UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

William James and the will to believe Ornstein, Jack Hervey 1964

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WILLIAM J A M S AND THE WILL TO BELIEVE by JACK HERVEY ORNSTEIN B.A. U n i i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1961  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF M.A. i n t h e Department o f PHILOSOPHY  We accept t h i s t h e s i s .as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1964  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and study»- I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives.  It is understood that;. copying or publi-  cation of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permissions  Department of  fH/EoSofHy  The University of British Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada  i  The  problem c o n s i d e r e d  i n t h i s t h e s i s i s whether o r not  t h e r e i s an e t h i c s of b e l i e f .  The n o t i o n t h a t i t c o u l d be  r i g h t o r wrong t o b e l i e v e something i s examined. W i l l i a m James, i n The W i l l To B e l i e v e , advocated t h e r i g h t t o b e l i e v e , i n c e r t a i n c a s e s , whatever most tempts one's w i l l .  W i l l i a m Kingdon C l i f f o r d had e a r l i e r argued  i n The E t h i c s Of B e l i e f t h a t i t i s always wrong t o b e l i e v e anything  f o r which t h e e v i d e n c e i s i n s u f f i c i e n t .  I have argued t h a t b e l i e f i s n o t an a c t i o n t h a t can be e x e c u t e d or r e f r a i n e d from a t w i l l but i s t h e acceptance o f something as b e i n g t r u e .  As such, i t i s n o t p o s s i b l e f o r us  t o b e l i e v e what most a p p e a l s t o us u n l e s s we deem i t t r u e . If 'belief  i s used i n any o t h e r sense tha'n 'deem t r u e ' ,  the t r u e - f a l s e d i s t i n c t i o n i s v i t i a t e d . S i n c e b e l i e f i s not an a c t i o n and i s t h e r e f o r e not v o l u n t a r y , t h e e t h i c s o f b e l i e f cannot a p p l y t o what i s believed.  The r i g h t  o r wrong o f b e l i e f a p p l i e s t o t h e a t t i t u d e  we adopt t o a c e r t a i n p r o p o s i t i o n or t o t h e manner i n which we a c q u i r e our b e l i e f s .  The d i s t i n c t i o n i s made between  b e l i e f - c u l t i v a t i o n and i n q u i r y . A d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s o f The W i l l To B e l i e v e i s t h e n undertaken.  The c l a i m t h a t r e l i g i o n i s a h y p o t h e s i s  v e r i f y i s questioned. the h y p o t h e s i s ,  I t seems t h a t b e f o r e  one must b e l i e v e i t a l r e a d y  which we can  one can ' t e s t ' —  thus t h e r e i s  r e a l l y no t e s t a t a l l . The c o n t r a s t s between s c i e n c e and r e l i g i o n a r e p r e s e n t e d -- e x p l a n a t i o n b e i n g t h e main concern of t h e former and c o n s o l a t i o n t h a t of t h e l a t t e r .  ii  The 1)  f o l l o w i n g s i x c l a i m s are c a l l e d i n t o  the d e c i s i o n r e g a r d i n g  question:  the t r u t h or f a l s i t y of r e l i g i o n  i s f o r c e d and momentous, 2)  no t e s t of what i s r e a l l y t r u e has  ever been agreed  upon, 3)  t h e r e i s a s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t y between the p o t e n t i a l  r e l i g i o u s b e l i e v e r and the s c i e n t i f i c i n v e s t i g a t o r , 4)  the u n i v e r s e must have a purpose,  5)  i n r e l i g i o n , f a i t h creates  6)  t o b e l i e v e i n r e l i g i o n r e q u i r e s hope and  i t s own  verification,  t o doubt or d i s b e l i e v e i n d i c a t e s f e a r and  courage w h i l e  cowardice.  I t i s concluded t h a t even i f r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f or changes our a c t i o n s and t h e t r u t h of r e l i g i o n but  influences  r e a c t i o n s , t h i s i s p r o o f not of i t s u t i l i t y , which may  be  of help-  f u l or h a r m f u l t o t h e i n d i v i d u a l and t o s o c i e t y . My  t h e s i s , i n s h o r t , i s t h a t i n s o f a r as we  attempt t o  p r o p o r t i o n b e l i e f t o our d e s i r e s and not t o the e v i d e n c e , r i s k l o s i n g the t r u e - f a l s e d i s t i n c t i o n a l t o g e t h e r . r i s k l o s s of communication w i t h o t h e r s .  We  we  thus  And e f f e c t i v e  communication, I submit, i s e s s e n t i a l t o the a c q u i s i t i o n and t r a n s m i s s i o n  of knowledge —  t h e ' r a i s o n d'etre  of  philosophy.  iv  I w i s h t o e x p r e s s my deepest a p p r e c i a t i o n t o Dr. D. G. Brown whose p a t i e n c e was phenomenal and whose a s s i s t a n c e and c r i t i c i s m s were i n v a l u a b l e . I a l s o w i s h t o thank my w i f e Toby f o r h e r i n s p i r a t i o n and a i d i n c o m p l e t i n g t h i s  thesis.  iii  CONTENTS  1. BELIEF AND ACTION  3  2. BELIEF AND DESIRE.......  7  3. BELIEF-ATTITUDE-ADOPTION  19  4.  24  BELIEF-CULTIVATION  5. THE WILL TO BELIEVE  ; 33  6. THE OPTION  47  7.  57  BELIEF AND KNOWLEDGE  8. CERTAINTY  63  9. BELIEF AND TRUTH  71  10. RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND SCIENCE  85  11. PURPOSE, GOD AND MORALITY  94  12. FAITH AND VERIFICATION  104  13. BELIEF AND FEAR  115  BIBLIOGRAPHY  133  A l l page r e f e r e n c e s t o W i l l i a m James, u n l e s s o t h e r w i s e i n d i c a t e d , a r e from The W i l l t o Bel i e v e and o t h e r essays i n p o p u l a r  philosophy,  a l s o r e f e r r e d t o as TWTB. A l l page r e f e r e n c e s t o other a u t h o r s a r e from t h e i r book(s) as g i v e n i n the b i b l i o g r a p h y , page 133-  V  I t i s o n l y when people have g i v e n up t h e hope o f p r o v i n g t h a t r e l i g i o n i s t r u e i n a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d sense t h a t t h e y s e t out t o prove t h a t i t i s " t r u e " i n some.newfangled sense. Bertrand  Russell  The statement t h a t one i s more l i k e l y t o b e l i e v e t r u l y i f one b e l i e v e s r e a s o n a b l y ( t h a t i s , i n accordance w i t h t h e evidence) i s an a n a l y t i c statement which f o l l o w s . f r o m t h e meaning o f t h e e x p r e s s i o n s  " e v i d e n c e f o r " and " l i k e l y t o be  true". H. H. P r i c e  As a r u l e we b e l i e v e as much as we can. We would b e l i e v e everything  i f we o n l y  could. W i l l i a m James  What i s wanted i s not t h e w i l l t o b e l i e v e , but t h e w i s h t o f i n d o u t , which i s t h e exact  opposite. Bertrand  My p o s i t i o n i s t h a t , other t h i n g s e q u a l ,  R.ussell  emotional  s a t i s f a c t i o n s count f o r t r u t h . W i l l i a m James  I t i s notorious often  that the temporarily  satisfactoryi s  false. W i l l i a m James  I n h i s essay  The W i l l  To B e l i e v e , W i l l i a m James  argues  t h a t we h a v e t h e " r i g h t t o a d o p t a b e l i e v i n g a t t i t u d e  in  religious matters."  have  (p.l).  the r i g h t t o b e l i e v e at live  He c l a i m s ( p . 2 9 )  "we  o u r own r i s k a n y h y p o t h e s i s t h a t  enough t o tempt o u r w i l l . "  religion's  that  He recommends b e l i e f  two a f f i r m a t i o n s , v i z . ,  (p.25) 1:  o f t h e u n i v e r s e has p e r s o n a l f o r m ; better be  off  and (p.26) 2 :  things  aspect  "we  are  even now i f we b e l i e v e h e r f i r s t a f f i r m a t i o n t o  true." W i l l i a m Kingdon C l i f f o r d ,  Belief, where,  our w i l l  every-  a n y t h i n g upon i n s u f f i c i e n t  (p.175)•  i n the  a n d James t a l k as t h o u g h we c o u l d  effort  to b e l i e v e  what James s a y s makes s e n s e t o d a y what we d i d n o t  a s s o o n as we r e a l i z e d t h a t do s o .  The E t h i c s Of  " i t i s wrong a l w a y s ,  and f o r a n y o n e , t o b e l i e v e  Both C l i f f o r d  believe  i n h i s essay  had argued e a r l i e r t h a t  evidence."  If  in  "the best  a r e t h e more e t e r n a l t h i n g s " and (p.27) t h i s e t e r n a l  is  I f what C l i f f o r d  or d i s b e l i e v e a p r o p o s i t i o n .  and i s t r u e ,  t h e n we c o u l d  ( o r "could not)  believe  s a y s makes s e n s e  and i s t r u e , for  s o m e t h i n g on what WE c o n s i d e r t o be i n s u f f i c i e n t ' Y o u have a r i g h t t o b e l i e v e ' ,  Does e i t h e r o f t h e s e  yesterday,  i t w o u l d be t o o u r a d v a n t a g e  we c o u l d b l a m e a n d p e r h a p s even p u n i s h p e o p l e  ways w r o n g t o b e l i e v e  exercise  says James.  on i n s u f f i c i e n t e v i d e n c e ' , c o u n s e l s make s e n s e ?  to  then  believing evidence. 'It says  is  alClifford.  Does i t make  sense  2  t o speak of b e l i e f as a k i n d of a c t i o n w h i c h , i f we a r e tempted enough, we a r e f r e e (have t h e r i g h t ) t o perform?  Or -- i f  the e v i d e n c e i s i n s u f f i c i e n t -- from which we a r e f r e e t o abstain? I n s o f a r as C l i f f o r d and James r e q u i r e b e l i e f t o be an a c t i o n , f o r t h e i r p o s i t i o n s t o be t e n a b l e , I s h a l l argue t h a t they are misguided.  I s h a l l argue t h a t b e l i e f i s not an a c t i o n ;  hence i s not t h e s o r t of t h i n g t h a t can be e x e r c i s e d or w i t h held at w i l l ;  or f o r which one c o u l d be blamed or p u n i s h e d ,  p r a i s e d o r rewarded.  3 1.  BELIEF AND  ACTION  S t u a r t Hampshire, i n Thought and A c t i o n ,  characterizes  an a c t i o n as something t h a t i s done a t w i l l and a t some p a r t i c u l a r time.  He argues a t l e n g t h t o show, I t h i n k  f u l l y , t h a t b e l i e f i s not an a c t i o n .  success-  That i s , b e l i e f i s not  something done a t w i l l , such as r a i s i n g an arm. l i k e f a l l i n g down t h e s t a i r s t h a n c l i m b i n g them.  I t i s more Hampshire  says t h a t " t h e d i s t i n c t i o n between what a man does and what happens t o him might be e x p l a i n e d t h r o u g h t h e d i s t i n c t i o n between t r y i n g and not t r y i n g on t h e one hand and f a i l i n g and• s u c c e e d i n g on t h e o t h e r . "  (p.112).  Would i t make sense t o say t h a t someone i s t r y i n g t o bel i e v e something —  as opposed t o , say, s t u d y or r e a d something?  e.g. "Would you p l e a s e  cut down t h e n o i s e . "  "Why?" " H a r r y i s t r y i n g t o b e l i e v e so-and-so ( e . g . t h a t the p l a c e i s q u i e t ) and he f i n d s i t d i f f i c u l t what w i t h a l l t h i s n o i s e g o i n g on." OR "Harry i s pooped." "Why?" "He t r i e d f o r two hours y e s t e r d a y so-and-so and he j u s t c o u l d n ' t t r i e d f o r two hours y e s t e r d a y and he f i n a l l y made i t . " )  to believe that  do i t . "  ( o r , "He  t o b e l i e v e so-and-so  4 A c t i o n s a r e done a t precisely timed.  state  H o w . . l o n g does i t t a k e t o b e l i e v e  c o n t a i n s t e n words?  any e f f o r t  of w i l l  can y o u b e l i e v e  J o h n s o n was a l i v e ?  otherwise?)  something at a f a i r l y p r e c i s e  we s t i l l  "What d i d y o u do a t 2 o ' c l o c k so-and-so"  in believing  If  one a n s w e r e d  2 o clock yesterday?"  c h a r a c t e r i z e d a s an a c t i o n .  by s a y i n g " I  that b e l i e f  c a n n o t be  sensibly  I t makes s e n s e t o . d e c i d e  a certain proposition?  I n a c e r t a i n way?  regret  e v e n w h i l e y o u do i t  b u t does i t make s e n s e t o  believing  something,  Suppose a f a t h e r  say t h a t  someone  that  she i s  has no i d e a whom t o t h a n k f o r h e r c o n d i t i o n . that her f a t h e r b e l i e v e s  (e.g.  h e r when she t e l l s  believe  spank  your  old  pregnant L e t us  and suppose  him t h i s .  b u t c o u l d he be  to regret  "a sort  I f b e l i e f were  to  regrets  may i n d e e d r e g r e t WHAT he now b e l i e v e s , believing it?  act  it?  c o n f r o n t e d by h i s 1 4 y e a r  u n m a r r i e d d a u g h t e r who a n n o u n c e s  to  I t makes s e n s e  e v e n w h i l e he b e l i e v e s is  was  one w o u l d n o t  i n a c e r t a i n way b u t d o e s i t make s e n s e t o d e c i d e - -to  child),  or  T  yesterday?"  the  i s n o t t o DO s o m e t h i n g .  evident  doing something,  may.  something ALL the  o r "I b e l i e v e d s o - a n d - s o " ,  To b e l i e v e  I think i t is  president  t i m e , and w h i l e i t  c a n n o t be s a i d t o be engaged  q u e s t i o n "What were y o u d o i n g a t  make s e n s e .  C o u l d you  you b e l i e v e d  something f o r a c e r t a i n l e n g t h of t i m e .  believing  by  W h i l e i t may be t r u e t h a t we COME t o  be t r u e t h a t we can be s a i d . t o b e l i e v e time,  this  c o n t a i n s 1 2 words  (It  a t what p a r t i c u l a r t i m e y e s t e r d a y  believe  They c a n be  I t may t a k e t h r e e h o u r s t o w a l k f r o m V a n -  couver to Burnaby. sentence  particular times.  of  He said  feeling  5 more a l l i e d t o t h e emotions than t o a n y t h i n g e l s e " as James thought ( l ^ ^ O , p.283), t h e n t h e f a t h e r would be s a i d t o r e g r e t having a c e r t a i n f e e l i n g .  I n o t h e r words, t o say t h a t t h e  f a t h e r r e g r e t s b e l i e v i n g h i s daughter i s pregnant amounts t o s a y i n g t h a t he r e g r e t s h a v i n g a c e r t a i n f e e l i n g .  But t h a t  i s n ' t a t a l l what someone would mean who s a i d t h a t he r e g r e t s believing i t .  His- r e g r e t i s l e s s l i k e l y t o concern him t h a n  her. One can r e g r e t or applaud WHAT one b e l i e v e s but one can n e i t h e r be g l a d or sad THAT one b e l i e v e s something.  Emotions  may accompany a b e l i e f but t h e y cannot c o n s t i t u t e a b e l i e f . To r e g r e t b e l i e v i n g something would be t o r e g r e t t h a t one a c cepts i t as t r u e .  To be a b l e t o d i s t i n g u i s h t h e t r u e from  the f a l s e i s a f u n c t i o n o f t h e i n t e l l e c t , not of t h e emotions. To r e g r e t t h a t one b e l i e v e s something i s t o r e g r e t t h a t one i s a b l e t o d i s t i n g u i s h between what seems t r u e t o one and what seems f a l s e t o one.  To r e g r e t t h a t one i s a b l e t o t e l l t h e  t r u e from the f a l s e i s t o r e g r e t t h a t one i s a b l e t o t h i n k a t all. Nobody would c l a i m t h a t t h e f a t h e r i n our example r e g r e t s t h a t he can t e l l . t h e t r u e from t h e f a l s e .  I f he were unable  t o do t h i s , he wouldn't know t h a t the g i r l was h i s daughter, let  a l o n e t h a t she were pregnant  GIRL.  or even t h a t she was a  Thus, t o say t h a t he r e g r e t s t h a t he b e l i e v e s something,  i s t o say t h a t he r e g r e t s t h a t he can t e l l t h e t r u e from t h e false.  I t s h o u l d be obvious t h a t t h i s i s not what we mean  when we say " I ' d hate t o t h i n k t h a t ( i . e . b e l i e v e )  so-and-so"  or " I t would k i l l him t o t h i n k ( o r b e l i e v e ) t h a t she g o t h e r -  6 s e l f pregnant." To b e l i e v e something i s t o a c c e p t i t as t r u e . Hampshire says,  As  (p.150), "The whole p o i n t and purpose ( I  would p r e f e r ' f u n c t i o n ' t o 'purpose' - J.O.) o f a b e l i e f and of t h e k i n d o f thought t h a t l e a d s up t o i t , be t r u e . . . " one  i s that i t should  When asked o f a g i v e n p r o p o s i t i o n whether o r not  believes i t ,  one may r e p l y , 'Yes, I b e l i e v e i t ' . .  Does  t h i s mean t h a t one has d e c i d e d t o a c c e p t t h e p r o p o s i t i o n as true?  I t represents  a d e c i s i o n , says Hampshire, but not a  d e c i s i o n t o DO a n y t h i n g .  He adds (p.158") "...nor can t h e s e  words c o n s t i t u t e an announcement t h a t I have attempted t o achieve anything.  I have n o t d e c i d e d t o b e l i e v e ; I have de-  c i d e d t h a t t h e statement i n q u e s t i o n  i s true.  This  deciding,  which i s a d e c i d i n g t h a t , i s n o t n a t u r a l l y r e p r e s e n t e d  as an  a c t i o n , s i n c e t h e r e i s no sense i n which I c o u l d i n t e n d , or decide,  t o d e c i d e t h a t a statement i s t r u e . "  We can i n t e n d  or d e c i d e t o a c t but not t o b e l i e v e something — i t as t r u e .  t o accept  And where we would say, " I d e c i d e d t o b e l i e v e  her" we would mean t h a t we found what she s a i d p l a u s i b l e o r t h a t we now deemed h e r t r u s t w o r t h y ,  etc.  We would not mean  t h a t we a c t u a l l y d e c i d e d t o deem t r u e what she s a i d —  we  mean t h a t we DID deem t r u e ( i . e . b e l i e v e ) what she s a i d .  7 B E L I E F AND DESIRE  2.  W o u l d i t make s e n s e t o s a y t h a t believe  something?  but  believed differently?  It  that  "B" —  is is  it  sensible  i s not the  We may w i s h t h a t a c e r t a i n s t a t e m e n t G o l d w a t e r may w i s h t h a t  t r u e only i n v i r t u e of the f a c t  " A " wants t o  e.g.  desire. Barry  " B a r r y Goldwater  will  B u t he w i l l w i s h  t h a t what i t r e p o r t s i s  He w a n t s t o be P r e s i d e n t - - he d o e s n ' t  be-  case  o f t h i n g we  were t r u e —  the statement  we  i t t o be t h e  sort  be P r e s i d e n t o f t h e U . S . A . " w e r e t r u e .  that he's  to wish that  odd t o s a y t h a t  as opposed t o , e . g . , " A " wants because b e l i e f  "B"  to  I t makes g o o d s e n s e t o s a y t h a t we w i s h  t h i n g s were d i f f e r e n t ,  lieve  one w i l l s - o r w a n t s  want m e r e l y t o  it true.  BELIEVE  President. teen  S u p p o s e someone t e l l s us t h a t a g i r l is  fond of u s .  "I wish I could believe  we've/\dating' l a t e l y  that"  i s our  What we mean h e r e i s c l e a r l y t h a t vie w i s h t h a t i.e.  —  we hope t h a t  to believe if  that  the b e l i e f  she IS f o n d o f u s . -  she i s .  enough.  be s a i d t o h a v e l e t h i s d e s i r e  will or  to b e l i e v e "  jjo m e r e l y b e l i e v e  false.  we  it.  override his  be f a c t , Beliefs  laughs our  face.  face of a l l t h i s would reason.  something i s to w i l l  c a s e , be t r u e ,  it,  realize  We a s k h e r t o m a r r y u s and s h e  We t r y t o make l o v e t o h e r a n d she s l a p s  --  merely  In a c r u c i a l test  Anyone who c o n t i n u e d b e l i e v i n g i n t h e  t h i n g be t h e  We d o n ' t want  c o u l d c o n c e i v a b l y l e a d t o a n y a c t i o n , we  m i g h t be " t l ± s i l l u s i o n e d .  To " w i l l  i t were t r u e  I f we i n t e n d t o do a n y t h i n g a b o u t  that merely b e l i e v i n g i s not  i n our f a c e .  reply.  be r e a l —  t o have  that  i t ' s not  can be o f what i s  to  true  Anyone who c o u l d be s a i d t o d e s i r e m e r e l y b e l i e f  —  3 w h e t h e r t h a t b e l i e f was o f what was t r u e OR f a l s e not  u n d e r s t a n d what b e l i e f  t r u e and t o w i l l that  it  to believe  one, c o u l d a c c e p t )  sire,  want e t c .  or b e l i e v e If  that  it  is.  To b e l i e v e  i s to w i l l  as t r u e .  i s to accept  to accept  How e l s e  a s one deems i t  believes'  (i.e.  want i t  it.  t o be t h e  something, want what  one  remain the case)  but  1,1  one c a n n o t b e l i e v e what one w a n t s .  Can one t r y t o  something?  "a statement  culty  i n the  ment t h a t But our  Says Hampshire ( p . 1 5 7 ) , 'attempt'  (to b e l i e v e ,  I do n o t b e l i e v e  believe  of a  between o p i n i o n s ( p . 1 9 ) .  J.O.) i s already a  influence  (nay,  determine)  our  choice  He s e r i o u s l y s u g g e s t s t h a t we c a n  s h o u l d c h o o s e t o b e l i e v e w h i c h e v e r o f two c o n t r a d i c t o r y  cannot decide the i s s u e .  when o u r i n t e l l e c t  But i f b e l i e f  t o make l i t t l e  sense to urge  alone  i s n o t an a c t i o n ,  makes no s e n s e t o t a l k o f c h o o s i n g t o b e l i e v e . someone t o l e t  Also,  b e l i e f were a f u n c t i o n o f e m o t i o n a l o n e ,  left  t o emotion alone i n any g i v e n case, proper f u n c t i o n - - v i z . ,  it  it seems  his passional  n a t u r e or h i s emotions determine which p r o p o s i t i o n t o  its  state-  and i s n o t s e r i o u s l y m e a n t . "  p r o p o s i t i o n s most a p p e a l s t o u s ,  If  diffi-  James seems q u i t e s e r i o u s when he u r g e s us t o a l l o w  passional natures to  and  accept  true?  One may  case,  will  de-  c o u l d qne  someone a d m i t s t h a t he w a n t s t o b e l i e v e  t h e n he does n o t a l r e a d y b e l i e v e  as  (or to  And t h i s i s t o w i l l ,  i t BE t r u e .  except  —. does  or i f  it  i t would not  t o be o f what i s  believe. were serve  TRUE.  To s a y t h a t we c a n , a n d s h o u l d , c h o o s e t o b e l i e v e a proposition,  i s t o s a y t h a t we c a n , a n d s h o u l d c h o o s e t o  cept a p o s s i b l e s t a t e  of a f f a i r s  as b e i n g e x i s t e n t  ac-  or a given  9 statement  as t r u e .  T r u t h must come i n t o t h e p i c t u r e  where b e c a u s e t o b e l i e v e MEANS t o a c c e p t question i s , true  The v o l i t i o n a l believe  accepting  theory of b e l i e f  t o tempt our I have  claimed that  'range  true'  i n the statement  i n ' , so t o s p e a k ,  if  on r e a l i t y .  'He b e l i e v e s  To s a y t h a t he b e l i e v e s  one may b e l i e v e —  true? to  (a l a James)- i s it's  the f u n c t i o n . o f b e l i e f  live  mistakenly --  b u t by d e f i n i t i o n ,  aware o f t h i s .  X IS t o  enough  the meaning of  enable  The words  'to  are  takes  Of  course  deem s o m e t h i n g t r u e t h a t  is  the b e l i e v e r h i m s e l f cannot  something takes  differently.  i t t o be t r u e .  be  The This  deem s o m e t h i n g t r u e - -  to t h i s question.  its  i.e.,  our d e s c r i p t i o n of b e l i e f  we c o u l d c h o o s e denial)  decide is  to b e l i e v e  tomorrow.  subject  it.  we must a n s w e r " N o " to decision,  then  one t h i n g t o d a y and a n o t h e r  (i.e.  T h i s w o u l d mean t h a t we deem t r u e tomorrow,.  we w o u l d d e c i d e THAT what was t r u e —  to  o r choose t o b e l i e v e  correct,  I f b e l i e f were  t o d a y what we deem f a l s e  the next  is  belief.  The q u e s t i o n was p o s e d above w h e t h e r w e ' c a n d e c i d e  If  be  re-  s a y t h a t he  of a f f a i r s .  E l s e he s h o u l d b e l i e v e  p e r s o n who b e l i e v e s  i s to  X t o be t r u e '  t o be t h e c a s e o r t h e a c t u a l s t a t e  false  being  i s t h a t we CAN d e c i d e  something,  The  will.  us t o  it  as  s o m e t h i n g as  s o m e t h i n g and t h e T e m p t a t i o n T h e o r y  t h a t we c a n and s h o u l d b e l i e v e  dundant.  as b e i n g t r u e .  c a n we d e c i d e what we s h a l l a c c e p t  o r do we FIND o u r s e l v e s  some-  B u t we w o u l d do t h i s one day h a d become  o n l y i f we b e l i e v e d t h a t  f r o m one day t o t h e n e x t .  And i t  the  —  false  s i t u a t i o n had  i s p a t e n t l y absurd to  changed say  10 t h a t we can c h o o s e t o b e l i e v e itself  — -we e i t h e r b e l i e v e  reversed  t h i s o r we d o n ' t .  i s a b s u r d t o ' s u p p o s e t h a t we c o u l d wake up one m o r n i n g  It and  t h a t t h e s i t u a t i o n has  d e c i d e t o a l t e r one o f o u r b e l i e f s  f o r no r e a s o n a t a l l .  If  wanting to believe  something i s a s e n s i b l e n o t i o n ,  and  if  wanting to b e l i e v e  it  for  believing could, our  i t , and i f b e l i e f were v o l i t i o n a l ;  and p e r h a p s  will  c o u l d be c o u n t e d a s a  and  to believe  w a n t i n g  means w a n t i n g s o m e t h i n g TO BE but  But b e l i e f  what one most w a n t s t o . a c c e p t truth a subjective  thing —  any g i v e n p e r s o n .  may be a c a u s a l  TRUE)  i s to accept as b e i n g t r u e .  subject  To b e l i e v e true  T h i s w o u l d make  to the deepest  desires  believe  (deem t r u e )  what most  will.  t o d i c t a t e as t r u e .  If  factor  as b e i n g  To b e l i e v e means t o acc-ept as t r u e - - i t  and  not  Strange t h i n g s f o l l o w from the n o t i o n  t h a t we s h o u l d ( o r c o u l d ) tempts our  is  something (which r e a l l y  never a . j u s t i f i c a t i o n i n regard to b e l i e f .  what one most w a n t s t o b e l i e v e  of  i n t h i s c a s e we  s h o u l d d e c i d e t o b e l i e v e what most t e m p t e d  ( i . e . what most t e m p t e d u s ) .  v o l i t i o n a l  REASON  Our b e l i e f s  are  does n o t mean  o u r m a j o r h o l d on r e a l i t y  h e n c e on t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n w i t h  others.  we c o u l d d i c t a t e a s t r u e what most t e m p t e d o u r w i l l ,  r e a l i t y vanishes  into  ' r e a l f o r me.'  Communication between  p e o p l e m i g h t become i m p o s s i b l e i f t h e i r d e e p e s t d e s i r e s not  identical.  What o t h e r s a c c e p t  u n l i k e what I a c c e p t have  —  yet  on t h e T e m p t a t i o n T h e o r y  James s a y s t h a t  were  a s t r u e may be u t t e r l y they  e v e r y r i g h t t o c o n t r a d i c t me a s I have e v e r y r i g h t  c o n t r a d i c t them.  then  e a c h o f u s can a c c e p t  to this  11 fact for  w i t h o u t s t r a i n i n g our i n t e l l e c t u a l c o n s c i e n c e s .  James meant no more t h a n t r u e f o r me o r t r u e f o r u s ,  fore  what's  time. A is  true  ( f o r me) may be f a l s e  But t h e words  'true'  justified in asserting  justified  in asserting  be s a i d t o be t r u e  distinction  and ' r e a l '  This is  same t i m e be t r u e and f a l s e  in exactly  This is a l o g i c a l i m p o s s i b i l i t y . i n The' W i l l  - - but the  that  statement it  cannot  same  at  respects.  consider  - - he a d d r e s s e s  h i m as t h o u g h he were  not-  .justified  evidence  James d o e s n o t  to Believe  if  true-false  so b e c a u s e t o be  A  same  I f X can  t h e same t i m e  X is true.  there-  and B i s  (or true f o r . B ) , then the  e i t h e r t r u e or f a l s e  i n d i v i d u a l and t r e a t s  the  a l l meaning  X means t h a t a c c o r d i n g t o a l l t h e  may be d o u b t f u l - -  at  X i n any c i r c u m s t a n c e s  one h a s a t t h e t i m e o f a s s e r t i o n ,  other people  lose  ( o r t r u e f o r A) a n d a t  is vitiated.  in asserting  ( f o r you)  n o t - X i n any c i r c u m s t a n c e s .  X c a n be s a i d t o be t r u e  the  "True"  alone  the  in  the  universe. If  the t r u e - f a l s e  d i s t i n c t i o n i s t o . be s a v e d ,  w o r d s a r e t o h a v e any m e a n i n g , n o t i o n of belief, one's  evidence.  e s t i m a t i o n of the  day?  t h e n we must b r i n g i n t h e '  the  change  evidence  h a v i n g changed at  in belief.  not-X at  s w i t c h a g a i n a t 10 and 11? i m p a t i e n t l y demand.  9 o'clock?  may have  all.  changed,  B u t why r e s t r i c t  Why c o u l d n ' t we s i n c e r e l y a s s e r t  sincerel}^ a s s e r t  of  X t o d a y and n o t - X t o m o r r o w w i t h o u t  or deepest needs or wishes  'justifying'  these  A c c o r d i n g to the Temptation Theory  one c o u l d b e l i e v e  One's w i l l  if  X at  thus  i t to a  8" o ' c l o c k  and  And t h e n p e r h a p s ,  "Make up y o u r m i n d ' . " ,  B u t y o u r demand i m p l i e s t h a t  y o u may I am  12 indecisive,  whereas  I am most d e c i s i v e .  in fact,  that  "My w i l l  be done i n h e a v e n a s i t  I am so  I c a n deem X t r u e o r f a l s e  decisive,  almost at  will.  i s on e a r t h " .  Not o n l y h a v e we l o s t t h e t r u e - f a l s e t h e v o l i t i o n a l and t e m p t a t i o n t h e o r i e s  distinction,  of b e l i e f ,  we have l o s t t h e v e r y m e a n i n g o f B E L I E F i t s e l f .  on  but  also  And t h i s  d i s a s t r o u s f o r t h e o r i e s w h i c h a r e s u p p o s e d t o be a b o u t As A . P . G r i f f i t h s is lic  says  ( p . 1$4) , " . . . t h e  only p o s s i b l e at a l l — language  --  s i n c e i t i s a concept  i f we p r e s u p p o s e s t a n d a r d s o f  w h i c h l i n k b e l i e f w i t h what i s b e l i e v e d . " "...one  can s p e a k  true.  these c r i t e r i a  (p.l$5-6),  and as  i n place..  they  accepting from the  these willing  demand, on o c c a s i o n s when  And t h i s means t h a t t h e r e  be s a i d t o be s u c h a t h i n g a s b e l i e f ,  unless there  c o u l d not were  i n t e l l i g i b l e s t a n d a r d s o f e v i d e n c e a n d an a c t u a l  t e n d e n c y t o use them: something l i k e As G r i f f i t h s it  He a d d s ,  o f t r u t h o n l y i n s o f a r as i n g e n e r a l t h e y a r e  assertion is  pub-  appropriateness  w h i c h e n a b l e thern t o d i s t i n g u i s h t h e f a l s e  to assert..what  publicly  belief  i n the  B u t one c o u l d s p e a k o f p e o p l e a s a c c e p t i n g  criteria  belief.  o f p e o p l e a s b e l i e v i n g o n l y so f a r a s  c a n be c o n c e i v e d as t h i n k i n g t h i n g s t r u e , criteria  concept of  is  was a b s u r d —  says,  common s e n s e so t o  speak."  T e r t u l l i a n may h a v e b e l i e v e d b e c a u s e  b u t he c o u l d do t h i s o n l y b e c a u s e t h e  c a s e o f b e l i e f was j u s t t h e o p p o s i t e .  In other words,  standard if  p e o p l e g e n e r a l l y b e l i e v e d t h i n g s b e c a u s e t h e y seemed a b s u r d , b e l i e f w o u l d be a f a r d i f f e r e n t  t h i n g f r o m ' w h a t I deem t r u e ' .  I t w o u l d mean ' w h a t I deem a b s u r d . '  As F i n d l a y s a y s  (p.104)  "It  i s o n l y because I have p r a c t i s e d t h e a r t o f  belief  on a g e n u i n e b a s i s and i n a r e g u l a r manner t h a t . . , -  perverse If  building  performances are  possible."  people g e n e r a l l y b e l i e v e d t h i n g s to f u l f i l l  o f b e i n g needed, wanted or w i l l e d , ' w h a t I deem s a t i s f y i n g . ' p e a c e o f mind' e t c .  or  assertions  ' w h a t I deem r e q u i r e d f o r my  r a t h e r t h a n ' w h a t I deem t r u e ' .  or a c t i o n s . ' w e c o n s i d e r them d e r a n g e d . 'range  i n ' on r e a l i t y .  ' r a n g e i n ' was most a p t —  believe  The p o o r c r e a t u r e s  In a  'range  in'  If  one c l a i m s t o  nothing --  ' X ' there i s a statement  sense,  is  o b v i o u s l y do n o t know what  (l$90, p.297),  since f o r every  'not-X'.  to  believe  I f i t were  statepossible  t o b e l i e v e b o t h X and i t s n e g a t i o n a t t h e same t i m e it  to  P e r h a p s my p h r a s e  ( a n d James s a y s t h a t we w o u l d L I K E t o )  t h e n one r e a l l y b e l i e v e s ment  one who c a n n o t  (what t h e y b e l i e v e ) .  everything  ceases  I f p e o p l e e x h i b i t no c o n s i s t e n c y i n t h e i r  they are unable to  DEranged.  function  t h e n b e l i e f w o u l d MEAN  T h e r e must be some s t a b i l i t y t o b e l i e f o r i t be b e l i e f a t a l l .  the  (which  i s n o t ) , t h e n one m i g h t as w e l l be d e s c r i b e d as b e l i e v i n g  n e i t h e r as b e l i e v i n g b o t h .  B e l i e f I n one a u t o m a t i c a l l y  cancels b e l i e f i n the other. not-X.  Believing X entails disbelieving  I t MEANS d i s b e l i e v i n g n o t - X .  