Trust is at the core of love; without it, relationships become tenuous and unfulfilling.
Philosophers attempt to gain an understanding of what makes trust justified or well-grounded, offering various criteria one should use when making their decision on who and/or when to trust.
Baier emphasizes the significance of distinguishing between trust and reliance based on motives such as malice or selfishness.
1. We Trust Without Watching What Others Do
Trust is an incredibly valuable thing, enabling people to be open and honest with one another while also making possible amazing things such as business deals being closed or romantic relationships blossoming. Unfortunately, however, some individuals experience trust issues which have an adverse impact on relationships as well as larger society – however these problems can be addressed and healthy trust can be rebuilt between individuals or larger groups of people.
Trust works by freeing us to live our lives without being constantly aware of what others are doing, which allows us to be more open with one another and take risks knowing they care for our wellbeing. For example, we trust our loved ones will show up when needed while strangers will abide by social rules; and doctors, taxi drivers, and first-time babysitters will care for our children properly.
At times, we may trust someone because we believe they are acting from goodwill; this type of trust, known as role-based trust, has been shown to be an excellent predictor of how successful a relationship will be.
Trust and reliance must be distinguished carefully; one may be betrayed through lack of reliance, while there may also be other reasons for someone being untrustworthy, such as bad intentions or selfishness.
Understanding this distinction is critical because it enables us to recognize how trust can be misappropriated, and distinguishes it from mere reliance. Understanding these distinctions enables us to protect ourselves while keeping relationships healthy.
Some people naturally tend to be more trusting than others, while for those who have been betrayed in the past or who have experienced mistrust, rebuilding it can be more challenging. When this occurs, seeking professional help such as from a therapist or spiritual leader to work through these experiences and rebuild trust.
2. We Trust Without Being On Guard That They Will Betray Us
Trusting someone without question allows for an incredible feeling: not worrying that they might do something behind your back is liberating; it means not needing to protect or monitor yourself as much, knowing they are always looking out for what’s best. It’s an entirely different way of loving someone else.
Trust can be difficult to define precisely, as its definition seems rooted in instinct rather than logic or experience. Yet trust may also involve good reasons, definite evidence, past experience or hope – perhaps all three. Finding a balance between being trusting yet too trusting requires practice – sometimes learning slowly is necessary!
Carelessness is something we all too easily fall prey to, such as when mow the lawn we could accidentally run over mother’s prized daffodils or when trusting others we betray them causing havoc for both themselves and those they trust, potentially forcing people out of relationships that would otherwise remain.
Many philosophers have discussed trust as an idea; most agree it does not simply refer to being dependent on someone. A risk-assessment theory states that in order to be trusted, someone must be trustworthy and capable of being depended upon (Hawley 2014). Meanwhile, other theories focus more on understanding why we trust each other instead.
As one example of these theories focuses on normative expectation theory, these assertions suggest we can trust one another if we respond appropriately when there is a valid reason for doing X. They do not require the trustee be aware that we are counting on them but do require them to recognize our needs will be fulfilled by them.
3. We Trust Without Being Confronted
Proverbs 19:16 states: He who keeps the commandment guards his soul; but those who disregard the warning will die. Carelessness refers to being unaware or not paying attention to one’s surroundings – for instance accidentally mowing over your mother’s prized daffodils without even realizing it! Likewise, people who act carelessly towards trusting others often are unaware of how their actions might be perceived or of potential outcomes for such actions taken against them.
Mistrust often results from behaviors like these, where people reveal personal information too quickly in relationships and share sensitive work materials without first building foundations of trust incrementally over time. People also may speak freely about their beliefs and impressions of others without first ascertaining whether these individuals are friends or foes; such individuals create themselves up for betrayal and disappointment.
Philosophical literature offers much to think about regarding trust. Most of it falls under two broad headings, the epistemology or rationality of trust (e.g. Baker 1987) or more specifically epistemic justification of testimony-based trust (Wanderer and Townsend 2013).
One popular theory of trustworthiness is the “trust-responsive” or “dependency-responsive” account (Jones 2012a, 2017). This type of theory may seem motive-driven; to be reliable you must respond appropriately to why people rely on you – whether this be out of goodwill, conscientiousness, love or duty, among others.
Potter’s model for trustworthiness provides another approach, by emphasizing the virtues that define someone as trustworthy (2002: 25). Based on Aristotelian notions of virtues, this perspective suggests that someone worthy of being trusted has specific traits suitable for such roles, such as being willing and capable of taking care of items entrusted by others; according to Aristotle’s Doctrine of Mean, this includes taking appropriate measures against threats and vulnerabilities to ensure safe keeping.
4. We Trust Without Taking Responsibility For Our Own Actions
At times, it makes perfect sense that those we trust must take responsibility for their actions; otherwise we could never feel safe or comfortable around them. Trustworthiness also requires having good reasons behind their decisions which generally requires expertise or competence – both factors which contribute to trustworthiness. But taking personal accountability for one’s own actions remains key for long-term relationship building.
As soon as someone shirks responsibility for their own actions, it sends a clear signal that they cannot be trusted with anything – especially work and relationships. Trust can be hard to come by with someone who refuses to own up to their mistakes – which explains why so many coworkers hesitate before trusting colleagues, and so many companies struggle in building trustworthy cultures.
There are various theories of distrust, with most philosophers emphasizing interpersonal trust as their central focus. Some writers do discuss other types of trust as well, including institutional (such as group membership) or scientific trust (Graeber and McLeod 2016) or self-trust (Jones 2012a). Most would agree that any explanation for these other forms of trust must have certain similarities to interpersonal trust such as being warranted, well-grounded, or motivated by rationality.
This entry’s biblical text serves as a warning against trusting lies and deceptive promises, while it details God’s provisional means of grace. Sinners needing forgiveness from Him must accept His grace or else they cannot enter heaven – therefore accepting or not accepting it could mean life or death! Therefore the Bible admonishes against living irresponsibly since this leads to complacency and complacency – dangerous outcomes indeed!