Among these issues and questions are: Providing an example to illustrate his point, James refers to the Hegelian notion of God as the all-encompassing Absolute Spirit. You have more to lose by fearing error in the matter of genuine option than you have to gain.
Moral Arguments as Pragmatic Arguments Pragmatic arguments in support of theistic belief can either be predicated on prudence or on morality. Freedom and Morality In the eighth lecture of Pragmatism, James sees monism as tending to a passive sort of quietism rather than to a vital life of active effort.
If we choose 1then we go to Heaven; but if we choose 2then we go to Hell. The lack of adequate evidence is sufficient to render an option intellectually open. James could not dispel the realization that if universal determinism prevails, he could likewise sink into such a state, utterly incapable of preventing it Varieties, pp.
To answer this objection a Jamesian might focus on what James calls the second affirmation of religion—we are better off even now if we believe—and take that affirmation to include benefits that are available, via pro-belief, even if God does not exist.
But, fulfilling moral obligation is not absurd. When you believe that your mother loves you or in the sincerity of your best friend, you have no conclusively objective evidence.
In a world where we are so certain to incur them in spite of all our caution, a certain lightness of heart seems healthier than this excessive nervousness on their behalf. Since he wanted to become a painter, the family moved to Newport, Rhode Island inwhere William studied with the leading American portraitist, William Morris Hunt.
But, real moral obligations would be absurd in a Russellian world, since fulfilling moral obligations often cause a net loss to the moral agent and there is no deep explanation of real moral obligation in a Russellian world the deep features of a Russellian world would be things like forces and atoms and chance.
The beneficial effect of such a hope is far from trifling. Among the various versions of his wager argument, Pascal employs this Rule in a version which states that no matter how small the probability that God exists, as long as it is a positive, non-zero probability, the expected utility of theistic belief will dominate the expected utility of disbelief.
William James exchanges his faith in Christianity as logical elements with a rule of thinking that allows him to avoid controversies between opposing faiths. An avoidable option is when we ask you to choose A or B.
The many-gods objection contends that the betting options of the wager are not limited to Christianity and atheism alone, since one could formulate a Pascalian Wager for Islam, certain sects of Buddhism, or for any of the competing sects found within Christianity itself.
He says they would not be able to consider other truths, which would make the position irrational. Philosophy essentially is an intellectual attempt to come to grips with reality, as he says on the first page of Pragmatism.
In his seventh lecture, James identifies three dimensions of reality: From that perspective, we logically must embrace pessimism all of reality is determined to be bad or optimism everything is destined to work out for the best or subjectivism good and evil are merely subjective interpretations we artificially cast on things.
However, he claims we naturally do so all the time, our moral and political ideas being obvious examples. Through sensationwe become acquainted with some given fact. Beattie believed that Christian belief provided consolation, especially to those suffering or oppressed.Of the ten essays in William James’s The Will to Believe, and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy, three have had lasting philosophical importance: “The Will to Believe.
Yes, consciousness exists for William James, specifically in his essay "The Will to Believe." So, let's begin with the absolute evidence since that is the answer to your question, and then we can.
Born in New York City on January 11,William James was the oldest of the five children of Henry James, Sr., and Mary Walsh James.
His oldest brother, Henry James, Jr., the renowned writer of fiction, was followed by two other brothers and a sister. The family frequently moved between. THE WILL TO BELIEVE by William James An Address to the Philosophical Clubs of Yale and Brown Universities.
Published in the New World, June, William James, an obituary published in the Atlantic Monthly by James Jackson Putnam, The New York Times obituary. William James and the Tradition of American Public Philosophers, by Cushing Strout, for the Partisan Review.
“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” ― William James, The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy.Download