We c o n c l u d e w i t h  H a m p s h i r e ' s r e m a r k (p.150) t h a t " . . b e l i e f s are exceptions) count as b e l i e f s  generally  (there  must be t o some d e g r e e s t a b l e i f t h e y a r e  to  at a l l . "  The f u n c t i o n o f a b e l i e f b e l i e v e MEANS t o a c c e p t  as,  i s t o be o f what i s t r u e .  o r deem, t r u e .  b e l i e v e what i s most l i k e l y t o be t r u e ,  I f we a r e  t h e n we must  To  to believe  i  14 rationally  (i.e.  or w i l l  or w i t h r e a s o n s ) .  --  as r e a s o n d i c t a t e s  - - not d e s i r e  B u t o f c o u r s e someone may b e l i e v e  X on what we deem i n s u f f i c i e n t g r o u n d s o r none a t may happen t o be This i s  or need  a l l , yet X  true.  j u s t the p o i n t .  We d o n ' t want t o h a v e t o  on good l u c k t o b e l i e v e what i s t r u e .  The odds a r e  rely  very  s l i g h t t h a t we w o u l d b e l i e v e much t h a t i s t r u e u n l e s s  there  were c e r t a i n e s t a b l i s h e d p r o c e d u r e s o r r u l e s t o f o l l o w i n the quest  for truth.  The f i r s t r u l e t o obey i n t h e  for truth  i s t o make e v e r y a t t e m p t n o t t o d i s r e g a r d any  available  evidence.  A r e l i a b l e way t o g e t  p a y as much a t t e n t i o n as p o s s i b l e t o  at the t r u t h  e v i d e n c e and as  as p o s s i b l e t o what we w o u l d L I K E t o be t h e c a s e . says  (p.14-15),  belief  "It  i s p a r t of the d e f i n i t i o n  t h a t ^ i s d e t e r m i n e d n o t by t h e w i l l  evidence. beliefs,  To t h e e x t e n t to that  extent  to  little,  As G r a n t  b u t by t h e  t o w h i c h we o u r s e l v e s they are n o n - r a t i o n a l .  available  c o n t r o l our If  it  then  is that  i s d e t e r m i n e d n o t by t h e e v i d e n c e b u t by t h e d e c i s i o n  of the i n d i v i d u a l .  T h i s makes i n e v i t a b l e what i s commonly  c a l l e d ''wishful thinking*  1  —  and t h i s i s not a k i n d of  but the a b d i c a t i o n of thought, i n w h i c h a f o r g e d pound n o t e its  is  of r a t i o n a l  p o s s i b l e t o d e c i d e or c h o o s e what one b e l i e v e s , belief  search  i n a s i m i l a r fashion to  thinking that  i s not a k i n d of c u r r e n c y but  travesty." In c o n v e r s a t i o n , a p e r s o n ( l e t us c a l l him ' A ' )  t h a t he c o u l d c h o o s e t o b e l i e v e  something.  claimed  I asked him  w h e t h e r he c o u l d c h o o s e t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e g r e e n s h o e s was w e a r i n g were b r o w n ( o r any o t h e r c o l o u r ) .  He s a i d  I that  15  he c o u l d n o t .  He e x p l a i n e d t h a t t h e o n l y , k i n d o f  w h i c h c o u l d be' c h o s e n w e r e t h o s e are i n p r i n c i p l e is  a God.  c o n c e r n i n g matter* w h i c h  empirically unverifiable —  e.g.  that  I a s k e d h i m i f he c o u l d c h o o s e t o b e l i e v e  t h e r e i s a G o d , and i f "Because  beliefs  I find  it  s o , why he d i d n ' t do s o .  (i.e.  there  that  He r e p l i e d ,  the a s s e r t i o n 'God e x i s t s ' )  im-  plausible." A s a i d t h a t t h e r e a s o n he c o u l d n o t c h o o s e t o  believe  t h a t my s h o e s were brown was t h a t he KNEW t h a t t h e y  were  green.  over-  I take i t  t h a t he knew t h i s on t h e b a s i s  of  w h e l m i n g e v i d e n c e - - v i z . , he c o u l d S E E t h a t my s h o e s w e r e not brown.  I t w o u l d seem, t h e n , t h a t when t h e  overwhelming,  it  r e a l l y IS o v e r w h e l m i n g .  h e l p b u t b e l i e v e what we see c a s e s as t h e  'bent'  ( w i t h the  evidence  T h a t i s , we  exception of  is  cannot  such  oar i n the water —  b u t i n t h i s c a s e we  c a n n o t h e l p b u t b e l i e v e what we t o u c h ) .  The o n l y r e a s o n we  c o u l d s a y t h a t A knew t h a t my s h o e s were g r e e n was t h a t believed i t with confidence i s  .justified confidence.  And what  he  justifies  evidence.  A s a i d t h a t he d i d n o t b e l i e v e t h a t t h e r e was a God b e c a u s e he f o u n d i t  implausible.  he d i d n o t f i n d  it  enough)  for i t .  reasons  choose t o b e l i e v e  reasonable It  —  P r e s u m a b l y t h i s means i.e.  seems t h a t  there weren't  any  enough  reasons  B u t once he r e a l i z e d t h a t t h e r e were  r e a s o n s f o r b e l i e v i n g s o m e t h i n g , he w o u l d n ' t n e e d a l s o d e c i d e or choose  (or"  our f r i e n d A d i d not  a n y t h i n g t h a t he d i d n ' t see  to warrant b e l i e f .  that  to believe  it  —  enough  to  he w o u l d a l r e a d y b e l i e v e  it.  16 A c o u l d not r e a l l y choose t o b e l i e v e s a i d t h a t he d i d n ' t b e l i e v e found i t find there  implausible.  i t believable.  that  anything at a l l .  He  t h e r e i s a God b e c a u s e he  But t o f i n d  something p l a u s i b l e i s  In other words, A c o u l d not b e l i e v e  i s a God b e c a u s e he c o u l d n o t b e l i e v e  that there  to that  is a  God. W h a t e v e r A m e a n t , he j u s t that there just  i s a God.  B u t what t h i s came t o ,  could not b e l i e v e  believe  was t h a t  he  t h a t t h e r e i s a God.  I have c l a i m e d t h a t b e l i e f t h a t we a r e n o t f r e e  c o u l d not choose t o  is involuntary.  T h i s means  t o b e l i e v e w h a t e v e r we want o r  w o u l d be o f most b e n e f i t  to us.  whatever  We c a n n o t b e l i e v e a t  will.  I do n o t t h i n k t h a t p e o p l e want m e r e l y t o b e l i e v e t h a t is  a God.  They want i t  to be.the  case t h a t  God e x i s t s .  t h i n k t h a t W i l l i a m James i s i n s u c h a p o s i t i o n .  istence  thesis'  world  But i n s t e a d o f a r g u i n g t h e c a s e f o r t h e  James i s u r g i n g us t o b e l i e v e on t h e g r o u n d s t h a t  it will  these the  ' r e l i g i o u s hypo-  be o f b e n e f i t  f o r g e t t i n g what he h i m s e l f s a y s a b o u t b e l i e f ;  "...will certain fore  consists objects,  the mind.  to  whose e x i s t e n c e  of consenting to t h e i r s t a b l e  t h e n he  (16*90, p.320)  or f a c t s  to  presence  i n the case of w i l l ,  depends on o u r t h o u g h t ,  body f o r example,  us,  i n n o t h i n g b u t a manner o f a t t e n d i n g  The o b j e c t s ,  the  things.  and i f he e x p e c t s us t o be a b l e t o do t h i s a t w i l l , is  ex-  o f God o r f o r t h e v i e w t h a t t h e b e s t t h i n g s a r e  e t e r n a l t h i n g s , he u r g e s u s t o b e l i e v e If  I  He c l a i m s  (p.27) t h a t he h a s a " p a s s i o n a l n e e d o f t a k i n g t h e religiously".  there  are  be-  those  movements o f o u r own  w h i c h s u c h movements e x e c u t e d  in  17  the  future  are  those  may make r e a l . w h i c h do n o t  g a r d i n g them.  I will  believe  that  I got  (p.321)  "...so  of b e l i e f  change a c c o r d i n g t o get  up l a t e  the g r e a t  j e c t s w h i c h we may w i l l merely believe  Objects  yesterday  morning..."  or u n w i l l ,  believe  up,  and i s  James s a y s right  to adopt  He adds  1956, p . x )  to b e l i e v e " , attitude."  (It  as  essay i s  we a r e  possibility) shown t h a t  faith". "the  ' e v e n now'  in  our  matters".  defended....the This  does  l i b e r t y of  believing"  embody a  "adopt  i s u n c e r t a i n w h e t h e r he w a n t s  a  "liberty believing  us t o  or t o adopt  mistaken  a  believe believing  religion.) between  James and  Clifford  q u e s t i o n o f the m o r a l i t y (and t h e r e f o r e  of b e l i e v i n g at  they are  will,  t h e n we h a v e  already  You cannot  condemn  both misguided.  r e w a r d a man f o r what he b e l i e v e s . other things  "long  l i b e r t y to  we i n t e r p r e t t h e a r g u m e n t  i n v o l v i n g the  in religious  B u t i f we a r e n o t a t  at  one  it.  "a defence of  w h i c h we h a v e shown t o  affirmations  toward  James h i m s e l f  to forget  preaching  course  abruptly."  he h a s  of b e l i e f .  perhaps  the r e l i g i o u s  If  page t h a t  same as h i s  view of the nature  attitude  his  of v o l u n t a r i l y adopted  sound t h e  (Preface,  that  times  a believing attitude  on t h e n e x t  lawfulness not  (p.l)  will  of  can  world..Truly  distinction is,  seems a t  ob-  and o b j e c t s w h i c h we  grows  at  I  He adds  p r a c t i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n between  As i m p o r t a n t as t h i s The W i l l t o B e l i e v e  re-  up e a r l y t o m o r r o w m o r n i n g ;  or d i s b e l i e v e ,  a man c a n n o t  contrary  as we t h i n k  o f t h e most i m p o r t a n t d i s t i n c t i o n s i n t h e enough,  on t h e  James s a y s ,  s u c h as t h e  B u t we c a n a t t e n d adoption of a  the  or  to  believing  18  attitude,  and see  about  legitimacy  the  whether  James d e f e n d s  the r i g h t  We s h a l l see  t h i s would b e , r e g a r d i n g  'adopt  and what t h e  clear  a believing  attitude.  it  implications  as t r u t h and  exactly  officially the year  e.g.  The p r o p o s i t i o n h e r e  cultivate only for  that  is  reality.  what he means  attitude'. • It  i l  adopt  belief signs  'thinks'  given  he saw o u r g r a d e  "You r e c e i v e d  90% a s y o u r mark  a believing attitude'  t h a t we h a v e r e c e i v e d to consider  e.g.  a very  claims of professor  James w o u l d s u b s c r i b e  for  acceptance.  by l o o k i n g  h i g h mark and dis'confirmation directly).  to the  second  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a b o v e t h o u g h h i s a c t u a l w o r k i n g w o u l d seem suggest something of our f i r s t  l i k e the  first  interpretation,  may h e l p c l a r i f y t h i s  issue.  second  (see  interpretation  viz.,  one.  A look at  two  to  examples  'belief-attitude-adoption'  L a t e r we s h a l l c o n s i d e r  p.2.f).  90%.  may mean 2)  i n a given proposition --  that  for  l i t t l e b l a c k book a n d we g o t  w e ' r e too a f r a i d t o ask the I suspect  by  may mean 1)  Our d e s i r e w o u l d p u t us i n t o a mood o f  avoiding-'opportunities (e.g.  he  i n the p r o f e s s o r ' s  Or t h e p h r a s e  of  a s we m i g h t do i f we were t o l d u n - '  by someone  the year".  attitude  i s EVER r i g h t  i n t o t h e mood o f a c c e p t a n c e w i t h r e g a r d t o a  proposition --  center  a believing  whether  such t h i n g s  James does n o t make i t  get  t o adopt  a believing attitude  the phrase  might not  o f a d o p t i n g a. b e l i e v i n g  in religious matters. t o adopt  t h e argument  our  !9 BELIEF-ATTITUDE-ADOPTION  3. I:  A . Example one:  understandable, some s e n s e ,  H e r e i s a c a s e where I w o u l d deem  forgiveable,  to  he i s k i d n a p p e d .  a sum o f money a t  expect  even l e g i t i m a t e  to adopt a b e l i e v i n g a t t i t u d e .  y o u have a s o n and t h a t to leave  perhaps  your s o n ' s  Suppose You a r e  d e l i v e r y 21+ h o u r s a f t e r  i n regard to the boy's  loved one's  s o n and t h a t  instructions. to think —  In t h i s  safety  --  case,  any h i n t a t  'at  one's  t h e b o y t o be a l i v e .  In such a case,  desire  assuming t h a t  wits'  end'  case might b l i n d  --  but  want  --  that  desire  one t o t h e  truth just  And w o u l d we b l a m e a  o v e r r i d e h i s reason?  No —  we w o u l d  p a r e n t who d i d NOT  colour his opinion.  do n o t t h i n k we w o u l d blame h i m f o r  evidence  what  One w o u l d l i k e l y  Here t h e p a r e n t would seek o n l y c o r r o b o r a t i n g I  all  The t r u t h o f t h e m a t t e r i s t h a t y o u  desire  one  kidnapper  One w o u l d n o t  even s a y t h a t we w o u l d n o t u n d e r s t a n d t h e let  payment.  adopt a b e l i e v i n  i t w o u l d be u n d e r s t a n d a b l e  d o n ' t KNOW how t h e b o y i s f a r i n g . p a r e n t who l e t  told  assurance.  s o m e t h i n g be t h e  of the matter.  the  a l l as c o n f i r m a t i o n t h a t he was s a f e  even t h e k i d n a p p e r ' s  t o have  instructed  one m i g h t n o t know a t  m e r e l y t o B E L I E V E t h a t t h e b o y was a l i v e . take  that  one i n t e n d e d t o f o l l o w t h e  one w o u l d l i k e l y be  want  one w o u l d  in  a c e r t a i n p l a c e and you a r e  S u r e l y one w o u l d , u n d e r t h e s e c i r c u m s t a n c e s , attitude  it  here.  seeking only  evidence. positive  We w o u l d be more l i k e l y t o wonder a t , o r  blame_, a p a r e n t who s o u g h t  as a r d e n t l y f o r n e g a t i v e  as  even  for  20 positive parent  evidence.  who s o u g h t  And we s u r e l y w o u l d n o t a p p r o v e  evidence  negative  evidence.  i n the to  search  intervene  He w o u l d be d i s r e g a r d i n g  i f we t h o u g h t  delivery  convince livery  they  believing attitude  an example attitude,  it.  t h a n what t h e  kill  or t o adopt  too  oneself  can a c t u a l l y  It  i s at  any r a t e  the q u e s t i o n  (when y o u d o n ' t  expected  t r u t h t h e b o y was f a r i n g , be w i s e  to ask the parent?  a him.  believing  may l e a d t o  just  the  pos-  h e l p b r i n g about p.  that  ).  that  the a d o p t i o n  know what t h e  forgiveable  o r even  i n such c a s e s .  o f TRUTH come i n ?  when  T h i s w o u l d be  - - w a n t i n g one t h i n g t o be t h e  understandable,  to  de-  redhanded  strong a  I t h i n k . t h i s k i d n a p p i n g c a s e shows  sometimes  the  victim  t o an u n d e s i r a b l e  (On f a i t h and v e r i f i c a t i o n see  a believing attitude  blind-  The p o l i c e may t r y  one t o o r e a d i l y ,  future  is  try  n o t h i n g c o u l d persuade  t o adopt  sible  than another  their  kidnapper ordered.  o f a c a s e where  rule  voluntary  The p a r e n t may h a v e a d o p t e d  Blinding  rather  the f i r s t  For example,  can c a t c h t h e k i d n a p p e r s  so s t r o n g t h a t  event i n t h e  disregarding  We w o u l d even  parent's  many k i d n a p p e r s  UNdesired r e s u l t .  event.  the  only  t o a l l o w them t o w a t c h t h e r a n s o m  they t r y to c o l l e c t  t o do o t h e r  that  o f t h e r a n s o m money.  the parent  so t h a t  page/* ) .  lead to the boy's death.  p o l i c e m i g h t know t h a t after  f o r wanting to f i n d  b u t we m i g h t b l a m e h i m f o r  f o r t r u t h (see  ness might i t s e l f  the  ONLY d i s c o n f i r m a t i o n .  We w o u l d n o t blame a p a r e n t positive  of  of  case  case i s )  —  legitimate.  B u t where  does  I f we w a n t e d t o know how i n  how he was r e a l l y  faring,  w o u l d we  We w o u l d be u n l i k e l y t o go  to  21 the  one s o u r c e where d e s i r e  an i n t e r e s t e d t h e y were  o r hope may h a v e u t t e r l y b l i n d e d  p a r t y . ' . We w o u l d no d o u b t a s k t h e  police,  if  i n v o l v e d , r a t h e r t h a n r e l y on t h e p a r e n t who  so  w a n t s t h e b o y t o be s a f e o r t h e k i d n a p p e r who so w a n t s one t o t h i n k t h a t he i s or l o s e ,  safe.  Where someone  stands  to g a i n .  i n r e g a r d t o t h e answer t o any g i v e n q u e s t i o n ,  one i s n ' t answer.  likely  t o be t h e b e s t p o s s i b l e  A realistic appraisal in this  to lead to the d e s i r e d r e s u l t  guide to the  c a s e i s more  Desire for a  t h i n g t o be t r u e  or b l i n d f a i t h i n that  can l e a d t o j u s t  the  to the b o y ' s  opposite  that  is  -shouldn't give hope t h a t  up t o o e a r l y ,  i n the  thing's  sense t h a t  t h e boy i s  being  true  a believing  he s h o u l d  still  alive.  He  b u t s h o u l d p a y the^ r a n s o m a n d  come o u t i n -the e n d .  n o t want t o a r g u e  likely  result.  i s POSSIBLE t h a t  it'll  t o say t h a t  safety  correct  certain  James m i g h t s a y t h a t t h e p a r e n t s h o u l d a d o p t attitude  then  t h a n i s b l i n d f a i t h o r mere  a d o p t i o n of a b e l i e v i n g a t t i t u d e .  believe  every-  w i t h James h e r e .  James w o u l d a r g u e  a p a r e n t w o u l d pay t h e r a n s o m ,  And o f c o u r s e we w o u l d But i t  i n t h i s way.  i s not  realistic  In a l l  likelihood,  i f he were a b l e t o do  o n l y i f he were n o t s u r e t h e b o y . w a s  dead.  so,  That i s ,  he  w o u l d do p r a c t i c a l l y a n y t h i n g t o s e e . t h e b o y a l i v e and  safe  a g a i n so w o u l d r e f u s e  suf-  ficient  evidence  One w o u l d a r g u e  o r were  sure that  t h e boy was dead  already.  u n r e a l i s t i c a l l y b e c a u s e o n l y when t h e  body i s p r e s e n t e d possible  t o pay t h e r a n s o m o n l y i f he h a d  to the p a r e n t ,  f o r h i m t o be a l i v e .  will  he s a y t h a t  boy's  it's  We may c o n c l u d e t h a t  the  not sort  22 o f a r g u m e n t James w o u l d make h e r e i s n o t should t h i n k i t  possible that  should a c t u a l l y believe 'we s a i d a b o v e ,  that  just that the  parent  t h e boy i s a l i v e b u t t h a t the boy i s a l i v e .  c o u l d be v e r y d a n g e r o u s  he  And t h i s ,  f o r the boy.  We w o u l d  s a y t h a t he s h o u l d want t h e b o y t o be a l i v e - - n o t t h a t should believe  that  t h e boy i s  B . I n our s e c o n d c a s e o f a d o p t i o n o f a b e l i e v i n g  it  i s not understandable  or f o r g i v e a b l e  'RECOMMENDED o r APPROPRIATE t o do s o .  belief  - - nay,  what o c c u r s is to,  that  be w i l l i n g  to b e l i e v e  --  believe,  attitude, It  i s . a w e l l known suspend  so t h a t  one  Notice  that  advised  stage or screen  necessarily)  least  real.  are not intended to be,  Hamlet w i l l  or are  p e r h a p s be L a u r e n c e  is  e.g.  d i s p l a y e d on s t a g e may be r e a l i s t i c , b u t  (or at  dis-  takes  and a r e w e l l  on t h e  is  I t may h a v e some c o n n e c t i o n w i t h r e a l i t y ,  the'emotions w o n ' t be  It  on t h e s t a g e a s r e a l l y h a p p e n i n g .  t h a t we KNOW what t r a n s p i r e s  NOT r e a l .  t o do s o .  one s h o u l d w i l l i n g l y  j u s t where we DO w i l l i n g l y  he  alive.  I:  maxim o f t h e t h e a t e r  as  they not  Olivier-  a n d C l e o p a t r a may be E l i z a b e t h T a y l o r , b u t H a m l e t n e v e r l i v e d and C l e o p a t r a i s l o n g  dead.  I deem i t most s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t where we a r e w e l l t o adopt a b e l i e v i n g a t t i t u d e , are adopting a d i f f e r e n t of u n r e a l i t y - effort  o f drama..  to believe  it  i s acknowledged t h a t  w o r l d , so t o  advise we  speak '-- t h e p l a y w o r l d  We h a v e s o m e t i m e s t o make an  because i t  IS so u n r e a l - -  e.g.,  we t r y  i g n o r e t h e p r o m p t e r ' s w h i s p e r a-t an a m a t e u r p r o d u c t i o n . more u n r e a l o r u n b e l i e v a b l e t h e p r o d u c t i o n i s , w i l l i n g we must be t o b e l i e v e ,  if it  to The  t h e more  i s t o seem a t a l l  real  23 to  us. It  seems,  (the  less  there  is  then,  plausible for  attitude.  that  something  suspension  When we see  no n e e d t o TRY t o  the  see  f u r t h e r we g e t seems t o u s ) ,  of d i s b e l i e f things  that  or w e l l advised  but  of a make-believe  Miller,  whether  about  e.g.,  ' Where i t  believed  i s not  (One W i l l s  is  as  it  is  we ex-  believing  is  than  appropriate it  is a  of t h i s  t o Make  fore-  world  Believe.  p. 16*7) . the  Clifford-James  o r n o t we s h o u l d g e t  of acceptance w i t h regard is  is  world.  I do n o t t h i n k t h a t about  a  a believing attitude,  ' gone c o n c l u s i o n t h a t what  there  T h u s , ' where adopt  believing  seek t r u t h elsewhere  this attitude.  t o adopt  need  of a d o p t i o n of a  one w i l l  we a r e w e l l a d v i s e d t o  f r o m hirn who a d o p t s  t h e more  them i n a c e r t a i n way - -  p e c t e d , or u n d e r s t a n d a b l e  reality,  as t h e y r e a l l y a r e ,  w i s h t h e y w e r e o r a s t h e y MIGHT b e .  attitude,  from  ourselves  to a p r o p o s i t i o n .  t h e way we COME BY o u r  dispute  'cultivate  is  the b e l i e f .  when he u s e s t h e  phrase  our second This i s  one  i n t o t h e mood I think that  it  beliefs.  The most l i k e l y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n o u r v i e w o f believing attitude'  is  one  (see  l i k e l y what  ' v o l u n t a r i l y adopted  'adopt  a  p./#),.viz., James r e f e r s faith'  (p.2.).  to  24  4. II:  BELIEF-CULTIVATION (p.16-17),  As P r i c e s a y s ,  c u l t i v a t e d though they or a b o l i s h e d , at point here large  will."  we need)  to believe  enough - -  will  it.  BE t h e It  (i.e.,  i f we r e a l l y want  if  some-  (or  feel  and  A s we s a i d e a r l i e r , what  this  i f we r e a l l y want s o m e t h i n g t o be  ( r e a l l y ' w a n t to b e l i e v e it  James a r g u e d t h a t  s o m e t h i n g enough - - we a r e a b l e  amounts t o i s t h i s :  believe  "The c r u c i a l  d i r e c t i o n of our a t t e n t i o n i s t o a  s h o u l d COME TO b e l i e v e  case  And he a d d s , ' ( p . 1 7 ) ,  i n o u r own p o w e r " .  t h i n g tempts our w i l l  c a n be g r a d u a l l y  c a n n o t be i n s t a n t a n e o u s l y p r o d u c e d ,  i s t h a t the  extent  "Beliefs  deem i t  case — —  the  i t ' ) , t h e n we s h o u l d come  t o be t h e  case).  to  Then f o r U S ,  it  b e c a u s e WE WILL B E L I E V E I T .  i s t r u e t h a t we c a n come t o b e l i e v e  something  largely  by d i r e c t i n g our a t t e n t i o n o n l y i n c e r t a i n d i r e c t i o n s . f o r m a t i o n of b e l i e f s  (p.19)•  "...  Grant d i s c u s s e s  the  rational belief  i s b a s e d on c o l l e c t i n g a n d a t t e n d i n g t o  appropriate evidence." he r i g h t l y s a y s .  S u c h a c t i v i t i e s ARE w i t h i n  liberty  to  procedures,  choose  our c o n t r o l ,  And he a d d s " . . i t i s w i t h i n o u r power  t o t r o u b l e t o amass t h e  e v i d e n c e . . . N o w s i n c e we a r e  on what b a s i s  being a c t i o n s ,  not  at  t o form our b e l i e f s ,  are proper subjects  the  these  of moral  appraisal." We s h a l l assume h e n c e f o r w a r d t h a t Clifford vation,  a n d James i s or of  Would i t  the  issue  between  one r e g a r d i n g m e t h o d s o f b e l i e f  culti-  'inquiry'. e v e r be r i g h t t o s a y t h a t  someone o u g h t  to  25  cultivate a particular belief? One may a r g u e t h a t others too)  I think that  there are  i t would be.  some S o u t h e r n e r s  (and  i n t h e U . S . A . who o u g h t t o c u l t i v a t e t h e  that. Negroes are not n e c e s s a r i l y i n f e r i o r they are of a d i f f e r e n t p e o p l e anywhere  (e.g.  are not d i c t a t e d by,  hue-.  belief  t o them b e c a u s e  The same c o u l d be s a i d  South A f r i c a ,  Canada) whose  or proportioned t o ,  the  for  beliefs  available  evidence. Recall, the married,  case of the f a t h e r w i t h t h e 1 4 . y e a r o l d , u n -  expectant  daughter.  when she t e l l s h i m h e r s t o r y ,  S u p p o s e t h a t he i s so s h o c k e d t h a t he c a n n o t b e l i e v e  In t h i s case,  we w o u l d s a y t h a t he s h o u l d c u l t i v a t e  i n t h i s news,  provided of course that  let  us s u p p o s e t h a t  it  is accurate).  i n t h e c a s e s where we w o u l d s a y t h a t  her. belief  it  i s accurate  It  is  (and  significant  one o u g h t  deliberately  to c u l t i v a t e a p a r t i c u l a r b e l i e f ,  one i s  wanting  We t h i n k t h a t p e o p l e  (or  ' w i l l i n g ' ) t o do s o .  to cultivate beliefs q u e s t i o n a r e TRUE.  in a state  on t h e g r o u n d s t h a t  the things  And we w o u l d p r o b a b l y s a y t h a t  people should c u l t i v a t e b e l i e f  that  o f NOT ought  in these  i n the p r o p o s i t i o n s i n question  FOR THEIR OWN GOOD. B u t i s t r u t h an ' u l t i m a t e v a l u e ' ? o f a c a s e where i t w o u l d be b e t t e r t o ceive  someone?  Of c o u r s e we c a n .  That i s ,  can we t h i n k  (where we s h o u l d )  de-  We a l l know t h e s t a n d a r d  - P h i l o s o p h y 100 e x a m p l e o f t h e armed madman who comes t o  the  d o o r l o o k i n g f o r y o u r b r o t h e r (who I S home) and whom y o u ought t o d e c e i v e .  A n o t h e r example i s t h e  d y i n g man who i n h i s f i n a l  breaths  c a s e o f an o l d ,  inquires after  his  son  26 who h a s f a i l e d t o show up a t had been k i l l e d  h i s death bed.  on h i s way t o t h e h o s p i t a l - -  t h e o l d man t h e t r u t h o r s h o u l d we l e t thinking that that  his  s o n i s a l i v e and w e l l ?  We e x c u s e o r j u s t i f y unnecessary  o l d man b e c a u s e he i s belief  and t h e r e b y  nificant  way.  It  is quite  tell  clear  truth.  it  it  will  could not  We deem i t r i g h t t o d e c e i v e  the  i n no p o s i t i o n t o o v e r t l y ACT on h i s  influence  Since b e l i e f  want t o b e l i e v e  son  s h o u l d we  l y i n g when ( c a s e 1 a b o v e )  harm o r when ( c a s e 2)  p o s s i b l y cause any harm.  the  him d i e i n peace  i n some c a s e s we do r i g h t t o h i d e t h e  prevent  Suppose  o n l y what  o r change  t h e w o r l d i n any  i s a g u i d e t o a c t i o n , we  is true  —  else  sig-  generally  our a c t i o n s  will  be m i s g u i d e d . If  we deem e f f e c t i v e  action u n l i k e l y unless  on t h e b a s i s  of warranted b e l i e f ,  serve  f o r that which i s true  belief  satisfies  us.  effectively ourselves  —  There i s i.e.,  undertaken  t h e n we w o u l d s u r e l y —  not t h a t  which  l i t t l e hope o f b e i n g a b l e t o  a c c o m p l i s h our purposes  t o be g u i d e d b y b e l i e f s  --  re-  act  i f we a l l o w  which misconstrue the  facts.  I f we p r a c t i s e d what G r a n t c a l l e d " w i s h f u l t h i n k i n g " ( s e e in  our e v e r y d a y  lives,  when d e c i s i o n s  regarding  p.i+)  actions  mVsX'-- be c o n s t a n t l y made,, t h e r e s u l t s w o u l d be l u d i c r o u s or t r a g i c . lief  —  We may w i s h we a r e N a p o l e o n and a c t  and p e o p l e  (the  would soon r e s t r i c t i n love kill  our a c t i v i t y .  We may w i s h t h a t  him.  Others would soon r e s t r i c t ,  If  i s nonsense  day l i f e ,  then i t  be-  o t h e r p e o p l e we m e n t i o n e d on p a g e / ' )  i s d y i n g o f some i n c u r a b l e d i s e a s e  it  on t h i s  --  to advocate  i s nonsense  and  our  'mercifully'  o r end o u r  activity.  wishful thinking in  to advocate  it  rival  anywhere  everywhere  27 a c t i o n on t h e b a s i s o f s u c h b e l i e f Y e t James s a y s  (p.29, f o o t n o t e )  c o u l d be u n d e r t a k e n .  t h a t "The w h o l e d e f e n c e  r e l i g i o u s f a i t h h i n g e s upon a c t i o n . " vague t h i s " d e f e n c e " cultivation, cultivate a  really is.  a n d we w i l l  see  We w i l l  see  l a t e r how  F o r now, t h e t o p i c i s  belief-  how James t h i n k s we s h o u l d  belief.  On pages - 321-322 o f h i s P r i n c i p l e s o f P s y c h o l o g y , says that  our  infallibly  such a c o n n e c t i o n w i t h our l i f e t h a t  real.  James  "we n e e d o n l y i n c o l d b l o o d ACT as i f t h e t h i n g i n  q u e s t i o n were r e a l , and i t w i l l into  of  It w i l l  interests  end by g r o w i n g it will  become  become so k n i t w i t h h a b i t a n d e m o t i o n t h a t in it will  be t h o s e w h i c h c h a r a c t e r i z e  belief.  T h o s e t o whom ' G o d ' a n d ' D u t y ' a r e now mere names c a n make t h e m much more t h a n t h a t , them e a c h  i f t h e y make a l i t t l e  sacrifice  day."  I suggest t h a t the s a c r i f i c e here i s our r e a s o n . if  God w e r e a n e v i l demon w o u l d He d e s i r e  sacrifice  from us.  DO b e l i e v e  (or exact)  Only such a  We w o u l d a l s o be s a c r i f i c i n g o u r h o n e s t y  t o a c t on what we w o u l d l i k e  --  t o b e l i e v e and n o t on what we  i s to s e l f - d e c e i v e .  deception also advocates (p.174)  to  And he who a d v o c a t e s  deceiving others.  self-  As C l i f f o r d  "Men s p e a k t h e t r u t h t o one a n o t h e r when e a c h  said, reveres  t h e t r u t h i n h i s own m i n d and i n t h e o t h e r ' s m i n d ; b u t how s h a l l my f r i e n d r e v e r e t h e t r u t h i n my m i n d when I m y s e l f am careless  a b o u t i t , when I b e l i e v e  b e l i e v e t h e m , and b e c a u s e t h e y a r e  t h i n g s b e c a u s e I want  to  c o m f o r t i n g and p l e a s a n t ? "  Where w o u l d we be i f everybodyhad l i s t e n e d t o James and had  t a k e n h i s a d v i c e t o b e l i e v e what most t e m p t e d t h e i r w i l l  —  28 what made them h a p p i e s t t o b e l i e v e ?  As A. M. M a c l v e r  says  ( p p . 2 0 - 2 1 ) , " I f our o n l y reason f o r t h i n k i n g a n y t h i n g were t h a t we o u r s e l v e s found the.thought a g a i n s t o u r thoughts  a g r e e a b l e , then t h e odds  happening t o r e p r e s e n t t h i n g s as they  r e a l l y a r e would be a s t r o n o m i c a l . . . . The w o r l d o f men would be n o t h i n g but a v a s t l u n a t i c asylum i n which a l l t h e p a t i e n t s s u f f e r e d from t o t a l d e l u s i o n . "  He adds t h a t " I t i s . . . b e -  cause b e l i e f s a r e '•'about'"' t h i n g s  a r e designed t o r e p r e s e n t  them -- t h a t we can speak o f t h e i r r e p r e s e n t i n g o r f a i l i n g to represent...." Suppose we take s t e p s t o come t o a b e l i e f about something —  e.g. t h a t t h e r e i s a God —  evidence  or arguments and s e e k i n g o n l y c o n f i r m i n g  or arguments.  by i g n o r i n g adverse evidan.ee  .Rather than read Hume, Kant, Kaufmann and  R u s s e l l we read P l o t i n u s , t h e C h r i s t i a n B i b l e , Newman and P a s c a l .  Aquinas,  We a t t e n d o n l y t o what we t h i n k w i l l  l e a d t o a c o n f i r m a t i o n o f t h e p r o p o s i t i o n t h a t we d e s i r e confirmed.  When we have c o n v i n c e d  l o c u t i o n ) t h a t a l l t h e evidence looked at) confirms the p  o u r s e l v e s (ant i n t e r e s t i n g  ( i . e . a l l t h a t WE have  r o p o s i t i o n ,  led to believe the proposition.  we n a t u r a l l y  w i l l be  (Or do we j u s t f e e l  less  g u i l t y about embracing t h e p r o p o s i t i o n ? ) . We have c u l t i v a t e d a ' b e l i e f - f l o w e r ' , o r f i e l d o f them, by p l a n t i n g o n l y ' c o n f i r m a t i o n - seeds'. we have been i m p a r t i a l .  But t o our minds,  F o r we have read w i d e l y and have  seen our p r o p o s i t i o n c o n f i r m e d i n v a r i o u s ways and i n d i f f e r e n t degrees by many d i f f e r e n t  (though n o t opposed) men.  T h i s i s t h e t y p e o f b e l i e f - c u l t i v a t i o n t o which evidence  is .  29  r e g a r d e d as r e l e v a n t  or e s s e n t i a l —  t h o u g h as we h a v e  when y o u a r e c u l t i v a t i n g a p a r t i c u l a r b e l i e f , only a p a r t i c u l a r seed, 'belief-flower'  y o u must p l a n t  e l s e y o u may end u p w i t h a  t h a n you i n t e n d e d t o  seen,  different  grow.  