General Discussion

Apologetics and Theology

Read 473 times

ParaclitosLogos

  • ***
  • 4902 Posts
    • View Profile
Principle of Credulity
« on: May 19, 2016, 04:51:02 pm »


Quote from: Principle of Credulity- Blackwell- A Companion to Epistemology
This is a term given by Thomas Reid , in An Inquiry Into the Human Mind , Pt VI, sec. 24 (1846, pp. 196–7), to an ‘original principle’ of human nature that involves a ‘disposition to confide in the veracity of others, and to believe what they tell us’ (p. 196). This is an ‘original principle’ in that it operates independently of learning or reasoning. We are so constituted that we naturally, unreflectively, tend to give credence to the testimony of our fellows. This ‘tendency is unlimited in children, until they meet with instances of deceit and falsehood; and it retains a very considerable degree of strength throughout life’ (ibid.). As Reid points out, if ‘no proposition that is uttered in discourse would be believed, until it was examined and tried by reason … most men would be unable to find reasons for believing the thousandth part of what is told them. Such distrust and incredulity would deprive us of the greatest benefits of society…’ (p. 197). Without such an original tendency children would be incapable of learning by instruction. It is only later that the person ‘sets bounds to that authority to which she was at first entirely subject’ (ibid.) ( see testimony ). Reid pairs this principle with the ‘principle of veracity’, which is ‘a propensity to tell the truth, and to use the signs of language, so as to convey our real sentiments’ (p. 196).

1

Nunovalente

  • ***
  • 3859 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2016, 04:58:17 pm »
Unless you become like children....

I.e. Faith.

The common fault is not the exercise of faith, rather the flaws in those we put our faith in.
Faith is being confident in things hoped for, the conviction of facts not yet seen. Hebrews 11.
Everyone exercises faith in something. What is your faith in?

2

john doe

  • **
  • 919 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2016, 09:34:35 pm »
Interesting.  I think I still tend to assume that people are telling me what they themselves believe to be true.  If I enter into conversation with them, I tend to feel I've got to either accept their veracity or at least let them know I'm having trouble doing so. 

3

kurros

  • *****
  • 12332 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2016, 12:24:15 am »


Quote from: Principle of Credulity- Blackwell- A Companion to Epistemology
This is a term given by Thomas Reid , in An Inquiry Into the Human Mind , Pt VI, sec. 24 (1846, pp. 196–7), to an ‘original principle’ of human nature that involves a ‘disposition to confide in the veracity of others, and to believe what they tell us’ (p. 196). This is an ‘original principle’ in that it operates independently of learning or reasoning. We are so constituted that we naturally, unreflectively, tend to give credence to the testimony of our fellows. This ‘tendency is unlimited in children, until they meet with instances of deceit and falsehood; and it retains a very considerable degree of strength throughout life’ (ibid.). As Reid points out, if ‘no proposition that is uttered in discourse would be believed, until it was examined and tried by reason … most men would be unable to find reasons for believing the thousandth part of what is told them. Such distrust and incredulity would deprive us of the greatest benefits of society…’ (p. 197). Without such an original tendency children would be incapable of learning by instruction. It is only later that the person ‘sets bounds to that authority to which she was at first entirely subject’ (ibid.) ( see testimony ). Reid pairs this principle with the ‘principle of veracity’, which is ‘a propensity to tell the truth, and to use the signs of language, so as to convey our real sentiments’ (p. 196).

Yes, this is why people are vulnerable to deception and why BS propagates easily through communities. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is *usually* useful, because people are not *usually* lying, but a minority of people spreading untrustworthy information can easily take advantage of this natural credulity. This is why a well-trained sense of skepticism, and the development of a culture interested in fact-checking, is so important.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 12:26:09 am by kurros »

4

ParaclitosLogos

  • ***
  • 4902 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2016, 06:37:11 am »


