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If evidence is lacking, so what?
‘ A W I S E M A N , T H E R E F O R E , P R O P O R T I O N S
H I S B E L I E F T O T H E E V I D E N C E ’
DAVID HUME ( 1 7 1 1 - 1 7 76)
What is the point of critical thinking?
Why should we think critically and rationally?
Why does it matter?
What harm is there in believing in something if it
makes you feel good or provides you with comfort, or
gives you hope?
If evidence is lacking so what?
Belief and evidence
Where do our beliefs
Come from ?
BRAINSTORM THE WAYS IN WHICH PEOPLE ACQUIRE
You will be divided into 3 or 4 groups and each group
will watch an episode of South Park
All about Mormons
The biggest douche in the universe
Trapped in the closet
(Super best friends if 4 groups)
You will then carry out a 15 minute presentation on
the following …
Your presentation will need to focus on the following
Give a brief outline of the episode – what is the theme and plot?
What beliefs are being presented to the boys and the people of South
Are the beliefs based on proof or evidence?
Why do you think people decide to adopt those beliefs?
Is it dangerous to adopt the beliefs as facts? Why?
What does Stan learn from having listened and learnt from the people
involved – Do you agree with them?
You will need to use a multi-media tool in order to edit sections of the
episode, that you will use to enhance your presentation (approx 6 mins
of presentations time)
Link your presentation at some point to Voltaire’s quote
‘Those that can make you believe absurdities can make you commit
Any other points relating to what we have studied so far in philosophy
Rational belief requires EVIDENCE
Beliefs like that of the church of Scientologists or the
Book of Mormon need evidence to back them up
Mormon/Scientology beliefs should be rejected unless
they can be defended
They need to provide what Philosophers call the ‘burden
of proof’, in other words they need to provide evidence or
proof for their claims
Formulating beliefs and making decisions without
sufficient evidence always leads to trouble
Would you really choose a university, career, place to
live, or anything for that matter without examining the
Inquiry, Hard Work and Progress – Stan sums it up
‘You see, I learned something today. At first I
thought you were all just stupid listening to this
douche’s advice but now I understand that
you’re all here because your scared. You’re
scared of death and he offers you some kind of
understanding. You all want to believe in it so
much, I know you do. You find comfort in the
thought that your loved ones are floating
around trying to talk to you, but think about it:
is that really what you want? To just be floating
around after you die having to talk to this
asshole? We need to recognise this stuff or what
it really is: magic tricks. Because whatever is
really going on in life and in death is much
more amazing than this douche.’