Justifying Beliefs

Justifying Beliefs Philosophy is not only about developing one’s ideas and finding the truth. A great part of philosophy lies in the justification of the ideas and beliefs that is found in the search for life’s answers. Many philosophers and philosophical schools of thought have strived to justify their stand to be valid, and this get into arguments with other conflicting ideas. According to Mosser (2010), “philosophical disputes seek to increase our understanding, both of our own views and those of others”. The justification of different beliefs is not just a matter of credibility, but also to try to promote an understanding of diverse schools of thought.
Socrates held that one should not just believe without having any meaning. Brumbaugh (1966) noted that for Socrates “the ends for which virtue was commended as a means were exactly those that were really external to happiness and true character: money, beauty, strength, prestige and so on” (pp.129-130). Knowledge, virtue and truth for Socrates are beliefs which we must find out for ourselves and never stop asking questions until we reach an answer that suffices. The more questions and scrutiny are being given others, the more perspectives can be taken and studied. In a way this can also be seen in the American Pragmatism which Stumpf (1999) noted as “the way thought works in action” (p.356). Belief must also have a practical application in daily life for it to be justified as well and not just some form or means of intellectual sparring.
Brumbaugh, R.S. (1966). The philosophers of Greece. London: George Allen &amp. Unwin Ltd
Mosser, K. (2010). A concise introduction to philosophy. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Stumpf, S.E (1999). Socrates to Sartre: A History of Philosophy. Boston: McGraw-Hill Book Co.