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TIMOTHY BALLAN

ASSUMING QUALIFICATION GAPS UPON DISAGREEMENT


If one person recommends that another accept a certain belief (such as a belief about a certain way
to behave), it seems that the recommender would believe themselves qualified to recommend the certain
belief that they do. Addedly, it seems that the recommender might also be tempted to believe that, just
because they find themselves qualified to recommend their belief, anyone recommending an opposing
belief would necessarily be less qualified to do so. However, just as most might find obvious, I find it
obvious that no one is less qualified to recommend their own belief just because another finds themselves
qualified to recommend an opposing belief. Even while this might seem obvious to most, though, for me
and I suppose many others, it is still tempting to believe that those disagreeing with us are necessarily
less qualified to recommend their own beliefs. This paper is written for myself and anyone else
experiencing this temptationto help bolster the will to fight this temptation. I intend this paper to help
bolster the will to fight this temptation by detailing support for a belief that no one is less qualified to
recommend their own belief just because another finds themselves qualified to recommend an opposing
belief.
I find that no one is less qualified to recommend their own belief just because another finds
themselves qualified to recommend an opposing belief for two main reasons. For one, I find that any
qualifications besides those directly related to having truth are able to be had in equal amount by
disagreeing parties. And, two, I find that qualifications or lack thereof directly related to having truth are
inaccessible to individuals holding or lacking them.
In terms of my belief that any qualification besides those directly related to having truth are able
to be had in equal amount by disagreeing parties, it seems to me that such qualifications would mainly be
intellectual in nature. Such intellectual qualifications might include intelligence, personal conviction in
beliefs, or ability to clearly detail beliefs supporting a recommended belief. This list could be extended,
though, and to include non-intellectual qualifications. However, I can't imagine any qualification not
directly related to having truth itself that couldn't be equally had by disagreeing parties.
In terms of my belief concerning the inaccessibility of qualifications directly related to having
truth, it would seem to me that having an actually true belief would be the main qualification for one to
recommend a (true) belief. And, yet, it also seems to me that qualifications or disqualifications directly
related to having truth are inaccessible to individuals. That is, even with beliefs I hold that may be true or
false, I cannot sanely state with certainty that I am correct or false in any of them. For one, I cannot
sanely state that I am certainly correct in any of my beliefs because it is always imaginable that I could
in even some barely imaginable waybe incorrect in any belief of mine. And, two, it seems clearly
impossible to believe with certainty that a specific belief held is false. On the other hand, someone who
claims the ability to believe with certainty that they are wrong or right in any given beliefs wouldn't, just
by claiming such an ability, have actual access to qualifications or disqualifications directly related to
having truth.
For at least the two main reasons detailed here, I find that no one is less qualified to recommend
their own belief just because another finds themselves qualified to recommend an opposing belief.
Hopefully my detailing of these reasons will help bolster both my and any others' will to fight against

temptation to believe that anyone disagreeing with us is necessarily less qualified to recommend their
own beliefs.