Responsibility for Belief - Three Cases

TitleResponsibility for Belief - Three Cases
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsDixon, BA
JournalTeaching Ethics: The Journal of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum
Date PublishedSpring 2004
PublisherSociety for Ethics Across the Curriculum
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number15444031
KeywordsCase Study Method , PHILOSOPHY
AbstractSometimes a person explains her actions by saying "I believed it was the right thing to do." The author explores three cases in which the actor in the case sincerely believes he or she is doing the right thing. These cases can be problematic when being discussed in an ethics course as they create a difficulty about how we morally appraise people and what they do. We are tempted to excuse people who act in accordance with a strongly held belief , no matter how wayward that principle or belief might be. These three cases are analyzed by the author to provide an example of how to make defensible judgements about responsibility for belief.