Quote from: Principle of Credulity- Blackwell- A Companion to Epistemology
This is a term given by Thomas Reid , in An Inquiry Into the Human Mind , Pt VI, sec. 24 (1846, pp. 196–7), to an ‘original principle’ of human nature that involves a ‘disposition to confide in the veracity of others, and to believe what they tell us’ (p. 196). This is an ‘original principle’ in that it operates independently of learning or reasoning. We are so constituted that we naturally, unreflectively, tend to give credence to the testimony of our fellows. This ‘tendency is unlimited in children, until they meet with instances of deceit and falsehood; and it retains a very considerable degree of strength throughout life’ (ibid.). As Reid points out, if ‘no proposition that is uttered in discourse would be believed, until it was examined and tried by reason … most men would be unable to find reasons for believing the thousandth part of what is told them. Such distrust and incredulity would deprive us of the greatest benefits of society…’ (p. 197). Without such an original tendency children would be incapable of learning by instruction. It is only later that the person ‘sets bounds to that authority to which she was at first entirely subject’ (ibid.) ( see testimony ). Reid pairs this principle with the ‘principle of veracity’, which is ‘a propensity to tell the truth, and to use the signs of language, so as to convey our real sentiments’ (p. 196).

Yes, this is why people are vulnerable to deception and why Lies propagates easily through communities. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is *usually* useful, because people are not *usually* lying, but a minority of people spreading untrustworthy information can easily take advantage of this natural credulity. This is why a well-trained sense of skepticism, and the development of a culture interested in fact-checking, is so important.

Reid seems to express the development of a sense of skepticism, in this quote, at the level of , perhaps, less generous or more nuanced authority ascribing.

This brings to my mind, that, In the Sperber-Mercier model of reasoning cognitive biases are a natural feature of a learned sense of skepticism (I think), in the sense that, when in the receiving end of a persuasion attempt, it allows resisting the attempt, by, rejecting certain level of "purported" evidence against one´s view (moderate dogmatism) while remaining open to better evidence and arguments.


That said, it would seem rather close to imposible to attain a high level of knowledge without the use of some sort of principle of credulity in place, a principle of non credulity seems self defeating, inefective and unlikely to succeed. I´d say, It´s a trade, we run some risks for a higher prize (i.e.  more complete and higher quality knowledge). Seems to me, this in part was what Reid had in mind.

Perhaps, certain situations when we are starting to learn something knew, under a nuanced application of authority ascribing the risks are lower and the prize is even higher.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 06:45:54 am by ontologicalme »

5

alex1212

  • **
  • 761 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2016, 07:31:50 am »


Quote from: Principle of Credulity- Blackwell- A Companion to Epistemology
This is a term given by Thomas Reid , in An Inquiry Into the Human Mind , Pt VI, sec. 24 (1846, pp. 196–7), to an ‘original principle’ of human nature that involves a ‘disposition to confide in the veracity of others, and to believe what they tell us’ (p. 196). This is an ‘original principle’ in that it operates independently of learning or reasoning. We are so constituted that we naturally, unreflectively, tend to give credence to the testimony of our fellows. This ‘tendency is unlimited in children, until they meet with instances of deceit and falsehood; and it retains a very considerable degree of strength throughout life’ (ibid.). As Reid points out, if ‘no proposition that is uttered in discourse would be believed, until it was examined and tried by reason … most men would be unable to find reasons for believing the thousandth part of what is told them. Such distrust and incredulity would deprive us of the greatest benefits of society…’ (p. 197). Without such an original tendency children would be incapable of learning by instruction. It is only later that the person ‘sets bounds to that authority to which she was at first entirely subject’ (ibid.) ( see testimony ). Reid pairs this principle with the ‘principle of veracity’, which is ‘a propensity to tell the truth, and to use the signs of language, so as to convey our real sentiments’ (p. 196).

Yes, this is why people are vulnerable to deception and why Lies propagates easily through communities. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is *usually* useful, because people are not *usually* lying, but a minority of people spreading untrustworthy information can easily take advantage of this natural credulity. This is why a well-trained sense of skepticism, and the development of a culture interested in fact-checking, is so important.

Reid seems to express the development of a sense of skepticism, in this quote, at the level of , perhaps, less generous or more nuanced authority ascribing.

This brings to my mind, that, In the Sperber-Mercier model of reasoning cognitive biases are a natural feature of a learned sense of skepticism (I think), in the sense that, when in the receiving end of a persuasion attempt, it allows resisting the attempt, by, rejecting certain level of "purported" evidence against one´s view (moderate dogmatism) while remaining open to better evidence and arguments.


