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Reasonableness comes in degrees

Watch humanist philosopher Stephen Law explain that some beliefs can be more or less reasonable than others.

Stephen Law explains how it is better to think about our beliefs as appearing on a scale of reasonableness, rather than simply thinking of them as proved, unproved, or else all dumped in a box labelled ‘we don’t know either way’.

Just because a belief cannot be proved or disproved beyond all doubt does not mean that it cannot still be reasonably believed, or established beyond reasonable doubt. And just because two different beliefs are neither proved nor disproved, does not mean that one might not be more reasonable than the other.

Sometimes opponents of humanism will attempt to avoid acknowledging that beliefs can have degrees of reasonableness in order to say all beliefs that are neither proved or disproved, however ordinary or extraordinary, are equally justifiable.

Question: What beliefs do you believe should be placed near the top, in the middle, and at the bottom of any scale or reasonableness? What beliefs might have shifted on the scale of reasonableness over time?

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Introducing Humanism: Non-religious Approaches to Life, with Sandi Toksvig

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