religion, which bumps into ethics. And philosophers might argue that we live in a world that could probably use a lot more epistemic responsibility – or at least, more people who understand what
it is. Anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, conspiracy
theorists. The world is full of people who hold beliefs
without any evidence. And not only that, they – like most of us
– encourage others to share their beliefs. But over the past 200 years or so, philosophers have developed some pretty compelling responses to this phenomenon. A few thinkers have come up with useful ways
of thinking about the beliefs we have, and the harm they can cause, and what responsibilities
go along with having them. Meanwhile, others have argued that we can
sometimes hold beliefs without any proof. Not about vaccines, or global warming, or
the moon landing – but about God. [Theme Music] W.K. Clifford lived in England in the mid-1800s, where the only vaccine that existed was for smallpox, and even that earned its share of scorn and
ridicule at the time. But Clifford, who was both a mathematician
and a philosopher, would probably have some very strong opinions
about today’s anti-vaxxers. Because Clifford was one of the leading proponents
of epistemic responsibility of his time. He most famously, and bluntly, put it this
way: “It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.” And instead of using vaccinations as an example,
Clifford told the story of a ship owner. He said, suppose there was a guy who owned a ship that he knew was old and decrepit and hadn’t been inspected in a long time. That ship was scheduled to make a transatlantic voyage, and the owner worried that it might not make it. But, overhauling the ship would be pricey
and time-consuming. In time, the owner talked himself into believing
that the ship was seaworthy. The ship set sail. Then it sank.
And hundreds of people drowned. But, the owner? He collected insurance money from his loss, and no one blamed him for the tragedy. Now, most people would agree that the shipowner was responsible for the deaths of the ship’s passengers. But Clifford went even further. He argued that the owner would have been guilty even if the ship managed to make the trip safely. Because: He was guilty of accepting a belief
without sufficient evidence, and whether that actually leads to harm or not, he has still done wrong, epistemically and morally. Now, you might argue, “Don’t I have the right to believe whatever I want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone?” Yeah, good question. Clifford argued that
there’s no such thing as a private belief. Because: We all talk about our beliefs – some of us do it a lot – and it causes our beliefs to spread. But even if you never vocalize a belief, it still influences the way you act and the way others perceive you. So in this way, a belief can spread subtly,
insidiously, without a word being spoken. Think about other kinds of beliefs that lack
evidence, for example sexist beliefs. Imagine a modern day sexist in an American
university. Most of these people are gonna know that actually expressing their sexist views isn’t going to fly. But a sexist’s beliefs, even if they’re
never overtly stated, tend to show through in the ways they interact
with women and speak of them. So, no matter what: You know them and you know their views and you know their views subtly influence others, particularly if they’re a person in position
of authority or respect. Since our views always have the potential
to harm others, W. K. Clifford argued that we have an epistemic responsibility only to
believe things for which we have evidence. And if you don’t have evidence, you’re
morally obligated to refrain from the belief. Basically, you should withhold judgment until
you investigate the situation. Let’s head over to the Thought Bubble to
explore this more with some Flash Philosophy. It’s Tuesday, and your teacher tells you
that, this week, there will be a pop quiz. And she’s nice enough to even define for
you what she means by this: A pop quiz, she says, is a quiz that you can’t
know is coming in advance. You reason, however, that such a quiz is impossible,
so you never study for it. Here’s your reasoning: The quiz can’t be on Friday, because if
Wednesday and Thursday go by with no quiz, then you would know it was coming on Friday, since that would be the last possible day. So Friday’s out. But that means it can’t be on Thursday either,
because by the end of class on Wednesday, you would
know the quiz would be happening the next day. But since it can’t be on Thursday or Friday, it also can’t be on Wednesday, because that’s the only day left – so you would know in advance that it was coming. Now, any amount of rationalization that will convince you that you don’t have to study might sound pretty sweet. But, in this case, you’re probably going
to regret it. Because, after all, if your teacher tells you there’s going to be a quiz, chances are, there is going to be a quiz. The fact that you’ve constructed a brilliant mind game that proves that it won’t, isn’t going to make that quiz not happen. So, beliefs about vaccines and shipworthiness may be irresponsible because of the danger they pose to others, but this case demonstrates that irresponsible