That said, it would seem rather close to imposible to attain a high level of knowledge without the use of some sort of principle of credulity in place, a principle of non credulity seems self defeating, inefective and unlikely to succeed. I´d say, It´s a trade, we run some risks for a higher prize (i.e.  more complete and higher quality knowledge). Seems to me, this in part was what Reid had in mind.

Perhaps, certain situations when we are starting to learn something knew, under a nuanced application of authority ascribing the risks are lower and the prize is even higher.

Most people accept the PC, but some arbitrarily refuse to extend it to religious experience. Alston calls this "epistemic chauvinism"

6

ParaclitosLogos

  • ***
  • 4902 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2016, 07:48:12 am »


Quote from: Principle of Credulity- Blackwell- A Companion to Epistemology
This is a term given by Thomas Reid , in An Inquiry Into the Human Mind , Pt VI, sec. 24 (1846, pp. 196–7), to an ‘original principle’ of human nature that involves a ‘disposition to confide in the veracity of others, and to believe what they tell us’ (p. 196). This is an ‘original principle’ in that it operates independently of learning or reasoning. We are so constituted that we naturally, unreflectively, tend to give credence to the testimony of our fellows. This ‘tendency is unlimited in children, until they meet with instances of deceit and falsehood; and it retains a very considerable degree of strength throughout life’ (ibid.). As Reid points out, if ‘no proposition that is uttered in discourse would be believed, until it was examined and tried by reason … most men would be unable to find reasons for believing the thousandth part of what is told them. Such distrust and incredulity would deprive us of the greatest benefits of society…’ (p. 197). Without such an original tendency children would be incapable of learning by instruction. It is only later that the person ‘sets bounds to that authority to which she was at first entirely subject’ (ibid.) ( see testimony ). Reid pairs this principle with the ‘principle of veracity’, which is ‘a propensity to tell the truth, and to use the signs of language, so as to convey our real sentiments’ (p. 196).

Yes, this is why people are vulnerable to deception and why Lies propagates easily through communities. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is *usually* useful, because people are not *usually* lying, but a minority of people spreading untrustworthy information can easily take advantage of this natural credulity. This is why a well-trained sense of skepticism, and the development of a culture interested in fact-checking, is so important.

Reid seems to express the development of a sense of skepticism, in this quote, at the level of , perhaps, less generous or more nuanced authority ascribing.

This brings to my mind, that, In the Sperber-Mercier model of reasoning cognitive biases are a natural feature of a learned sense of skepticism (I think), in the sense that, when in the receiving end of a persuasion attempt, it allows resisting the attempt, by, rejecting certain level of "purported" evidence against one´s view (moderate dogmatism) while remaining open to better evidence and arguments.


That said, it would seem rather close to imposible to attain a high level of knowledge without the use of some sort of principle of credulity in place, a principle of non credulity seems self defeating, inefective and unlikely to succeed. I´d say, It´s a trade, we run some risks for a higher prize (i.e.  more complete and higher quality knowledge). Seems to me, this in part was what Reid had in mind.

Perhaps, certain situations when we are starting to learn something knew, under a nuanced application of authority ascribing the risks are lower and the prize is even higher.

Most people accept the PC, but some arbitrarily refuse to extend it to religious experience. Alston calls this "epistemic chauvinism"

At least, some of them plausibly think they have good reasons, which would be interesting to hear.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 10:23:34 am by ontologicalme »

7

aleph naught

  • ****
  • 7392 Posts
  • For the glory of the Canadian empire.
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2016, 10:12:14 am »


Quote from: Principle of Credulity- Blackwell- A Companion to Epistemology
This is a term given by Thomas Reid , in An Inquiry Into the Human Mind , Pt VI, sec. 24 (1846, pp. 196–7), to an ‘original principle’ of human nature that involves a ‘disposition to confide in the veracity of others, and to believe what they tell us’ (p. 196). This is an ‘original principle’ in that it operates independently of learning or reasoning. We are so constituted that we naturally, unreflectively, tend to give credence to the testimony of our fellows. This ‘tendency is unlimited in children, until they meet with instances of deceit and falsehood; and it retains a very considerable degree of strength throughout life’ (ibid.). As Reid points out, if ‘no proposition that is uttered in discourse would be believed, until it was examined and tried by reason … most men would be unable to find reasons for believing the thousandth part of what is told them. Such distrust and incredulity would deprive us of the greatest benefits of society…’ (p. 197). Without such an original tendency children would be incapable of learning by instruction. It is only later that the person ‘sets bounds to that authority to which she was at first entirely subject’ (ibid.) ( see testimony ). Reid pairs this principle with the ‘principle of veracity’, which is ‘a propensity to tell the truth, and to use the signs of language, so as to convey our real sentiments’ (p. 196).