Then t h e r e i s t h e c a s e where one c u l t i v a t e s a b e l i e f without regard to evidence. methods o f b e l i e f  ( P r i c e d i s t i n g u i s h e d these  c u l t i v a t i o n i n h i s paper B e l i e f and W i l l . )  One d o e s n o t s e e k e v e n c o r r o b o r a t i n g e v i d e n c e . t h i s method up by s a y i n g repeatedly true".  (p.19),  "one f i x e s  on what i t w o u l d be l i k e  He adds t h a t  one w a n t s t o b e l i e v e believes  it  it.  w i t h regard to  P r i c e sums  one's  attention  i f t h e p r o p o s i t i o n were  one commits h i m s e l f t o t h e p r o p o s i t i o n ( t o be T R U E ) .  One a c t s as t h o u g h one  ( a s t h o u g h i t were T R U E ) .  DOES b e l i e v e  two  And s o o n one a c t u a l l y  T h i s s o u n d s l i k e what James h a d i n m i n d  ' G o d ' and ' D u t y ' .  (see  page zi )  I w o u l d n o t deny t h a t we c o u l d c u r e a c a s e o f i n s o m n i a by a form of s e l f - h y p n o s i s — repeatedly  by c o n v i n c i n g o u r s e l v e s  t h a t we were g o i n g t o have a r e l a x e d s l e e p and  wake r e f r e s h e d .  H o w e v e r , we have n o t .yet d e v i s e d a method  w h e r e b y we c a n h y p n o t i s e t h e w o r l d and t h e r e b y a l t e r N o t i c e i n the insomnia case t h a t a belief. self.  insomnia the  one h a s n o t m e r e l y c u l t i v a t e d  One has a c t u a l l y c h a n g e d t h e w o r l d —  It's  it.  n o t t h a t we want t o b e l i e v e  i.e.,  one-  t h a t we a r e c u r e d o f  - - we want a c t u a l l y t o be c u r e d o f i n s o m n i a .  It  same i n t h e c a s e o f t h e p e r s o n w h o - w i s h e s t h a t t h e r e  a God.  We s h a l l see  t h a t James g o e s so f a r as t o s a y  is were  that  e v e n i f t h e r e were no G o d , we w o u l d p o s t u l a t e one b e c a u s e we n e e d H i m so b a d l y .  (It  i s d o u b t f u l t h a t anyone who knew t h a t  30 God was m e r e l y a p o s t u l a t e object  of  ' H i m ' an adequate  worship.)  When we s e t  out t o  are not i n q u i r i n g  cultivate  i n t o the nature  d i s c o v e r i n g t h i n g s about believe  would f i n d  that  it  is  a particular belief, of r e a l i t y .  we  We a r e  not  t h e w o r l d - - we a r e s e t t i n g  out  c o n s t i t u t e d i n some p a r t i c u l a r way.  to A  successful  inquiry w i l l  result  i n we know n o t e x a c t l y  what  beliefs  i f we knew a l r e a d y ,  t h e r e w o u l d be no n e e d  for  --  inquiry.  To i n q u i r e i s t o a s k a q u e s t i o n o r q u e s t i o n s .  cultivate  a belief  'answer' ic  --  it  i s to  impose y o u r own c h o i c e  to t e s t s .  In the preceding belief  frained tation  of the  We h a v e a l s o  particular saw t h a t  if  answers  t h a t we have.  all.  sections,  we h a v e a t t e m p t e d t o  I f we a r e  correct,  t h e n any  show  It  the phrase -'-will to b e l i e v e '  t u r n s out t h a t  people  do n o t d e s i r e  some p a r t i c u l a r t h i n g t o be b e l i e v e d state of a f f a i r s  deepest d e s i r e s ,  generally  ' a c c e p t a n c e o f what  i n or  believed according to  seems t r u e t o  one.  seems most d e s i r a b l e  to me'.  —  some  We a l s o their  i t now i s ,  I t w o u l d be  is  belief  t o come i n t o e x i s t e n c e .  b e l i e f w o u l d n o t be what  a c c e p t a n c e o f what  belief  render both positions- untenable.  seen t h a t  people  re-  interpre-  C l i f f o r d - J a m e s dispute which requires  t o be a n a c t i o n w i l l  they desire  proposed s o l u t i o n s or  i s n o t an a c t i o n w h i c h can be engaged i n o r  from at w i l l .  misleading.  that  . . T h i s i s how we d i s c o v e r  a s o l u t i o n o r answer a t  that  o f an  i s r e a l l y t o a s k no q u e s t i o n a t a l l . ' S c i e n t i f -  investigation requires  be s u b j e c t e d  To  viz.,  perhaps Also,  the  31 t r u e - f a l s e and r e a l - i m a g i n a r y d i s t i n c t i o n s would be  completely  v i t i a t e d i f b e l i e f were a t t e n d a n t upon the d e s i r e s of i n d i viduals.  I t became obvious  as a n y t h i n g o t h e r than  that i f ' b e l i e f  'acceptance of something as t r u e ' ,  t h e n James, or anyone e l s e who  so m i s i n t e r p r e t s b e l i e f , i s  not t a l k i n g about b e l i e f i n the o n l y way it.  i s interpreted  we  can  understand  Nowhere does James t e l l us t h a t he i s u s i n g the word  'belief  in...ah abnormal way.  In f a c t , he knew v e r y w e l l  what ' b e l i e f meant when he d e f i n e d i t i n The P r i n c i p l e s of Psychology up:  (p.26*3) as being "the sense of r e a l i t y " .  To  sum  t h e concept of b e l i e f i s l i n k e d t o the concept of t r u t h  or r e a l i t y —  concepts which we have seen t o be a l t e r e d com-  pletely i f '"belief  i s used t o mean a n y t h i n g o t h e r  than  "acceptance of something as t r u e ( o r r e a l ) " . We  then showed i n two  a t t i t u d e may  examples how  adopting a b e l i e f -  be j u s t i f i e d or even recommended.  It  was  e v i d e n t , however, t h a t though a d o p t i n g a b e l i e f - a t t i t u d e i n some c i r c u m s t a n c e s  may  be s a t i s f y i n g t o the i n d i v i d u a l , i t  e i t h e r tends t o m i s l e a d one as t o t h e t r u t h or i t presupposes t h a t what i s accepted as such.  as f a c t i s accepted  only temporarily  (Only i n c h i l d h o o d does one l e a v e the t h e a t e r w i t h  hands on one's guns, s e a r c h i n g a l l the w h i l e f o r the guys').  I t seems t h a t the more we must TRY  'bad  t o b e l i e v e (or  t  WILL t o b e l i e v e ) , the l e s s c o n t a c t we w i l l have w i t h r e a l i t y . We  then saw t h a t c u l t i v a t i n g a p a r t i c u l a r b e l i e f i s not  the same t h i n g as i n q u i r i n g i n t o the a c t u a l n a t u r e of the world.  When t h e r e i s NO p o s s i b i l i t y of b e i n g s u r p r i s e d a t  the r e s u l t s one g e t s when i n v e s t i g a t i n g n a t u r e , then some-  32  thing  other than i n v e s t i g a t i o n or i n q u i r y i s going We s h a l l now a n a l y z e  The W i l l  to  Believe.  i n more d e t a i l t h e a c t u a l  on. essay  33  5.  THE WILL TO B E L I E V E  James s a y s t h a t 'radical  empiricism.'  contented matters course  of  He s a y s  of f a c t  as h y p o t h e s e s  of future  (Preface,  the  conclusions  (Preface  to  concerning  freely  themselves  out.  'works'  best;  The t r u e s t and i t  faiths  in  are v e r i f i e d ,  o n l y means by w h i c h t h e i r t r u t h o r f a l s e h o o d s c i e n t i f i c hypothesis  c a n be no' o t h e r w i s e  life, and  c a n be  is  with  He  hypotheses  a l l , then the a c t i v e  expressing  the  TWTB, p . v i i ) .  p.xi-xii) "If religious  e x p e r i m e n t a l t e s t s by w h i c h t h e y  wrought  is  l i a b l e to modification i n  be i n o r d e r a t  i n d i v i d u a l s i n them,  calls  ' e m p i r i c i s m ' because " i t  experience."  the universe  are the  an a t t i t u d e w h i c h he  t o r e g a r d i t s most a s s u r e d  says f u r t h e r that about  he assumes  that  which...  religious  hypotheses." When James c a l l s  r e l i g i o n a hypothesis,  tempted to i n q u i r e which r e l i g i o n i s under James knows t h a t claims.  there are d i f f e r e n t  I f r e l i g i o n s are genuine  one, may be consideration.  r e l i g i o n s making  hypotheses.,  then  s h o u l d be some way t o d i s t i n g u i s h b e t w e e n t h e m , see  w h i c h one  ligions  'works'  best.  we be e x p e c t e d 1 9 2 9 ,  p . 4 7 7 )  qualities, different  and t h e r e  I F one i s b e t t e r  b e c a u s e " n o two o f us h a v e  some way  i s no way t o  than the  "The d i v i n e  ...  to re-  tell  rest),  identical difficulties,  t o work out i d e n t i c a l s o l u t i o n s . " He a d d s  there  B u t a c c o r d i n g t o James a l l  a r e on an e q u a l f o o t i n g  w h i c h one i s b e t t e r ( o r  different  nor should (James,  must mean a g r o u p  of  by b e i n g c h a m p i o n s o f w h i c h i n a l t e r n a t i o n , men may a l l f i n d w o r t h y m i s s i o n s . "  And '-a god  of  34 battles*  must be a l l o w e d t o be t h e g o d f o r one k i n d o f  person,  a g o d o f p e a c e and h e a v e n ,  a n d home, t h e god f o r  (Heaven h e l p t h e b e l i e v e r s  i n t h e peace god s h o u l d t h e y  war w i t h t h e b e l i e v e r s r e l i g i o n s hypothesis one i s .  o f t h e war g o d . )  I t . seems t h a t  i s d e t e r m i n e d by t h e  ' k i n d of  T h i s s o u n d s v e r y u n l i k e what o c c u r s  scientific  hypotheses.  'gods of b a t t l e ' ,  I f these hypotheses  they are.made  the attempt  is  one - - t h e y a r e n o t  the best  case  of  are regarded  as the  the mantle of t r u t h . hypothesis  on an e q u a l f o o t i n g by a n y  m e a n s . ' N o t so i n r e l i g i o n , a c c o r d i n g t o J a m e s .  of hypotheses  one's  person'  i n the  i s made t o d i s c o v e r w h i c h  M a c i n t y r e s a y s (p.196), " w h e r e  ever  t o war upon EACH OTHER,  v i c t o r assuming, u n t i l f u r t h e r n o t i c e , In science,  another.'-'  there  between w h i c h t h e r e  But,  as  a r e p o s s i b l e a number  c a n be no way o f  deciding,  we a r e n o t i n f a c t  d e a l i n g w i t h genuine hypotheses."  l i g i o u s hypotheses  are not genuine  ones,  Re-  i f any o f them  will  do. It  i s o u r c o n t e n t i o n t h a t no r e l i g i o n q u a l i f i e s , ,  even i n t e n d e d t o q u a l i f y , world.  R e l i g i o n s are,  among o t h e r t h i n g s ,  t h e u n i v e r s e as a WHOLE. about  as a g e n u i n e h y p o t h e s i s  Macintyre says, referring  to  to t e s t s .  (p.202), "we j u s t i f y  the  Rather,  of  claims as by  authority." James  the f u n c t i o n of r e l i g i o n or of a h y p o t h e s i s . (1929, p.508), o n l y when " r e m o t e  are p r e d i c t e d , into play.  their  a religious belief  In c a l l i n g r e l i g i o n a h y p o t h e s i s ,  says  about  is  interpretations  They do n o t s u b j e c t  p a r t i c u l a r events or t h i n g s  or  does r e l i g i o n . . .  misconstrues As he h i m s e l f  objective  bring a real  consequences hypothesis  . . . T h e w o r l d i n t e r p r e t e d r e l i g i o u s l y must be  such  3  that  different  events  c a n be e x p e c t e d  may have t o w a i t u n t i l we D I E b e f o r e ligious It  'hypothesis'  i s a strange  to-see  'science'  What a r e t h e  in i t . . .  ."  ( o r has  religious  hypothesis.  feel  He t e l l s  (1929,  us  let  The  'events'  character. that, there  The ' v i t a l  good'  means.  I f we r e c e i v e  reactions  are  t o o u r new b e l i e f ,  hypothesis  has  'works'  of good.  good',  best.  By ' w o r k s '  by a d o p t i n  i t by t h e if  usual  our a c t i o n s they  (for  s c i e n t i f i c hypothesis' i s  that  exactly  James means t h a t  it  i s meant by  satisfies  us,  and  can be  thereby true  B u t what  in  We h a v e  t h e n a c c o r d i n g t o James,  ' w o r k e d ' f o r us a n d i s the t r u e s t  to  t h e w o r l d by a d o p t i n g t h e »  i n f l u e n c e d i r f s u c h a way t h a t  As James s a y s ,  i n God i s  we a r e t o g a i n f r o m b e l i e v i n g  'vital  attributed  which  To b e l i e v e  a n d we do n o t t e s t the  for  " T h e i r s t i m u l a n t and  i s a God, i s a p e r s o n a l s o r t  hypothesis  a  p s y c h o l o g i c a l or s u b j e c t i v e  n o t l e a r n e d a n y t h i n g new a b o u t religious  that  of safety,  w h i c h James s a y s we c a n f o r e c a s t are  the  (p.509).  filter in"  the r e l i g i o u s hypothesis  James  of l o v i n g affections  is....great...."  "higher energies  to.  basis  pp.476-477)  an a s s u r a n c e  On page 4 9 6 he a d d s t h a t effect  inter-  reference  d i f f e r e n t l y upon b e l i e v i n g  temper o f peace and a preponderance  anaesthetic  i f we  A g a i n and a g a i n , however,  r e l i g i o n g i v e s ' one a new z e s t ,  others.  coffin  w h i c h James c o u l d p r e d i c t on t h e  of a r e l i g i o u s h y p o t h e s i s . one w i l l  re-  worked).  w h i c h may be e x p e c t e d  p r e t t h e w o r l d r e l i g i o u s l y ? . Nowhere do I f i n d  says t h a t  the  whose-only l a b o r a t o r y i s the  'events'  any p a r t i c u l a r event  B u t we  we c a n ' t e s t '  i f i t works  5  the us).  'works'? gives  us  36 peace, it  safety,  does  e n e r g y a n d / o r makes l i f e  enough o f t h e s e  deem i t  true.  get  effects,  It  the  thesis  to see,  i t before  (believe  work,  a vital  hypothesis  To sum u p ;  the r e l i g i o u s  good,  true.  it).  It it.  (believes  hypothesis  at a l l .  Since the  of the  But b e f o r e  ual.  If  it  'test'  --  it.  has been  James'  i.e.,  'works',  the hypothesis 'test'  'test'  Thus  it  The  'test',  c a n n o t be  is  its  effect  con-  as  being  but only the  does  the not  subjective  upon t h e b e l i e v i n g  then the t e s t  'true'  therefore,  can  there  i t ) , n o b o d y who does n o t a l r e a d y b e l i e v e  can  of i t  true  religious  the r e l i g i o u s hypothesis  concern the t r u t h of the hypothesis utility  then,  Some t e s t I  or not i t works.  d u c t e d u n l e s s one a c c e p t s true  In b e l i e v i n g  t h e n we c a n deem t h e  one must a l r e a d y s u b s c r i b e t o i t s t r u t h .  r e a l l y no t e s t  see  seems we  What James s a y s ,  James s a y s t h a t t h e t e s t  t r u t h i s whether  along.  hypo-  i f we deem t h e r e l i g i o u s h y p o t h e s i s  and r e c e i v e . t h e r e b y  belief's  i t BEFORE we c a n  we c a n t e s t  we have a l r e a d y deemed i t t r u e .  religious  i t w o r k s and we  how we c o u l d w a i t t o  (deeming t r u e )  we deem i t t r u e  amounts t o t h i s :  is  therefore,  of b e l i e v i n g  before  When  so a c t u a l l y we h a v e deemed i t t r u e a l l  must a l r e a d y b e l i e v e it,  that  Of c o u r s e we must b e l i e v e  is difficult  the e f f e c t s  t h i n g s , we see  worth l i v i n g .  individ-  has b e e n s u c c e s s f u l ,  and  ( f o r t h e i n d i v i d u a l u p o n whom t h e  successful).  p o s i t i o n comes t o t h i s :  o n l y t h o s e who ALREADY  deem t h e r e l i g i o u s h y p o t h e s i s t r u e c a n j u d g e w h e t h e r o r n o t it  is  true.  begging the  And t h i s , question.  I submit,  is a clear  cut case  of  37  I n c l a i m i n g t r u t h f o r any r e l i g i o u s h y p o t h e s i s , means by  'truth'  different It  -- v i z . ,  for  far  some p e o p l e .  true  i s not p o s s i b l e  Bertrand R u s s e l l says  is  that  all  its  it  far  as  i t works f o r  (p.106)  i.e.,  that  c o n s e q u e n c e s s h a l l be t r u e and  The law' o f g r a v i t a t i o n e n a b l e s  us  to  the motions of the heavenly b o d i e s :  t h e s e m o t i o n s can be o b s e r v e d ,  the heavenly  p o s i t i o n s at  they It  s u c h and such t i m e s ,  mean when we s a y t h a t  or that  it  true apparent  T h i s i s what we We do n o t  mean t h a t g i v e s u s e m o t i o n a l s a t i s f a c t i o n ,  navigation,  is  and t h e l a w o f  the law "works".  our a s p i r a t i o n s , - t h a t  so  are  b o d i e s have s u c h a n d s u c h  g r a v i t a t i o n agrees w i t h t h i s t r u t h .  satisfies  all  it.  • . found to agree w i t h our c a l c u l a t i o n s . that  Inso-  r e q u i r e s of a working hypothesis  verifiable  calculate  i n the  i n science.  s h a l l work t h e o r e t i c a l l y ,  none f a l s e .  these  ' X ' may w o r k f o r me  . T h i s may be p o s s i b l e  j u s t t h o s e who f a v o r  "What s c i e n c e  have  p a r t i c u l a r l y when  as a h y p o t h e s i s works i n s c i e n c e , not  one.  some r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s  conflict.  may w o r k f o r y o u .  of r e l i g i o n , but i t  observers,  something  B u t t h i s d o e s n o t mean t h a t  religious beliefs  'not-X'  field  or s a t i s f i e s  a r e t h e r e b y o f what i s  different but  it'works'  c a n n o t be d e n i e d t h a t  'worked' beliefs  n o t what i s u s u a l l y meant b u t  James  it  facilitates  When a h y p o t h e s i s w o r k s i n s c i e n c e ,  that  i s a help a virtuous it  e x p l a i n a n d / o r p r e d i c t o b s e r v e d phenomena.  it  in life."  can be u s e d I t works  to  insofar  38 as  it  serves these purposes.  scientific just  hypothesis  t h o s e who f i r s t  The f r u i t s  are a v a i l a b l e  i f adopted,  will  lead to  observable  thesis.  The s i t u a t i o n , as James h i m s e l f a d m i t s ,  flicting  There,  work,  is  may ' w o r k '  even i f t h e y  for different  hypotheses.  different  do c o n t r a d i c t  the b e t t e r  hypotheses  each o t h e r .  from t h e worse  But  religious  each o t h e r  t h o u g h t h e y make c o n f l i c t i n g c l a i m s a b o u t  the world?  If  the w o r l d ' at  'about true,  the w o r l d ' ?  latter  --  publicly genuine  if  —  that  --  I f the former case,  then i t i s  one w h i c h may o r may n o t w o r k . makes no d i f f e r e n c e  world, then i t  fails  101-102):  - t h e y have if  o t h e r t e r m s t h a n we d o ,  "We a r e  a If  i n the  ideas  is  true  justified in placing  o n l y b e c a u s e - and t o  the  proved t h e i r worth i n competition e a r l i e r men had n e v e r t h e n we o u r s e l v e s  c a r r y i n g on a t r a d i t i o n a l h a b i t . "  the  t o q u a l i f y as a  What T o u l m i n s a y s a b o u t  (pp.  with alternatives:  better  if  t h e t r u s t i n them t h a t we d o , extent  is  E i t h e r i t w o u l d make a d i f f e r e n c e ,  hypothesis.  of hypotheses  i f a hypothesis  be  i t s being false  observable  Perhaps  t h e n i n what s e n s e c o u l d i t  or i t would n o t .  genuine hypothesis  even  all.  t h e r e were no way t o t e l l  t h a n any o t h e r h y p o t h e s i s ,  aside  being  C o u l d t h e y a l l be as g o o d a s  t h e y a r e NOT ' a b o u t  con-  individuals.  f r o m t h e q u e s t i o n o f t r u t h , we h a v e t h e p r o b l e m o f unable to separate  hypo-  any number o f d i f f e r i n g and even  'hypotheses'  not  different  than another genuine  James g o e s f u r t h e r and c l a i m s t r u t h f o r a l l t h e that  --  it.  publicly  in religion.  consequences  successful  f o r a l l to enjoy  proposed or adopted  A genuine h y p o t h e s i s ,  of a  thought  in  w o u l d s i m p l y be  A"traditional habit". religion i n the  t h a n does  T h i s s o u n d s much more  'hypothesis'.  synagogue i s not t o t e s t  repeat,  often  millions thereby.  To s p e n d F r i d a y a hypothesis.  i n unison with others  of times before.  that  'God's  r o o m ' s l i g h t i n g as e v i d e n c e does not w o r k .  that  evidence  that  work  because evidence  there w i l l  etc.)  That  believe  to p a r t i c u l a r f a c t s . CON^solation.  the- l a c k  one":  'hypothesis'  i n the  j u s t WHAT w o u l d does  not  to r e l i g i o n .  The  (e.g.,  be e t e r n a l l y  life  punished appeal  t r a d i t i o n a l l y served  as  as  " a n y t h i n g t h a t may be  According to t h i s d e f i n i t i o n "This picture is  i s wrong t o k i l l  natures  (1956)  provisionally  the  hypothesis  d i s p r o v e r e l i g i o n s by  R e l i g i o n s have  "It  'hypothesis',  Dictionary  in  a n d / o r c o n c e r n an a f t e r  t h e f o l l o w i n g c o u l d be h y p o t h e s e s :  of  say  shine  change  are u s u a l l y g e n e r a l  proposed to our b e l i e f " , ( p . 2 ) .  "God has t h r e e  of  with  not E x p l a n a t i o n .  James d e f i n e s  than that  said  or peace  the r e l i g i o u s  X , t h e n you w i l l  i s why we c a n n o t  to  congregation  i s NOT r e l e v a n t  be a s e c o n d c o m i n g )  you d o n ' t  has b e e n  the r e l i g i o u s hypothesis  p r e d i c t i o n s made by r e l i g i o n s  is  l i g h t be c a u s e d t o  He w o u l d be h a r d p u t t o  c o u n t as  evening  It  One may g a i n s o l a c e  down u p o n t h e m ' , he d o e s n o t t a k e  (if  - what  And when t h e r a b b i b l e s s e s h i s  arms r a i s e d a n d a s k s  like  but  is  a n y t h i n g at  o n l y one P e r s o n " .  according to Webster's is  "A t e n t a t i v e - t h e o r y  New  others."  above w o u l d h a r d l y q u a l i f y as  any  time":  The m e a n i n g  Collegiate  or s u p p o s i t i o n  adopted to e x p l a i n c e r t a i n f a c t s  i n v e s t i g a t i o n of  nicer  The t h r e e  explanations.  and t o  guide  'hypotheses' The l a s t  ment i n p a r t i c u l a r , a l o n g w i t h s u c h s t a t e m e n t s  as " G o d  stateis  40  His Essence",  " G o d i s H i s b e i n g " a n d "God i s  seem t o r e q u i r e  rather  than provide,  it  t o see  how a n y o f t h e s e  is  difficult  or i s  even It  to  intended to,  seems t h a t  the  explain anything.  whole  defence  page 23). religious  of r e l i g i o u s  James adds hypothesis  specifically large  of  gives  determines  hypothesis  (for  then i t  2 5 - 2 8 i n The W i l l The f i r s t  that  true  IS t h e  (for us).  or b e l i e v e ?  to  (see  "the  and makes  which  them d n a naturalistic  of a R e l i g i o u s  If not,  reactions.  then i t  is  and s a y  affirmation of  the  final  " T h e more p e r f e c t  represented  The u n i v e r s e  is  hypothesis  He e x p l a i n s  w h i c h James it  on p a g e s  Believe.  i n the u n i v e r s e  person to  the t e s t  religious  the  religious;  upon a c t i o n . "  changes our a c t i o n and/or  t h e more e t e r n a l  is  "The  t o t h e w o r l d an e x p r e s s i o n  things, are  that  quotation,  t h e y m i g h t be on a p u r e l y  it  is  i n v i t e s us t o a d o p t  speak,  i s NOT i n t e n d e d  us).  What e x a c t l y  things  investigation.  on page 3 0 :  our . r e a c t i o n s ,  then,  i s whether  does,  false  could,  belief".  I t w o u l d seem,  it  an e a r l i e r  f a i t h hinges  Also,  'hypotheses'  "hypothesis"  i n a footnote  p a r t u n l i k e what  scheme  If  To r e p e a t  itself"  an e x p l a n a t i o n .  l e a d t o any f u r t h e r religious  goodness  •  religion is  things, that  word."  the  a n d more e t e r n a l  i n our r e l i g i o n s no l o n g e r  an I t  best  last  stone,  He a d d s aspect  things,  to us,  of the  but a Thou,  may be p o s s i b l e here."  so  to  (p.27-28)  as h a v i n g a p e r s o n a l  and any r e l a t i o n t h a t p e r s o n may be p o s s i b l e  "The  overlapping  throw the (p.25)  that  universe form.  i f we  are  from  On page 26 he  tells  41 us t h a t better be  "The second a f f i r m a t i o n o f r e l i g i o n i s off  even now i f we b e l i e v e  t h a t we  are  her f i r s t a f f i r m a t i o n  to  true." D e a t h w o u l d seem t o " t h r o w t h e l a s t  final  w o r d " , as f a r as we m o r t a l s a r e  interpretation, likely did,  stone"  and " s a y  concerned.  t h e Thou w o u l d be D e a t h .  On t h i s  B u t we w o u l d n o t  consider death the best t h i n g i n the u n i v e r s e .  we w o u l d l i k e l y a d v o c a t e  the  If  s u i c i d e as t h e supreme  we  religious  sacrifice. James seems a m b i v a l e n t o r o n l y one t h i n g t h a t  is  as t o w h e t h e r  than  He s a y s  aspect o f the u n i v e r s e  P r e s u m a b l y he means t h a t  of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f .  are'things'  the best i n the u n i v e r s e .  t h a t t h e more e t e r n a l a n d p e r f e c t personal form.  there  God i s t h e  H e n c e f o r w a r d we s h a l l u s e  ' T h o u ' o r "The more e t e r n a l a n d p e r f e c t  has  object  'God'  rather  aspect of  the  seems t o come t o t h i s :  We  universe". The r e l i g i o u s are better  off  'hypothesis'  i f we b e l i e v e  a n e t e r n a l and p e r f e c t might communicate.  that  the u n i v e r s e  personality  (i.e.  belief....a  (or  has)  a God) w i t h whom we  James s a y s t h a t we a r e  t o g a i n even now by ( o u r )  is  (p.26)  "supposed  c e r t a i n v i t a l good.:. .-.The 11  test of the 'hypothesis' i s whether or not we gain a v i t a l good i n • b e l i e v i n g i t . ' " E x a c t l y what does not s p e c i f y , benefit to zest,  security,  immediately.  peace,  We have s e e n t h a t  as t r u e .  But i f  o f good we g a i n ,  James  t h o u g h he does c l a i m t h a t we w i l l  ( v i t a l good)  something at w i l l  sort  it  receive  referring  etc.) i s n o t w i t h i n o u r power t o  - - we c a n n o t it  (He l i k e l y d s  here  just  decide  i s wrong ( m e a n i n g l e s s )  to accept  believe something  t o s a y t h a t we  can  42  and  should believe  at w i l l ,  s a y t h a t we s h o u l d b e l i e v e A hypothesis we a c c e p t  at  meaningful  o f t h i n g we b e l i e v e .  (believe  i n order that  i t be  religion a  called  hypothesis.  s u p p o s e d t o be t h u s .  c a n be no j u s t i f i c a t i o n w h a t e v e r  it  confirmed.  (p.196), " I f r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s (or are  hold them... to treat  If  i t ) , we do n o t r e g a r d  d e f i n i t i o n ' when he c a l l s  planatory hypotheses,  to  will.  James i s g u i l t y o f what h a s been  As M a c i n t y r e s a y s  there  even l e s s  a hypothesis  requiring tests  I t w o u l d seem t h a t 'persuasive  is  i s not the s o r t  s o m e t h i n g as t r u e  as a h y p o t h e s i s  it  are  ex-  J.O.)  f o r continuing to  religious beliefs  as  such i s to  falsify  i  both the kind of b e l i e f s are  t h e y a r e and t h e way i n w h i c h  characteristically held."  the concept (then)  presented  explanation  w o u l d . . . be j u s t i f i a b l e  theoretically fruitful,  if  it  as f o r e x a m p l e t h e c o n c e p t  were of  an  is".  Is the concept  o f God t h e o r e t i c a l l y f r u i t f u l ?  e x p l a i n o r make s e n s e o f a n y t h i n g f o r u s ? it  i f "we  o f d e i t y as p a r t o f a t h e o r e t i c a l  such a concept  electron  He s a y s t h a t  they  does.  He t h i n k s t h a t  (p.51) " f a i t h i n t h e  James t h i n k s  r e l i g i o u s f a i t h means  existence  Does  it that  essentially  o f an u n s e e n o r d e r o f  some  k i n d i n w h i c h t h e r i d d l e s o f t h e n a t u r a l o r d e r may be f o u n d explained."  It  i s d i f f i c u l t to  see how a n " u n s e e n o r d e r  some k i n d "  could possibly explain' anything.  something,  we r e l a t e  purpose perhaps to consider this requiring  i t to something else  - - but t o r e f e r  it  explanation.  When we e x p l a i n  - - a cause or a  t o an ' u n s e e n o r d e r '  somehow a n e x p l a n a t i o n ,  of  i s a move  and  itself  43 P e r h a p s James w o u l d a r g u e t h a t seen order  ( o r WHEN we see  were b o r n and why we d i e ,  i f we. c o u l d SEE t h e u n -  i t ) , we w o u l d u n d e r s t a n d why we etc.  B u t t h i s w o u l d be t o  s u p p o s e what he i s t r y i n g t o show - - v i z . , be a t i m e , p r e s u m a b l y explained to us. 'test' after die  after  there  d e a t h , when t h i n g s w i l l  To s a y t h a t we must w a i t u n t i l i s t o presuppose  t h a t we w i l l  death - - that  i s to presuppose  t h a t we do n o t  and t h i s  is  .just what b o t h e r s  James p r e s u p p o s e s  the universe i s , feeling,  or has,  to  conscious really  In other  to suppose. -  that  On page 2 $ , he s a y s  f o r c e d on us we know n o t w h e n c e ,  that  by  there are gods...we are doing the  u n i v e r s e t h e d e e p e s t s e r v i c e we c a n , religious  be  James seems t o p r e s u p p o s e  personality.  obstinately believing that  essence o f . t h e  of d y i n g .  what he a s k s us  I n The W i l l t o B e l i e v e ,  be  t h o s e who r e q u i r e an  e x p l a n a t i o n f o r t h e seeming n e c e s s i t y words,  will  we d i e  a hypothesis  —  "this  that  pre-  seems p a r t o f t h e  living  hypothesis."  I n r e g a r d t o t h i s " f e e l i n g f o r c e d on us we know n o t whence",  better  says  (p.305):  " C a n i t be t h a t James knew  n o t h i n g o f t h e r o l e p l a y e d by e a r l y i n d o c t r i n a t i o n o f  the  child  pleads  i n t h e f a m i l y and t h e  c u l t u r e g e n e r a l l y t h a t he  t h a t we know n o t whence t h e f e e l i n g t h a t believe  i n the gods?"  indicates that  is  b u t we n e v e r  We may u s e t h e  speak  of  is virtuous  "do t h e u n i v e r s e a  James a l r e a d y b e l i e v e s  o r has p e r s o n a l i t y . car'  The p h r a s e  it  that  'service  'doing a car a s e r v i c e ' .  again g u i l t y of the f a l l a c y  of begging  he t a l k s o f d o i n g t h e u n i v e r s e a s e r v i c e .  service"  the u n i v e r s e  expression  to  is a  James  t h e q i a e s t i o n when We c a n do a  service  44 only to sentient beings,  p a r t i c u l a r l y human b e i n g s .  presupposes that the universe i s s e n t i e n t t h a t i t w o u l d somehow be b e t t e r . Hobhouse s a y s t h a t  off  —  James  and s u g g e s t s  i f we b e l i e v e d .  (p.94) " t h e p o i n t o f t h e w h o l e  argu-  ment i s t h a t we do o u r d u t y i n t h e w o r l d by s u p p r e s s i n g l o g i c a l c r i t i c i s m and a c c e p t i n g t h e b e l i e f t o w h i c h e m o t i o n a l impulse prompts.  And when we a r e a s k e d t o do t h i s d e l i b e r -  a t e l y we a r e i n e f f e c t  being i n v i t e d to believe  r e g a r d t o t h e t r u t h o f what we It set  without  believe."  i s d i f f i c u l t t o s e e how,  i f we p r e s u p p o s e what we  o u t t o p r o v e t r u e , we can l e a r n a n y t h i n g o r e x p l a i n a n y -  thing. S a y s James ( p . 5 ) 2  (i.e.  "we h a v e a r i g h t t o s u p p l e m e n t  the p h y s i c a l order,  w h i c h we assume on t r u s t , better worth l i v i n g . or i n s p i r - i a t i o n , belief our  i n God.  (p.56)  J . O . ) by a n u n s e e n s p i r i t u a l  us  " I t t u r n s o u t t h a t f o r James CONSOLATION  r a t h e r t h a n e x p l a n a t i o n , i s what To b e l i e v e  justifies  t h a t t h e r e i s a God i s t o  i n v i s i b l e universe i s there?",  asks  To assume s o m e t h i n g on t r u s t , s h o u l d do r e g a r d i n g t h e e x i s t e n c e  satisfy  I f our needs " o u t r u n  t h e v i s i b l e u n i v e r s e , why may n o t t h a t be a s i g n t h a t  an  James. as James s a y s t h a t we  o f God,, i s a f a r c r y f r o m  p u t t i n g a hypothesis to the t e s t . t h i n g o t h e r t h a n t h e mere e x i s t e n c e (p.6l)  order  i f o n l y t h e r e b y l i f e may seem t o  " i n n e r need o f b e l i e v i n g " .  as t o s u g g e s t  it  B u t James assumes of a God.  some-  He goes so  far  t h a t " G o d h i m s e l f . . . m a y draw v i t a l  s t r e n g t h and i n c r e a s e o f v e r y b e i n g f r o m o u r f i d e l i t y . "  In  45 other words, encourage this  God w o u l d o n l y e x i s t  p a r t i a l l y i f we d i d n o t  Him by p u t t i n g o u r f a i t h i n H i m .  is different  i n Him - -  or at  I do n o t ' s e e  f r o m s a y i n g t h a t we CREATE God by  least  we a s s i s t  i n His creation.  believing  James  t a l k i n g no l o n g e r o f t h e God o f any r e l i g i o n b u t o f . a our v i v i d vice  imagination.  