beliefs can be damaging to you, as well. Thanks,Thought Bubble! Clifford made a pretty
convincing case for epistemic responsibility. And it’s worth pointing out that his beef wasn’t only with ship owners or kids who didn’t study. One thing his arguments were meant to show is that religious belief is epistemically irresponsible. Belief in a God whose existence can’t be
proven was simply “blind faith,” he said. And blind faith leads a person to ignore other facts and arguments, causing them to live an unexamined, unthoughtful life that Clifford described
as “one long sin against mankind.” Unsurprisingly, this idea was met with some counterarguments. Let’s hear from one of his interlocutors: 19th century American philosopher and psychologist
William James took issue with Clifford’s thesis that it is immoral to
believe something with insufficient evidence. James acknowledged that one of his beliefs that was most important to him – his belief in God – lacked evidence. So he set out to demonstrate that certain
beliefs can be held, morally, even if there’s nothing you can really point
to, to back them up. Now, James recognized that it would be ridiculous to say it’s ok to believe in just anything you wanted. So he narrowed down his claim to argue that,
when you adopt a belief, you have options. And the nature of those options can basically determine the moral defensibility of the beliefs you end up holding. Specifically, he said that the options you face when choosing a belief could be either live or dead; forced or unforced;
And momentous or trivial. You face a live option when you’re considering a belief that you could actually see yourself having. For instance, maybe you’ve never had a pumpkin
spice latte. But you love pumpkin, and you love lattes,
and you love spice, so you hypothesize that you would enjoy a
pumpkin spice latte. That’s a live option for you – because you can imagine yourself believing that you’d like a pumpkin spice latte. On the other hand, you probably can’t even
entertain the possibility that you’d enjoy, like, a dog food spice latte. Try as you might, you just can’t imagine
accepting that option as an actual belief. So, that’s a dead option to you. Now, a forced option is one in which, whatever you do, you’ve made a choice. You can’t not choose. ‘Stay in or go out,’ is a good example
of a forced option. You have to do one or the other; you can’t
wait and decide later. Because, as you wait to decide, you’ve stayed
in and thus, you have made your choice. But unforced options are those where you can
just opt out of choosing. If I let you pick peanut butter or ham and cheese, you can always just decide to have neither. So your choice is an unforced option. A momentous option is one that, if you choose it, stands the chance of radically changing your life for the better. Accepting an opportunity to go to the International
Space Station, for example, could be momentous. But the option to have French fries with your
burger would be trivial – eat them, don’t eat them, either way –
not gonna make a huge difference in your life. Now, James said that, if you’re considering whether to believe something for which there’s not sufficient evidence, it’s permissible to still believe it – so long as it’s a live, forced, and momentous option. And religious belief just happens to fill
all of those criteria. First, James said, believing in God is a live option for himself and a whole lot of other people. He also argued that religious belief is a
forced option. That’s because he didn’t buy the idea
that agnosticism was really a thing. He figured that withholding judgment is the same as not believing – so you either believe in God, or you don’t. Finally, James thought religious belief is momentous – it has the possibility to greatly improve your life. So, he concluded that we are justified in believing in God in the absence of evidence through faith alone. The problem is, if we’re justified in believing
in God in the absence of evidence, then we’re also justified in believing that
it’s ok not to vaccinate our kids. Because that, too, is an option that can be
described as live, forced, and momentous. So unfortunately, philosophy can’t just make all of the baseless beliefs in the world go away. But it can help you argue against those ideas
intelligently. Today we have learned about epistemic responsibility. Clifford says it is always wrong to believe
without sufficient evidence, but James says there are some exceptions – namely,
religious belief. Next time we will consider whether we can
gamble our way to belief in God – stay tuned! This episode is brought to you by Squarespace. Squarespace helps to create websites, blogs
or online stores for you and for your ideas. Websites look professionally designed regardless
of skill level, no coding required. Try Squarespace at
for a special offer. Squarespace: share your passion with the world. Crash Course Philosophy is produced in association
with PBS Digital Studios. You can head over to their channel to check
out amazing shows like Brain Craft, PBS Game/Show, and Gross
Science. This episode of Crash Course was filmed in
the Doctor Cheryl C. Kinney Crash Course Studio with the help of all of these awesome people and our equally fantastic graphics team is Thought Cafe.

