Short Final paper on William James

Short Final paper on William James - 7 December 2007 Phil-...

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7 December 2007 Phil- 105 Dr. Erfani 2. Why should we, according to William James, believe? How is religious belief different from a belief in morality or science? Is he in agreement or disagreement with Pascal? William James is an empiricist. He believes in truth but cannot know for certain that it exists. He is determined that he is correct in his thoughts and evidence must be found to back his beliefs. His major argument speaks to the idea that it is a better idea to believe than to not believe. It is ultimately more beneficial in the end, especially if there is in fact a heaven or hell. Faith is always necessary in order to have some form of religion; to have religion without faith would provide no benefit for the believer. In Will to Believe James argues that in order to believe one must believe according to evidence. He continues that one must make a choice in order to believe leading to the difference between different types of options. The decision between two hypotheses is an option there are both trivial and momentous options. A hypothesis must be either definitively live or dead. A live option applies to each individual and is affected by his or her culture and set of beliefs it is feasible for them to believe. A dead option is one that
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Short Final paper on William James - 7 December 2007 Phil-...

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