versa  advocate  To s u g g e s t t h a t we c r e a t e  i s not to advocate  heresy  or blasphemy.  i n G o d , n o t b e c a u s e he i s c a u s e he i s powerful  (That  is,  exist;  comes  He f u l l y  life  of t h i s .  as we b e l i e v e  be n o t a r e a l f i g h t ,  And i t  and  e v e n go  feels like a real  existence  I do n o t •  o f t h i s l i f e mean^  (That  is,  t h a t God  i n Him - J . O . )  it  If  this  eternally  i s no b e t t e r  than a  fight..."  James g o e s so f a r a s t o  were t h e r e n o t a s h r e d o f  man n e e d s Him so much t h a t  so  f r o m w h i c h one may w i t h d r a x v a t  As we m e n t i o n e d b e f o r e , that  be-  one i f He d i d n o t  i n which something i s  p r i v a t e game o f t h e a t r i c a l s  belief  or  wise  ( p . 6 l ) , " F o r my own p a r t ,  g a i n e d f o r t h e u n i v e r s e by s u c c e s s ,  will.  have h i s  to  exists.)  sweat and b l o o d and t r a g e d y  into existence  of  - - b u t b e c a u s e he NEEDS  he w o u l d p o s t u l a t e  t h e y mean a n y t h i n g s h o r t  god  is  o r t h a t we c o u l d h e l p b r i n g Him i n t o  James a d m i t s t h a t  if  it  he NEEDS a God and w i l l  by b e l i e v i n g i n Him b e f o r e  know what t h e  —  of a good,  is  Him and n o t  p e r s u a d e d by a n y e v i d e n c e  Creator' of the u n i v e r s e  as t o s u g g e s t t h a t  already  But James w i l l  overawed a t t h e thought  such a b e l i e f . far  religious belief  how  evidence  that  he w o u l d p o s t u l a t e  there Him.  say  i s a God, I n The  CTWT6), M o r a l P h i l o s o p h e r a n d M o r a l L l f e ^ he s a y s  (p.213)  "even  t h e r e w e r e no m e t a p h y s i c a l o r t r a d i t i o n a l g r o u n d s f o r  if  believing  46 i n a G o d , men w o u l d p o s t u l a t e  one s i m p l y as a p r e t e x t  l i v i n g h a r d and g e t t i n g o u t o f t h e game o f e x i s t e n c e keenest  p o s s i b i l i t i e s of  We w i l l  for its  zest".  r e t u r n l a t e r t o t h e s u g g e s t i o n t h a t men c o u l d  a c t u a l l y w o r s h i p a God whom t h e y a c k n o w l e d g e We t u r n b a c k now t o t h e e s s a y ,  The W i l l  i s but a p o s t u l a t e .  to Believe i n order  t o more s y s t e m a t i c a l l y e x a m i n e t h e p o s i t i o n t a k e n by W i l l i a m James. .  47  6. James c a l l s option. James,  THE OPTION the  d e c i s i o n between  When an o p t i o n i s it  i s a genuine  be b e t w e e n  one.  l i v e hypotheses  some a p p e a l ,  however  decision that  i s forced  Finally,  a genuine  decision  i s unique,  p a g e 26 o f h i s  He a t  (p.6).  At another p o i n t  that  James c o n s i d e r s  however  small,  one w h i c h we r e g a r d a s  same t h i n g .  i n 1964, y e t  be. made b e t w e e n  that  i.e.,  the o p t i o n  is  we may f i n d  that  l)  hypotheses  a p p e a l to our b e l i e f  that  a  live These true  of the  t h i s hypothesis  United  makes  The d i s t i n c t i o n s h o u l d a p p e a l t o our b e l i e f  else  dis-  expression  the hypothesis  of being t r u e ,  o p t i o n w o u l d be b e t w e e n two. h y p o t h e s e s ,  The  in  those  s e n s e t h a t we have n o t  must mean t h a t  c o n s i d e r e d b y us t o be c a p a b l e  upon  as p o s s i b l y  c o u n t e d t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f t h e i r being; t r u e . t o our b e l i e f  one.  b e l i e f (p.3)  them t o be t r u e a n d 2)  i n the  on  one  possibly true.  president  the  (decision)  a genuine  to one's  We may r e g a r d i t  s e n s e t h a t we w o u l d l i k e  'appeal's  cannot  We see  he i m p l i e s t h a t  a b s o l u t e l y no a p p e a l t o o u r b e l i e f .  the  be a  one w h i c h we h a v e some t e n d e n c y t o a c t (p.26),  make  other.  a l i v e hypothesis  B a r r y G o l d w a t e r s h a l l be e l e c t e d  States  you  and the  the r e l i g i o u s hypothesis  it  are not the  i.e.,  i m p o r t a n t and i r r e v e r s i b l e .  or t h a t  is  It w i l l  o p t i o n o r d e c i s i o n i s momentous,  w h i c h makes some a p p e a l ,  hypothesis  our b e l i e f .  says  will  both hypotheses  one h y p o t h e s i s  one p o i n t s a y s t h a t  is  —  option, then,  or u n a v o i d a b l e ,  essay that  or r e j e c t  '-- i . e . to  an  f o r c e d a n d momentous,  A genuine  small,  escape c h o o s i n g between  to accept  live,  two h y p o t h e s e s  a  is live  each a n e g a t i o n  of  48 the  other,  and b o t h o f w h i c h we w o u l d l i k e t o be t r u e .  w o u l d mean t h a t  we w o u l d l i k e b o t h A and n o t - A t o be  Since t h i s  is  i m p o s s i b l e , we must i n t e r p r e t  number two  above.  We c o n c e d e falsehood  that  or i t s negation BOTH APPEAL t o  'hypothesis'  possibly true  where  —  but not i n the sense  the d e c i s i o n i s  opt f o r the n e g a t i o n be t r u e ,  disbelieve" believing and  religious  forced,  that  belief  he says',  s a y s James  option --  t h e n we l o s e  If  it  the  t h e g o o d by  not  (p.3).  because to suspend  of r e l i g i o n or God.  belief  is  to  religious  suspending  s u r e l y as we w o u l d i f we " p o s i t i v e l y c h o s e  (p.26).  James t h i n k s t h a t n o t h i n g i s  i n God e x c e p t  (p.19)  things."  as  --  true  There i s "no p o s s i b i l i t y of  i n God o r r e l i g i o n i s n o t t o a v o i d t h e  just  one  us.  One c a n n o t be an a g n o s t i c ,  belief  meaning  one c o u l d c o n s i d e r r e l i g i o n p o s s i b l y  and d i s b e l i e f a f o r c e d one?  hypothesis  James a s  may be a ' l i v e '  I n what s e n s e i s t h e o p t i o n b e t w e e n  choosing",  true.  the d e c i s i o n r e g a r d i n g the t r u t h or  of the r e l i g i o u s  i n the sense t h a t  This  perhaps  "Our e r r o r s are  that  —  even i f t h e r e  i s but the  G o d , we do b e t t e r  at  least  s u r e l y not such a w f u l l y  to believe  d e r i v e d from such b e l i e f .  The p o i n t i s ,  p o s s i b i l i t y that  i n Him, else  To deny t h a t  remain i n doubt c o n c e r n i n g h i s  existence  there  we l o s e  there  the  is  a  good to  precisely  one l o s e s  IF r e l i g i o n i s true  that  i s a God o r  amounts t o  t h e same t h i n g , a c c o r d i n g t o James - - v i z . , good e n j o y e d b y b e l i e v e r s  solemn  i n e r r o r , we s h a l l  u n t i l we d i e . least  by  one may be i n e r r o r ,  "'But p r e s u m a b l y e v e n i f we a r e  n e v e r know i t  lost  to  (p.26).  the It  is  49 u n c e r t a i n whether  James means t h a t we r e c e i v e  the v i t a l  m e r e l y by b e l i e v i n g o r by b e l i e v i n g what i s t r u e . b o t h o f t h e s e t h i n g s on page In e f f e c t ,  it,  it,  even though i t  b u t as we have s e e n , in  26.  b u t we g a i n t h e good i f we  i s not t r u e .  comes t o t h i s :  That  In other words,  benefit;  i s , whether or not t h e r e  ately.  whether t h e r e belief  i t u n t i l we d i e .  t h a t He e x i s t s  will  i s i n d e e d a God o r n o t .  benefit  us i m m e d i believe question  As we saw e a r l i e r , ,  i n something i s i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h being unconcerned  To b e l i e v e existence  to believe  that  of the t h i n g b e l i e v e d i n .  the statement of X .  "X exists"  To b e l i e v e  r e l i g i o n t o man d e p e n d e n t  he f o r g e t s  true,  oneself  truth  m e r e l y on what he b e l i e v e s (or statements  or ignores the f a c t  is  viz.,  When James makes t h e b e n e f i t  person would admit to b e l i e f His actual existence.  commit  i n a statement's  t h a n on s o m e t h i n g m a k i n g h i s b e l i e f true,  i s to  s o m e t h i n g makes t h e s t a t e m e n t  t h a t t h e r e r e a l l y :Ls a n X .  it)  benefit.  However,  while remaining i n d i f f e r e n t to the  about the e x i s t e n c e  t o the  James'  i f God d i d n o t  The q u e s t i o n r e m a i n s w h e t h e r a n y o n e c o u l d  God e x i s t s  true  i s a God i s r e a l l y o f no i m -  - - we may n o t know a b o u t  God o r no G o d , b e l i e f  be  us,  believed  b u t vre b e l i e v e d t h a t He d i d , we w o u l d r e c e i v e  portance  that  it will  I f God e x i s t e d -but n o b o d y  t h a t He d i d , n o b o d y w o u l d r e c e i v e exist  I t may s a t i s f y  t h i s d o e s n o t mean t h a t  the o r d i n a r y sense of the w o r d .  position  He s a y s  James s a y s t h a t we l o s e t h e good i f r e l i g i o n  be t r u e y e t we d i s b e l i e v e believe  good  of  rather expressing  t h a t no r e l i g i o u s  i n God x v i t h o u t s u b s c r i b i n g t o  To b e l i e v e  i n God ( o r t h a t t h e r e  is a  50.  God)  i_s t o s u b s c r i b e t o H i s e x i s t e n c e .  between fit  the benefit  We must d i s t i n g u i s h  d e r i v e d f r o m mere b e l i e f  i n God and  d e r i v e d f r o m b e l i e v i n g what t u r n s o u t t o be t r u e .  sumably i n the former c a s e ,  t h e b e l i e v e r may l i v e  benePre-  easier  t h i n k i n g t h a t he may "go t o h e a v e n " w h i l e i n t h e l a t t e r t h e b e l i e v e r w o u l d "go t o  case,  heaven".  Is the d e c i s i o n regarding the r e l i g i o u s hypothesis forced  one?  unavoidable belief  I do n o t t h i n k s o . ( a n d remember t h a t  i s as good a s t o d e c i d e  how c a n I l a t e r r e v e r s e am i n DOUBT a b o u t  I f the d e c i s i o n i s  i s no God) ' t h e n  In other words,  have a l r e a d y been i n doubt r e g a r d i n g H i s e x i s t e n c e , I cannot r e v e r s e  he i s u r g i n g me t o do j u s t believe.  (forced)  childhood, teens,  —  this  deny i s ,  may be o n e ) ,  there  i s a God?  one m u s t b e l i e v e  and i r r e v e r s i b l e d e c i s i o n .  is  found themselves  I n my i n It  (or  To doubt o r  to  t o t h e r e b y make a n u n a v o i d a b l e (On page 4 he c l e a r l y i m p l i e s  patently absurd.  than before  WHEN  i s a God,  i s not  Many d e v o u t  s t r u g g l e d w i t h p r o f o u n d d o u b t s t o emerge more religious  already  o r d e a t h bed?  it.  t h a t the r e l i g i o u s d e c i s i o n , being unique, But t h i s  Yet  t o q u e l l my d o u b t s and t o  m a t u r i t y , o l d age  a c c o r d i n g t o James,  then  The p r o b l e m h e r e i s :  that  I  I  'decision'.  seems t h a t as s o o n as one i s t o l d t h a t t h e r e that there  if  c o n v i n c e t h o s e who have  decision?  must. I " d e c i d e t o b e l i e v e " fancy,  this  Why d o e s he t r y t o  made t h e i r  suspend  t h e d e c i s i o n I .made l o n g ago t h a t  God's existence?  a c c o r d i n g t o James,  really  a c c o r d i n g t o James, t o that there  a  these doubts beset them.  reversible.)  people  have  passionately When t h e y  d o u b t i n g o r d i s b e l i e v i n g , t h e y made no  51  irreversible  or unavoidable d e c i s i o n .  In f a c t ,  they  make no d e c i s i o n r e g a r d i n g t h e t r u t h o f r e l i g i o n . UNdecided about  It  They  were  it.  To d o u b t t h a t decision.  could  God e x i s t s  is:.to hesitate  i s n o t t o make an u n a v o i d a b l e t o make a n y d e c i s i o n .  True,  r e m a i n s c e p t i c a l r e g a r d i n g r e l i g i o n may e n t a i l a c t i n g t h o u g h r e l i g i o n were u n t r u e to c h u r c h ) , but /this i s who w o u l d e n c o u r a g e  (e.g.,  as  one does n o t p r a y o r go  only to act  anything else  to  as one b e l i e v e s .  One  i s a prophet of i n s i n c e r i t y .  And i n s i n c e r i t y i s n o t r e c o g n i z e d as a v i r t u e b y a n y known religion. It  seems t h a t  argument. religion  James i s  He u r g e s  engaged  in a  self-defeating  t h o s e who d o u b t o r d e n y t h e t r u t h o f  to believe  --  y e t he c l a i m s t h a t h i s a u d i e n c e  has  a l r e a d y made t h e i r u n a v o i d a b l e a n d i r r e v e r s i b l e d e c i s i o n . That i s , true"  t h e y have b e e n " a c t i n g  (p.29).  If,  as  ...  James s a y s ,  as  i f r e l i g i o n were  t o deny o r doubt t h e  not truth  o f r e l i g i o n i s t o make an u n a v o i d a b l e a n d i r r e v e r s i b l e decision,  t h e n h i s argument  in favor  o n l y t o t h o s e who have n e v e r b e f o r e 'hypotheses'  who a l r e a d y b e l i e v e  only other people - -  'hypothesis'  act  as  refers  specify  --  is ludicrous.  are a l s o  heard  class  what he means when he s a y s t h a t  s u c h t h i n g s as p r a y i n g ,  religious to  And t h e  i f r e l i g i o n were n o t t r u e .  i f . r e l i g i o n were n o t t r u e — to  i n the  apply  To t r y  t h o s e who h a v e n e v e r b e f o r e  who h a v e b e e n a c t i n g a s does not  encountered the  o r t o t h o s e who a l r e a d y b e l i e v e .  convince those  the r e l i g i o u s  o f b e l i e f must  of  of those  (James  nonbelievers  I c a n o n l y assume  church-going etc.)  he It  52  turns  o u t t h a t by J a m e s '  can c o n v i n c e t o a c c e p t James s a y s t h a t faced w i t h the it"  (p.3).  the hypothesis  w h e t h e r he can a c c e p t 'truth',  or i s not a  'truth'.  hypothesis.  t h i s t r u t h o r go  i f the person or statement  a 'truth'  challenged  as a ' t r u t h ' ,  The p r o b l e m i n h i s m i n d i s  as t r u e what he a c k n o w l e d g e s  In p u t t i n g the  challenge  individual  —  "accept  and t h e r e b y a c c e p t  that  it  IS a  'truth'  as t r u e "  —  as t h o u g h one must a c c e p t We g e t  we a r e  the  offered  knowledge-cabinet. that  t h a t we b e l i e v e If  a  see  ignores  doubt  his  impression that  i s to leave  truth  about  t o go  for  p.284) the  t h e n one who  must a l r e a d y b e l i e v e  c o n t r a d i c t e d by i t .  If  or  without  James i s  said  reason  which c o n t r a d i c t s the  correct here,  'hypothesis'  'truth'  an empty f i l e i n o u r  anything except  something e l s e  James i s  the r e l i g i o u s which i s  him i s  i n the  o r he  B u t James h i m s e l f (1890,  "we n e v e r d i s b e l i e v e  thing."  already  'truth'.  empty-handed.  the  not  t h e r e may be g e n u i n e d o u b t r e g a r d i n g t h e  James a r g u e s go  he  as t r u e what y o u  of the p r o p o s i t i o n under c o n s i d e r a t i o n , i . e . , whether  without  t h i s t r u t h o r go w i t h o u t i t " , James p r e s e n t s  tautology to the  the f a c t  i s n o b o d y he  but whether the p r o p o s i t i o n put before  form "accept  is  "accept  seen,  it.  there  f o r c e d t o d e c i d e when one i s -  challenge.to  would a l r e a d y accept  as a  the r e l i g i o u s  one. i s  As we have  acknowledged  own a r g u m e n t ,  first  disbelieves something  incorrect  here,  then,  as S c h i l l e r s a i d ( p . 1 5 ) ,  we c a n d i s b e l i e v e a p r o p o s i t i o n  "just  because i t  i n t o l e r a b l e or i n c r e d i b l e . "  s t r i k e s us as  53'  Thus t h e d e c i s i o n r e g a r d i n g t h e t r u t h o f r e l i g i o n NOT u n a v o i d a b l e . go w i t h o u t is  It  it".  i s NOT a c a s e o f " a c c e p t  One may w e l l b e l i e v e  c o n t r a d i c t e d by t h e  find  may f i n d "what  —  effects  it  for  we a r e t o  we must p r e p a r e "  expect  (James,  r e l i g i o n an i n c r e d i b l e s u p e r s t r u c t u r e p h y s i c a l monster' We r e j e c t ,  (James,  then,  grounds.  f o r the f i r s t hence,  from i t ,  what y o u b e l i e v e  a forced  196l,  and a l l  decision  as  p.  of  'meta-  regarding  hearing  about  i f religion  "were  they belong to  the  a l r e a d y made t h e i r d e c i s i o n .  There  i n d e c i s i o n w h i c h many r e l i g i o u s  It  is  is  equivalent  is  false  suggest that  is  i s -good t o  believe  a w e l l known  state  decision that  individual later  than ever.  one i s no l o n g e r  conquer.  period of serious  t o m a k i n g an u n a v o i d a b l e  r e l i g i o n more p a s s i o n a t e l y  it  is  p e o p l e u n d e r g o and  this  p a r t i c u l a r l y when t h e  There  ( P e r h a p s he  convince himself that  q u e s t i o n a t what age  may  one on t h e . f o l l o w i n g  t i m e have a c t e d  of  —  the  and p e r s o n s  w o u l d be g o o d . )  l u d i c r o u s to  know  and  on m e a n i n g ,  t o be p e r s u a d e d by J a m e s .  attempting to  of heart  One  object  b u i l t upon, a  a c c o r d i n g t o James,  o f t h o s e who have  nobody l e f t  left  claim that  A l l atheists,.agnostics  not t r u e " ,  is  just  on G o d , 1929, p . 4 2 7 ) .  the  the t r u t h of r e l i g i o n i s  class  which  this reason.  One may deem t h e w o r d ' G o d ' m e a n i n g l e s s  religion  else  o f a. p r a c t i c a l k i n d t h e  what s e n s a t i o n s  what r e a c t i o n s 200).  something  t h e n o t i o n o f God s e n s e l e s s b e c a u s e one may n o t  conceivable  involve  t h i s t r u t h or  c l a i m s o f r e l i g i o n o r one may  r e l i g i o n s e n s e l e s s and r e j e c t  is  It  is a  eligible  - - must a d e c i s i o n i n a d o l e s c e n c e  doubt  religion embraces  serious for a  determine  change one's  54 whole l i f e ?  One's  eternity?  Lastly,  one may a l r e a d y  something which r e l i g i o n c o n t r a d i c t s , and s h o u l d r e j e c t may s i m p l y f i n d  the s o - c a l l e d  offered.  regarding the  Or,  one  senseless  existence  Those who a r e u n d e c i d e d a b o u t  o f God and who t a k e later  'truth'  s e r i o u s l y the  the  o f God  existence  c l a i m t h a t t h e y may  f o r t h e i r i n d e c i s i o n may d e c i d e  to act  as  suffer  though  r e l i g i o n were t r u e . . B u t t o a c t  d e l i b e r a t e l y as t h o u g h  were  else  t r u e i s not to b e l i e v e  to'act'  it,  a s t h o u g h i t were. t r u e .  to act  or to continue to act  thesis'  were n o t t r u e ,  One may a c t  t h e r e w o u l d be no n e e d  And o f  course  i n either  it.  Of c o u r s e  t h e d i s t i n c t i o n between is neglected  s o p h i c a l Essays who e n c o u n t e r s If  he i s  ever  if  unless  by m a n .  here by James.  (p.93), R u s s e l l g i v e s t h e  the do  one  The p o i n t  In h i s  is  Philo-  example o f  a f o r k i n t h e r o a d upon w h i c h he i s  one  walking.  t o r e a c h h i s d e s t i n a t i o n , he must t a k e When he c h o o s e s  may be s a i d t o a c t  on t h e h y p o t h e s i s  one.  it.  b e l i e v i n g s o m e t h i n g and m e r e l y  road or the o t h e r .  one —  'hypo-  then i t w i l l  as t h o u g h one b e l i e v e d ,  God c o u l d be d e c e i v e d  a c t i n g upon i t  decide  o f two ways and i n  g a t e s o f heaven a r e open o n l y t o b e l i e v e r s ,  that  one may  as though t h e r e l i g i o u s  b o t h c a s e s may r e m a i n i n d o u b t a b o u t  held also that  someth  w h i l e r e m a i n i n g u n d e c i d e d about  on a h y p o t h e s i s  n o good m e r e l y t o a c t  can  reason.  One may s u s p e n d b e l i e f indefinitely.  i n w h i c h c a s e one  t h e n o t i o n o f God a n d / o r r e l i g i o n  and r e j e c t , i t f o r t h i s  believe  he. d o e s h o t n e c e s s a r i l y  one  one o f t h e two r o a d s , that  believe  it  that  I f we l e t t h e d e s t i n a t i o n be d e a t h ,  i s the it  right  i s the  t h e n one o f  f o r k s may l e a d t o h e a v e n and t h e o t h e r may l e a d t o  he  right the  hell,  emptiness,  purgatory,  road of l i f e  etc.  The d i f f e r e n c e h e r e i s t h a t  i s r e p l e t e w i t h signposts at  are s e v e r a l roads l e a d i n g o f f with i t s It  every s t e p l  in different  alone leads  to s a l v a t i o n .  (or to h e l l ) . "  f o r us  along t h i s r o a d .  James u r g e s us t o t a k e any o f t h e s e  (satisfies  fork  or s e v e r a l ,  fear  that his decision i s  each  A l l o t h e r r o a d s l e a d nowhere  l e a d i n g away f r o m a t h e i s m o r a g n o s t i c i s m - 'works'  There  directions,  signpost saying "Proceed with haste  the  us).  roads  so l o n g , a s  At any r a t e ,  be t h e r e  it  one  one may s t r i k e o u t on a n y o f them w i t h o u t irreversible.  t u r n b a c k i f one becomes d i s c o u r a g e d .  One can It  always  i s much e a s i e r  to  s t o p a c t i n g on a h y p o t h e s i s t h a n t o s t o p b e l i e v i n g o n e . James a s s e r t s religion  t h a t the d e c i s i o n r e g a r d i n g the t r u t h  i s momentous,' i . e . ,  and i r r e v e r s i b l e ( p . 4 ) • the  that  it  i s unique, important  Most of t h e arguments used r e g a r d i n g  c l a i m that the d e c i s i o n i s forced apply a l s o to the  that  it  i s momentous.  But  t h e p r o b l e m i s n o t w h e t h e r one s h o u l d a f f i r m  o r deny  existence  that there  a God, as i t  as t h o u g h I t were a f a c t  is a fact  that there  problem i s whether or not t h e r e  i s a North Pole.  IS a God.  the  just  the point at  issue.  That i s ,  the This  The p r o b l e m , i s w h e t h e r t h e r e  a momentous d e c i s i o n t o be made, n o t w h e t h e r one s h o u l d t o acknowledge the presence  is  The  d e c i s i o n i s momentous o n l y i f t h e r e I S i n d e e d a God.. is  claim  James compares t h e r e l i g i o u s d e c i s i o n  t o one a b o u t a c h a n c e t o j o i n a N o r t h P o l e e x p e d i t i o n .  o f God —  of  of an o b j e c t  refuse  (or person)  whose  James s a y s t h a t t h e r e l i g i o u s d e c i s i o n i s o n e ' s  "only  e x i s t e n c e nobody w o u l d deny.  similar  opportunity", (p.4).  I take  I t he means h e r e  IS  that  56 this  is  one's  ONLY o p p o r t u n i t y a n d t h a t t h e r e  opportunity'.  Again the q u e s t i o n a r i s e s  make t h e d e c i s i o n .  Is there  r e a c h beyond which t h e r e hold that  sincere  escape the  sinner's  just  d e n i e d b y James who s a y s t h a t that  it  is  one's  sinned - - ' i . e . , true,  but a l s o  a n y p a r t i c u l a r age  the  as  we  Christians one  to  T h i s w o u l d seem t o  —  P r e s u m a b l y one who had  o n l y as t h o u g h r e l i g i o n were u n -  i f he d i d n o t  care  if  i t were t r u e  --  p r e s u m a b l y h e ' w o u l d a l r e a d y have made h i s d e c i s i o n . regarding the uniqueness w i t h the prospect  o f t h e o p p o r t u n i t y , we a r e  o f numerous Gods and r e l i g i o n s .  of these unique or i s  o n l y one o f them?.  a r e as many o p p o r t u n i t i e s as t h e r e are  It  Finally, confronted Is  seems t h a t  are r e l i g i o n s .  EACH there  And t h e y  legion. We c o n c l u d e t h a t  religion fore,  be  d e c i s i o n i s unique  ONLY o p p o r t u n i t y . acted not  that  a t any t i m e e n a b l e s  deserts.  'similar  as t o WHEN I must  i s no t u r n i n g b a c k ?  repentance  IS no  the d e c i s i o n r e g a r d i n g the t r u t h of  i s n e i t h e r f o r c e d n o r momentous.  i s NOT a ' g e n u i n e '  o n e . a s d e f i n e d by  The o p t i o n , James.  there-  57  B E L I E F AND  7.  KNOWLEDGE  James s a y s t h a t we a r e u n a b l e t o v o l u n t a r i l y  believe  t h i n g s w h i c h c o n t r a d i c t any one o f " t h e w h o l e f a b r i c t r u t h s t h a t we do b e l i e v e "It  i n " (p.5).  He t h e n c l a i m s  i s - - o n l y our a l r e a d y dead h y p o t h e s e s  nature  i s unable to b r i n g to  that  l i f e again.  our  o f an a n t a g o n i s t i c  h a v e no u s e . " believe  f e w pages l a t e r ,  is a fact  hypothesis  kind.  this  here?)  Lincoln  (or H i t l e r )  our b e l i e f s  James use's s u c h e x a m p l e s progress  Abraham Yet a  (p.4)•  it  is for  existed  existed, in his  when i t  suits  an  —  then i t  'killed'  seems  by o u r  we c a n n o t  dis-  l a r g e l y because existence.  as b e l i e f  willing  i n democracy  of L i n c o l n ' s  h i m , James u s e s  or  We  In  ARE a f u n c t i o n o f o u r  example  the  i s a dead  ( d o e s he r e a l l y mean ' f a i t h '  but not h i s p r e v i o u s  My p o i n t i s t h i s :  that  to  of L i n c o l n ' s  i.e.-,  James seems t o i m p l y t h a t  t r y i n g t o show t h a t  necessary  --  ' h y p o t h e s i s ' 'was  have' p r e v i o u s l y w i l l e d t o b e l i e v e  nature,  example  f o r us t h a t L i n c o l n n e v e r  that  choose  a c t i o n of our w i l l i n g n a t u r e of I f we t a k e t h e  absurd to c l a i m that  believe  "As a  f o r w h i c h we  and n o t a m y t h .  as a d e a d h y p o t h e s i s  w i l l i n g nature.  This  (p.10)  not a p p e a l i n g t o our b e l i e f ) ,  most p a r t a p r e v i o u s  non-exist&nce  of  he s a y s t h a t what has made o u r d e a d h y p o -  (i.e.,  antagonistic  (I.) a n d t h e o r i e s  James h a d u s e d o u r b e l i e f  existence  t h e s e s dead  action  As an i n s t a n c e where we c o u l d n o t  otherwise,  Lincoln's  a l l facts  made  (pp,$-9).  i n t r o d u c e s a s e c t i o n i n w h i c h James a r g u e s , t h a t r u l e we d i s b e l i e v e  that  B u t what h a s  kind'!  the  willing  them dead f o r us i s f o r t h e most . p a r t a p r e v i o u s our w i l l i n g n a t u r e  of  and  'conviction' existence.  examples  58 where  our needs  fluence belief  and i n t e r e s t s  our b e l i e f s ,  b u t he n e g l e c t s  which i n the p r e c e d i n g  we a r e UNABLE t o c h o o s e  unappealing to 'dead'  nature  s e c t i o n he u s e d t o show  that they  see  existence  i n two d i f f e r e n t  p.f7).  These  senses  s e n s e s must be  of a b s u r d i t y that  results  previously w i l l e d that Lincoln's  the h y p o t h e s i s  (Many w i l l  previous  true.  ( o r H i t l e r ' s ) s h o u l d n o t have b e e n a myth and THAT  i s why we f i n d one.  willing  judgment  c o u l d n o t p o s s i b l y be  kept d i s t i n c t t o a v o i d the s o r t c l a i m i n g t h a t we h a v e  has  what makes them  ( p . 9 ) , but our  the word ' d e a d '  ( a s he d i d w i t h ' l i v e ' ,  that  ( w h i c h i s what James seems t o mean  of an a n t a g o n i s t i c k i n d "  James seems t o u s e  in  i.e.,  i s not a " p r e v i o u s a c t i o n of our  b a s e d on e v i d e n c e  of  I s u b m i t t h a t what  dead f o r u s ,  our b e l i e f  here),  to. m e n t i o n the s o r t  our b e l i e f s .  made o u r d e a d h y p o t h e s e s  by  and c u l t u r e may i n d e e d i n -  that H i t l e r ' s  sections  t h a t he n e v e r existence  e x i s t e d a dead  WERE a m y t h ) .  (In  we have d e a l t more t h o r o u g h l y w i t h t h e  notion that b e l i e f  is voluntary.  i n c l u d e d t o show t h a t  The a b o v e  i n c o n s i s t e n c y i n types  lead to contradictory r e s u l t s ,  viz.,  beliefs  p a r a g r a p h was o f example are  can  voluntary  and i n v o l u n t a r y . ) James s a y s t h a t a s  a r u l e "we f i n d  we h a r d l y know how o r -why" ( p . 9 ) that  ourselves  believing  and he adds on t h e same, page  " O u r f a i t h i s f a i t h i n someone e l s e ' s f a i t h , and i n t h e  greatest  m a t t e r s t h i s i s most t h e cas-e-."  religion  itself  i s .the b e s t  example o f t h i s  h a s been made a v i r t u e o f n e c e s s i t y . many r e l i g i o u s a p o l o g i s t s thing --  i n someone  I t w o u l d seem  seems a l w a y s  else's revelation,  — where  The l a s t  refuge  that  faith of  t o be f a i t h i n somei n someone  else's  59 a u t h o r i t y o r i n God H i m s e l f . As t o how we have come t o h o l d t h e b e l i e f s we h a v e , can o f t e n t o a g r e a t  extent  trace.the  and c i r c u m s t a n c e s i n w h i c h we f i r s t sition  e x p r e s s e d by i t ,  assented, between  'finding'-  b e l i e f from the time  e n t e r t a i n e d the propo-  through the reasons  o r came t o a s s e n t oneself  to i t .  f o r w h i c h we  There i s a  difference  b e l i e v i n g s o m e t h i n g and s l o w l y  a m a s s i n g enough e v i d e n c e t o c o n v i n c e o n e s e l f o f t h e about something. because years  one's  One may ' b e l i e v e  p a r e n t s do and one may b e l i e v e  of p o l i t i c a l a s s o c i a t i o n works b e t t e r and r e a s o n s  for,  by a p r o f e s s i o n a l p o l i t i c a l  truth  i n ' democracy m e r e l y  o f r e s e a r c h h a v e l e d one t o b e l i e v e  causes of,  we  in it  because  t h a t no o t h e r f o r m  o r i s more j u s t .  The  the views about democracy h e l d s c i e n t i s t and by a s i x y e a r  c h i l d may be c o n s i d e r a b l y d i f f e r e n t .  old  T h e - . d i s t i n c t i o n s between  t h e m s h o u l d n o t be b l u r r e d by t h e c l a i m t h a t NOBODY knows how o r why he b e l i e v e s  what he  does.  On page 1 0 , James s a y s t h a t all  facts  difficult ledges  and t h e o r i e s to envisage  i s a FACT.  a fact  i n any c a s e - -  ignorant of i t . statement  expressing i t .  --  —  is  And one does n o t  one e i t h e r i s aware o f i t o r one  To be aware o f a f a c t is  i s t o know t h a t  One may n o t f i n d  theory of r e l a t i v i t y yet  to  to believe' is. the  true.  t h a t we d i s b e l i e v e t h e o r i e s  w h i c h we have no u s e .  is  s o m e t h i n g as a f a c t  f a i t h f u l l y reports a fact  expressing i t  I disagree  It  somebody d i s b e l i e v i n g what he a c k n o w -  To a c k n o w l e d g e  the statement  disbelieve  f o r w h i c h we have no use..."  admit t h a t a statement believe  " A s a r u l e we  (or facts)  t h a t he can u s e  one may n o t d i s b e l i e v e i t .  for the  One may  60 be aware  of s e v e r a l f a c t s  that t h i s  f o r w h i c h one h a s no  i s a declarative statement)  t h a t t h e y ARE f a c t s . t o whom James r e f e r s telepathy  one n e e d n o t  deny  The ' l e a d i n g b i o l o g i s t now d e a d ' m i g h t have f o u n d t h a t  b u t t h a t he c o u l d n o t .  regardless  others  ( p . 19),  c o u l d use  He w o u l d d o u b t l e s s  b e l i e v e d the c l a i m s about t e l e p a t h y c o u l d be u s e d ,  yet  use'(e.g.,  have  h a d he s e e n t h a t  it  o f w h e t h e r o r n o t HE c o u l d u s e  it.  The t r u t h o f t h i n g s and o u r d e s i r e  o r a b i l i t y t o use  a r e n o t a s a r u l e the. same t h i n g .  W h i l e reading, a h i s t o r y  book, use,  we may e n c o u n t e r yet  believe it  countless  n o t deny them on t h i s that a certain fact  w o u l d be u s e f u l  Clifford  a n d so d e n i e d i t on t h a t that  Clifford  score.  i s useful?  to believe  James s a y s t h a t  facts  them  w h i c h we s h a l l n e v e r And how do we come Do we f i n d  out  u s e f u l and t h e n b e l i e v e  what it?  f o u n d no u s e f o r C h r i s t i a n i t y  score.  I t i s a c t u a l l y the  case  deemed t h e c l a i m s o f C h r i s t i a n i t y u n t r u e and  i n " f h e E t h i c s o f R e l i g i o n " ( f r o m L e c t u r e s and E s s a y s ,  vol.  r  Clifford  says t h a t the uses  (effects)  of r e l i g i o n are  We have a l r e a d y d i s c u s s e d t h e n o t i o n t h a t  thing is true  i n s o f a r as  of a b e l i e f i s  it  'works'  our creeds  false.  i d e a l l y p u r e i n s i g h t and l o g i c —  expressing b e l i e f s  n o t s u d d e n l y become f a l s e earlier,  ought  a n d n o t o u r a b i l i t y t o use t h e m .  