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 100 comments

  1. There's an increase in autism because there was a change in diagnosis, things that are considered autistic now weren't considered that 50 years ago.

  2. It is just too bad that you must produce such great stuff and slip in one unproven (I would assert absurd) sunk premise after another (Global warming, sexism. climate deniers). And look… I know this is PBS and I am capable of filtering your political worldview, but many people are not. Your writers flunked William K. Clifford's charge.

  3. Nothing exist without something making it exist (prooved by logic…).a tree can't exist without whatever planted it ( a seed … other things).that thing who made the world exist is what we call God … logical evidence….why are people denying ..

  4. Does the theory of Evolution fall under the category of insufficient evidential beliefs?! That has to be the greatest fairytale ever devised for adults.

  5. I've been watching and listening to this guy for 2 hrs now. My first comment is he speaks much too fast. He doesn't give us time to process what he said and he's already saying a new thought.
    My second observation is based on how he says what he's saying and his facial expressions. Admittedly they come at us too fast also. But I'm getting the distinct impression that he himself does not believe God exists. Therefore he is presenting all this information in such a way as to virtually be arguing against God.
    This whole series should be redone or taken down.

  6. To say that you ultimately decide how to raise your kids is wrong. Kids will have an impact, whether positive or negative, on everyone in society, so everyone in society should have some say into how you raise them.

  7. Wait, there is no evidence for sexist beliefs…really? None at all… Or just none we are going to violate PC culture to delve into…

  8. You can prove that vaccines are more beneficial than not. You cannot prove or disprove the existence of God in the same way. This is a false equivalence.

  9. The term "agnosticism" (as referenced during the presentation of William James' objection/rebuttal to W. K. Clifford's position on epistemic responsibility) is too commonly-misunderstood. It's not that they neither do believe nor don't believe in a god or gods, it's that they have no knowledge of a god (gods/goddesses) in order to warrant believing in them. The literal definition of agnostic breaks down as "a-" meaning: "no"/"absence or lack of" and "-gnosis" meaning: "knowledge" — ergo, no knowledge.

  10. There is no evidence, that anything like epistemic responsibility exists. Therefore I don't believe in epistemic responsibility. That means, that I act epistemic responsible.

  11. A lot of teenagers I work with need to take an epistemologically responsible position around their uninformed beliefs about the safety of marijuana. They get so defensive at the mere suggestion that it isn't perfectly safe and harmless, despite the multiple studies that demonstrate cognitive and developmental impairment with long term impacts, and despite the evidence that their own failure to meet their basic obligations as students is evidence that they themselves have already been impacted.

  12. That system of classification seems brilliant and insightful at first glance, but — as he himself demonstrated by deciding to disregard agnosticism — literally any belief could be arbitrarily placed in any of those three "acceptable" types.

  13. of course this goofy worm would barely gloss over quote unquote anti-vaxxers. and climate change deniers. slander and no facts and even included some outright lies. the next time I listen to this guy's advice I'll have a tag around my toe

  14. what about a dual option like the option to walk with the left foot or the right foot. you could choose one but also the other. but usually choose one then the other. thats how i chose to think about god

  15. Epistemic Responsibility? Authority. Who has the Authority then to demand that anyone submit to them? Who is it then that has the Authority to demand of anyone their participation in medical treatments, whether fraudulent or otherwise? I see the various Governments of this World have subjected their citizenry to various Illegal and Unlawful Scientific and Medical experiments and the slaves do nothing but demand their fellow slave line up to be further tested upon. Pathetic troglodytes who demand that anyone submit to the actions of another, altruistic or otherwise, are Fascists who deserve to be shot/hung in public.

  16. Some people purposely spread unfounded conspiracy theories to shape public opinion by misleading the masses for personal gain. Big money interests, "politicians", & religious institutions often use various forms of propaganda to advance whatever narrative they want to advance, even if it dismisses science , mathematics, history, & verifiable facts. If someone wants to learn the objective truth, a lifetime of mental conditioning & indoctrination must be exchanged for a willingness to ask questions & not simply believe what they're told to believe by those who exploit ignorance for a living.

