What is it to be intellectually honest? What is the duty of honest, in deciding what is true.
One example was given by a philosophy professor of mine who said that when he presented the case for the existence of God in class, a student took careful notes. When the arguments against the existence of God were presented, the student covered her ears.
Or someone who says that, if the case for and against God were to be assessed rationally, atheism would surely emerge victorious, but they nevertheless choose, as a personal existential choice, to believe anyway? Or to disbelieve in the face of contrary evidence. Someone could say "I see some good evidence for Christianity, but if I believed it, I'd have to change my sex life. I don't want to do that, let me click on over to Internet Infidels, so they can get me nice and convinced that atheism is true."
But, of course, in most discussions, we find people on both sides of the issue claiming to be rational. And here it is still, of course, possible to accuse the other side of dishonesty. Russell, for example, thinks that the case for God is so strong that the only way any otherwise intelligent person could accept orthodox Christianity would be if they were to be affected by a desire to disbelieve the unpleasant.
Do we have a duty to fix beliefs in a certain way, so as to be honest? What are those methods? The trouble I have is that dishonesty charges are made by people who just think the case is just overwhelming on their own side and can't see how intelligent people who are interested in the truth could be on the other side.
The problem I've got is that people make these charges, and what it amounts to is the fact that they assessed the evidence differently and can't see how an intelligent person could fail to assess it the way they did. It's a kind of personal incredulity claim: I can't believe anybody could think the evidence was in favor of that.
What kind of evidence do we need to make charges of intellectual dishonesty against others? My claim has been that this is a claim that we should make very cautiously. We do not know what the total evidence another person is looking at.
If someone were accused of taking a position which implied a contradiction, one might be tempted to make this kind of charge. But of course, we don't see all the contradictions, and what may seem contradictory to you may seem so to someone else; they may see a relevant difference where you see none.
I'm trying to make a case against an itchy trigger finger on these charges. Again, I'm asking, what kind of evidence do we need?