Christopher Hitchens's Definition Of Ethics And The Pursuit Of Knowledge

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In Christopher Hitchens’ saying “What which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence” Hitchens’ is claiming that if you do not have evidence to support your claim it should be disproved automatically. In other words, evidence to Hitchens is the necessary condition to substantiate the knowledge. To try to understand Hitchens’ intention, I make an assumption that this statement may have derived from his disbelief mostly in the area of knowledge of faith. However, at a closer inspection, one can interpret the word “what” in a saying in a much larger context than in the area of faith, and thus proving that his saying may need more thorough investigation especially in other areas of knowledge. Another key in his saying is the word “evidence”. One has to determine what the word “evidence” actually refers to as the definition of evidence differs in each context. Different areas of knowledge require different types of evidence; for example, in Maths and Natural Science we need logic as well as measurable evidence including numbers and statistics to substantiate any claim. On the contrary, in the area of Human…show more content…
Similar to the pursuit of philosophical knowledge, the core principle of the pursuit of Ethics is based on logic.The discussion of whether abortion is ethically correct, for example, depends on one’s sense of emotion, intuition, both of which are navigated by the use of reasoning for proper construction of arguments. If one claims that abortion is morally wrong without any reasonable arguments to support it, then such claim is not considered an area of Ethics in the first place. This shows that evidence, or rather the use of reasoning, is required to prove that abortion is morally wrong or morally right, and therefore, in the same manner with Natural Science, one can dismiss the unsubstantiated claim without using any

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