  17. The question we should ask about vaccination isn't if we should do it or not, but rather at what age, how often and which ones are really necessary. I personally know some cases of illnesses caused by vaccinations and have spoken to highly educated people (doctors and pharmacists) who expressed their concern about vaccination. Furthermore we all know that doctors and pharmacists alike make a hell of a lot of money from vaccinations. All I want to say is that it's not that black and white and that you shouldn't believe everything your doctor tells you. Get some information on the necessity of individual vaccinations and take a titer test. Believe it or not, I know from my own personal and scientific experience that some vaccinations hold on for way longer than doctors tell you.

  18. Well I've never seen or heard any evidence for global warming. Quite the opposite actually. Though said evidence is a bit untrustworthy.

  19. Anyone else notice that the sexist argument presupposes that it is against females? Sexism goes both ways, and in today's society sexism against males goes unreported and unnoticed most of the time.

  20. Religion isn't a forced option, because you have the option to be agnostic. If you are not sure about the existence of a mountain and two people are discussing the existence, you are not forced to pick a side or travel to the said location of the mountain. You withdraw from the discussion. You can live your whole life not thinking about the existence of the mountain.

  21. Can't momentous options also change your life for the worse?? In which case all the more reason to be obligated to find evidence? You would think that if the option for belief is live, forced and trivial that there would be no need to find evidence for it (unless you can) and if the option for belief is live, forced and momentous that you should withhold believe until evidence can be found?

    But also also does that mean everyone should be agnostic?? I don't know, man

  22. Karl Popper:

    “Knowledge relies upon your willingness to doubt your beliefs.”


    “Lack of sufficient knowledge is wrong.”

    = Epistemic responsibility cannot exist because we will never have sufficient knowledge.

  23. Wouldn't it only be the people who weren't vaccinated be at risk of contracting the disease? What do the people who have been vaccinated from these diseases have to worry about? Why would unvaccinated people getting diseases hurt the general public who were vaccinated? I guess I'm missing something in the way they work.

  24. You clearly believe there is no such thing as a god. Yet you have no evidence to prove this. Your argument goes around and around in a circle and continues to chase after its tail biting itself in the butt.

  25. Did somebody learned to swim without entering water? Can you experience cycling without actually sit on one bicycle? When you start believe in God, you start to have daily evidences of His presence . All believers have them the same way as all swimmers know the feeling of water streaming around their bodies.He gave us free choice to believe in Him or not. May be because He needs only those who choose Him freely. If He needed us to have strong evidences of His presence, He probably could leave them. But in such case, it will eliminate any freedom of choice.

  26. There, surprise, surprise, are some major problems with this philosophy, as there is with philosophy in general. But that is a topic for another cc comment column.

    The first problem is that, just as there is Eurocentric history so there is, pardon me phrase, Jew-o-centric religious philosophy and belief

    By "Jew-o-centric" I mean the belief in the singular God of Judaism that has its spin off religions such as Christianity and Islam.

    That is the crux of why the argument is, well, irrelevant. If a philosophical argument against or for a God, it would have to include Gods or ancestor worship etc. of non-Eurocentric Gods, etc. Our "Jew-o-centric" argument claims that belief in God is foolish because there is no rational substance for proof. However, other religious belief systems may be able to offer some rational proof concerning their beliefs.

    Second, the philosophers dis-regard the scientific fact that all cultures, including hunter-gatherers, have some form of religious belief.

    While this doesn't prove or disprove the existence of a God etc. it does show that such beliefs are an extremely important part of humanity, for either cultural, societal or biological reasons. This fact is adequate to prove that a belief in a God, etc. is rational. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck it's a duck.

    And thirdly, we know where monotheism comes from. God is the Big Lebowski in the Canaanite religious pantheon. Known as Elohim, or more often by his nickname El, he kicked the other gods off the cloud upon which they all lived, proceeded to claim all of Canaan to belong to his followers alone.

    There is archeological proof of this. The proof is statuettes made by his followers. Since El posed for the making of the statuettes, he must exist. Place laughing smiley face here. Gotta add a little humor, no matter how bad.

