TOP Q (7): When, If Ever, Are Intellectual Mistakes Morally Culpable?

TOP Q (7): When, If Ever, Are Intellectual Mistakes Morally Culpable? January 7, 2011

Can we morally blame people for failing to pursue the truth well enough or for employing irrational methods of belief formation?  Is belief something not in our volitional control at all?  Is it an entirely passive thing to “just believe” something?  Or even if we have some volitional control over what we believe, does it rise to the level of making moral praiseworthiness and blameworthiness possible?  And if so, under what conditions and with what limits?  If not, why not?  And if beliefs are not things we can take moral credit or blame for because they are not sufficiently under the will’s control, then how can any actions be moral or immoral since all acts of volition depend on beliefs about the good and such beliefs are not ever under our control?

And if faith is as epistemically illicit as I think it is, then is it morally culpable too in all, most, or at least some cases?

In a nutshell, today’s open philosophical question is, “When, if ever, are intellectual mistakes morally culpable?”

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