I suggest that some men have a moral obligation to find the way to true and lasting well-being for others. If they have particular talents in this direction (philosophical, psychological, or literary, together with sensitivity to religious claims), I suggest that they have such a prima-facie obligation. To use my earlier example: when men are short of food, the man trained in agricultural biochemistry has some obligation to apply his talents to finding out how they can get more food out of the land. A similar argument applies when men are short of spiritual food. Further, I suggest that anyone who has a responsibility for the upbringing of others has a duty to ensure, if he can, that they know the way to true and lasting well-being, and so has a duty himself to investigate how that is to be attained. This means primarily parents and to a lesser extent teachers; and of course that means most of us. There is an obligation on most of us to investigate the truth of religion in order to teach our children about whether deep well-being can be obtained, and if so, how. Similarly, of course, if religion is false, the activity of prayer and worship is pointless and certain moral practices are also pointless. A parent’s obligations to ensure the well-being of his children will lead him to deter them from such activities if they are pointless, and so there is an obligation on him to find out if they are. With true religious beliefs we will be able to fulfil our moral obligations in the way of educating our children, and from this too it follows that we have an obligation to cultivate rational beliefs about religion.
(Richard Swinburne, Faith and Reason [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], 78-9)
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