Info: Consistency among our beliefs is an important philosophical goal. For this essay, you will first take a short web quiz called “The Philosophical Health Check,” which checks for inconsistencies. This exercise is intended as a fun way to get you thinking about how to formulate, justify, and defend your beliefs. As the notice at the website points out, it can be upsetting to discover that we are inconsistent– this exercise is designed to be food for thought.


Quiz Procedure: Go to Take the quiz. This quiz presents you with a series of questions regarding where you stand on various issues. Read carefully to understand the question before you choose your answer. You will choose ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’ for each statement. (Ex. there is a difference between ‘just a war’ and ‘a just war.’

At the end of the process, the site will calculate your tension quotient and point out pairs of your beliefs that are inconsistent. Save your results; read your results and the explanations.

Choose one tension (an inconsistency between two beliefs in a “belief pair”) that your quiz revealed. In your essay, clearly explain each of the beliefs in the pair you chose. Using the explanations, figure out why the beliefs in the belief pair are inconsistent with each other. Describe what the logical inconsistency is, and explain in detail why the two beliefs conflict. 

After you clearly explain the inconsistency the quiz identified, give 1) a clear definition of the idea of ‘consistency’ and 2) your analysis of why consistency matters. In other words, explain why being a rational person means we should want to have consistent beliefs. The ONLY outside sources you may use are 1) Your quiz results and explanations 2) A dictionary to help you define one or two important terms. (Be sure to define the key words in your own words also.)

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