t h a t w h i l e m e n ' s n e e d s may change statements  James t a c t l y  being  admits  to It  some-  The  c l e a r l y d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from i t s  o f what i s t r u e o r o f what i s (p.11) t h a t  (or s a t i s f i e s ) .  II),  largely  deleterious.  utility  to  produce is  from time to t i m e ,  obvious the  w h i c h were t r u e a t one t i m e do  as the needs change.  As we showed  i f t r u t h a n d f a l s i t y were a f u n c t i o n o f h e e d s and  61 desires  alone,  altogether. from the  then they would lose  (i.e.,  James d e f e n d s  our d e s i r e s ,  is  the t h e s i s  that  it  is  a genuine  n a t u r e be d e c i d e d on i n t e l l e c t u a l  since  r e l i g i o n i s WOT a g e n u i n e  i t were,  etc.,  James o n l y c o n f u s e s  the  verification  religious  (p.25). alone  Either religion is  cannot  confused  show what  about  scientific firmed  of the  issue  this too,  hypothesis  frank admission that  packs  the  tests.  hypothesis  be  may ' y e t '  produced  evidence  ( a n d James seems  as we s h a l l s e e ) ,  or i t  is  like a  and e i t h e r  c a n n o t be BOTH, as  fails  us,  on t h e b a s i s  Laird  says  (p.154)  defense of p a s s i o n a l d e c i s i o n i s ,  irrelevant  decided  con-  James w o u l d  it.  our i n t e l l e c t  qualified  i s never  l i k e m o r a l i t y where  it  'hypothesis'  scientific  r i g h t or wrong  but  p a s s i o n may b e ,  i n these a f f a i r s . " j u r y and p r e v e n t s  of  emotion  that  in itself,  and f r e q u e n t l y  And he adds t h a t -  a fair trial."  "This  viz.,  that  our b e l i e f s ,  a  is,  "Passion  In other  and presumably our  ...  words,  James i n a d v e r t e n t l y c o n t r a d i c t s what he h a s b e e n s a y i n g viously,  James.  when he i m p l i e s t h a t  In r e g a r d t o making d e c i s i o n s where  B u t we h a v e  b u t by o b j e c t i v e  w h i c h c a n be t e s t e d  or f a l s i f i e d —  seem t o h a v e  is  "that  o p t i o n as d e f i n e d by  the t r u t h or w o r k a b i l i t y of hypotheses emotions,  two  grounds."  t h e n r e l i g i o n c o u l d h a r d l y be a  by our p a s s i o n s ,  passional  option  ' James i n c l u d e s r e l i g i o n among t h e s e o p t i o n s . that  our  J . O . ) must d e c i d e w h i c h o f  t r u e whenever  c a n n o t by i t s  , And i f  true  false.  hypotheses  seen  meanings  T h e r e w o u l d be no way t o d i s t i n g u i s h t h e  On page 1 1 nature  t h e i r present  pre-  decisions,  a r e ALL i n f l u e n c e d o r caused by our n o n - i n t e l l e c t u a l n a t u r e  —  62  i.e.,  we c a n n o t make a d e c i s i o n o r a s s e n t t o a p r o p o -  s i t i o n without  being prejudiced  i n some  sense.  63  3.  James d e v o t e s disparage  a c o n s i d e r a b l e p o r t i o n of h i s essay  t h e n o t i o n t h a t we c a n .'.ever be c e r t a i n o f  t h i n g but t r i v i a l , tell  CERTAINTY  abstract  us n o t h i n g a b o u t  p r o p o s i t i o n s w h i c h by  concrete  reality  t h o u g h we may a t t a i n k n o w l e d g e , when we h a v e done so c a n n o t know f o r  (p.12).  All  this is part  "no c o n c r e t e  of a g e n e r a l  James t r i e s  be l e f t  really  t h a t no s i n g l e  test  ever  single  test  concrete  guide  He c o n t i n u e s absolutely  no c o n c r e t e  test  by  Truth-  Throughout  this  solely false,  to the t r u t h .  o f what  The t e s t  is  i s t r u e has That i s ,  ever  there  case w i l l  may be an  B u t t h o u g h t h e r e may be no  work i n a l l c a s e s ,  w h i c h men u s e t o  o f what  I f he means . h e r e  or c r i t e r i o n which i n every  t r u e from the f a l s e .  others.  fair.  been a g r e e d u p o n .  which w i l l  tests  is  t r u e and what i s  been a g r e e d u p o n , t h e n he may be r i g h t .  infallible  o f what  a n y o n e who r e l i e s  c r i t e r i o n or t e s t  be no s i n g l e t e s t  He e v e n  t h e crown o f  emotion.  d e c i d e what i s  claimed that  t r u e has  of  t o show t h a t  w a i t i n g f o r the  James h a s  he s a y s .  campaign u n d e r t a k e n here  (or heart)  upon h i s i n t e l l e c t t o  that,  know  w e r e / c o n s i d e r e d a b s o l u t e l y t r u e by  F i n d e r upon the head  will  infallibly  upon." (p.15)•  James t o d e t h r o n e r e a s o n a n d t o p l a c e  essay,  themselves  He s a y s  o f t h i n g s w h i c h , t h o u g h deemed  by someone,  any-  We may know s o m e t h i n g , b u t we  t r u e has e v e r been agreed  with a long l i s t false  we c a n n o t  c e r t a i n THAT we know i t ,  g o e s so f a r a s t o s a y t h a t really  (p.15).  to  there are  successfully  SEVERAL  d i s t i n g u i s h the  o r c r i t e r i o n depends  on t h e  64 q u e s t i o n or problem t h a t Suppose wife)  one i s  f o r S a t u r d a y n i g h t t o a p a r t y a t h i s home.  d i r e c t i o n s which w i l l n i g h t my w i f e  h o p e f u l l y get  whom we know w e r e a l s o the  door,  congratulates  in,  takes  our coats  me t h e r e .  Comes  l a u g h t e r and v o i c e s  invited.  Suppose  of  friends  welcomes  to us  friends.  c l a i m e d t o be i n d o u b t as t o w h e t h e r we had f o u n d  that  test  "no c o n c r e t e  e v e r been a g r e e d  upon".  Any sane  o f what  to B e l i e v e  I would s e r i o u s l y q u e s t i o n  person i n the  'tests'  p o s i t i o n o f my w i f e  or c r i t e r i a had been e v i d e n t  we had f o u n d o u r p a r t y .  When a d m i t t e d ( a n o t h e r  evidence  our  party.  would  party.  to indicate  that  above  from w i t h i n .  c r i t e r i o n t h a t we had f o u n d o u r  we h a d b o t h s e e n and h e a r d t h e h o s t the  voices  has  her  We h a d b o t h s e e n t h e a d d r e s s  the f r o n t door and h e a r d our f r i e n d s '  to  is r e a l l y true  h a v e no n e e d t o q u e s t i o n w h e t h e r we had f o u n d t h e  and o u r f r i e n d s .  party), All  o f o u r s e n s e s i n d i c a t e d t h a t we had t r u l y f o u n d The most c o n c r e t e  our senses,  servers  the  and l e a v e s us t o m i n g l e w i t h o u r  the  of  Saturday  directions  us on f i n d i n g h i s p l a c e ,  f r o m The W i l l  Several  and  o u r f r i e n d comes  I would not quote  sanity.  He has  me h i s a d d r e s s  the p a r t y , effect  solve.  k n o c k a t a d o o r b e h i n d w h i c h we h e a r  o f g l a s s e s and t h e  my w i f e  must g i v e  and m y s e l f f a i t h f u l l y f o l l o w t h e  eventually  tinkling  If  or  I am phoned b y a f r i e n d who i n v i t e s me ( a n d my  r e c e n t l y moved and t h e r e f o r e  and  t r y i n g t o answer  and e v e r y  test  one o f t h e  o f a l l i s when  every.-;one  senses of a l l other  i n t h e same s i t u a t i o n , r e p o r t p r e c i s e l y  the  ob-  same t h i n g .  65 But t h e e v i d e n c e t e s t s or c r i t e r i a path to t r u t h . test  t h a t h a v e been a g r e e d upon a s t h e  What we remember f r o m t h e p a s t  of the t r u t h .  as we d o ,  o f o u r s e n s e s i s o n l y one o f t h e many  perhaps i n d i r e c t l y .  enough r e s p e c t e d b o o k s ,  past.  It  And  that  i s a myth.  newspapers,  "no c o n c r e t e  t r u e has e v e r been a g r e e d u p o n " .  letters,  test  References etc. in  can  seems t h a t  centuries  o f what i s  S e v e r a l t e s t s are  really acknow-  our d e s i r e s find  He a r g u e s  i f not a l l , o f our b e l i e f s ,  or needs.  He seems t o t h i n k t h a t  at  effectively  cause  on  length  are caused by  We do n o t b e l i e v e w i t h r e a s o n ( s )  --  "we  (p.9).  i f he c a n d i s c r e d i t r e a s o n ! , ' t h e n he t h a t we s h o u l d f e e l f r e e  t h a t w h i c h most s a t i s f i e s sole  any b e l i e f .  o u r s e l v e s , b e l i e v i n g we h a r d l y know how o r why"  can argue  true.  James i s d e n y i n g t h a t we c a n j u s t i f y ,  i n t e l l e c t u a l grounds a l o n e , t o show t h a t m o s t ,  in serve  l e d g e d by sane a d u l t s t o be s u f f i c i e n t t o p r o v e t h i n g s It  Lincoln  James h i m s e l f c a n n o t  o f t h e o c c u r r e n c e o f many e v e n t s  is false  that  t o by o u r s e n s e s n o r by o u r  believe that L i n c o l n ' s existence  as c r i t e r i a  i n our g r a s p .  For example,-the fact  e x i s t e d c a n n o t now be a t t e s t e d except  things  f o r what none o f us c o u l d p o s s i b l y r e c a l l  s i n c e we were n o t p r e s e n t .  memories,  c a n a l s o be a  P a r t i c u l a r l y when o t h e r s r e c a l l  c a n we be s u r e ' t h a t t r u t h i s  there are t e s t s  surest  us.  o f b e l i e f - - and i t s  to  believe  I f d e s i r e o r n e e d were sole  the  ' j u s t i f i c a t i o n ' too  —  t h e n w o u l d we n o t be f o o l s t o b e l i e v e a n y t h i n g o t h e r t h a n what we most d e s i r e ?  But i f our d e s i r e s  s o l e cause  t h e n we WOULD b e l i e v e  of b e l i e f ,  most d e s i r e d .  o r n e e d s WERE t h e o n l y what we  66 J u s t as we w o u l d b e l i e v e  o n l y what we deemed most  by evidence  self-evident),  sole  cause  ( o r what was of.belief.  as t h e y d o , desires  they  o r needs  would concur.  just  —  i f r e a s o n were  W h a t e v e r may i n f l u e n c e p e o p l e  cannot  justify their beliefs  but t o reasons  can n e v e r  w i t h w h i c h a n y sane  serve  as  or  to  believe to  person to  believe  j u s t i f i c a t i o n of  j u s t i f i c a t i o n means j u s t i f i a b l e  those with c e r t a i n desires  the  by a p p e a l  D e s i r e o r n e e d may i n f l u e n c e p e o p l e  a s t h e y do b u t t h e s e beliefs  supported  f o r anyone,  not  needs.  T h e r e ARE ways i n w h i c h we c a n " k n o w t h a t we know" t h e r e ARE c o n c r e t e  tests  o f what i s  really  To i n v i t e c o n t r a d i c t i o n f r o m o t h e r s , only confirmation, i s the t r u t h .  Rogers  independent b e l i e f s we have their  i n both i s  belief.  corroborate increased;  that  confidence  is  and t h i s  It  I believe  if  i n possession that  two  confidence  Other peoples'  that  of  i s what we mean by beliefs  substantiate a certain  to believe  (or  more  teachers)  that the  particularly i f this  a  individual  I would place  another teacher  he t o o had r e a s o n s  receive  one a n o t h e r , . , t h e  consistently cheating,  v i d u a l was c h e a t i n g — solicited  if  in this belief  me t h a t  but to  "when we see  o f o u r own can s e r v e t o  For example,  i n my c l a s s  told  (p.399)  intellectual justification."  or other b e l i e f s  true.  one s i g n t h a t we a r e  says  —  indi-  o p i n i o n was u n -  by me.  i s n o t n e c e s s a r y othat one h a v e a c l o s e d  d e s c r i b e d b y James on page 1 3 .  'system'  as  B u t most o f o u r b e l i e f s ,  to  be r a t i o n a l , must be c o n n e c t e d i n some way w i t h OTHER As H a m p s h i r e s a y s  (p.144),  " I n the domain o f  opinion,  beliefs.  67 rationality opposite  is  simply the opposite  of disconnectedness,  o f h o l d i n g my o p i n i o n s a p a r t w i t h o u t f o r c i n g  the myself  t o r a n g e them i n a d e c i d e d o r d e r o f d e p e n d e n c e . "  He adds  (p.149):  the  of  "The i d e a o f a r a t i o n a l a c t i o n r e q u i r e s  s o m e t h i n g w i t h i n t h e penumbra o f a l a r g e r  the i d e a of a r a t i o n a l b e l i e f some s t a t e m e n t accepted."  requires  intention,  an a c c e p t a n c e  w i t h i n an e n v i r o n m e n t o f o t h e r  In other words,  few b e l i e f s  statements  a r e o r p h a n s and  E v e n i f i t be t r u e t h a t we do n o t a l w a y s available,  most t e m p t s us i f we deem i t interprets  James  (p.l$7)  s o o n as t h e l i g h t s ourselves  as  free  proportion belief  to b e l i e v e  i m p o r t a n t enough.  s a y i n g something l i k e  will  He s a i d  are thus our r e a l i t i e s  disbelieved."  (16*90, p.301)  Things unexperienced  r e a l l y know what I t  effects  "As  on."  I f we b e l i e v e  1948,  "we c a n i m a g i n e ,  myriads of e n t i t i e s  c a s e , however,  "Sensibl  realities. be b y us  t h u s we b e l i e v e  1907  w i t h our e x p e r i e n c e ,  that  i n t h e m , we do n o t  i s t h a t we b e l i e v e ,  p.481) t h a t  ceases  or unexperiencable  And James h a d w r i t t e n i n a l e t t e r  In that  this:  or else  rationally.  from i t .  whatever  o r t h e t e s t s .of o u r  must show s e n s i b l e  be u n r e a l f o r u s .  (Perry,  this  o f r e a s o n a r e t u r n e d down, we may h e l p  experience.  Conceived objects  —  Hobhouse  James had e a r l i e r w r i t t e n t h a t u n d e r s t a n d i n g  objects  ex  and  our b e l i e f s  i n t h e d a r k t o what we c a n l a y h a n d s  w i t h lack of  will  housing.  even i f o u r d e s i r e s  n e e d s DO p l a y a p a r t i n t h e f o r m a t i o n o f d o e s n o t mean t h a t we s h o u l d f e e l  as  of  b e l o n g t o one o f t h e many f a m i l i e s o f b e l i e f we a r e  a c t l y to the evidence  doing  ir-  to Lovejoy as  in  coexisting  absolutely  we can n o t o n l y n o t  isolated verify  68 w h i c h o f them t r u l y e x i s t s , of  but apart  coming i n t o t o u c h w i t h o u r s e l v e s ,  what  ...  the r e a l existence  "the best  i t necessary  it  is  t h i n g s which are  Rational beliefs,  James a r g u e s  therefore  Those  of  --  least  be  about  t h i n g s w h i c h , as  James  To know A i s  But  one knows  i t makes no s e n s e t o s a y t h a t  (see  the problems t h a t  i.e.,  one d o u b t s t h a t  We a r e a l l f a m i l i a r w i t h R y l e ' s  h i s book The C o n c e p t  it  some-  one knows  t o be c e r t a i n t h a t . A..  dispositional analysis of Mind)  of  and w i t h  a r i s e when one a r g u e s t h a t we know fe.hatv.we  know a n d we know t h a t we know t h a t a s k e d f o r my t e l e p h o n e  number,  we know,  I just  give  etc. it.  When I am Assuming  i t . c o r r e c t l y e v e r y t i m e , we w o u l d s a y t h a t  know rny n u m b e r .  things  beliefs  t h o u g h we c a n know t h i n g s .  one knows s o m e t h i n g .  know t h a t  those  t h a t we c a n n o t know f o r - c e r t a i n  makes no s e n s e t o s a y t h a t  I give  of  touch.  (p.12)  t h a t we know s o m e t h i n g ,  that  universe...  of ours which are  t o be r a t i o n a l , i t must a t  we c o u l d come i n t o  'knowing t h a t '  (p.27)  requirement are not n e c e s s a r i l y r a t i o n a l .  t h i n g s w h i c h we c a n c o n c e i v e  that  (p.25)  i n some way c o n n e c t e d w i t h what we h a v e  But f o r a b e l i e f  thing,  James d i d  then, are  i n some way w i t h o u r e x p e r i e n c e .  w h i c h meet t h i s  conceive  c l a r i f y s u c h p r o p o s i t i o n s as  experienced or w i t h other b e l i e f s  says,  surprising that  and more e t e r n a l a s p e c t o f t h e  personal form."  connected  even  t h i n g s a r e t h e more e t e r n a l t h i n g s " and  " T h e more p e r f e c t (has)  to  we c a n n o t  o f any one o f them w o u l d m e a n . "  In view of these q u o t a t i o n s , not f i n d  f r o m some p o s s i b i l i t y  To r e p l y " O f c o u r s e  y o u know y o u r n u m b e r ? " i s  I do" i f to assert  I  a s k e d "Do y o u emphatically  69 that  I do know my n u m b e r .  what  the questioner  no s e n s e  if  call  To show t h a t  think that  sure"  have seen,  there  James, shows  are  other  certainty  that  different  of things  o r d i n a r y means  others,  --  examples  of  we c a n knew w i t h party.  certainly  of a b s t r a c t  empirical'test.  absolutely  false  false  by  philosophical  and u s e d e.g.,  'metaphysiIf  instead  number,)  he m i g h t h a v e h a d more d i f f i c u l t y a r g u i n g reality  one's  by  (and  may w e l l be m e a n i n g l e s s  concrete  true  are not a p p l i c a b l e  as L i n c o l n ' s e x i s t e n c e ( a n d ,  of  by  T h i n g s which have  which c o u l d not p o s s i b l y t o u c h u s .  informative  which  by some and a b s o l u t e l y  w i t h l e s s g r a n d examples  we  completely  examples  nothing  can  of problem i s n o t o r i o u s l y i n s o l u b l e  c o u l d n o t be a p p l i c a b l e ) ,  had d e a l t  we  b u t as  l i s t e d by James on page 17  to which e m p i r i c a l t e s t s  c a l monsters'  e.g.,  c e r t a i n and as  This sort  been t h o u g h t  that  He a d m i t s t h a t we  we HAVE f o u n d t h e r i g h t  people are a l l  problems. the  successfully  c a s e s where we a r e  in claiming certainty  h a v e b e e n b r a n d e d as  makes  be.  propositions true with certainty  justified  The s o r t s  the q u e s t i o n  would  know a n y t h i n g w i t h c e r t a i n t y . mathematical  a'sk  l i t e r a l l y , t h i n k o f how i n a p p r o p r i a t e  "no" or " I ' m not  I do n o t never  meant.)  interpreted  the r e p l i e s  ( I w o u l d be more l i k e l y t o  James such  telephone that  c o u l d be known w i t h  certainty.' I a g r e e w i t h James from i s  less  (p.17)  i m p o r t a n t t h a n where  may dream o f a h y p o t h e s i s , to  that  yet  it  where leads  a hypothesis to.  A  i t may p r o v e u s e f u l  i n t e r e s t i n g r e s u l t s . • B u t James' p h r a s e  comes  scientist and  'thinking'  lead  (p.17  --  . 7 0 'total 'the  drift  o f t h i n k i n g ' ) must n o t be o v e r l o o k e d .  t o t a l d r i f t of t h i n k i n g '  tests  the hypothesis  a 'true'  one.  t h e n we may  But i f  o n l y c o n t i n u e d s a t i s f a c t i o n by t h i s p h r a s e , thesis  is  not c o n f i r m e d .  gratification,  no sane  certainty  believe  desires  but o n l y reason  licence  important as  --  to b e l i e v e it  subjective results  there  are  cases  o r n e e d s may i n f l u e n c e  can j u s t i f y  it  (e.g.,  one  t h i s w o u l d be no  what most t e m p t s  to r e a l i t y ;  by b e l i e v i n g t h a t w h i c h i s testing.  to  (to the w o r l d at  us a n d i s  confirmation i s gained  too vague t o t e s t  or i s  large);  reason  deemed  as o p p o s e d t o c o n s o l a t i o n o r g r a t i f i c a t i o n  t o be b e y o n d  hypo-  i s a l l t h e more r e a s o n f o r c h e r i s h i n g  our o n l y guide  testing,  then the  sort.  IS p o s s i b l e ;  e v e n i f we c o u l d p r o v e n o t h i n g t r u e , for  continue  p e r s o n would or s h o u l d have any doubts  the p a r t y example);  of  means  to i n t e r e s t i n g  ( p u b l i c l y observable)  To sum u p :  James  i s adhered to f o r  not because i t . l e a d s  o f an o b j e c t i v e  where  It  by  James means t h a t a l l s o r t s  continue to confirm the hypothesis,  to c a l l  If  belief by  gained claimed  71 9. In the next  B E L I E F AND TRUTH  section  (17-19),  James d i s t i n g u i s h e s t w o  ways o f l o o k i n g a t o u r d u t y i n t h e m a t t e r 'know t r u t h '  and ' a v o i d e r r o r !  sense t o b e l i e v e , says t h a t will  when i n d o u b t ,  i f one b e l i e v e s  gain the truth.  one. e s c a p e s e r r o r , believe  I n escaping  other falsehoods  yield  laws  A , t h e n even i f •  Therefore,  says James,  better  fear  and 'Shun e r r o r ' a r e  that  (p.27)  A may b e wr_qng. i s cowardly",  He i s s a y i n g t h a t  "To b e l i e v e  i s what,  i f one d i s b e l i e v e s ,  the b l e s s i n g s  t h e n one h a s a c h a n c e  o f r e a l knowledge.  Caveat  i s to  i n effect,  a r e s u r e l y n o t such a w f u l l y solemn t h i n g s . "  i f one b e l i e v e s ,  i t  hope t h a t A may be t r u e t h a n t o  gained nothing but perhaps freedom from error  but  one w i l l  C o r D, o r we may n o t b e l i e v e  ( p p . 1 7 a n d 1 $ ) . He s a y s t h a t  to disbelieve  James s a y s .  errors  t h a t one  t h e e r r o r A , says James,  'Believe truth'  t o y i e l d to one's  to one's  be b r a v e ,  He  than to d i s b e l i e v e .  two s e p a r a b l e better  i s a chance  i t i s - u n l i k e l y i n so d o i n g , t h a t  James s a y s t h a t  is  i t makes more  than t o d i s b e l i e v e .  A , then there  anything at a l l i n the matter. to believe  that  I f one' d i s b e l i e v e s  B (the t r u t h ) .  we may' b e l i e v e  He a r g u e s  of opinion  one h a s and "Our (p.19)  t o g a i n t r u t h and  emptor'.  S u p p o s e a man went t o a u s e d c a r l o t a n d a s a l e s m a n tried  t o p r e s s u r e h i m i n t o b u y i n g what l o o k e d a s i f i t c o u l d  be a d u d , t h o u g h t h e c h a n c e s The s a l e s m a n a r g u e s have t h e chance  that  looked, about  $0-50 t h a t  i t was.  o n l y i f he 'buys t h e c a r w i l l he  t o s e e i f i t i s a peach--(-and n o t a l e m o n ) ,  72  whereas  not t o buy i t w i l l  opportunity.  cut him o f f  One m i g h t l o s e one's t e m p e r a n d s a y t o  s a l e s m a n " E v e n - i f t h i s were t h e l a s t And t h i s i s (beliefs)  f o r e v e r from the  just the p o i n t .  c a r on  earth...etc.".  There are thousands of used  a v a i l a b l e a n d t o c h o o s e t h e f i r s t one y o u  i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y w o u l d be u t t e r f o l l y . the p o s s i b i l i t y , f o r the present car,  you w i l l  at l e a s t ,  (or repairing) that f i r s t  l i k e l y h a v e no t i m e o r i n t e r e s t  cars  encounter  You would e l i m i n a t e of t r y i n g another  and even .from s c r u t i n i z i n g t h e o t h e r c a r s .  so b u s y d r i v i n g  the  car  You w i l l  (belief)  be  that  in investigating  further. But  we do n o t c h o o s e b e l i e f s  earlier,  belief  i s not v o l u n t a r y .  w h a t e v e r most t e m p t s u s , sense,  I t a l s o t u r n s o u t t h a t he u t t e r s  e i t h e r of these,  thing.  We c a n n o t c h o o s e t o  as we c o u l d buy t h e c a r .  " B e l i e v e t r u t h ' . Shun e r r o r ! "  belief  As we saw believe  So i n one  James' a d v i c e t o b e l i e v e r a t h e r t h a n d i s b e l i e v e  nonsense.  'rule'.  a s we do c a r s .  only a  tautology.  Nobody w o u l d a r g u e  n o r e v e n w i t h J a m e s ' e m p h a s i s on t h e  But nobody w o u l d argue w i t h h i m b e c a u s e ,  is  with former  as we_saw,  and what we deem t o be t h e t r u t h a r e one 'and t h e  same  Thus what James a c t u a l l y u r g e s u s t o do when he s a y s  "know t r u t h ! " deemed t r u e ' . " .  or "fcelieve t r u t h ! "  i s "deem t r u e what  T h a t i s , James u r g e s us t o b e l i e v e  —  is to  deem t r u e — what i s t r u e , w h i c h i s what most o f us t h i n k we a r e d o i n g a n y w a y s .  B u t James does n o t m e r e l y u r g e us  to  b e l i e v e what i s x t r u e - - he u r g e s u s t o b e l i e v e r a t h e r t h a n d i s b e l i e v e i n t h e hope t h a t vie w i l l disbelieve,  he s a y s ,  believe  truly.  I f we  we may b e l i e v e n o t h i n g o r we may b e l i e v e  73  something e l s e believe!  that  is false.  So t h e b e s t t h i n g t o do i s  The o n l y p r o b l e m i s , WHAT s h o u l d we  James a c c u s e s C l i f f o r d  of  Nowhere do we f i n d  Clifford  The E t h i c s o f B e l i e f , tion belief  to the  advocating  it  disbelieve  j u d g m e n t .  encourage  the  is better  sufficient  truly  just  l e a d one t o  to the fear  In  propor-  That  disbelief  the t r u t h .  believe, to  and d e c e p t i o n  as a r u l e t o  is,  if  believe  he  will  We  in said.  believe  ever,  to b e l i e v e  alone,  Also,  He s a i d  i s to misuse b e l i e f .  b e c a u s e one can r a r e l y ,  therefore  to  t h e t r u t h enough,  is better  by d i s b e l i e v i n g .  must b e l i e v e , ever,  it  to  He s a i d o n l y t h a t  evidence  g e n e r a l when we do n o t r e s p e c t James a r g u e s t h a t  (p.l$).  such nonsense.  i n general  spread of s e l f - d e c e p t i o n  than to d i s b e l i e v e  forever  and not t o our d e s i r e s .  n o t h i n g about whether  on a n y t h i n g b u t  believe  he c a u t i o n e d us t o a t t e m p t  evidence  or suspend  believe?  e x h o r t i n g us t o  n o t h i n g and t o k e e p o u r m i n d s i n s u s p e n s e  to  believe  truly,  rarely,  one  if  one i s a c o w a r d , t o  yield  of being i n e r r o r r a t h e r than y i e l d t o the  hope  of gaining t r u t h . In the p u r s u i t of t r u t h , i t ful  to a v o i d e r r o r s than to b e l i e v e  you w i l l are  believe  what i s  true.  one w i f e ,  etc.  it  I f what  is  false  For everything  t h a t  James s a y s i s t r u e ,  true,  there  While i t i s true  I have t w o ,  a r e as r e a d y t o g r i n d o u t f a l s e h o o d  care-  m e r e l y i n t h e HOPE t h a t  an i n f i n i t e number o f f a l s e h o o d s .  I have etc.  i s more p r u d e n t t o be  viz.,  three, that  as v e r a c i t y "  that  four  "our minds (p.l$),  t h e n I w o u l d r e a l l y be h a r d p u t t o s a y how many w i v e s  I  have.  74 I realize that  t h a t my e x a m p l e i s  I h a v e no more t h a n one w i f e .  stronger against is  stituted, that  will  at  the  center  and c o u n t l e s s  earth.  even  the  truth  is  con-  He b e l i e v e d and t h a t  doubt and d i s b e l i e v e that  t h e gods t o g i v e  he  believe  i n t h e hope t h a t t h e y  o f t h e u n i v e r s e and t h a t  encourage  certain  I f men h a d c o n t i n u e d t o  we m i g h t S T I L L b e l i e v e  center  belief  c a s e s where  of a f i n i t e u n i v e r s e ,  other things  r a t h e r than to  dared t o , the  case i s  I n t r y i n g t o l e a r n how n a t u r e  s i t u a t e d on a f l a t  truly,  I know f o r  man h a s b e l i e v e d many f a l s e h o o d s .  he was  these  --  But the  James when we go t o  n o t so o b v i o u s .  was  clear-cut  believed  as a f e w o f t h e m  our w o r l d i s  flat,  dancing around  f o r t h water.  If  at  fires  a p o l i c y of  s u c h as James a d v o c a t e d h a d b e e n f o l l o w e d , man w o u l d  be where he w a s .  T h e r e w o u l d be no t r i a l  doubt or d i s b e l i e f ,  no change  or progress  and e r r o r ,  no  or enlargement  of  knowledge. On page 18 James s a y s t h a t  "we may e s c a p e B by n o t  l i e v i n g a n y t h i n g a t a l l , even A . " Psychology, anything  (p.284),  except  Yet  i n The P r i n c i p l e s o f  he h a d s t a t e d t h a t  "we. n e v e r  f o r t h e r e a s o n t h a t we b e l i e v e  something  which c o n t r a d i c t s the f i r s t  that  " a l l p r o p o s i t i o n s . . . a r e b e l i e v e d through the very  believed at Principles  the  unless  same t i m e . "  of Psychology  possibility  that  they  clash with other  seriously,  one c o u l d r e j e c t  something else  He s t a t e d  further fact  propositions  I f we t a k e what he s a i d i n The  B by n o t b e l i e v i n g a n y t h i n g a t must b e l i e v e  thing."  disbelieve  else  of being c o n c e i v e d ,  be-  or  all.  t h e n we must r e j e c t 'escape'  the  a proposition  To d i s b e l i e v e  which c o n t r a d i c t s i t ,  B, if  one James  75 was c o r r e c t  i n h i s book The P r i n c i p l e s o f  We q u o t e d S c h i l l e r e a r l i e r one c a n r e j e c t as'being that  (page5Z)  there are  For example,  100 g o d s ,  not  just  already b e l i e v e d that there are o n l y one.  I can r e j e c t  me a s  i n t o l e r a b l e or p a t e n t l y f a l s e I may ' e s c a p e '  absurd,  it  b u t by b e l i e v i n g t h a t  strikes  it  dence  i s a m a t t e r amenable t o  James seems t o t h i n k t h a t we have o r we w i l l  it  false  is  If  it  no e v i d e n c e  or d e c l a r e  number o f b e l i e f s  have  that  i n t o l e r a b l e or meaningless.  it  I  or even r i d i c u l o u s or  I may s u s p e n d judgement if  the n o t i o n  s i m p l y because i t  a p r o p o s i t i o n w h i c h I u n d e r s t a n d b u t see  i s found - -  one  one p r o p o s i t i o n n o t by b e l i e v i n g  n o t h i n g r e g a r d i n g the m a t t e r , patent^ false,  I could reject  o n l y t h r e e gods or  is  that  strikes  on t h e g r o u n d s t h a t  there  is  to the e f f e c t  a p r o p o s i t i o n B j u s t because i t  intolerable.  meaningless.  Psychology.  until  some  for, evi-  evidence.  to m a i n t a i n a c e r t a i n  go e m p t y - h a n d e d .  B u t we w o u l d  n o t d i s b e l i e v e a p r o p o s i t i o n B t h a t we u n d e r s t o o d u n l e s s b e l i e v e d t h e p r o p o s i t i o n n o t - B , and. we may have to reject act  B.  He seems a l s o t o  reason  t h i n k t h a t we a r e u n a b l e  to  u n l e s s we b e l i e v e , , b u t s i n c e d i s b e l i e f o f a n y p r o p o s i t i o n  B entails belief belief.'.  belief  that  r  That i s ,  v  us i s  James s a y s times i n one's  there  to act  on o u r ' ' ' d i s -  i s no s u c h s t a t e  o f mind  A l l cases of d i s b e l i e f are r e a l l y cases  'not-X' .  s i t i o n before  chance  i n n o t B , we a r e a b l e  One m i g h t s a y t h a t  as d i s b e l i e f .  "the  every  we  we b e l i e v e  that the  of  propo-  false.  (p.18)  that  it  is better  t o be duped many  i n v e s t i g a t i o n r a t h e r than postpone  of guessing  true".  T h i s i s a most  indefinitely  curious  76  phrase.  If  that  c o n c l u s i o n i s the  until  the the  one makes a g u e s s ,  t h e n how does one  correct  one?  U s u a l l y one  evidence  is  i n , or i f p o s s i b l e ,  c o n c l u s i o n guessed  at  i n order to determine  Russell  says  (p.95),  reason to believe truth —  e v e n i f we b e l i e v e  it,  'know t r u t h ! '  the " b l e s s i n g s merely guess  t h e n i n what —  said (what  earlier,  give thing  guess at true  something i s t r u e .  so e n a b l e s  (p.109)  never b e l i e f  or guess,  it,  then  believe  or b e l i e v e  As we  confidence  confidence  (a  merely  Only reason to b e l i e v e  then,  To know t h a t  it  to  says(p.96),  we may  when one  and happen t o be  can somethan  right.  i s not  enough  to  a c o n c l u s i o n w h i c h y o u do n o t know t o  w h i c h h a p p e n s t o be t r u e ) .  "The mere f a c t  that  I feel  r i g h t d o e s n o t mean I k n o w " . . there  I f we want  with j u s t i f i e d  alone.  no  a  one t o a c t much more e x p e d i t i o u s l y  one i s t o "know t r u t h " ,  (i.e.  on t h e t r u t h ,  c o n v i n c e d by e v i d e n c e )  merely to believe If  i f we have  As R u s s e l l  and one r a r e l y h a s . j u s t i f i e d  one k n o w l e d g e , is  do.  t o know i s t o b e l i e v e  of being  guesses that  truly,  As  t o be t r u e b u t we c a n n o t know t h e t r u t h .  is true),  product  hit  the  i t s worth.  as James p u t s  never  where we g u e s s and by c h a n c e what h a p p e n s  one t e s t s  or a c q u i r e knowledge?  will  waits  s e n s e do we ' g a i n '  of r e a l knowledge",  (believe)  determine  To s a y " I know" a d v i s e d l y ,  is  As Kaufmann s a y s  c e r t a i n and h a p p e n t o  I believe  i s a c r u c i a l c o n n e c t i o n between to  sufficient  to compel the assent  (Kaufmann,  p.113).  be  w i t h Kaufmann t h a t  knowledge  say t h a t o f every  be  and  one h a s reasonable  ( O f c o u r s e we c a n know w i t h o u t  evidence.  "evidence person" evidence  —  77 but  o n l y i n c a s e s where no e v i d e n c e  ample;-,  " I know I have a h e a d a c h e "  is required.  For  o r " I know I l o v e  When one makes a g u e s s and t h e  conclusion is  exher").  confirmed  i m m e d i a t e l y by someone who r e a l l y does know ( e . g .  "You're  right'.  clever  eh?'."  M a r y d i d h a v e , t w i n s ' . ) - , one m i g h t s a y " I ' m or " P r e t t y smart e h ' . B u t  ( a n d be j u s t i f i e d i n s a y i n g ) , " ! knows, find  then there  out,  one i s u n l i k e l y t o knew i t a l l t h e  i s ' no n e e d t o g u e s s .  one a s k s t h o s e  who know ( a n d a s k s  o r one p u t s t h e q u e s t i o n t o n a t u r e one does n o t f i n d As we h a v e what h a p p e n s  lies  when one k n o w s .  in  is  It  part  have a h e a d a c h e " .  a difference  ("Know t h e t r u t h " ) .  truth'.")  often false  which,  that  the  convincing evidence  " I know I  it".  It  yet  reasons  difference  and k n o w i n g  it  believe  to  argue  indicates  is  true.  (p.149)  that  "it  to believe  t o be t r u e ,  against  e.g.,  however,  evidence  a p e r s o n ought  t h o u g h i t happens  if  difference.  I n B e l i e f and C o n s t r a i n t , Mayo p o i n t s o u t is  believing  t h a t we s h o u l d  i s not s i l l y ,  what  true.  There i s a  this  a waste of t i m e - t o argue  t h a t we s h o u l d b e l i e v e  is  o f m i n d comes when enough  'belief-bank'.  It  believing  something^ e x c e p t  inappropriate,  James i g n o r e s  is true.  know)  s a y one knows o n l y  between b e l i e v i n g the t r u t h ( B e l i e v e  o r know what  between  one h a s f o r  to believe  are  Security  are deposited i n one's  is  how t h e y  to  o f the meaning o f the word  one h a s r e a s o n ( s )  i t s u s e s where r e a s o n s  It  one w a n t s  one  and b e l i e v i n g .  e n t i t l e d to  is  If  i n the form of experiments  i n the reasons  One i s  one h a s r e a s o n s . that  there  time".  t o be t r u e a n d r e a l l y k n o w i n g what  The d i f f e r e n c e  'know'  o u t by g u e s s i n g  seen,  And i f  say  something  he a c t u a l l y  has  i s a waste of time  to  --  78 try  to  convince people  what i s  t h a t t h e y ought  t r u e because to b e l i e v e  something t r u e . make e v e r y  It  i s not  silly  i s no b e t t e r  or to s e a r c h f o r  evidence  what  that  one w i l l of  likely  t o g a i n t h e t r u t h by b e l i e v i n g ,  than to-doubt  emerged f r o m s a v a g e r y .  citing  to  education.  less  viz.,  a matter  that  it  is  more  (1890,  s u i compos i s  his  o f an e m o t i o n a l l y  t h i s power i s t h e h i g h e s t  result  exof  I n u n t u t o r e d m i n d s t h e power d o e s n o t e x i s t . "  t o B e l i e v e James a d v o c a t e s  u n e d u c a t e d a n d u n t u t o r e d way, than d i s b e l i e v e  t h a t we s h o u l d a c t  James a d v o c a t e d b e l i e f ment b e c a u s e he t h o u g h t t h a t "The c o n t e n t  of  i n an  i.e., we s h o u l d b e l i e v e  of g a i n i n g  It  i n h i s l a t e r w o r k The  or suspend judgement,  g i v e u s more c h a n c e  inquiry,  truly,  then they would never  a man i s  w o u l d seem f r o m t h i s q u o t a t i o n t h a t Will  is  As James h i m s e l f s a i d  proof that  To g i v e  believe  o r d e n y b e c a u s e one i s  suspend b e l i e f ' i n presence  idea.  to  I f men p r a c t i s e d  to B e l i e v e ,  to believe  ability  It  or cowardice than of wisdom.  "The g r e a t e s t  —  d o u b t i n g and d e m a n d i n g  of b e l i e v i n g .  James p r e a c h e d i n The W i l l  p.308)  evidence  than they should  better  have  to the  more.  c u l t i v a t e the habit  rather than that  of bravery  t o a r g u e t h a t we s h o u l d  effort  • T h e r e i s much more c h a n c e one t r i e s t o  deem  guide to the t r u t h than evidence  t h o u g h o f t e n p e o p l e make l e s s  if  o r t o know  o r t o know means t o  attempt t o p r o p o r t i o n our b e l i e f  because there  examine i t  to b e l i e v e  and t h a t  this  rather will  truth.  as o p p o s e d t o i n the  our mind i s  state  suspense  of  judge-  o f d o u b t and  in unrest."  (I89O,  p.284)  79 In the f i r s t thing. facto  p l a c e . , he h e l d t h a t t o b e l i e v e  "Any object  i s the n a t u r a l  which remains u n c o n t r a d i c t e d i s  b e l i e v e d and p o s i t e d as a b s o l u t e r e a l i t y . "  Secondly,  he h e l d t h a t - o n e  o n l y when one b e l i e v e s  ipso  (1890, p.289)  c a n a c t w i t h p u r p o s e and v i g o r  with confidence.  He f e l t  that  one  was p a r a l y z e d when i n d o u b t and t h a t b e l i e f o f a n y s o r t b e t t e r than doing n o t h i n g but wait u n t i l  was  a l l the evidence  is  in. James may be c o r r e c t when he s a y s t h a t b e l i e f  comes  n a t u r a l l y t o man b u t t h i s seems t o a p p l y t o t h e c h i l d h o o d o f man and o f men.  When t h e human r a c e became  when a s m a l l p o r t i o n o f i t  d i d , i t learned not to  u p o n mere e n c o u n t e r b u t t o b e l i e v e by e v i d e n c e .  Or, r a t h e r ,  man became e d u c a t e d . believed, the  educated, believe  o n l y what was i n d i c a t e d  as he l e a r n e d t o d o u b t a n d q u e s t i o n ,  I f no man q u e s t i o n e d what h i s  t h e n he w o u l d b e l i e v e  father  e x a c t l y as h i s f a t h e r d i d  same a p p l i e s t o t h e g e n e r a t i o n s  o f men.  i s no l o n g e r t r u e ,  naturally believes  i f indeed i t  --  Many members o f  o u r r a c e now n a t u r a l l y q u e s t i o n what t h e y a r e t a u g h t hence i t  or  ever was,  or  told,  t h a t man .  e v e r y t h i n g t h a t he i s t o l d o r t h a t  he  or conceives if  of^encounters--  if  it  i s not c o n t r a d i c t e d .  a l l men d i d b e l i e v e t h a t w h i c h t h e y c o n c e i v e d o r  Even encountered  t h a t was n o t c o n t r a d i c t e d , t h i s w o u l d n o t mean t h a t t h e y :.: s h o u l d do s o .  (As Hunie r e m i n d e d u s ,  nay i m p o s s i b l e —  i t may be a n i n d e f i n i t e  journey from ' i s ' t o  Does d o u b t o r s u s p e n s e  'ought').  o f j u d g e m e n t r e n d e r one  On t h e c o n t r a r y , t h e r e may be no more e f f e c t i v e  inactive?  intellectual  --  80 energizer  than a serious  doubt.  centuries  c o u l d h a r d l y be  Science  called  i n the past  'inactive'  yet  b y men d o u b t i n g o r d i s b e l i e v i n g what t h e i r taught.  It  hope t h a t tried  d i d not progress  sphere  evidence  to  wanted i s not n e c e s s a r i l y hope a n d / o r c o n f i d e n c e  It  e.g.  and b e l i e f change the  that  to  one w i l l  its  belief  solemn t h i n g s .  succeed  or f a i t h i s  (p.19)  that  If  one w i l l  who d i d n o t a c q u i e s c e , enough p e o p l e  wanted  succeed foolhardiness),  (which can  easily  (We s h a l l s o o n d e a l w i t h sometimes r e q u i r e d  they  c a n be t h e most  to  the  fate  of the  thought  d e m a n d i n g more t e r r i t o r y when he a c q u i r e d t h e S e c o n d W o r l d War w i t h a l l i t s been p r e v e n t e d , calculations  or at  least  mitigated.  must n e v e r  become  error i s ,  lightness  of  those  occurred. thought  he w o u l d  might  cease  have  E r r o r s and m i s -  "Lightness of head.  the g r e a t e r  solemn  Czechoslovakia,  atrocities  c a n be a w f u l l y s o l e m n .  the  souls  had n o t been i n e r r o r when t h e y o r when t h e y  awfully  the I n q u i s i t i o n  t h e n i t might n e v e r have  merely laughable  the g r e a t e r  or  is  but  What i s  t h o s e who p e r p e t r a t e d  h a d n o t been i n e r r o r a b o u t  (p.19)  succeed  our e r r o r s are not such  I submit t h a t  things.imaginable.  Hitler  the  own v e r i f i c a t i o n . )  James s a y s  If  that  overconfidence  not  In  one w i l l  one c a n s u c c e e d .  to t i m i d i t y or cowardice).  claim that  create  change  the  b e c a u s e men  t h e i r doubt.  that  i s a happy medium b e t w e e n b e l i e f (which can e a s i l y  in  d o i n g a broad, j u m p , what  belief  that  predecessors  progressed  justify  of p h y s i c a l a c t i o n ,  progressed  by h a v i n g men b e l i e v e  t h e y m i g h t be t r u e .  to f i n d  it  few  i s the  It  of  heart"  seems  ensuing  that tragedy.  81 Errors  t h a t make, no d i f f e r e n c e  difference.  ice  of things t h a t  i s not t h i n ' )  In the next and e v e r y d a y  r e a l i t y to us,  are errors that  it  i s wiser to  to believe  need of a c t i n g i s action i s better  do make a  t h a n no b e l i e f  should influence  difference. scientific  s u s p e n d judgement  that  at a l l " .  or  ( p . 2 0 ) "The  a false  belief  B u t , he  to  says,  i n w h i c h p a s s i o n must i n f l u e n c e and  (another v i r t u e of necessity?)  us i n o u r  H e r e t h e o p t i o n i s f o r c e d and momentous - -  we c a n n o t " a l w a y s w a i t w i t h i m p u n i t y t i l l evidence  (e.g.  i n most  p r e c i p i t o u s l y because  s e l d o m so u r g e n t  t h e r e .are some m a t t e r s  i.e.,  do make a d i f f e r e n c e  s e c t i o n James a r g u e s t h a t  matters,  t o doubt t h a t  opinions.  o f t h i n g s t h a t make no  Errors that misrepresent  e r r o r s that are 'This  are  s h a l l have a r r i v e d " ( p . 2 2 ) .  the  coercive  He g o e s on t o  m o r a l i t y and r e l i g i o n as e x a m p l e s where t h e  here  use  o p t i o n i s momen-  t o u s and f o r c e d . James i m p l i e s t h a t and t h a t t h e r e f o r e , believe  falsely  if  one c a n n o t a c t u n l e s s action i s necessary,  than not at  impossible without b e l i e f . example  (pages' *). 1  all.  One n e e d n o t b e l i e v e  that  it  guess)  is --  suspect  that  it  it.  is better  to  that action  is  i s the r i g h t  that  one has  One may be  the road i s  t h e r i g h t one o r a c t  q u i s i t e to a c t i o n . doubts,  that  it  believes  R e c a l l the f o r k - i n - t h e road  the r i g h t road i n order to take i n the dark,  I disagree  one  completely  the r i g h t one,  on t h e h y p o t h e s i s one.  hope  —  (or  B e l i e f i s not a  re-  On t h e c o n t r a r y i n c a s e s where  a c t i o n i s r e q u i s i t e to b e l i e f .  o n l y be q u e l l e d by a c t i o n w h i c h l e a d s  chosen  That i s ,  one  doubt  to discovery  thus  can  82  dispelling  it.  We must r e j e c t  that  a c t i o n req\iires b e l i e f  that  a false  c a n be  belief  t h e n o t i o n i m p l i e d by James  - - p a r t i c u l a r l y when he  is better  t h a n none a t a l l .  a l e a r n e d judge  t o h a v e them d e c i d e d on a n y a c c e p t a b l e o u t o f t h e way" inscribed  (p.20).  "any a c c e p t a b l e  An e r r o r on h i s p a r t  justices  i n the f u t u r e  seems t o be a v e r y p o o r e x a m p l e t o  that  any b e l i e f  judgement u n t i l  t h a n no b e l i e f  "objective  James s a y s t h a t we o b v i o u s l y a r e  evidence  recorders,  Further  h o l d much  support the  claim  or suspense  h a s come"  (p.20).  that  nature  of d e c i d i n g p r o m p t l y and  getting  decisions  (p.20).  James h e l d m o r a l i t y a n d n a t u r e " " s i n c e he  i n r e g a r d t o m o r a l i t y and  f o r c e d a n d momentous,  evidence  of  and  t.o-.be t h i n g s a p a r t f r o m " o b j e c t i v e that  in-  case b e f o r e h i m .  b u s i n e s s w o u l d be w h o l l y o u t o f p l a c e "  g o e s on t o a r g u e  will  not makers o f t h e t r u t h ;  seems f r o m t h i s q u o t a t i o n t h a t  are  settle  " i n our d e a l i n g s w i t h o b j e c t i v e  d e c i s i o n s f o r t h e mere s a k e on t o t h e n e x t  justice.  could lead to countless  and n o t m e r e l y i n t h e  is better  have  operate  he must n o t  courts w i l l  This  religion  j u d g e must To  is  got  The j u d g e m e n t he makes  which i n future  weight.  and  miscarriage of  i s making law,  principle".  as a p r e c e d e n t  religion  priniciple  " A l l hope a b a n d o n ye who e n t e r h e r e " .  P a r t i c u l a r l y when a j u d g e  "few  the great t h i n g  Over h i s c o u r t t h e  on t h i s p r i n c i p l e w o u l d be a g r o s s  It  errors  once t o l d him t h a t  c a s e s a r e w o r t h s p e n d i n g much t i m e o v e r :  serve  Our  solemn.  James s a y s t h a t  for  suggests  i.e.,  t h e y MUST be made.  James c o n s i d e r e d r e l i g i o n t o  be  83  independent from h i s  of  nature",  is  found i n t h i s  quotation  e s s a y " l s L i f e W o r t h L i v i n g ? ' i n The W i l l , t o  .'• , ( p . 5 2 ) : science  "objective  "the  knows i t ,  spiritual  p h y s i c a l order of nature, cannot  intent.  It  be h e l d t o r e v e a l  i s mere  ....  Believe  taken simply  as  a n y one h a r m o n i o u s  d o i n g and u n d o i n g w i t h o u t  end." B u t we a r e religion  left  independent  i n doubt whether of  'objective  and T h e i s m (TWTB, p . 1 2 2 ) regarded  ....  as  get  this  God i s  (p,135)  ;  he f i n d s  God's existence  existence  be a ' f a c t  objective  times  given  to me."  quite  evidence  religion  is  by our b o d i e s .  We  of us'?  or the r e l i g i o u s h y p o t h e s i s  as a . m a t t e r  that  (p.11)  on i n t e l l e c t u a l g r o u n d s "  religion.  Would not  (p.25):  all." "cannot  in  God. J . O . ) that  God's  (p.20). James first  "obviously  cannot  B u t when he  describes  by i t s ' n a t u r e mine J . O . ) ,  given to us;  be then  about the n a t u r e  On t h e one h a n d we s i m p l y come u p o n God and  find His existence  the  religion's  (emphasis  he seems t o h o l d two i n c o m p a t i b l e v i e w s  Him,  the  appropriate to r e l i g i o n ?  be v e r i f i e d s c i e n t i f i c a l l y a t  decided  find."  James s a y s h e r e  independent  other  as we e n c o u n t e r  given to him.  s p e a k s as t h o u g h i t  affirmation, yet  existence  be  in a similar  " I s i m p l y come upon h i m ( i . e . ,  his  at  encduntered  our eyes but f e l t  and f i n d  to  o f my own and  i m p r e s s i o n t o o f r o m s o m e t h i n g he s a y s l a t e r  same e s s a y  Is  In Reflex Action  I s i m p l y come u p o n and  o f o t h e r men o r p e r h a p s  i n v i s i b l e to  deemed  he s a y s " G o d ' s p e r s o n a l i t y i s  existence  T h i s seems t o mean t h a t  wind  nature'.  something l y i n g o u t s i d e  t h a n me, and whose  manner t o t h a t  o r n o t James  and on t h e  of  find  other hand,  84 (p.11) tual for of  r e l i g i o n c a n n o t by i t s n a t u r e be d e c i d e d on i n t e l l e c -  grounds, us  the  (p.19),  and i t  individual  James t h o u g h t Him,  o u r e m o t i o n s must and s h o u l d make t h e  that  decision  concerns a d e c i s i o n "which the  intellect  (p.29).  cannot by i t s e l f r e s o l v e "  Perhaps  s i n c e we s i m p l y come upon God and  we n e e d no e v i d e n c e  to persuade  us o f H i s  find  existence.  But  t h i s v i e w c o u l d be h e l d o n l y b y one who h a d come upon  God  and f o u n d H i m , a c l a s s  evidence  nor d e c i s i o n .  That i s ,  s i m p l y FIND G o d , t h e n t h e r e But  i f he i s  correct  n a t u r e and t h a t .objective  o f p e o p l e who r e q u i r e if  James i s  or  t h a t r e l i g i o n i s NOT e v i d e n t  o u r e m o t i o n s MUST d e c i d e f o r u s ,  evidence  is  inappropriate.  r e l i g i o n i s not a h y p o t h e s i s  d i s c o n f i r m a t i o n by o b j e c t i v e  sort.  correct that  i s no n e e d f o r o b j e c t i v e  capable  evidence  objective  then  objective  we  evidence.  in  We may assume  James d i d NOT deem r e l i g i o n a m e n a b l e t o i.e.,  neither  again  that  evidence,  of c o n f i r m a t i o n  of the  scientific  James must be i n t e r p r e t e d as t a k i n g t h e p o s i t i o n t h a t  experiments,  tests,  o b s e r v a t i o n s and p r e d i c t i o n s , i n t h e  scientific  meaning of these words,  a r e NOT a p p l i c a b l e  religion.  R e l i g i o n i s a matter of the heart,  not the  to head.  85  10.  RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND  On page 2 1 ,  SCIENCE  James l a y s the groundwork f o r h i s ' " f a i t h -  c r e a t e s - i t s - o w n - v e r i f i c a t i o n " argument on pages 2 3 ' t o 2 5 . He has  s t a t e d t h a t i t i s almost always the case i n s c i e n t i f i c  m a t t e r s t h a t we s h o u l d not make up our minds at a l l ' " " t i l l o b j e c t i v e evidence has come" ( p . 2 0 ) . a t t i t u d e of s c e p t i c a l balance w i s e one  He adds t h a t  "The  i s t h e r e f o r e the a b s o l u t e l y  i f we would escape m i s t a k e s . "  (p.20).  D e c i s i o n s or  o p t i o n s i n s c i e n t i f i c m a t t e r s a r e not u s u a l l y momentous or f o r c e d , he s a y s .  But on the next page ( p . 2 1 ) , he says t h a t  "For purposes of d i s c o v e r y such i n d i f f e r e n c e i s l e s s h i g h l y t o be recommended, and s c i e n c e would be f a r l e s s advanced than she i s i f the p a s s i o n a t e d e s i r e s o f i n d i v i d u a l s t o get t h e i r own  f a i t h s confirmed had been kept out o f the game."  James attempts  t o equate r e l i g i o n and s c i e n c e as both  a r e a s where d i s c o v e r y i s made by men thesis'  (p.22) or a pet  who  ' l i v e hypothesis'  have a 'pet hypo(p.21)  s e a r c h f o r c o n f i r m a t i o n of t h i s h y p o t h e s i s . James argues, f a i t h c r e a t e s i t s own he s a y s , t h e man results (p.21).  who  has "no  ... i s the warranted  being  and  who  In r e l i g i o n ,  verification.  i n t e r e s t whatever i n  In science, ...  i n c a p a b l e , the p o s i t i v e  fool"  He. m a i n t a i n s , i n o t h e r words, t h a t the s c i e n t i s t  and  the p o t e n t i a l r e l i g i o u s b e l i e v e r are no d i f f e r e n t i n t h e i r b e l i e f i n a 'pet h y p o t h e s i s ' which they make every attempt to v e r i f y —  and v e r i f i c a t i o n and d i s c o v e r y would be  impossible  w i t h o u t the pet h y p o t h e s i s and the f a i t h ( o r b e l i e f ) i n v e s t e d in i t . Does s c i e n c e resemble r e l i g i o n i n t h a t d i s c o v e r y i s  86 made p o s s i b l e his  o n l y i f one has  own ' f a i t h s '  confirmed?  ANY a n a l o g y h e r e  'passionate  desires'  to  get  I do n o t t h i n k t h a t t h e r e  is  whatsoever.  On page 21 James b l u r s t h e d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n U N i n t e r e s t , indifference can  o r a p a t h y and D i s i n t e r e s t o r i m p a r t i a l i t y .  desire greatly  i.e.,  or D i s i n t e r e s t e d i n the r e s u l t .  curious phrase  The p o i n t i s , faith  "get  t h e i r own f a i t h s  i f a hypothesis  i s no l o n g e r r e q u i r e d .  evidence, correct it  a c e r t a i n h y p o t h e s i s be c o n f i r m e d ,  be most i n t e r e s t e d and c o n c e r n e d i n t h e r e s u l t ,  remain i m p a r t i a l the  that  is  i s no l o n g e r f a i t h b u t a j u s t i f i e d b e l i e f . 'passionate  c o n f i r m e d a n d an i n t e r e s t strikes  desires'  to get  then the be  a.  confirmed, We must one's  then  dis-  faith  i n v e r i f y i n g a hypothesis  that  one a s b e i n g p l a u s i b l e .  S c i e n t i s t s know o n l y t o o w e l l t h a t f o u n d by t h o s e who have p a s s i o n a t e ideas  confirmed.  (lest  t h e y become d e c e i v e d )  They h a v e  desires  fail  confident that  i n v e s t i g a t i o n and t e s t by a n y o n e .  Then i t s  usually  their  'nervousness'  They see w h e t h e r  they are  one b e l i e v a b l e  to get  systematized the  be f a l s i f i e d a n d i f enough e x p e r i m e n t s their hypothesis),  t r u t h i s not  (p.21), into efforts  f i r m t h e i r pet h y p o t h e s e s .  PUBLIC  beyond  the b e l i e f  I f a f a i t h or pet h y p o t h e s i s  t i n g u i s h between  (p.21).  confirmed,  Faith is belief  yet  James u s e s  confirmed"  or f a i t h i s  a c c o m p a n i e d by t h e d e s i r e t h a t  one.  One  to  discon-  or not i t  can  (to disconfirm it  can w i t h s t a n d  truth will  by a n y s a n e and r e a s o n a b l e  be a  person  n o t a p r i v a t e f a i t h t h a t nobody c o u l d d i s c o n f i r m because t e s t s and e x p e r i m e n t s a r e  irrelevant.  —  87 Findlay-writes that  belief  by a d v e r s e over  that  (p.120)  i s most a p p r o v a b l e experience  risk."  possibility  ...  risks  Of c o u r s e  just  greater  is  its  to f a l s i f i c a t i o n . "  belief  "will  ...  the  and i t  a l s o be a p p r o v a b l e  of such experience,  gratuitous  gallantry  scientific  method."  a scientist  i n God d i d ( i . e . ,  ...  experience Is  i n s o f a r as  i n s o f a r as, refutation  constitutes  that  d i d what  convince himself  that  positively  ...  this  and s o u l  of  of  believing  expose the  disconfirmation.  it  sustained,  that belief  Rather,  he  o f W i l l i a m James i n Some P r o b l e m s  c l i m b upon t h e  'faith-ladder'  and t r y  that:  There i s n o t h i n g absurd i n a c e r t a i n view of  world being true,  ex-  page  i t goes  a person desirous  possible  i f he t o o k t h e a d v i c e  of P h i l o s o p h y ( p . 2 2 4 ) ,  it  positive  d i d what an i n d i v i d u a l who w i s h e s  to every  "It  i n other words,  the heart  t h e r e WERE a God d i d ) , t h e n he w o u l d n o t or h y p o t h e s i s  this  enough  (p.120):  And he a d d s on t h e n e x t  i n v i t e s and c o u r t s  "1.  to  a p p r o v a b i l i t y rather than i t s  constantly  to  and t r i u m p h s  F i n d l a y adds  l o y a l to  falsification  posure  would,  falsification  exposing a b e l i e f  approvable.  l o y a l t y which grounds  If  matter,  of being f a l s i f i e d or d i s c o n f i r m e d i s not  because b e l i e f  i n quest  w h i c h most r i s k s  and w h i c h b e s t s u r v i v e s  to render the b e l i e f is  "As Popper would put the  nothing  self-contradictory;  2.  I t m i g h t h a v e been t r u e u n d e r c e r t a i n  3.  I t may be t r u e ,  even  4.  It  is f i t  true;  5.  It  ought  t o be t o be  the  true;  now;  circumstances;  88  6.  I t must be t r u e ;  •7.  I t s h a l l be t r u e , at any r a t e f o r  me."  The l a s t f i v e words g i v e the game away. of r e l i g i o n are p r i v a t e .  The  'truths'  As James s a y s , (1929, p.422),  " f e e l i n g i s the deeper source of r e l i g i o n . " and a few pages on he adds (p.447):  " I n the r e l i g i o u s sphere, i n p a r t i c u l a r ,  b e l i e f t h a t formulas are t r u e can never w h o l l y take the p l a c e of p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e . "  '  The t r u t h s or p r o b a b l i t i e s of s c i e n c e are a v a i l a b l e to a l l who  can understand them.  James s a y s , (1929, p.445):  Not so w i t h r e l i g i o n .  As  "the attempt t o demonstrate  by  p u r e l y i n t e l l e c t u a l processes the t r u t h o f the- d e l i v e r a n c e s of d i r e c t r e l i g i o u s e x p e r i e n c e i s a b s o l u t e l y h o p e l e s s . "  In  s c i e n c e , e x p e r i e n c e s ( o r o b s e r v a t i o n s ) a r e such t h a t t h e y can be shared, i n p r i n c i p l e , by any t r a i n e d person h a v i n g the normal f a c u l t i e s . c o n f i r m i n g one's own  There i s a v a s t d i f f e r e n c e between 'pet h y p o t h e s i s ' or ' p r i v a t e f a i t h '  by  i n c a n t a t i o n s and c o n f i r m i n g a h y p o t h e s i s by p r o d u c i n g publ i c l y o b s e r v a b l e phenomena under s p e c i f i e d c o n d i t i o n s . I f a s c i e n t i s t t r i e d t o c o n f i r m a h y p o t h e s i s by c l i m b i n g on James' f a i t h - l a d d e r , he would be q u i c k l y " p u l l e d down" by' o t h e r s c i e n t i s t s who  s e a r c h f o r the t r u t h as n o r m a l l y u n d e r s t o o d  t h a t which ALL men something  can s h a r e .  were t r u e FOR  HIM,  Anyone who  —  would admit t h a t  would be t a c i t l y a d m i t t i n g an  overwhelming d e s i r e , need or even compulsion t o b e l i e v e as he does.  ( R e c a l l the d i s c u s s i o n about ' t r u e f o r me',  pp.io-lfl .  S c i e n t i s t s must be c a u t i o u s about b e i n g d e c e i v e d because  89 t h e y know how e a s i l y t h i s c a n h a p p e n . passionate likely  d e s i r e to get  h i s f a i t h c o n f i r m e d i s much  less  t o be i m p a r t i a l t h a n i f he were m e r e l y i n t e r e s t e d  concerned t o get  certain results.  "The a c t u a l b e l i e f be a h i n d r a n c e , hypotheses belief  The man w i t h a  fication  that the hypothesis  since i t retards  when t h e e v i d e n c e  is general, as  Belief  As R u s s e l l s a y s is_ t r u e  ...  to  false  t h e m , and i f  i t makes p e o p l e r e g a r d e x p e r i m e n t a l  the veri-  unnecessary." or f a i t h i n a hypothesis  can i n f l u e n c e  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of experiments an^or o b s e r v a t i o n s degree.  (p.94), i s apt  t h e abandonment o f  goes a g a i n s t  or  one's  to a great  S t e p h e n T o u l m i n w r i t e s i n F o r e s i g h t and U n d e r s t a n d i n g  (pp.100-101): "If  a man e n t e r s  the  with preconceived ideas this  (scientists  gation. that  feel)  can f l y ,  observer:  he w i l l  laboratory  a b o u t what he w i l l will  prejudice  that w i l l  his  find, investi-  an  go a r o u n d t h e w o r l d l o o k i n g f o r  to support h i s p r i o r b e l i e f ,  s t y as p r o o f o f h i s c o n t e n t i o n . interrogating Nature,  the f i e l d ,  (say)  d i s q u a l i f y h i m as  by h a i l i n g some p o r k e r l e a p i n g o f f  to  or  I f he h a s a l r e a d y made up h i s m i n d  pigs  evidence  observatory  vie must l e a v e  ...  a n d may end  the r o o f of when i t  his  comes  i n the l a b o r a t o r y or i n h e r t o answer f o r h e r s e l f  -  and a n s w e r . w i t h o u t any p r o m p t i n g . " We must d i s t i n g u i s h , he s a y s , (e.g.,  pigs f l y )  between p r e j u d i c e d  and p r e f o r m e d c o n c e p t s  (e.g.  beliefs  a body's motion  90 is  s e l f - e x p l a n a t o r y o n l y when f r e e  cluding i t s  from a l l f o r c e s ,  in-  own w e i g h t . )  The d e s i r e f o r t h e t r u t h c a n n o t be e q u a t e d w i t h p a s s i o n to get firmed.  f a i t h or hypothesis  con-  There i s a d i f f e r e n c e between h o n i n g t h a t a c e r t a i n  hypothesis it  a certain belief,  the  s h a l l be c o n f i r m e d and b e i n g d e t e r m i n e d t h a t  s h a l l be c o n f i r m e d , come h e l l  or h i g h w a t e r .  The  difference  i s b e t w e e n a s k i n g a q u e s t i o n o f n a t u r e and h a v i n g a n a n s w e r w h i c h one m e r e l y t r i e s t o i m p o s e on n a t u r e —  between  SEEING  w h e t h e r p i g s f l y and d o i n g e v e r y t h i n g i n o n e ' s power t o c o n f i r m one's b e l i e f that they  do.  The f u n c t i o n s a n d p u r p o s e s n o t t h e same.  o f r e l i g i o n and s c i e n c e  Comparing the s c i e n t i s t ' s t a s k t o t h a t o f  who s e e k s c o n f i r m a t i o n o f a p a r t i c u l a r p r o p o s i t i o n i s fruitful.  Where d e c i s i o n i s a p p l i c a b l e t o r e l i g i o n ,  n o t so w i t h s c i e n c e .  Talk of e m p i r i c a l proof,  tests,  hypotheses,  It  as M a c i n t y r e s a y s ,  is,  etc.,  of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f .  believer  he a d d s , dence  (!)  it  (p.197),  " a l i e n to the whole  H a v i n g made o u r d e c i s i o n , we a d h e r e  commit o n e s e l f t o a n y t h i n g . "  p.223) t h a t  as c o m p l e t e l y  imperfect)  at bottom a moral o r d e r ' " .  that  ...  of  to  For instance,  (even though the  evi-  'the natural order  As James s a y s ,  as  James  " P h i l o s o p h y a n d R e l i g i o n have  " I t may be t r u e a l l t h e w h i l e  to  The r e l i g i o u s  the t o t a l c h a r a c t e r of the w o r l d . "  be s t i l l  is  spirit  commits h i m s e l f t o a way o f l i f e a n d t o a s e t  (1931,  interpret  not  evidence,  f u n d a m e n t a l a t t i t u d e s r e g a r d i n g h i m s e l f and o t h e r s . says  one  i n regard to r e l i g i o n i s u n r e a l i s t i c .  b e l i e f u n c o n d i t i o n a l l y , we commit o u r s e l v e s one c a n e v e r  are  religion is  is  con-  91 cerned w i t h the u n i v e r s e it  has a p u r p o s e ,  as  m i g h t be r e l e v a n t  Notice that  a whole,  servable,  makes no j u d g e m e n t s  science not to  the u n i v e r s e  concerning the u n i v e r s e  purpose  or moral order.  speculate  about the worth of t h i n g s ,  (p.22).  i s good?  'universe'  W o u l d i t make s e n s e t o  I do n o t t h i n k s o .  m e a n i n g what  I f we a r e p l e a s e d  bad o r e v i l .  it  those  call  it  As R o g e r s  that  t h e w o r l d i s good s t a r t s  emotional preferences...  does)  as a. b a s i s  ."  T h i s may be t r u e ,  though r e l i g i o n s "  may d e c i d e  be b e t t e r , o r w o r s e , is,  n o t as  Science a sin..  science's  says  (p.404)  from our n a i v e  "the  As S c h i l l e r s a y s  spiritual  progress.  without question,  but the f a c t  (the. compari-  that  this  that  (p.19),  or that  this  c a n be no p r o g r e s s  that would  universe  be.)  "the  in  universe  universe  a d u t y and b l i n d  doubt i s  is  belief  remains  concern i s w i t h the  doubt i s  it  alternative  still  So l o n g as what a p p e a r s  there  'good'  f a i t h i n our  ( I t may be s a i d t h a t  i t might have been or might  'preaches'  of  that  pleased,to  c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d good c o m p a r e d t o p o s s i b l e universes.  as  say  The w o r d  who a r e n o t  as The  w i t h t h e u n i v e r s e we m i g h t s a y  g o o d b u t t h e n we must g r a n t  it  as  and o b -  a c o m p a r a t i v e t e r m and we have no OTHER u n i v e r s e  son.  of  the u n i v e r s e  i s to understand the observed  'James h i m s e l f s a i d  as  a part  not  James t h i n k s EVIDENCE  to the q u e s t i o n of whether  i n regard to meaning,  concern of  word  or  is moral.  Science  is  w i t h whether  a m e a n i n g and. w h e t h e r man i s  t h i s meaning or p u r p o s e .  a whole  a WHOLE —  faith  c o n d i t i o n of  is  accepted  knowledge,  92 because  there  ulus that  i s no c a u s e f o r i n v e s t i g a t i o n .  i n c i t e s u s t o new t r u t h a l w a y s  about t h e o l d . "  S c i e n c e s u b m i t s new h y p o t h e s e s r e v i s e d h e r dogma b e c a u s e  comes f r o m d o u b t  doubt. to t e s t s ,  of s o c i a l pressures  S c i e n c e advances  made ( o r b e t t e r  because  r e l i g i o n has and s c i e n t i f i c  new d i s c o v e r i e s  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s • a r e made).  Religion  as i t s d o c t r i n e s a r e r e i n t e r p r e t e d t o meet m a n ' s NEEDS.  A s c i e n t i s t a d o p t s new h y p o t h e s e s  disconfirmed; cause  a man- e m b r a c e s a new r e l i g i o n ,  longer s a t i s f i e s  him e m o t i o n a l l y .  others the r e l i g i o n i s or d e s i r e s .  