Yes, this is why people are vulnerable to deception and why Lies propagates easily through communities. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is *usually* useful, because people are not *usually* lying, but a minority of people spreading untrustworthy information can easily take advantage of this natural credulity. This is why a well-trained sense of skepticism, and the development of a culture interested in fact-checking, is so important.

Reid seems to express the development of a sense of skepticism, in this quote, at the level of , perhaps, less generous or more nuanced authority ascribing.

This brings to my mind, that, In the Sperber-Mercier model of reasoning cognitive biases are a natural feature of a learned sense of skepticism (I think), in the sense that, when in the receiving end of a persuasion attempt, it allows resisting the attempt, by, rejecting certain level of "purported" evidence against one´s view (moderate dogmatism) while remaining open to better evidence and arguments.


That said, it would seem rather close to imposible to attain a high level of knowledge without the use of some sort of principle of credulity in place, a principle of non credulity seems self defeating, inefective and unlikely to succeed. I´d say, It´s a trade, we run some risks for a higher prize (i.e.  more complete and higher quality knowledge). Seems to me, this in part was what Reid had in mind.

Perhaps, certain situations when we are starting to learn something knew, under a nuanced application of authority ascribing the risks are lower and the prize is even higher.

Most people accept the PC, but some arbitrarily refuse to extend it to religious experience. Alston calls this "epistemic chauvinism"

As ontologicalme presented it, PC appears to be just a non-controvercial fact about human psychology. Yes, people do generally trust testimony. This has a very clear evolutionary explanation. But that has little to no epistemic significance: it doesn't mean that we ought to trust testimony. And there's nothing in of itself wrong with being arbitrary in our psychology (after all, we didn't even choose it!).

I would say that we in fact shouldn't trust testimony for no reason, but that there's a sort of epistemic risk that can raise or lower the need for justification. For mundane, epistemically insignificant matters, the mere fact that people generally tell the truth would be sufficient to accept a testimony. But if some testimony might have far reaching philosophical implications, then you should probably be more skeptical.

8

ParaclitosLogos

  • ***
  • 4902 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2016, 11:16:55 am »


Quote from: Principle of Credulity- Blackwell- A Companion to Epistemology
This is a term given by Thomas Reid , in An Inquiry Into the Human Mind , Pt VI, sec. 24 (1846, pp. 196–7), to an ‘original principle’ of human nature that involves a ‘disposition to confide in the veracity of others, and to believe what they tell us’ (p. 196). This is an ‘original principle’ in that it operates independently of learning or reasoning. We are so constituted that we naturally, unreflectively, tend to give credence to the testimony of our fellows. This ‘tendency is unlimited in children, until they meet with instances of deceit and falsehood; and it retains a very considerable degree of strength throughout life’ (ibid.). As Reid points out, if ‘no proposition that is uttered in discourse would be believed, until it was examined and tried by reason … most men would be unable to find reasons for believing the thousandth part of what is told them. Such distrust and incredulity would deprive us of the greatest benefits of society…’ (p. 197). Without such an original tendency children would be incapable of learning by instruction. It is only later that the person ‘sets bounds to that authority to which she was at first entirely subject’ (ibid.) ( see testimony ). Reid pairs this principle with the ‘principle of veracity’, which is ‘a propensity to tell the truth, and to use the signs of language, so as to convey our real sentiments’ (p. 196).

Yes, this is why people are vulnerable to deception and why Lies propagates easily through communities. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is *usually* useful, because people are not *usually* lying, but a minority of people spreading untrustworthy information can easily take advantage of this natural credulity. This is why a well-trained sense of skepticism, and the development of a culture interested in fact-checking, is so important.

