Basil Mitchell's Parable of the Partisan

  • Created by: mariam26
  • Created on: 25-03-21 19:38

Basil Mitchell's Parable of the Partisan

  • During WW2, when the Resistance was created in occupied countries like France or Holland, secrecy was essential
  • The Gestapo would use torture to gain information, in order to round other members of the Resistance
  • To minimise the chance of this happening, the Resistance organised themselves into small cells - only one member would know the identity of another member in the next cell
  • A resistance fighter meets a stranger who claims to be the head of the entire Resistance and the fighter believes him
  • He maintains this belief even when he sees the stranger in the uniform of the other side
1 of 3

Basil Mitchell's Parable of the Partisan (2)

  • The partisan does not deny that there is strong evidence against his belief that the stranger is who he claims to be
  • To remain sane, the partisan must accept the reality of the evidence against his belief - if he does not he is guilty of a failure of faith and logic
  • This is similar to someone believing in God - if a believer does not accept their strong evidence against their belief then they are guilty of delusion
  • The partisan and the believer do not have blind faith - they have reasons for their faith
2 of 3

Basil Mitchell's Parable of the Partisan (3)

For Mitchell, a mature belief is not blind faith

3 of 3


No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Philosophy resources »