Mcmahan's Epistemic Limitations

Decent Essays
I now turn my attention towards McMahan’s general proposition concerning epistemic limitations in regards to another aspect that is beyond an individual’s control. He suggests that a soldier is epistemically unjustified for accepting beliefs based on little evidence because it conforms to a distorted ideology that they have of the world. He states that a unjust soldier that is acting “ …based on factual beliefs for which there is little or no evidence—but that he accepts it uncritically because the factual beliefs cohere well with the way his distorted ideology says that the world …has little or no epistemically‐based excuse for participating in his side's unjust war”(McMahan 138). Once again, on the surface, McMahan appears to have a sound…show more content…
I wish to stress that I see no moral difference between the two circumstances, as both are limitations that are beyond the soldier’s physical…show more content…
I will admit that this is a strong counter, as it is reasonable to claim that the soldier with distorted views should both acknowledge that his racist views would conflict with his behavior during the war. It is also reasonable to say that the soldier should attempt to resolve his conflict before going into an unjust war. That being said, human beings, by nature, are creatures of habit. Just as it takes years for us to develop our traits, we also develop behaviors and practices that stay with us for a prolonged period of time, perhaps for the rest of our lives. Most of our views and practices are established at an early age, so if you’ve been practicing something for so long, it eventually becomes a part of your belief system. It will be extremely difficult to abandon an idea that you have in your belief system. As such we can see that these distorted ideologies, albeit not healthy or helpful in our relationships with others over time, is extremely hard to permanently get rid
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