Reid seems to express the development of a sense of skepticism, in this quote, at the level of , perhaps, less generous or more nuanced authority ascribing.

This brings to my mind, that, In the Sperber-Mercier model of reasoning cognitive biases are a natural feature of a learned sense of skepticism (I think), in the sense that, when in the receiving end of a persuasion attempt, it allows resisting the attempt, by, rejecting certain level of "purported" evidence against one´s view (moderate dogmatism) while remaining open to better evidence and arguments.


That said, it would seem rather close to imposible to attain a high level of knowledge without the use of some sort of principle of credulity in place, a principle of non credulity seems self defeating, inefective and unlikely to succeed. I´d say, It´s a trade, we run some risks for a higher prize (i.e.  more complete and higher quality knowledge). Seems to me, this in part was what Reid had in mind.

Perhaps, certain situations when we are starting to learn something knew, under a nuanced application of authority ascribing the risks are lower and the prize is even higher.

Most people accept the PC, but some arbitrarily refuse to extend it to religious experience. Alston calls this "epistemic chauvinism"

As ontologicalme presented it, PC appears to be just a non-controvercial fact about human psychology. Yes, people do generally trust testimony. This has a very clear evolutionary explanation. But that has little to no epistemic significance: it doesn't mean that we ought to trust testimony. And there's nothing in of itself wrong with being arbitrary in our psychology (after all, we didn't even choose it!).

I would say that we in fact shouldn't trust testimony for no reason, but that there's a sort of epistemic risk that can raise or lower the need for justification. For mundane, epistemically insignificant matters, the mere fact that people generally tell the truth would be sufficient to accept a testimony. But if some testimony might have far reaching philosophical implications, then you should probably be more skeptical.

That´s correct, Reid seemed to be positing a natural principle (one that is roughly unavoidable in respect to our intrinsic make up).

Also, Reid seems to raise an important epistemic consideration, namely, " if ‘no proposition that is uttered in discourse would be believed, until it was examined and tried by reason … most men would be unable to find reasons for believing the thousandth part of what is told them. Such distrust and incredulity would deprive us of the greatest benefits of society…’ (p. 197). Without such an original tendency children would be incapable of learning by instruction. It is only later that the person ‘sets
bounds to that authority to which she was at first entirely subject’ (ibid.) ( see testimony )", so, I would think it has indeed high epistemic significance.


I recognize there is plausibly a certain distinction between some testimony that carry a certain weight (epistemic, philosophical, etc...) and some that don´t, but, I find the criterion you offer too vague.


I would suggest Sosa´s account of knowledge as virtue might be helpful in pinpointing a more plausible approach to such distinction, even if not clearly directly addressing it.

Ernest Sosa discusses the nature and value of knowledge. In particular, what distinguishes knowledge from mere true belief? And what, if anything, makes knowledge better than mere true belief?

9

alex1212

  • **
  • 761 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2016, 12:53:47 pm »
Alright I was talking about Swinburne's PC, not some principle of testimony or whatever. Sorry, I guessed I missed the point of this thread.

10

ParaclitosLogos

  • ***
  • 4902 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2016, 01:27:57 pm »
Alright I was talking about Swinburne's PC, not some principle of testimony or whatever. Sorry, I guessed I missed the point of this thread.

I would think Reid´s take lends support to Swinburne´s PC.

11

wonderer

  • *****
  • 15896 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2016, 02:06:48 pm »
Of course there is biased application of credulity even with very young children.

It seems to me that it would be committing an appeal to nature fallacy to try to go from our evolved tendency to credulity, resulting from such credulity being adaptive in the past (and present), to some sort of general epistemic principle of the goodness of credulity.

Edit:

Also, I watched that Sosa video, and it was rather horrible.  I think a much better case could be made, for the value of having a practice of gaining knowledge, instead of trying to make a case for knowledge somehow being inherently more valuable than merely true belief.  I want my 45 minutes back.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 02:21:42 pm by wonderer »
"The world needed that of us, to maintain—by our example, by our very existence—a world that would keep learning and questioning, that would remain free in thought, inquiry, and word." - Alice Dreger

12

ParaclitosLogos

  • ***
  • 4902 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2016, 03:15:04 pm »
Of course there is biased application of credulity even with very young children.