  27. Most of what we believe is based on insufficient evidence. We simply trust some sources over others and assume what they say is correct. There is too much information in the world to do otherwise.

  28. You do not live in a vacuum.  Accordingly actions tend to trigger consequences.  So it is not what a person chooses to believe per se = it is how those beliefs impact others that determines it's real effect.  As relates to vaccines.  A person who does not vaccinate because they oppose vaccination as a matter of ideological worldview does not simply impact themselves.  They rather are then serving as a potential vector by which infectious disease pathogens can "jump" into populations resulting in negative consequences for others.  Infectious diseases are not static = they spread.  So as Mr. Spock once quipped:  "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few……..or the one."  Something to ponder.

  29. You present "scientific evidence" as "holy truth". This shows your epistemic stance. This is not true. Science theories are correct until proven otherwise. Not every science is a formal science. Climatology is not. It is justified to have doubts.

  30. Clifford's thought police will be scanning your comments to make sure you are following his definition of reason and morality.

  31. "Racists and sexists aren't immediately obvious and hide their beliefs/don't act on them, this is wrong."
    Doesn't this set an ugly trend of presuming guilt before innocence? If you claim that racists have infiltrated society but have no absolute evidence of racism taking place among them, isn't that acting in blind faith?

  32. Conspirationists unfortunately do have amazing evidence to back up their claims, evidence that a lot of times cannot be refuted unless you hold insider knowledge or Phd's in a wide variety of subjects.

  33. 3:28 There are some evidence for sexism though. I believe that transpeople exist. Because I believe in some form of neurological gender. I believe that there are mechanical and biological reasons for the difference between men and women's relationship to sex that can be used to explain certain tendencies to behave in certain ways. I'm not however comfortable with inequality and has only accepted this very grudgingly. Let's look at ourselves like apes whose instincts and customs can be described by an outside observer. We are not god's and not exempt from being understood as any other animal.

  34. Global warming deniers being lumped in with conspiracy theories?!?!?!
    I think the Popper needs to be taught to the teacher. It's amazing to me how an unproven theory can be spoken with such certainty that if you don't agree, you must be a conspiracy theorist. I call that religion.

  35. So to believe in quarks up and down or photons or gravitons or any other subatomic particles is a religious belief. So science is the new religion. 😁 Oh I forgot dark matter and anti matter and dark energy and other things that aren't readily observable like evolution.

  36. The words 'Anti-vaxxers', 'Climate change deniers' and 'conspiracy theories' are all very polarizing and largely incorrect. I would have expected you to understand this after doing a video on language and the meaning of words.

  37. 4:00 It's almost as if when women talk down to men they tend to be resented
    also this has never happened

  38. It seems that this guy, hiding under the ID "CrashCourse", "believes" it is a good practice to video himself running off at the mouth; I "believe" it's something to do with "glass houses". To explain myself, epistemically: words never convinced anyone of anything yet. Two simple examples: first, possibly the most common, no-one reads the instructions; the second one could be a mother saying to her young child, "If you keep doing that this will happen"; thus encouraging the child, in the interests of his own autonomy as a natural "function" of his own accumulative experience, to keep on "doing that" with a will, just to see what does happen, automatically ?

    It seem axiomatic to me that the tendency for us to "believe", that is to adopt some course of action as a result of, what others say is directly proportional to our own lack of vigilance. In that respect animals, including primitive peoples, in the wild state exhibit a great deal more "intelligent" caution where civilised humans often make errors as a result of their unnatural mode of living where "belief" is simply what is imagined to be ineffable according to predetermined acceptance of that inevitably circumstantial entity called "evidence".

    My advice, for what it's worth: when listening to the imagined "learned ones" try to separate what is being said from the way it is said. So often, I aver, people tend to put their "convictions" across in a highly elocutionary manner. "Believe" me; if you're constantly faced with parents, and siblings, and relatives, willing to deny anything you claim, in no uncertain manner, simply to keep the inexactitudes going for the sake of "instant peace", as a child that is, ………well……… "heaven help you" ! In retrospect it "is" far more practical to see their histrionics as an act; ie a projection of hysterical narcissism in copycat assumption of importance. I "believe" a word for that is "bombast"; like these three paragraphs – and one more to come ?

