Clifford would argue that we have an ethical duty to investigate the existence of Zeus because without evidence, believing in Zeus leaves us open to creating mistruth. People should be agnostic (or even go further to be atheist) about Zeus because of the lack of supporting and contradictory evidence to his existence. It is said that Zeus rules and lives on Mount Olympus in Greece. The fact that Mount Olympus is a real mountain means that we should be able to go to verify that he actually lived there. Since we have yet to verify any proof of his existence on Mount Olympus, it raises a question for concern. Zeus is said to control lightning which we know is not the case and is caused by other environmental factors. If we believe in Zeus, then we must also believe in the other gods that he interacts with in the many Greek mythology stories. We should have even more evidence to support the fact that all those gods exist, but we do not. And modern science has disproved many claims of their existence. By being believing Zeus’ existence, it leaves us open to being biased about other aspects of life which opens the door to judging people around us without solid evidence. If we easily believe in claims such as Zeus is real, we easily give people power to fabricate misinformation. We fuel liars to spread fallacious claims because we believe anything that gives reassurance to our immediate comfort. Because there is insufficient evidence to support his existence and we can verifiably deny claims about his abilities, it is our duty to be agnostic about the existence of Zeus.
James would argue that it is not necessarily an ethical duty to be agnostic about the existence of Zeus because there is no concrete evidence against his existence. If there is no evidence that means that we must use our passional nature to decide whether or not to believe in the existence of Zeus. Similar to how we can’t dismiss the existence of a Christian God, and that a person may receive positive upshot from believing, Zeus is no different. If a person receives benefit, whether happiness, sense of direction in life, comfort or community support from this belief, then it is justified. In the case that we do not have solid evidence, then it is up to each individual to decide for themselves. In addition, although Zeus may not currently live on Mount Olympus, that does not mean that he never did and that we don’t have proof. By assuming that evidence does not exist, we are closing ourselves off to possible future evidence.