thesis  still  o l d e r ones  cause  t h a t he h a d d i s c a r d e d - -  it  change  seem  not u s u a l l y beit  He may a d m i t t h a t  f i n e because  changes  i t answers  no for their  No s c i e n t i s t w o u l d s a y t h e same o f a h y p o -  would persuade anyone.  so t o  as  are  changing  t h e o l d e r one seems d i s c o n f i r m e d b u t b e c a u s e  needs  stim-  Many r e l i g i o n s have t r a d i t i o n a l l y r e g a r d e d  b l i n d f a i t h as b e i n g p r e f e r a b l e to  advancement.  Thus t h e  because  objective  evidence  One may embrace a n o t h e r r e l i g i o n b e -  seems t o be t h e  'true'  one, but i n the main,  o f r e l i g i o n comes f r o m a change  of heart,  a  not of  'head',  speak. Toulmin says  (p.99)  that  science  i s mainly "concerned  . w i t h a s e a r c h f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g - a d e s i r e t o make t h e of Nature not j u s t  course,  p r e d i c t a b l e b u t i n t e l l i g i b l e - and t h i s  h a s meant l o o k i n g f o r r a t i o n a l p a t t e r n s o f c o n n e c t i o n s i n t e r m s o f w h i c h we can make s e n s e  of the f l u x of  events."  S c i e n t i s t s attempt to  e x p l a i n phenomena b y a p p e a l i n g t o  s o m e t h i n g more b a s i c ,  more s e l f - e x p l a n a t o r y .  What t h e y  appeal  93 to are  d e s c r i b e d b y T o u l m i n as  which are regarded, self-explanatory. of  the  tides  principle  F o r example  of i n e r t i a .  unless  explanatory  --  least,  order' as  one may e x p l a i n t h e  ( o r o f some o t h e r m o t i o n )  t h i n g ELSE,  of n a t u r a l  f o r the t i m e b e i n g at  The p o i n t i s ,  phenomenon o r phenomena  But  'ideals  being phenomena  by a p p e a l i n g t o  one e x p l a i n s  the  some  i n n a t u r e o n l y by a p p e a l i n g t o  of course  it  i s already  r e g a r d e d as  someself-  i n w h i c h c a s e i t w i l l r e q u i r e no e x p l a n a t i o n .  when we t u r n t o r e l i g i o n ,  appeal to something e l s e  the  story  is different  explains nothing. •  —  94 11. Religion,  PURPOSE.  as we s a i d b e f o r e ,  u n i v e r s e a s a WHOLE. moral character other things, i s ^here' p.317):  —  GOD AND MORALITY  It  may r e f e r  attempts  to e x p l a i n the  to a God, a purpose,  or a l l of these t h i n g s .  It attempts,  among  t o e x p l a i n why man i s h e r e a n d why t h e i.e.,  why i t  exists.  James p u t s i t  "What i s b e y o n d t h e c r u d e e x p e r i e n c e s  universe  thus  i s not  a  (1890, n  a  a l t e r n a t i v e t o t h e m , b u t s o m e t h i n g t h a t means them f o r me h e r e and n o w . " of  things  p.73).  —  James r e q u i r e s a m e a n i n g f o r  totality  he a s k s what he c a l l s t h e u l t i m a t e "Why?" (TWTB  He i s w i l l i n g ,  he s a y s ,  to supplement the  u n i v e r s e w i t h an unseen s p i r i t u a l life  the  may seem t o us b e t t e r  order " i f only  worth l i v i n g  again"  visible thereby  (p.52);  he  s a y s t h a t men w o u l d p o s t u l a t e  a G o d , e v e n i f t h e r e w e r e no  grounds f o r b e l i e v i n g i n one,  " s i m p l y as a p r e t e x t  hard"  (p.213).  'here'? to the i.e.,  Is i t  p o s s i b l e to f i n d  to everything?  answered i n the We a s c r i b e  object  of  they  (and p o s s i b l e  experiences), be  negative. p u r p o s e o n l y t.o c o n s c i o u s b e i n g s  —  and  To a s k t h e p u r p o s e o f a n i n a n i m a t e  i s t o ask i t s USE, e . g . ,  "What i s t h e p u r p o s e o f  We do n o t c o n s i d e r n o n c o n s c i o u s t h i n g s  i n t e n t i o n or g o a l - s e e k i n g  exhibit  at a l l .  It  this  capable  a c t i v i t y b e c a u s e t h e y do n o t  t h e t y p i c a l p u r p o s e f u l b e h a v i o r - - i f we c a n s a y  'behave'  is  something t h a t g i v e s meaning  I t h i n k t h a t b o t h q u e s t i o n s must  o n l y t o humans.  instrument?"  living  Does i t make s e n s e t o a s k why t h e u n i v e r s e  t o t a l i t y of our experiences  usually  for  i s true that  some o f t h e  other  that  95 living  things,  environment,  even p r o t o z o a n s ,  and o b t a i n f o o d .  react  to s t i m u l i  in their  B u t mere r e a c t i o n t o  stimuli  and. i n s t i n c t i v e p r o c u r e m e n t o f f o o d d o e s n o t q u a l i f y purposeful behavior -and  'instinct'.  that  e l s e we w o u l d n o t  call  d e l i b e r a t e l y act  (conscious)  to a c h i e v e  his  u s e can be made o f i t . do so f o r a p u r p o s e .  what  (or  could)  is  that  He r e a l l y means t o a s k t o  it.  either believe  that there  i s to ask  One who a s k s t h i s q u e s t i o n knows  p u r p o s e a human w o u l d u s e  he  end.  The human who u s e s i t w i l l  t h e hammer i s n o t c o n s c i o u s .  is  o f t h e g o a l and t h a t  To a s k o f a hammer what p u r p o s e i t h a s ,  presuppose  'reaction'  The s i n e qua n o n o f p u r p o s e f u l c o n d u c t  t h e a g e n t be aware  universe has,  it  as  what  T h o s e who a s k what p u r p o s e that  it  is  itself  conscious  the or  some c o n s c i o u s a g e n t who c a n o r  does USE t h e u n i v e r s e f o r some p u r p o s e .  Pantheists  --  those  who h o l d t h e u n i v e r s e a s a w h o l e t o be God - - w o u l d deem t h e first they of  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the q u e s t i o n s e n s i b l e . c o n s i d e r the u n i v e r s e a conscious  its  own.  T h o s e who b e l i e v e  the universe t h i n k that  it  But t h i s l e a v e s a t h e i s t s ,  that  is,  agent w i t h a purpose  God i s n o t t h e w h o l e  c o u l d be, agnostics  That  or i s ,  of  u s e d by H i m .  and s c e p t i c s  etc.  i n the  d a r k as t o what t h e q u e s t i o n c o u l d mean. The q u e s t i o n b e i n g a s k e d i s Why'.  O n l y , t h o s e who p r e s u p p o s e  a purpose that  (i.e.,  purpose i s  ligion tries  that ;  it  sometimes that  'the  ultimate  the u n i v e r s e c o u l d have  i s or c o n t a i n s G o d ) , would ask  The p o i n t i s ,  that  t o answer t h e q u e s t i o n ,  quite naturally, that  called  there  i s a God.  if.as  James s a y s ,  then i t  what re-  presupposes,  But those  t o whom  96 James s p e a k s this.  i n The W i l l  to Believe,  When James s a y s t h a t God o r a n ' u n s e e n s p i r i t u a l  can g i v e meaning to l i f e ( i n God) b e f o r e  things unless living,  conscious being or that In other words,  the u n i v e r s e a r i s e s ticularly  the b e l i e f  in —  will  not f e e l  place.  saying.  created  a God.  there  concept  or  T h o s e who b e l i e v e  where t h e r e  it  'problem'  because  purpose. i n God  t h e u l t i m a t e Why i n t h e  make no s e n s e t o t h e m .  It  What f u n c t i o n o r p u r p o s e c o u l d t h e  possibly  It  it)  Non-  T h e r e c a n be no  can be no  i s t r u e t h a t we ' u s e '  it  first makes  universe  (or a t i n y  part  as  'home'  f o r a w h i l e , b u t t h i s o n l y means t h a t WE  put i t t o  'use',  it  Though m i n u t e p a r t s  is  In p u r p o s e f u l conduct, or can.  And i t  our purpose and n o t the  of the u n i v e r s e , it  d o e s n o t seem t h a t much e l s e  itself,  with  the n e c e s s i t y  engage does  t h e WHOLE o f .  purpose.  I t makes no s e n s e f o r b e l i e v e r s f o r not s e e i n g  universe's.  v i z . , we hupians,  c e r t a i n l y d o e s n o t seem t h a t  the u n i v e r s e conducts  of  that  is.  no s e n s e t o me.  of  a  inhabits  t h o s e who do n o t a l r e a d y b e l i e v e  The q u e s t i o n w i l l  of  o f - - and p a r -  IS any p r o b l e m .  t h e need t o a s k  serve?  It  the problem of the purpose  t r y t o d i s c o v e r what  they should say,  In other words,  believe  the u n i v e r s e i s  s h o u l d n o t be b o t h e r e d by t h e  s h o u l d deny t h a t  problem,  that  i t was  o n l y w i t h the  i s a purpose w i l l  believers  one must  order'  a s c r i b e purpose to the t o t a l i t y  one a l r e a d y b e l i e v e s  such a b e i n g .  there  or t o the u n i v e r s e ,  one c a n u n d e r s t a n d what he i s  seems u t t e r n o n s e n s e ' t o  they  n e e d NOT p r e s u p p o s e  t o condemn n o n b e l i e v e r s  f o r a s k i n g t h e u l t i m a t e Why.  97 N o n b e l i e v e r s c a n n o t make SENSE o f t h e q u e s t i o n .  They  see  that  that  the  i t w o u l d make s e n s e o n l y i f  universe  is  God o r c o n t a i n s G o d . . One who f a i l s  the universe fully,  c o u l d ACT as a w h o l e ,  o r how i t  t o deny t h a t  there  is,  a n d can b e ,  (p.21) " I t  interests  her  is  duty,  answered.  no u l t i m a t e Why.  o n l y t r u t h as  (science).  how  purpose-  nay the  t h e u l t i m a t e Why c o u l d p o s s i b l y be  James s a y s t h a t that  t o see  l e t alone act  c o u l d be USED h a s t h e r i g h t ,  For n o n b e l i e v e r s ,  verified  one -presupposes  technically  The t r u t h o f  truths  m i g h t come i n m e r e l y a f f i r m a t i v e f o r m a n d s h e w o u l d d e c l i n e to touch i t . " are  .This i s nonsense.  concerned only w i t h matters which are at  ally  amenable  are accepted  least  generally theoretic-  t o c o n f i r m a t i o n , phenomena o c c u r i n g b u t if  o b s e r v e d by r e l i a b l e w i t n e s s e s  reliable witness).  Science  k i n d s o f phenomena,  (or just  s u c h as what makes a n y t h i n g move t h e  That i s ,  method t o d i s c o v e r g e n e r a l  of psychopaths  we u s u a l l y u s e t h e laws which w i l l  ignore c e r t a i n events that  (e.g.,  s e n t t o t h e moon w h i c h s e n t but her main concern i s t o  back t h o u s a n d s  behave  e x p l a i n types Science  o c c u r o n l y once  of  e x p l a i n c l a s s e s of  stone's  fall  the  rocket  photographs), events,  since Scientists  f a l l ? " , n o t "Why d i d t h i s p a r t i c u l a r  Science before  of .  does n o t  these are the things u s u a l l y r e q u i r i n g e x p l a n a t i o n .  stone f a l l ? " .  way  scientific  phenomena, n o t u n i q u e e v e n t s o r e n t i t i e s .  a s k e d "Why do s t o n e s  one  S c i e n t i s t s t r y to understand  does o r what makes c e r t a i n t y p e s  t h e way t h e y d o .  once  c a n n o t be b l a m e d f o r n o t d o i n g  what i t was n e v e r meant t o d o .  it  Though s c i e n t i s t s  it  does not have to i n v e s t i g a t e can g i v e  the causes.  every  I t makes  general  98  laws  of the h y p o t h e t i c a l  ditions  sort,  p r e v a i l , then a stone  James d o e s n o t b u t he i m p l i e s t h a t  e.g.,  (ANY s t o n e )  e l u c i d a t e h i s phrase  that  scientists  that  they  If  t h e r e were  so h i g h l y .  reported things which reasonable  I  and 3)  suspect  believed  that  that  of  all  it  course  ' t r u t h of  truths'  came o u t  of  languages,  l)  the  it  made s e n s e ,  men c o u l d see were  ' t r u t h of t r u t h s ' .  God s h o u t e d  The t r o u b l e i s ,  2)  true  or  itself  even were  of God'.  They w o u l d i n s i s t  disease,  diverse  satisfaction.  t h a n he b a r g a i n e d f o r .sceptics,  agnostics,  ( a s s u m i n g t h e r e were  to  call  religions  etc.  concept  atheists,  i t h o l y or  'the  it  of  is).  cluster  solved  to  more  communication w i t h  logical positivists,  a God, t h a t  evil,  the  ' G o d ' might get  effects  be  in' lengthy  until  o f God w e r e  In other words, i f He e v e r  to  existence  etc.,  he  believe  'the voice'  on e n g a g i n g  regarding the  this  Perhaps  t o us w o u l d we  many w o u l d r e m a i n r e l u c t a n t  problems s u r r o u n d i n g the  their  p r o v i d i n g of  e x p l a i n e d how and-why i t  phrase  and i n v o l v e d c o n v e r s a t i o n s pain,  truths"  more  James h a d i n m i n d something; l i k e  only i f  t h a t He e x i s t s .  voice  t r u t h of  be.  v o i c e when he u s e d t h e  heard,  it,  I f a loud voice  w o u l d be i g n o r e d o r s t i l l e d u n l e s s  came t o  fall".  s u c h a t r u t h , I am s u r e  t o a l l men i n t h e i r s e v e r a l  verifiable  con-  o r a t r u t h w h i c h makes  would g l a d l y accept  rates  sky and spoke  least  "the  c o u l d be made t o u n d e r s t a n d t h i s  a n d how i t  at  will  t h e r e m i g h t be a t r u t h w h i c h i s  important than a l l other truths other truths true.  " i f such and such  etc.  99 James t h e n t u r n s  (p.22) t o m o r a l q u e s t i o n s .  them " s p e c u l a t i v e  q u e s t i o n s " and s u g g e s t s t h a t  wait  l o n g enough,  "coercive  adds  (p.22) t h a t q u e s t i o n s  evidence"  s o l u t i o n cannot w a i t f o r s e n s i b l e p r o o f . "  'coercive  evidence'  i s at  he s a y s t h a t  though t h e r e  for  proof.  sensible  pirical  evidence  It  are  least  i f we d i d  might a r r i v e .  of m o r a l i t y are  suggests that moral questions  (or d e c i s i o n ) tive'  is  or not.  'forced'  yet  to them.  It  i s a l s o not  At  another, wait'  clear  'sensible  On one h a n d t h e  he s a y s t h a t  q u e s t i o n and s u g g e s t s t h a t  it  is a  e m p i r i c a l evidence  option  'speculamight  question.  I s h a l l i n t e r p r e t James as m e a n i n g t h a t m o r a l i t y a r e NOT s u s c e p t i b l e proof.  and t h a t  i s a ' s o l u t i o n ' , we ' c a n n o t  in a 'solution'.  e v e n t u a l l y answer the  he  i s n o t c l e a r w h e t h e r he deemed em-  relevant  might r e s u l t  he  whose  A t one p o i n t  'speculative'  relevant  Yet  "questions  w h e t h e r he t h o u g h t t h a t a l o n g enough w a i t f o r proof  He c a l l s  of  questions  of  e m p i r i c a l c o n f i r m a t i o n or  I>.  He c a n n o t a t one and t h e r e g a r d e d as  speculative  same t i m e h a v e m o r a l  questions  o r s c i e n t i f i c ones a m e n a b l e t o em-  p i r i c a l v e r i f i c a t i o n and as f o r c e d d e c i s i o n s f o r w h i c h t h e HEART must a n s w e r . what he s a y s "Science  My i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f h i m i s w a r r a n t e d by  (p.22) when he c o n t r a s t s  can t e l l  u s what e x i s t s ;  b o t h o f what  exists  not s c i e n c e ,  b u t what P a s c a l c a l l s  science  to morality:  b u t t o compare t h e  and o f what d o e s n o t e x i s t , our h e a r t . "  (p.22-23) "The q u e s t i o n o f h a v i n g m o r a l b e l i e f s n o t h a v i n g them i s d e c i d e d by o u r  will."  worths,  we must  consult  He s a y s  that  at a l l or  100 When m a k i n g a m o r a l d e c i s i o n ^ , , t h e n , we a r e f o r c e d t o d e c i d e .  If  someone were  o n l y we c o u l d s a v e h i m , we MUST a c t To w a i t ,  or to f a i l  to decide  whether  h i m drown when we COULD h a v e  that  decided the i s s u e  it  James,  d r o w n i n g and  i f he i s  t o save h i m , (or m o r a l l y n e u t r a l ) ,  sense,  according to  is  t o be right  saved. or wrong  IS t o d e c i d e .  I f we LET  s a v e d h i m , t h e n we h a v e ,  already.  To d e c i d e  after  in a  he  drowns  we s h o u l d s a v e h i m w o u l d be s e l f - c o n t r a d i c t o r y .  of course,  decide  after  he h a s  We may,  drowned t h a t we s h o u l d  have  s a v e d h i m , b u t we c a n no l o n g e r d e c i d e TO s a v e h i m .  In  other words,  neutral?),  viz.,  that  one o f o u r t h r e e  it  is  options  ( r i g h t ? wrong?  r i g h t t o s a v e h i m , has b e e n l o s t  I a g r e e w i t h James t h a t m o r a l d e c i s i o n s To f a i l  to a c t  I do n o t w a r n someone  he i s  killed  are i n a sense  c a n be t a n t a m o u n t t o d e c i d i n g NOT t o  One can be h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e if  forever.  f o r f a i l i n g to a c t .  that  unnecessarily,  his l i f e  forced.  act.  For  is threatened  example, and i f  t h e n I am t o b l a m e f o r h i s  death.  ( A s s u m i n g I c o u l d have w a r n e d h i m i n t i m e ) . James a d m i t s t h a t not  m o r a l d e c i s i o n s ARE made.  s a y t h a t we m u s t b e l i e v e  moral d e c i s i o n s sult,  instead,  or to answer our heart  i n God i n o r d e r t o make our moral q u e s t i o n s .  and w i l l ,  he s a y s .  d i d not. t h i n k t h a t m o r a l i t y depended that  the proposal that  of God's w i l l is  that  for  goodness  must be r e j e c t e d  "unascertainable James t h e r e  and vague"  our  We c o n -  James  on r e l i g i o n .  be d e f i n e d a s t h e  apparently He s a y s following  because t h i s  characteristic  (p.201).  seems,  It  i s no l o g i c a l o r n e c e s s a r y  between m o r a l d e c i s i o n s  He d o e s  (or b e l i e f s )  then,  connection  and r e l i g i o n ( o r G o d ) .  101  In view of t h i s , claims that  i s d i f f i c u l t t o see why James  "The whole defence  of r e l i g i o u s  (p.29 footnote).  upon a c t i o n . " religion  it  That i s ,  Is there  some o t h e r  class  which require r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f engaged this  in?  essay.  belief  so,  James  (1929,  p.476-477)  peace,  speaking,  it  is  says t h a t  etc.,  that  the d e c i s i o n that  religious  l u t i o n ) , then there  there  is  something  religion logically  or i s  i s wrong  not a God.  is  is  irrelevant  i n Winnipeg, Manitoba. the  schedules  As M a c i n t y r e s a y s is not."  He  'coercive  I t w o u l d be  (p.197),  He adds t h a t  aren't  "where "free  MADE t h a t  proof i s i n  so-  like Portage  One w o u l d be doomed t o just  evi-  areas  (to t h e i r f i n a l  no USE w a i t i n g .  or  As  cases i s f o r c e d .  w a i t i n g f o r t h e Bowen I s l a n d F e r r y B o a t i n B . C . on  decision  do  or a c t i o n s are i m -  B u t i f m o r a l i t y and r e l i g i o n a r e  e m p i r i c a l evidence  —  in  b u t nowhere  one must d e c i d e w i t h o u t w a i t i n g f o r  appointment  or  - - at l e a s t  In other words,  the d e c i s i o n i n these  to a r r i v e .  Avenue  actions  or p s y c h o l o g i c a l v a l u e but  r i g h t to the d e c i s i o n that it,  or  i r r e l e v a n t to m o r a l i t y .  James compares  James p u t s  need  c a n be made  thought  safety,  without r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f .  James h a d s u b j e c t i v e  where  they  him saying t h a t m o r a l d e c i s i o n s  possible  dence'  of d e c i s i o n s  before  hinges  j u s t why DO we  James d o e s n o t e l u c i d a t e  g i v e s one z e s t ,  we f i n d  for  If  faith  i f we do n o t  i n o r d e r t o make m o r a l d e c i s i o n s ,  need i t ?  later  dis-  way. place,  d e c i s i o n i s the  essence  of the Christian r e l i g i o n . " Free decision i s the essence of a l l r e l i g i o n s . subject to  its  No r e l i g i o n t h a t  c l a i m s about men's  empirical verification.  souls  I knoxv o f w o u l d , o r c o u l d , or m o r a l i t y or  In saying that  religious  salvation decision  102 is  l i k e m o r a l d e c i s i o n , James a d m i t s t h a t r e l i g i o n i s  hypothesis pirical  no  i n t h e o r d i n a r y s e n s e o f t h a t w o r d and t h a t  'proof  is  just  em-  n o t RELEVANT t o r e l i g i o u s c o m m i t m e n t .  Though n o t h i n g may be more i m p o r t a n t i n m a k i n g a m o r a l o r religious  d e c i s i o n , t h a n b e c o m i n g aware  these facts one.  alone  cannot t e l l  us w h i c h d e c i s o n i s t h e  As James s a y s , h e r e we must c o n s u l t o u r Of c o u r s e t h e r e a r e r e a s o n a b l e  able  of a l l relevant  ones.  An u n r e a s o n a b l e  facts,  correct  heart.  d e c i s i o n s and u n r e a s o n -  d e c i s i o n would be,  e.g.,  to  phone t h e p o l i c e t h a t a m u r d e r h a d b e e n c o m m i t t e d m e r e l y on the grounds t h a t A reasonable  a l o u d n o i s e h a d be_en h e a r d i n t h e  d e c i s i o n i s one t h a t  i s g r o u n d e d u p o n as much  i n v e s t i g a t i o n and c o n s u l t a t i o n a s t i m e p e r m i t s . fines  the reasonable  "that  of those  a given course themselves in favor  type  street.  o f d e c i s i o n as b e i n g  caaes i n w h i c h the arguments seem g r a d u a l l y and a l m o s t  James (1£>90,  f o r and  without effort  or  p.531)  against  insensibly to  i n t h e m i n d and t o end b y l e a v i n g a c l e a r  o f one a l t e r n a t i v e ,  de-  settle  balance  w h i c h a l t e r n a t i v e we t h e n  adopt  constraint."  Where we must c o n s c i o u s l y e x p e n d e f f o r t we d e c i d e u n r e a s o n a b l y ,  says James.  to decide,  I t w o u l d seem t h a t  then the  'forced'  d e c i s i o n o f r e l i g i o n where we must l e t  our h e a r t  passions  d e c i d e f o r us i s an u n r e a s o n a b l e  When one  must a t t e m p t unreasonably. religious definition religious  (will)  to believe  In t h i s  essay,  (or to d e c i d e ) ,  'reasonable  one d o e s  James does n o t s a y t h a t  d e c i s i o n i s unreasonable, of  one.  so  the  b u t a c c o r d i n g t o h i s own  d e c i s i o n ' , and o f t h e n a t u r e o f  d e c i s i o n , i t would appear  or  that  this  i s the  case.  the  103  One m i g h t t r y t o d e f e n d  James b y s a y i n g t h a t t h e  d e c i s i o n may be n o n r e a s o n a b l e think,  however,  necessary  to w i l l  we saw e a r l i e r , is  that t h i s is  irrational  to believe  to the  (see  extent  p.14- ) .  religious  and n o t UN r e a s o n a b l e .  I  c l e a r l y a c a s e where t o f i n d  it  i s to believe  As  that b e l i e f  Wishful  example of f i n d i n g i t n e c e s s a r y  IRRATIONALLY. is voluntary,  it  thinking i s a notable  to believe  what one w a n t s  to  believe. James s a y s  (p.22) that  h e a r t when she l a y s of f a c t  it  d o e s n o t mean t h a t  'the  that  consults  belief  her  ascertainment  are the  supreme g o o d s  Though we h a v e f o u n d t h e s c i e n t i f i c method b e s t  i n a s c e r t a i n i n g the f a c t s  as  herself  down t h a t t h e i n f i n i t e  and c o r r e c t i o n o f f a l s e  f o r man."  this  "science  and c o r r e c t i n g f a l s e  these t h i n g s are  supreme g o o d s f o r m a n ' .  It  beliefs,  r e g a r d e d by  seems t h a t  scientists  James i m p l i e s  u l t i m a t e l y a l l i n t e l l e c t u a l d i s c i p l i n e s must r e s o r t  the heart  i n order to  justify their existence.  NOT be r e g a r d e d a s c l a i m i n g t h a t f o r man.  It  there  is  Science  any supreme  i s a d i s c i p l i n e e m p l o y i n g a method o f  O n l y MEN can deem s o m e t h i n g t h e i r  good - - n e v e r an a c t i v i t y or d i s c i p l i n e s u c h as (Alsoi,.- James SAW t h a t things,  (p.22)  science  cannot t e l l  need  good  discovery  w h i c h t h u s f a r has p r o v e n by f a r t h e most e f f e c t i v e search for t r u t h .  to  i n the supreme  'science'  us t h e w o r t h o f  104 F A I T H AMD V E R I F I C A T I O N  12.  James t h e n t u r n s t o a c e r t a i n c l a s s fact,  questions  between where  of questions  concerning personal r e l a t i o n s ,  one man and a n o t h e r  (p.23-25).  about t h a t dependent  special truth's existence"  states of  These a r e  (p.24) " T h e d e s i r e f o r a c e r t a i n k i n d  of mind  cases  of t r u t h . . . b r i n g s  a n d (P.25) " I n t r u t h s  on o u r p e r s o n a l a c t i o n , . . . . f a i t h b a s e d , on d e s i r e  is  c e r t a i n l y a l a w f u l and. p o s s i b l y an i n d i s p e n s a b l e t h i n g " . ' He uses the  s a m p l e o f one who w o n d e r s w h e t h e r a n o t h e r  l i k e s him or n o t .  He s u g g e s t s t h a t  i f an i n d i v i d u a l A  r e m a i n s a l o o f and does n o t h i n g a b o u t ship with B u n t i l then i t  is  he has o b j e c t i v e  probable that  meet B h a l f way,  establishing a relation-  evidence  B never w i l l  says James.  person  like  that  B l i k e s him,  him.  A should  A s h o u l d be w i l l i n g t o  assume  1  that  B must l i k e  h i m , and show B t r u s t  Only by h a v i n g f a i t h t h a t like  him..  and  B l i k e s h i m , c a n A e v e r make B  S i n c e James w o r d s t h e q u e s t i o n "Dp_ y o u l i k e me o r  n o t " a n d n o t " W i l l y o u l i k e me o r n o t " , supposed t o b e l i e v e posed t o  expectation.  even now t h a t  I take  i t that  B l i k e s him, or i s  dis-  like him.  I a g r e e w i t h James t h a t  p e o p l e who r e m a i n a l o o f  refuse  t o " b u d g e an i n c h " u n l e s s  liked,  a r e much l e s s l i k e l y  they are  t o be l i k e d  o f us a r e u n w i l l i n g t o g i v e the other person plays  t h o u g h we w e r e on t r i a l .  of ourselves  'hard to get'  and  sure that they  are  t h a n t h o s e who meet  p e o p l e h a l f - w a y and show t h e m t r u s t and e x p e c t a t i o n .  if  A is  Most  to a r e l a t i o n s h i p or t r e a t s  Of c o u r s e t h e r e a r e  us  as  exceptions.  T h e r e i s a c e r t a i n f a s c i n a t i o n e n g e n d e r e d by some women who  105  give  the  impression that  B u t by a n d l a r g e they w i l l  like  it  is  to  effect  are  existence  " i f you l i k e  or a c t i o n )  c e r t a i n changes  qualified,  'unavailable'. other  the  There are l i m i t s action with respect  may be  (p.20),  not makers,  to time a l s o .  no m a t t e r how much we w o u l d l i k e  t h e r e had b e e n no S e c o n d W o r l d War w i l l  fact  that  not  about"  i s a c r u c i a l one  we c a n change t h e way t h i n g s a r e be e f f e c t e d  only  a s we l o o k a b o u t u s a n d w i s h t h a t ent, if  the d i f f e r e n c e s  are not,  c e r t a i n t h i n g s were present  things  d e s i r e a n d a c t i o n c a n be a f a c t o r  o r e v e n c r e a t i n g some t h i n g s ,  but  here. In  present,  i n the f u t u r e .  of course,  occur.  the past.  In the  t h e y w e r e t h e r e w o u l d be no n e e d f o r t h e m .  our f a i t h ,  past  change.the  t h e S e c o n d W o r l d War d i d n o t  We c a n " b r i n g t h i n g s a b o u t " b u t we c a n n o t a l t e r  change w i l l  or  No m a t t e r what we do now, we c a n  The e x p r e s s i o n " b r i n g i t  but the  desire  B e l i e v i n g or d e s i r i n g  that  never b r i n g i t about t h a t  truth."  We c a n n o t a l t e r t h e to.  are  objective  of the  t o what we can do by f a i t h ,  or  "Through-,  a r e what t h e y  and i n our d e a l i n g w i t h  recorders,  t h e r e was o n e .  able  better  s i m p l y by h a v i n g c o n f i d e n c e  physical nature facts  n a t u r e we o b v i o u s l y a r e  We may be  B u t we c a n n o t b r i n g i n t o  As James h i m s e l f s a y s  independently of us,  trust  e m o t i o n s and we  job f o r which others  certain entities  out the b r e a d t h of  can do.  i n other peoples'  by h a v i n g c o n f i d e n c e .  e v e n by o u r a c t i o n s .  a sense,  people  l i m i t s t o what o u r f a i t h o r  (or desire  may be a b l e t o g e t  quite  true that  completely  you".  However, t h e r e or confidence  they are  That  is,  differ-  already  The p o i n t  — is,  i n changing  o n l y i n the  future,  106 not  the p a s t .  you  l i k e me?"  That i s why  James should have phrased i t " W i l l  i n s t e a d of "Do  t o someone and  you  I f I am  introduced  i m m e d i a t e l y wonder i f he does l i k e me,  i s a sign that I lack confidence. l i k e me,  l i k e me?"  this  I f I am t o get people t o  I hope t h a t t h e y w i l l and a c t on the premise t h a t  t h e y w i l l do so. • I do not need t o b e l i e v e t h a t they' l i k e now.  We  may  have j u s t met  meet i n s t a n t l y , I may  —  and  me  i f t h e y l i k e everyone they  t a k e t h i s as a s i g n t h a t t h e i r a f f e c t i o n ,  even i f i t i s g e n u i n e , i s not worth v e r y much. We  may  t i m e and  change t h i n g s o n l y i n a very l i m i t e d sphere of  space.  But  James seems t o t h i n k t h a t f a i t h can  o n l y move mountains -- i t can produce them. t h a t one  should  says (p.28)  not " t r y t o make the gods e x t o r t h i s  n i t i o n w i l l y - n i l l y " and f a i t h i n God  He  not  recog-  compares our r e l u c t a n c e t o have  t o our r e l u c t a n c e t o have f a i t h i n our f e l l o w ,  man. But now,  i f God  d i d not  could anything  e x i s t i n the p a s t and  does not e x i s t  t h a t we- do b r i n g about h i s  James seems t o t h i n k so.  He  existence?  says i n "Is L i f e V/orth L i v i n g ? "  (The W i l l t o B e l i e v e , p . 6 l ) , "God' himself...may draw v i t a l s t r e n g t h and  increase  of v e r y b e i n g from our f i d e l i t y " .  do not know what " i n c r e a s e means t h a t we of God  of v e r y b e i n g " means.  are a s o r t o f m i d w i f e who  or t h a t He  Perhaps i t  a s s i s t s i n the  e x i s t s ' i n i d e a ' , so t o speak and  our f i d e l i t y t o become, a r e a l i t y .  Or perhaps we  midwife but a c t u a l l y the c r e a t o r s of God.  On  I f t h i s i s t r u e , t h e n s u r e l y He  birth  requires  are not  the  every i n t e r -  p r e t a t i o n of t h i s phrase, i t seems t h a t i t i s we who c r e a t e God.  I  should  could worship  107 us and n o t v i c e v e r s a .  Without us,  He w o u l d be  W h a t e v e r James means by s a y i n g t h a t b r i n g Him a b o u t , says t h a t turns  f a i t h i n God c a n  I t h i n k he i s m i s t a k e n .  f a i t h can c r e a t e  "its  o u t t o be a t a u t o l o g y ,  if  nowhere.  On page 2L James  own v e r i f i c a t i o n " .  This  interpreted l i t e r a l l y .  We  s h a l l u s e t h e e x a m p l e o f f a i t h i n God ( m e a n i n g f a i t h t h a t 'He exists,  not f a i t h i n H i s l i k i n g  us).  To h a v e f a i t h i n God i s t o b e l i e v e s o m e t h i n g means t o l ) the t r u t h of  it.  verification  is  produces b e l i e f  one i s  t o say t h a t b e l i e f (that  likely  said before, thing  the t r u t h of  Thus, t o say t h a t  i n God p r o d u c e s b e l i e f that  test  i n God. it,  (that  to its  -- i . e .  —  find own  something i s  true)  "belief  The t r o u b l e w i t h f a i t h , i s  only to v e r i f y  i n sense  two a b o v e .  one does n o t r e a l l y t r y t o t e s t  i n the sense  o r 2)  f a i t h creates  something i s true) i n God".  To v e r i f y ..  As we  or v e r i f y  some-  t h a t one r e a l l y w a n t s t o f i n d t h e t r u t h  —  one w a n t s t o f i n d t h e t r u t h c o n g e n i a l a n d s e e k s o n l y c o n f i r mation .  To b e l i e v e  deem i t t r u e .  s o m e t h i n g , a s we s t a t e d b e f o r e ,  And, as D . S . M i l l e r  admission of f a l s i t y a r e , mutually exclusive". in  or b e l i e v e s  there its  i s a God.  (p.184)  (i.e.  to  " B e l i e f and  whether a b s o l u t e l y or i n  In other words,  i n God,  God) t h e n one w i l l  says  is  degrees,  i f one r e a l l y h a s  deems i t t r u e t h a t t h e r e  not bother to v e r i f y  the statement  So on one i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f " f a i t h  is a that creates  own v e r i f i c a t i o n " , what James r e a l l y s a y s amounts t o  tautology that  "to believe  o r " i f one b e l i e v e s  i n God one must b e l i e v e  i n G o d , t h e n one w i l l  We must d i s t i n g u i s h b e t w e e n  believe  b e l i e f and f a i t h .  