    To explain myself even more epistemically: I put certain words, particularly "belief" and all its derivatives, in inverted commas. Like C G Jung experienced; "believe" is expecially reductive in its suggestion, encompassed as it is by that grossly reductive noise known as lingo. As far as "we" are aware beliefs are temporary in nature; where truth, if any such thing exists, at least more than temporarily, has to belong in temporality, ie cause and effect ?

    "The psyche is the greatest of all cosmic wonders and the "sine qua non" of the world as an object. It is in the highest degree odd that Western man, with but very few and ever fewer exceptions, apparently pays so little regard to this fact. Swamped by the knowledge of external objects, the subject of all knowledge has been temporarily eclipsed to the point of seeming nonexistence." C.G.Jung 1946.

  39. One problem this episode doesn't grapple with, which I think is at the center of many conspiracy theories and the inability of laypeople to debunk them with evidence, is that in our modern world we have access to so much information that we can't possibly sort through it all. That's why the biggest experts are specialized, because in order to understand any issue both deeply and with a broad view of all the evidence takes most of a person's studying life.

    This puts us in a predicament with this "epistemic responsibility" because it means that we don't have time to become experts in most of the things that we consider and about which we must decide. Many conspiracy theories have lots of evidence. Wrong conspiracy theories misinterpret the implications of the evidence, accept poorly generated and vetted evidence, and usually dismiss counter evidence as a smokescreen while assuming that partial evidence is only partial because they are clues that miraculously got through the veil of secrecy. But to prove that they are wrong, one must evaluate the hundreds of pieces of evidence, each of which requires understanding surrounding contextual facts in order to evaluate them. Not only don't we have the time to disprove all of these theories, we don't have the time to prove almost any of the beliefs that most people hold.

    Instead of doing that research we are forced to rely either on lay consensus or expert consensus, assuming that the objections to the accepted view of reality have been responsibly vetted by more educated people. This includes almost all of our knowledge–I've never seen an atom, someone walking on the moon, anything that happened in history, etc. In fact, there are very few things that we know about through direct and thorough experience and research.

    In the case of vaccinations, I have a friend who has read hundreds of studies, numerous documentaries and books, has a conspiracy theory about how mass consensus has been generated, has alternate causal explanations for why various diseases precipitously declined and are now returning, and has a very detailed, complex view of various types of harm she believes are caused by various vaccines. I don't have the time to sort through all of this, so I default to the consensus expert view, and point out to her some fallacies in her thinking that make her conclusions practically invincible (which is a great fault of any theory).

    Anyway, my big point is that since we cannot thoroughly research even most of our beliefs we cannot be held responsible for adopting beliefs on their social and/or scientific credibility.

  40. I’m not an anti-vaxer, i do however believe that injecting something i cant personally prove is even medicine into my blood stream is something I don’t agree with. Ive done enough of my own research on the topic to form an opinion too, in areas where REAL outbreaks are happening i say vaccines are one of humanity’s greatest accomplishments, i could even give the basic science behind them. and this next part might sound like a conspiracy but the wide spread constant vaccinations happening around the globe increasing every year seems excessive too me… like the amount of GMOs being used in our food even though it’s been proven that they cause birth defects more then 3 generations later…

  41. "Meanwhile, others have argued that we can sometimes hold beliefs without any proof. Not about vaccines, or global warming, or the moon landing – but about God." I had to chuckle. Almost all god arguments are Special Pleading or Begging the Question fallacies.

    And therefore almost all theists´ lines in the comments section go like: "But God is [defines some properties]. So because [x], this proves God exists."
    Most theists have understood the nonsense of this reasoning and think its easier to resort to probabilities, appealing to "common sense" or even "mathematical comparisons" in the Fine Tuning argument. Jesus (!), does it need another couple of decades to retrospectively admit that that was yet another God of the Gaps fallacy?

  42. i don't think his examples of permissible morals is all that rational to justify their flawed epistemic thinking. imma use the boat thought experiment in this case. LIVE: sure you can infer you the last unchecked ships made it but it doesn't necessarily mean this one will and it also implies you didn't know the chances of the first ship. Forced: you can always check if its sea worthy before you determine if it is sea worthy or not. MOMENTOUS: sure if it sinks or not he will be paid which is beneficial but is that really a defense?