It seems to me that it would be committing an appeal to nature fallacy to try to go from our evolved tendency to credulity, resulting from such credulity being adaptive in the past (and present), to some sort of general epistemic principle of the goodness of credulity.

Edit:

Also, I watched that Sosa video, and it was rather horrible.  I think a much better case could be made, for the value of having a practice of gaining knowledge, instead of trying to make a case for knowledge somehow being inherently more valuable than merely true belief.  I want my 45 minutes back.


On the link about the appeal to nature it states "An appeal to nature is an argument or rhetorical tactic in which it is proposed that "a thing is good because it is 'natural', or bad because it is 'unnatural'".[1] It is usually an invalid argument, because the implicit (unstated) primary premise "What is natural is good" typically is irrelevant, having no cogent meaning in practice, or is an opinion instead of a fact. In some philosophical frameworks where natural and good are clearly defined in a specific context, the appeal to nature might be valid and cogent."


Reid´s account does not seem to be neither irrelevant, it has a cogenet meaning in practice, and, it is not a mere opinion, rather, there is some important factual aspect to it.

But, I was not making an argument that because this or that fact or principle is the case then PC, rather, a more humble assertion of suppor through coherence.


My impression is that asnwering why knowledge is better than mere true belief is an intermediate objective of the theory, sort of a guiding milestone.

You were saying that  "... we in fact shouldn't trust testimony for no reason, but that there's a sort of epistemic risk that can raise or lower the need for justification. For mundane, epistemically insignificant matters, the mere fact that people generally tell the truth would be sufficient to accept a testimony. But if some testimony might have far reaching philosophical implications, then you should probably be more skeptical." This would seem to be a rather murky proposal, since anything and everything could and might eve be argued to be of far reaching philosophical implications, and what is mundane too, I don´t have any knowledge what constitutes epistemic insignificancy.

More importantly , perhaps, this approach sounds (at least, to me) dangerously close to what some might describe as one of the faces of confirmation bias (it must be said: to which they give a somehwat positive reading, it would seem), namely, the receiving end of a persuassion attempt, when the receiver ignores evidence against his given view.


 So, it seemed to me that, something like Sosa´s account ( perhaps, one much better yet on those same  rough lines ) provides an in principle way to evaluate the worthiness of certain situations as situations where knowledge  can be attain, say by trusting and how much trust one should concede to certain given testimony.


Kudos for following the recommendation, sorry, it did not turn out to be a good experience. We do returns only during the week, though.

13

wonderer

  • *****
  • 15896 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2016, 04:32:24 pm »
You were saying that  "... we in fact shouldn't trust testimony for no reason, but that there's a sort of epistemic risk that can raise or lower the need for justification. For mundane, epistemically insignificant matters, the mere fact that people generally tell the truth would be sufficient to accept a testimony. But if some testimony might have far reaching philosophical implications, then you should probably be more skeptical." This would seem to be a rather murky proposal, since anything and everything could and might eve be argued to be of far reaching philosophical implications, and what is mundane too, I don´t have any knowledge what constitutes epistemic insignificancy.

Actually, that was Aleph.
"The world needed that of us, to maintain—by our example, by our very existence—a world that would keep learning and questioning, that would remain free in thought, inquiry, and word." - Alice Dreger

14

cnearing

  • ***
  • 2677 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Principle of Credulity
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2016, 04:58:18 pm »
So, I would agree that it is generally reasonable to assume that people aren't intentionally lying, but there's a big gap between believing that they aren't lying and believing that they are telling the truth.

We should, not, for instance, display credulity towards religious claims from otherwise undistinguished individuals, since we know that, as a simple unavoidable matter of fact, the significant majority of people have incorrect religious views (this is a consequence of the fact that there are no religous views which are shared by anything other than a distinct minority of people). 

A somewhat more refined principle might be appropriate.

Given a claim C from a subject S where S is known to be within a population P, where we can reasonably estimate that a members of population P are generally correct about claims about some field F. Where C is a claim about F, we it is reasonable to be credulous yowards C.
P((A => B), A) = P(A => B) + P(A) - 1