The Will To Believe Is A Philosophical Essay Written By

1171 WordsFeb 19, 20175 Pages
The Will to Believe is a philosophical essay written by William James. In the book, James focused on the concepts of genuine choice and forced beliefs. His argument is that individuals have choices to believe; however, those choices are shaped around ‘facts and forced beliefs. He also argues on religious hypotheses and the concept of belief without reason. The first problem James tackles is genuine options. He disagrees with Clifford on the idea of genuine options. He believes that there are certain things which we cannot wait for efficient evidence before we make a claim. Those things are the ones where religious faith is intellectually acceptable. He states that genuine belief is living, forced and momentous. A living belief will be…show more content…
We are supposed to gain, even now, by our belief, and to lose by our non-belief” (James 136). According to James, science says things are, morality says things are better than other things, and religion says essentially two things. Firstly, “she says things that the best things are the more eternal things (…) the things in the universe that throw the last stone” (James 136). The second one states that we are better off if we believe her first affirmation to be true. Furthermore, religion is momentous force because the answer to these religious force is all up to you, there is no intellectual ground to answer the questions. Therefore, James is saying, if you are a theist, there is nothing wrong in choosing to believe that there is a God, also, if you are atheist, there is nothing wrong in choosing to believe there is no God. This is because it takes as much faith to say there is no God as that there is a God. Therefore, according to James, we can believe or not believe based on our irrational passions alone. In addition, James lays out the problem of choosing to believe. He argues that people are inherent believers by nature and that they do not choose to believe. There are some flaws in James’ argument. Firstly, his claim that belief in God is live, forced and momentous and cannot be decided on intellectual means. The question of whether God is live has only to do with the individual. There are some theists that are so dogmatist that they would

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