  43. I think that Hank is hypnotic. I can't stop watching his videos. He would make interesting the most boring of subjects. Give me a counterargument. 🙂

  44. Solution to pop quiz paradox: State thus, "There may or may not be a pop quiz this week." This brings the possibility of a Friday quiz back into the fold.

  45. Given that anti-vaxxers & other believers in erroneous notions have caused damage to society at large (the reappearance of measles & other infectious diseases, stirring up suspicion of & baseless hostility toward innocent people or groups, wasting paper, ink & bytes in publishing conspiracy theories, etc.), they have obviously abandoned their epistemic responsibility &/or are incapable of such responsibility. Should the federal government take drastic steps to eliminate such epistemic irresponsibility in order to restore & ensure continuing social order in the future?

    I believe it should…

  46. Isn't it true that epistemic responsibility hinges on the idea that all true knowledge is empirical (that is, defensible with evidence)? What about non-empirical knowledge that we have (e.g. mathematics in the abstract sense)?

  47. I was so shocked when he said those diseases nearly DIED OUT! But anti vaxxers most likely brought it back 😂😂😂😂

  48. Science, at this point in time cannot conclude that God doesn't exist.
    But it can tell you that sprinkling blood of a bird you killed wouldn't cure your leprosy.

  49. If you watch the speech of Bill Gates, he says very clear that the goal of vaccines is to reduce the population from 7bilion to almost 1bilion. Stop these psychopaths killing people!!!

  50. Wow you really put your foot in your mouth right off. Vaccination was proven to be a major cause of health damage. And this was proved in 1898 in a paper by Alfred Russel Wallace titled "Vaccination a Delusion: Its Penal Enforcement a Crime. Pleas go out and read this document and remake your first minute. This is not philosophy, it is science.

  51. The story of the ship owner got me thinking about the origin story for the name of the band Twenty One Pilots (I was obsessed with them in high school).

    Essentially, the lead singer, Tyler, read a play called All My Sons in which a man who sold parts to plane during one of the World Wars (don't remember which one) received news that a batch of his parts were faulty/flawed/likely to cause harm and the man was faced with the moral crossroads of either selling the parts anyway for the financial gain, at the risk of their malfunction, or not selling them, taking the financial blunder but doing the "safe" and "right" thing.

    He decided to sell them anyway and they malfunctioned (surprise, surprise) and, as a result, twenty one pilots died. So there's a fun fact about the band story (still obsessed with them, tattoo and all, #1 fav of my whole life) and come to find out it parallels a famous philosophical parable.


  52. One question that's been bothering me is the fact that Philosophy seems not to allow "because the Bible" as proof for G-d. But, imagine someone deduced the following premise (I'm not going to get into the process of that deduction, for various reasons):
    A close examination of the text shows that nobody would have accepted Deuteronomy as Divine unless it was first revealed to people that saw a Revelation at Sinai.
    And then throw it in a syllogism that adds another premise:
    People did accept Deuteronomy as Divine
    Conclusion: Parts of the Bible were revealed to people that saw a Revelation at Sinai
    Therefore, a Revelation at Sinai must have happened
    It could not have happened if G-d did not exist
    Therefore, G-d exists.
    The only problem I see is that it requires multiple deductions, as opposed to Anselm or Aquinas who demanded that only one deduction is needed, but why can't one argue from a series of deductions.
    It doesn't matter if you agree or not with the premise "A close examination of the text shows that nobody would have accepted Deuteronomy as Divine unless it was first revealed to people that saw a Revelation at Sinai.", rather, I'm asking, if I've deduced it, what would make using it as a premise in a deduction invalid?

  53. The pop-quiz example is terrible because tuesday leads up to thursday and not viceversa, therefore if the quiz is not on tuesday it either will be on wednesday or thursday

  54. If any of you look on the CDC,FDA or WHO website non of them have proff vaccines are safe and efficient. Vaccines are studied less then 20 years on a patient and our babies are the guinea pigs. Not MINE


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