Clifford and James

Many philosophers have been trying to find reasons whether   God exists or not. Another common concern is who is rational to believe or whether to believe in God is just faith without support. There are a number of good examples for believing in God and a number of examples against believing in God. The term of “God” is defined as an all loving, all knowing, and all powerful being. People that believe that God exist are theists. On the other hand, people that do not believe in God are atheists; they are denying existence of God. However, agnostics are people who think that there is not enough evidence to believe or not to believe. A philosopher, William K. Clifford, discussed questions about the ethics of belief, emphasizing the importance of the belief of the individual. His evidentalist principle is as follows: “It is wrong, always and everywhere, to believe anything for anyone upon insufficient evidence” (355). In addition to him James challenged Clifford, saying that it is not always possible to use rationality to determine beliefs.
According to Clifford, a person can believe only if there is sufficient evidence for that belief. It is not acceptable to believe in something just because a person needs to believe. A person must have a reason. For example, if someone believe just because he or she feels better it is not a good enough reason. The problem when somebody believes in something is that a person stops opposing and testing the belief, and stops seeing real considerations and objections.
Clifford gives an example in which a ship owner needed to make a decision if he will take a trip with his old ship or not. The ship owner doubted if the ship could make it or not. There are two outcomes: ship successfully gets to the coast and everyone survives, or ship sinks and everyone dies.   The ship owner decided to take the trip and did not think about his doubts. Hopefully, the ship ended up finishing the trip successfully. What Clifford is trying to prove in...