faith  the  i n God" i n God." Belief  108 is  the i n t e l l e c t u a l assent  of  s o m e t h i n g as b e i n g t r u e .  little  o r no e v i d e n c e  d o e s n o t , a s Kaufmann s a y s will  show e v i d e n c e  is belief,  (p.113)  - - d e s i r e f o r the t r u t h  of  p a r t of f a i t h . )  l i k e him without b e l i e v i n g that they w i l l  may  believe  that  h i m a n d even a c t  ' One c a n d e s i r e  will  likely  on t h e b a s i s t h a t or do.  they  If  a  t h a t o t h e r s a l r e a d y do l i k e h i m , t h e n he  t o make g r e a t e f f o r t s  it is  (One x-  others w i l l  not  evidence  have f a i t h t h a t o n e ' s  that  person believes  u s u a l l y on  t h a t t h e t h i n g be t r u e .  of cancer  something i s a necessary like  Faith,  acceptance  ( o r even i n t h e f a c e o f a d v e r s e  w i t h the a d d i t i o n of d e s i r e  ray  to a p r o p o s i t i o n - - the  t h a t o t h e r s may l i k e possible that  s a r i l y believing that  t o make them l i k e h i m .  He  him or c o u l d l i k e  i.e.  others w i l l  they w i l l  is  like  for sure.  him,  him, without That i s ,  neces-  what  James seems t o be t a l k i n g a b o u t h e r e i s n o t b e l i e f b u t  rather  c o n f i d e n c e o r hope and t h e a c t i o n s t h e s e t h i n g s make p o s s i b l e . What t h i s h a s t o do w i t h t h e e x i s t e n c e not  easy to  also,  i n G o d , b e l i e v e n o t o n l y t h a t He  i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y , t h a t He c o u l d make H i s  known t o a l l i f He so d e s i r e d .  presence known).  believing  are l i m i t s  H i s making  o r p r o o f o f God —  And e v e n i f  t o what one can d o .  only f a i t h that stimulates  then?  by  James seems t o t h i n k t h a t o n l y by .  c o u l d we have e v i d e n c e  needs evidence  exists  presence  T h i s w o u l d be a c c e p t e d  n o n b e l i e v e r s as p r o o f t h a t t h e r e i s a God, ( i . e . His  is  see.  T h o s e who b e l i e v e but  o f a supreme b e i n g  can h e l p c r e a t e  b u t who  one does h a v e f a i t h ,  As V e t t e r s a y s a fact  (p.302),  is a faith  there "The  that  c o n c r e t e a c t i o n i n an a r e a w h e r e a t l e a s t  something  109  c a n be t r i e d o r o b s e r v e d . " believers,  God i s n o t o b s e r v e d  n o r by most b e l i e v e r s  either,  James r e f e r s  to i s not s c i e n t i f i c ,  verification,  but o n l y s u b j e c t i v e  dealt  w i t h s a t i s f a c t i o n as the It  seems p r e p o s t e r o u s  a c t i o n on o u r p a r t Idea  to  so t h e  publicly  satisfaction.  We e a r l i e r  that  p.ufJ)  c r i t e r i o n of t r u t h (see claim that  f a i t h or d e s i r e  c o u l d c a u s e o r h e l p God t o e x i s t .  to suggest that  God i s  God's existence  It  i s what  is  Him.  or  seems  also  favour  James seems  i n question,  .  The  l i k e a man whose  we c a n w i n by s h o w i n g Him t h a t we t r u s t forget  verification  observable',  seems i r r e l i g i o u s and e v e n s a c r i l e g i o u s .  sacrilegious  by n o n -  not  to  his  approval. The q u e s t i o n i s w h e t h e r t h e r e a r e n o t w h e t h e r we s h o u l d r e m a i n a l o o f , their  favour.  James seems t o  suggesting  that  relations,  states  We know t h a t a God. forget of  o f rnind b e t w e e n  there  are  change  when i t  of  issue  in  "personal  o t h e r men b u t we do n o t be made h e r e ?  (p.23).  know t h e r e He seems  is to  i m p o r t a n t d i s t i n c t i o n he made i n The P r i n c i p l e s  he s a y s  In a l e t t e r  fied;  (p.24),  one man and a n o t h e r "  objects  of w i l l . a n d objects  (p.320, V o l . II)  "are  a c c o r d i n g as vie t h i n k r e g a r d i n g  says " I t  above"  them o r t r y t o w i n  religion is like,questions  P s y c h o l o g y between  The l a t t e r ,  trust  evade t h e w h o l e  How t h e n c a n a n y a n a l o g y that  "powers  them."  t o H . K. K a l l e n ( P e r r y 1 9 4 8 , p.249)  but sometimes  James d i d n o t  belief.  t h o s e w h i c h do n o t  i s u s u a l l y poor p o l i c y t o b e l i e v e  produces  of  the b e l i e f  produces  a c t i v i t y creative  elucidate  what  isn't  veri-  verification --  of the f a c t  what he meant b y  James  believed".  'activity'  here,  as  110 but i t  seems l u d i c r o u s t o t h i n k t h a t  c r e a t e w o u l d be deemed an a d e q u a t e God.  And e v e n James saw t h a t ,  class  facts,  define  produce them".  a n y t h i n g t h a t man c o u l d  object  of worship —  "Conceptual processes  i.e.  can  t h e m , i n t e r p r e t t h e m , b u t t h e y do n o t  (The V a r i e t i e s o f R e l i g i o u s E x p e r i e n c e ,  p.445)  No r e l i g i o u s p e r s o n c o u l d w o r s h i p a God he knew he h a d created  or helped c r e a t e .  I f he c o u l d c r e a t e  one g o d ,  why n o t a n o t h e r ?  And a n o t h e r ?  The s u g g e s t i o n  existence  on o u r b e l i e f  —  depends  l i e v e b u t He d o e s n o t e x i s t the t r u t h . if  The t r u t h i s ,  He e x i s t e d ,  He e x i s t s  i f we do n o t  our b e l i e f  we w o u l d b e l i e v e  i n H i m , he w o u l d  i.e.  --  depends  us.  and a c t i o n s .  i n Him ( n o t  in another's  easily  i f we b e l i e v e d ,  cause  that  not t h a t  His l i k i n g is,  facts  issue  about  existence,  us w o u l d d e p e n d on o u r however,  that  God's  ex-  case of p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s not b e l i e f  a p p r o v a l i s r e q u i r e d , because t h i s  overconfidence  it  is  of  or apathy,  or  could  but d e s i r e and a c t i o n  h i s a p p r o v a l may be f o r t h c o m i n g  possible)  " f a i t h creates i t s  p l u s a c t i o n can b r i n g about limits  the  I f we knew o f G o d ' s  The f a c t  b a s e d on t h e b e l i e f t h a t (i.e.  of  i s what i s b e i n g c o n s i d e r e d , n o t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o  And e v e n i n t h e  faith  be-  on H i s e x i s t e n c e  c i t e d , by James a n d t h e  concerns u s .  t h e n i t may be t r u e t h a t  istence  i f we  exist.)  about p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s  attitude  God's  is a reversal  T h e r e seems t o be no a n a l o g y t h e n , b e t w e e n  r e l i g i o n that  that  then  i s what  i s wanted.  The t r u t h  own v e r i f i c a t i o n " b u t t h a t changes  i n the world,  is  desire  within  course.  On page 2 6 James s a y s t h a t  "We c a n n o t  escape the  issue  --  Ill b y r e m a i n i n g s c e p t i c a l and w a i t i n g f o r more l i g h t , a l t h o u g h we do a v o i d e r r o r i n t h a t way, true, if  we l o s e 'the g o o d ,  if  i t be t r u e ,  avoidance  o f o p t i o n " , he a d d s ,  k i n d of r i s k .  Better risk  loss  that  i s your f a i t h vetoer's  that  the o p t i o n i s not f o r c e d  the r e l i g i o u s hypothesis able  or meaningless  the r e l i g i o u s  Or,  "it  (see  it  evidence  strikes  one as  it  i n toto for this  intoler-  t h i n g s which  ;  hypo-  A l s o , one m i g h t  not relevant  against  reject  regard  One m i g h t s e e t h a t  'hypothesis'  error,  earlier  One may  em-  and d i s c o v e r  one has no e m o t i o n a l n e e d f o r r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f .  seems f a r more e v i d e n c e  of  f o r the r e l i g i o u s  for this reason.  one may deem t h e r e l i g i o u s  not  We saw  pp.ytf-**').  contradicts.  is therefore  as  option of a p a r t i c u l a r  o r one may a l r e a d y b e l i e v e  r e l i g i o n as a m a t t e r o f t h e h e a r t . pirical  "Scepticism is  exact p o s i t i o n . "  because i t  'hypothesis'  and r e j e c t  as c e r t a i n l y  of t r u t h t h a n chance  one may s i m p l y see no e v i d e n c e  thesis  is  i f r e l i g i o n be u n just  we p o s i t i v e l y c h o s e t o d i s b e l i e v e " .  because,  false  i t than for  Finally,  because  it,  that  and  there  reject  reason.  T h e r e a r e many n o n r e l i g i o u s s t a n d s p o s s i b l e and I do not t h i n k t h a t this  truth".  (logical as a r t  James c a n condemn them a l l f o r n o t Some r e g a r d t h e whole  positivists)  and o t h e r s  issue  as  "accepting  meaningless  see r e l i g i o n ' s v a l u e  only  (Kaufmann).  I think that religion  is  s c e p t i c i s m or a g n o s t i c i s m w i t h r e g a r d  p o s s i b l e and t h a t  it  c a n be r e s p e c t a b l e .  to  James  112  equates a g n o s t i c s religion  if  it  to a t h e i s t s  be t r u e —  order to b e n e f i t , really first that  He s a i d ,  "any object  believed true,  That  as we saw e a r l i e r  reality.'''  c o u l d be no a g n o s t i c s .  --  else  they would b e l i e v e  according to t h i s  existence  there  unless  it,  quotation,  atheists.  H i s p o s i t i o n here  traditionally to the dence of  deemed i t  evidence.  I t has  i s not r e l e v a n t .  i s not  e s s a y he g i v e s  the  sometimes.... that  James s p e a k s  evidence  as  such.  is  But t h i s  w o u l d be  the attempt  to  hypoJames.  deny  atheists Believe  than  of h i s  is  often  it  without  regard  empirical evi"passional  i s virtuous to  a service  made  r e l i g i o n has  ( p . 2 7 ) , and i n t h e  impression that  there  they  clear.  even a d m i t t e d t h a t  As Kaufmann s a y s  were  something which  i n The W i l l  a v i r t u e to believe  ' e . g . ( p . 2 8 ) we do t h e u n i v e r s e  facto  religious  For instance,  t a k i n g the w o r l d r e l i g i o u s l y "  lieving),  If this  t h e y a r e no b e t t e r  of n e c e s s i t y .  ipso  one c o u l d n o t  Yet  As we h a v e m e n t i o n e d b e f o r e , t o make a v i r t u e  288-9),  r e a l i t y then  b u t then~?a:ll n o n b e l i e v e r s  that  the  S i n c e t h e y do n o t  one a l r e a d y b e l i e v e d  the a g n o s t i c s  James  i n God, a c c o r d i n g t o  w o u l d be no a g n o s t i c s .  James t e l l s  in  (1890, pp.'  something which c o n t r a d i c t s the  contradicted and  w o u l d seem t h a t  i n God and p o s i t h i m a s a b s o l u t e  is,  God's  it  of  in religion in  a g n o s t i c i s m , t o be p o s s i b l e  a n d p o s i t e d as a b s o l u t e  must b e l i e v e thesis  Yet,  t h e good  which, r e m a i n s u n c o n t r a d i c t e d i s  then there  believe  one must b e l i e v e  says James.  d i d not b e l i e v e place.  i n that both lose  need  entire believe,  by o b s t i n a t e l y  be-  (p.114) "The i m p r e s s i o n g i v e n a virtue in believing, w o u l d open t h e  is  without  floodgate  to  every  113 superstition, courageous  prejudice  T  (i.e.  to believe'  or,  i f appropriate,  disbelieve  it)  —  the  desire  As James h i m s e l f s a i d ,  i n the presence  idea i s "the highest  result  of education- . (1890,  In  p.308).  C o u l d i t be t h a t t h e i d e a o f God. so e x c i t e d James t h a t n o t know w h e t h e r t o s u s p e n d b e l i e f  wrote:  "I believe  p.213).  i n a f i n i t e God, i f  or not?  I n 1898  i n any."  uncertain, i n regard to r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f .  spent  (Perry:  years  It is  t h e d e c i s i o n f o r c e d when i t  t r y i n g t o make  i n d i c a t e t o us a t h i n g ' s  Will  t o an a t t r i b u t e o f  exist  that  of  something  existence.  something  is  evidence  Scepticism with  (e.g.  (p.26), W i l l  Will  she l o v e me?  he l i k e me?)  —  a n a t t r i b u t e o f s o m e t h i n g we know a l r e a d y  c a n be an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t  entirely different  we may i n d e e d e f f e c t  These a r e  a change i n t h e t h i n g ( o r  t h e n s c e p t i c i s m c a n be a d e t e r r e n t to create  something,  e.g.  other,  person).  o r change  to a c t i o n .  two  I n one  t o c r e a t e t h e t h i n g , and i n t h e  is_ p o s s i b l e f o r u s t o c r e a t e  obviously powerless  matter.  t h i n g s a n d must n o t be c o n f u s e d .  c a s e , we may be p o w e r l e s s  Where i t  or  seems he h i m s e l f  to the existence  she p r o v e t o be a n a n g e l ?  s c e p t i c i s m about to  1948,  strange  b o t h p o s s i b l e and a d v i s a b l e b e c a u s e o n l y p r o o f o r  respect  James  it.  Scepticism with respect  can  he  I t w o u l d seem t h a t James h i m s e l f was s c e p t i c a l  he s h o u l d c a l l  the  o f an e m o t i o n a l l y '  u n t u t o r e d m i n d s t h e power does n o t e x i s t  did  sus-  declare the p r o p o s i t i o n  p a r t i c u l a r l y when t h e  seems o v e r w h e l m i n g .  power t o s u s p e n d b e l i e f exciting  I suggest that  and v i r t u o u s t h i n g t o do i n s u c h c a s e s i s t o  pend judgement false  and m a d n e s s . "  something, Where we  God,  are  scepticism  seems t o be a g e n e r o u s existence.  Generous, because  must h e l p c r e a t e exist,  stance w i t h regard to that  thing's  t o s u g g e s t t h a t WE c o u l d  or  God i s t o a c k n o w l e d g e t h a t He. d o e s n o t MOW  and t h i s i s  .just what s c e p t i c s  believe.  115  13.  B E L I E F AND FEAR  James seems t o t h i n k t h a t  his  life  is  makes h i s d e c i s i o n r e g a r d i n g r e l i g i o n . "My own s t a k e choose true,  is  then f o r him to  chance  in life  of g e t t i n g  t h a t , i f we w a i t and t h a t the  phrases  winning hands".  It  t a k i n g our l i f e  of  phrases  the above  to the  fear  it  it  him.  lieve  acted  change is  as  at  your p e r i l ,  of g e t t i n g yet  believe  Pascal,  than to  lost  that  the b e l i e v e r  and you have  James seems t o  we and  it  is  to  then you 2)  if  be-  have  y o u do '  i n your hands, your  Since the  The b e l i e v e r s  }rields  exactly  better  forfeited  say,  use  disbelieve.  it-sounds  taken your l i f e  disbelieve.  if  but from h i s  nothing;  on t h e w i n n i n g s i d e .  insufficient,  belief  r e l i g i o n may be t r u e  that  the  i n our  (p.27)  i f y o u do so a n d a r e w r o n g ,  t h e n you have  upon  perhaps?)  He s a y s  James seems t o be s a y i n g t h a t  not b e l i e v e ,  He u s e s  James e n c o u r a g e s  (eternally  seems c l e a r  made an e r r o r b u t h a v e r e a l l y  have  our  o f what m i g h t h a p p e n i f he s h o u l d  because l )  sole  of g e t t i n g  being untrue,  T h i s n o t o n l y r e m i n d s us o f like  change  it.  t h r o u g h hope t h a t of  my  and " t a k i n g our l i f e  r e l i g i o n be t r u e y e t we d o u b t  our f e a r  "to f o r f e i t  i n our hands."  "sole  we may s u f f e r  n o t y i e l d , to  i f r e l i g i o n be  peril"j  seems more l i k e l y t h a t  should believe  to  ( p . 3 0 ) "We do so a t  "our p e r i l " ,  t h r o u g h FEAR t h a t  that  He t h i n k s  "my own s t a k e " ,  side",  (p.27)  upon t h e w i n n i n g s i d e . "  to decide  "we a c t ,  is  when he  me t h e r i g h t  He t h i n k s t h a t  disbelieve  stake  He s a y s  i m p o r t a n t enough t o g i v e  my own f o r m o f r i s k . "  at  it at  is  you  sole  evidence safer  least  have  to a  lib  chance t o get on the w i n n i n g s i d e , the d i s b e l i e v e r s suffer forever.  may  As James says about P a s c a l (p.6), " I f we  were o u r s e l v e s i n t h e p l a c e of the D e i t y , we s h o u l d p r o b a b l y t a k e p a r t i c u l a r p l e a s u r e i n c u t t i n g o f f b e l i e v e r s of t h i s p a t t e r n from t h e i r i n f i n i t e  reward".  "Fear of l i f e i n one form or the o t h e r i s the g r e a t thing to exorcise;  but i t i s n ' t r e a s o n t h a t w i l l ever do i t .  Impulse w i t h o u t r e a s o n i s enough, and reason w i t h o u t impulse i s a poor m a k e s h i f t . " W i l l i a m James, i n a l e t t e r t o B. P. Blood (1896) "No man his  i s ever l i b e r a t e d from f e a r who  dare not see  p l a c e i n the w o r l d as i t i s . " B e r t r a n d R u s s e l l , S c e p t i c a l Essays "To endure u n c e r t a i n t y i s d i f f i c u l t , but so a r e most of  the o t h e r v i r t u e s . " B e r t r a n d R u s s e l l , Unpopular  Essays  Is b e l i e f so p e r s o n a l t h a t we r i s k o n l y o u r s e l v e s i n b e l i e v i n g something?  I f we r e a l l y b e l i e v e d t h a t we had g o t t e n  on the "winning s i d e " , would we not t r y t o persuade  our  l o v e d ones t o do the same?  Would we not warn o t h e r s of  their "peril"  them t o b e l i e v e as we do i n o r -  and encourage  der t o save them?  S u r e l y we would.  But of course we must  r e a l i z e t h a t i n encouraging t h i s b e l i e f we c o u l d be people t o b e l i e v e e r r o n e o u s l y .  As f a r as the b e l i e f  encouraging itself  i s concerned, James seems t o t h i n k t h a t t h e r e i s as much  chance t h a t i t i s f a l s e as t h e r e i s t h a t i t i s t r u e . v i e w of t h i s , we are t a k i n g a 50-50 chance t h a t we c o u r a g i n g people t o make an  are  en-  error.  As C l i f f o r d argued (p.l69) any  In  "No  one man's b e l i e f i s i n  case a p r i v a t e m a t t e r which concerns h i m s e l f a l o n e . "  To  b e l i e v e something puts us i n the frame of mind t o a s s e n t t o others associated with i t ,  o r l i k e i t , and  of course s i g -  n i f i c a n t b e l i e f s a f f e c t our a c t i o n s d i r e c t l y or Our  a c t i o n more o f t e n than not a f f e c t s o t h e r p e o p l e , p a r -  t i c u l a r l y those near and our  indirectly.  dear t o us.  We  set an example f o r  c h i l d r e n and t o b e l i e v e and a c t i n c e r t a i n ways i s t o  i n f l u e n c e them f o r b e t t e r or worse.  I f we make  ourselves  c r e d u l o u s by b e l i e v i n g and  a c t i n g through f e a r , we  t h e same t h i n g i n o t h e r s .  A general  encourage  p o l i c y of such b e l i e f  and a c t i o n c o u l d e a s i l y l e a d , as C l i f f o r d warns us, back t o savagery i n w h i c h , as James s a y s , (1890, p.319) "The  primi-  t i v e impulse i s t o a f f i r m i m m e d i a t e l y the r e a l i t y of a l l that i s conceived." C l i f f o r d says t h a t the road from c r e d u l i t y t o i s w e l l paved.  To l o s e the h a b i t of d o u b t i n g and  things i s to lose respect lose respect  f o r t r u t h i n one's own  f o r t r u t h i n one's own  l o s s of respect  dishonesty testing  mind.  mind e a s i l y l e a d s  f o r i t i n the minds of o t h e r s .  c a r e l e s s about what I b e l i e v e t h e n why  To to  I f _I am  should others bother  t o t e l l me  the t r u t h , i f i t s h o u l d be t o t h e i r advantage not  t o do s o l  I n o t h e r xrords^the  r i s k one  something i s not a l t o g e t h e r p e r s o n a l .  takes i n b e l i e v i n g Our  b e l i e f s influence  our d e s i r e s , i n t e n t i o n s and a c t i o n s , hence are l e s s  personal  113 than they for  are p u b l i c .  T h o u g h we do n o t h o l d p e o p l e  what t h e y b e l i e v e  these  have  led,  .to b e l i e v e believe.  lead only to  action.  the issue  persecution."  to  feiting  is  are  He s a y s  chance  of g e t t i n g  it  (1931,  is  this  to cover  us,  may y e t  of  what may o c c u r i n t h e n e x t  is  the.fear  to  expose  may be p r o v e d f a u l t y .  straw.  (There  "religious  As A . K . R o g e r s feeling  says  or strong desire  it will for-  motivated  our m e t a -  no  life  insurance our  error,  theology  i s not  just  fear  t h a t w o r r i e s James.  t o any s o r t  One g r a s p s  sundae"  at  where  of t e s t  in  an i n v i s i b l e  or soda i s  It  There  just  s q u e e z e and t h e n  (p.401), "beliefs have,  if  "We h a v e b u t one  But i t  i s n o t h i n g f o r us t o  the  i n regard to  old h e l l - f i r e  life  the b e l i e f  case i t  Inqui-  on t h e w i n n i n g s i d e .  towards them,  be m o m e n t o u s . "  be-  justify  are  and i f we a r e w r o n g ,  be n o t as g r e a t a s t h e  show t h a t  will  James who seems t o be  p.228)  to  "Complete  a l l nonbelievers  t a k e up o u r a t t i t u d e there  pretended,  (p.95)  s e e n t o what l i m i t s men  p h y s i c a l and r e l i g i o u s a l t e r n a t i v e s :  though i t  and  can l e a d  s h o u l d be d i s c o u r a g e d  We h a v e  As we s a i d b e f o r e ,  company i s  to  dishonesty  s u f f i c i e n t l y momentous,  convinced that  their sole  • i n which to  right  i s not l i c e n c e  credulity,  As R u s s e l l s a y s  certainty  injustices.  by f e a r .  The  As James h i m s e l f s a y s i n r e g a r d t o t h e  (pp.16-17),  go when t h e y  to  it  i s a l i b e r t y w h i c h i r r e s p o n s i b l e abuse  if  leads  one b u t  if  savagery.  irresponsible  sition  their beliefs  to harmful a c t i o n s .  may be a p r e c i o u s  even  It  lief,  o r may l e a d ,  This w i l l  perhaps  we do t r y t o a l t e r  responsible  release  a n empty  influenced  i s possible to  one.) by verify  them, is  s o o f t e n b e e n p r o v e d t o be i n t h e  wrong;  t h e t e n d e n c y w h i c h e m o t i o n shows t o a t t a c h  and....there itself  to  m a t t e r s where p r o o f a n d d i s p r o o f a r e a l i k e i m p o s s i b l e o r v e r y d i f f i c u l t , a n d so t o have been f o u n d u s e f u l One f e e l s that  i n keeping  saved from the  one's  p r o o f because It  the t e s t s  belief it  is  is  —  It  not s u s c e p t i b l e  i s a case of  eternal  prospect dence.  of  1)  that  it  is  false,  the  and w i t h t h e  security that  James  for  one's  one's  belief  is  s u s p e n d i n g judgement  (who dp_ b e l i e v e )  i s more c o u r a g e  of i t .  required,  courage  fears  As D . S. M i l l e r  exact  measure  ed."  He who h a s f a i t h b e l i e v e s  i n which f a i t h i s  courage•believes  says  present,  it  seems  required  courage  the evi-  t o me,  (p.185),  what he w a n t s t o  despite  upon  and t o f a c e  e t e r n a l punishment than t o  one's  dis-  religion  e t e r n a l p u n i s h m e n t f o r b e l i e v i n g upon t h e  p o s s i b i l i t y of  he who h a s  sufferin  as  b e l i e v i n g through fear  the m a j o r i t y  There  sense  of e m p i r i c a l v e r i f i c a t i o n  or denying the r e l i g i o u s h y p o t h e s i s w i t h the challenge  bounds.  safe from d i s c o n f i r m a t i o n or  s a f e f r o m d i s c o n f i r m a t i o n p_r 2)  face  safe  i s n o t a case of "dupery t h r o u g h hope" t h a t  personal safety  to  elsewhere,  both i n the  p o s s i b i l i t y of  be t r u e o r " d u p e r y t h r o u g h - f e a r " says.  that  belief within  safe with a r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f  one f e e l s  and t h a t  evade  to  submit  to  " i n the is  nof'need-  believe,  what he may want t o  be-  lieve. We h a v e a r g u e d t h a t  it  judgement u p o n , or t o deny, believe belief  it is  through fear.  i s more c o u r a g e o u s  to  suspend  the r e l i g i o u s h y p o t h e s i s  We h a v e  not merely a p e r s o n a l  a l s o argued t h a t  matter.  than  to  religious  120 "If  r e l i g i o n were a n a l t o g e t h e r  private  problem of the r e l a t i o n of the church to i t i e s w o u l d be c o m p a r a t i v e l y s i m p l e . braces  a moral creed,  notable  decline  and t h a t  of i t s  moral education,  it  is  influence,  the  on b i r t h  a b o r t i o n and r a c i a l p r e j u d i c e  Religion does a t t e m p t Adherence  that  —  it  emthe  a major instrument  of  i n public, a f f a i r s . " (1954,  c o n t r o l , mercy o r i t may f a i l  p.474)  such,  it  killing, t o make p r o -  these. i s not j u s t  to  influence  to i t  —  T-he r i s k t a k e n i s  one's  not merely p e r s o n a l . to  others  i t upon e v e r y  In a footnote,> ( p . 2 9 ) ,  it  c a n and  i n t e l l e c t u a l and that  others. not  belief with  James s a y s t h a t  of r e l i g i o u s f a i t h hinges  page,  he adds  footnote  of  We owe i t  to treat  matters.  only respect  flirtation.  fence  i n the  --  p u b l i c o p i n i o n on i m p o r t a n t  which i n t u r n a f f e c t s  but a l s o  and n o t embrace  a personal a f f a i r  c a n a n d does a f f e c t  p h y s i c a l conduct  to ourselves  author-  o r g a n i z e d r e l i g i o n a n d , as  may make p r o n o u n c e m e n t s  on  secular  even t o d a y a f t e r  Perry  nouncements  the  The f a c t  g i v e s i t an Important r o l e  Most r e l i g i o n i s  affair,  "The w h o l e  upon a c t i o n . "  that  On t h e  "the r e l i g i o u s  denext  hypothesis  g i v e s to the w o r l d an e x p r e s s i o n which s p e c i f i c a l l y  deter-  mines our r e a c t i o n s ,  unlike  a n d makes them i n a l a r g e  part  what t h e y m i g h t be on a p u r e l y n a t u r a l i s t i c scheme H e r e a g a i n James seems t o  operate  i n reverse.  u s u a l l y d e f e n d an a c t i o n by a d d u c i n g a r g u m e n t s or reasons  for  doing i t .  That  is,  we j u s t i f y  (or  of  belief."  We beliefs)  a c t i o n by  our  121  beliefs.  B u t James s a y s t h a t  by the a c t i o n s a belief what  is  (or r e a c t i o n s )  to  is  shown b y p r o o f ,  Usually  or  evidence.  defend a b e l i e f by a p p e a l t o a c t i o n s  the UTILITY of t h a t  affects  justified  The TRUTH o f  arguments  t i o n s which f o l l o w from h o l d i n g i t ,  The v a l u e  is  which f o l l o w from i t .  j u s t i f i e d by a p p e a l t o e v i d e n c e .  is believed  To a t t e m p t  religious belief  or use  belief,  o f what i s  us and our a c t i o n s  is  or  reac-  t o attempt  to  show  n o t t h e t r u t h o f what  is  believed.  believed —  is  shown b y how i t  n o t t h e t r u t h o f what i s  believed  in. One c a n a c t believing  it  is  A is  which enables  the a c t i o n s  true  true,  is  I S no o t h e r way  it  is necessary  t o adduce ( if  proof,  'belief'  evidence  and ' t r u e '  decide is  a God.  does not e l a b o r a t e  zest,  People  or arguments to  retain  on t h i s  or  actions  c a n a n d do  to f o l l o w the w i l l  impossible, since i t  c r i t e r i o n of goodness  b u t we s u s p e c t  peace,  a belief  without believing that  James h i m s e l f s a y s t h a t  w o u l d be d i f f i c u l t , i f n o t  actions  religion.  on m o r a l i s s u e s  and u n a s c e r t a i n a b l e '  these  ).  l o g i c a l l y l i n k e d to (and a c t )  for  are  We h a v e a l r e a d y s e e n t h a t m o r a l d e c i s i o n s not  in a  c o u l d be  .The o n l y way we c a n show t h a t  any o f t h e i r meaning  are  is  one t o a c t  or r e a c t i o n s  only that  or r e a c t i o n s .  o f what i s  there  Even i f  true)  it  i n no o t h e r way t h a n b y b e l i e v i n g A , t h i s d o e s n o t  mean t h a t actions  on a f a l s e h o o d o r a t r u t h ;  (deeming i t  c e r t a i n way. effected  either  statement  t h a t he h a s  (p.201).  of God 'vague James  a b o u t a c t i o n s and  i n mind t h e  s e c u r i t y and a f f e c t i o n s  is a  increase  which r e l i g i o u s  there  rein  belief  —  is  supposed t o  effect.  Macintyre suggests  (p.210)  have d i f f e r e n t l y because i t i n a new and d i f f e r e n t not of r u l e s ,  but of  that  i s t o see  light.  ...It  examples."  one u s u a l l y a d o p t s a w h o l e s e t i n God.  One may f i n d  as one o f t h e s a i n t s what James has  behave that  that  in  c e r t a i n cases.  it  may be u s e l e s s  problems.  of b e l i e f s ,  not j u s t  I think that this  to aim h i g h e r —  i n most c a s e s ,  is  actions  this s t i l l  and r e -  But even  if  i n order  to  it  is  is_ u s e f u l i n c e r t a i n o r even h a r m f u l ( t o  it  cases,  oneself  I t may have r e t a r d e d s c i e n t i f i c o r m o r a l p r o g r e s s . effort  a n d money s p e n t  i n t h e name  o f r e l i g i o n w o u l d h a v e b e e n more w i s e l y s p e n t a i d i n g  lief  useful  I t may have b e e n a d i s t r a c t i o n f r o m o u r r e a l  I t may be t h a t t h e t i m e ,  developed'  probably  d o e s n o t mean  JUSTIFIED - - o n l y t h a t it  belief  l i v e as J e s u s d i d o r  with religious belief.  And even i f  life  t o l i v e by a m o r a l i t y ,  some p e o p l e n e e d r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f  is  be-  When one a d o p t s a r e l i g i o n ,  did, etc.  religious belief  OR o t h e r s ) .  is  i n m i n d when he t a l k s a b o u t  morally --  i s to  the whole of o n e ' s  t h e new d e s i r e t o  actions being d i f f e r e n t we g r a n t  "To b e l i e v e  nations,  etc.  T h a t i s , what l i t t l e  may have done m i g h t be g r e a t l y  produces  —  hence  'under-  good t h e  overweighed by t h e  i t may be r e j e c t e d  on g r o u n d s o f  beevil  its  disutility. As we s a i d e a r l i e r  (pp.19-20),  possibly act  on t h e b e l i e f ,  it  he b e l i e v e s .  Otherwise i t  does.  when a p e r s o n  d o e s n o t m a t t e r so much what We a r g u e d t h a t  b a s e d on m i s c o n c e p t i o n s a r e more l i k e l y e n a b l e us t o a c h i e v e tain reactions,  cannot  our g o a l s .  emotional states  actions  t o t h w a r t us t h a n  B e l i e f s which r e s u l t i n etc.  to cer-  may n o t be. s u s c e p t i b l e  of e m p i r i c a l v e r i f i c a t i o n . Wells  We  w i l l c a l l t h e s e , w i t h W.  (pp.654-655), ' m e t a p h y s i c a l  R.  beliefs'.  W e l l s d i s t i n g u i s h e s between s c i e n t i f i c b e l i e f s w h i c h , i f t r u e , w i l l make an o b j e c t i v e d i f f e r e n c e and  metaphysical  b e l i e f s where (p.655) "the e f f e c t i s o f a s u b j e c t i v e s o r t , and  i s independent of t h e o b j e c t i v e t r u t h . "  Scientific  be-  l i e f s must be of what i s t r u e i f t h e y a r e t o be u s e f u l , he says,' but m e t a p h y s i c a l  b e l i e f s can be u s e f u l even when f a l s e  ( s u b j e c t i v e l y u s e f u l or  satisfying).  L e t us examine the view t h a t r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f , whether t r u e or n o t , possesses s u b j e c t i v e v a l u e .  J u s t what s o r t of  e f f e c t does i t have? James says  (1929,  p.498)  that "there i s a c e r t a i n u n i -  form d e l i v e r a n c e i n which r e l i g i o n s a l l appear t o meet. 1.  the u n e a s i n e s s . . . t h a t  as we n a t u r a l l y s t a n d .  ...  t h e r e i s something wrong about us 2.  The  s o l u t i o n i s a sense t h a t  we  are saved.-from the wrongness by making proper c o n n e c t i o n the h i g h e s t powers."  Much i s made, i n the C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n  at any r a t e , o f the need t o 'save one's s o u l ' .  It is dif-  f i c u l t , I f i n d , t o determine e x a c t l y what we need t o saved FROM and what we  with  are t o be saved FOR.  t h a t we r e q u i r e s a l v a t i o n from 'sin'..  I t may  But then we  be be s a i d  are  told  t h a t t h i s s i n i s i n h e r i t e d from people l i v i n g c e n t u r i e s  ago.  who  regard  passed i t on from g e n e r a t i o n t o g e n e r a t i o n .  t h i s view as both l u d i c r o u s and u n h e a l t h y .  We  may  Then we may  be  t o l d t h a t we need t o be saved f o r e t e r n a l l i f e i n heaven. But, as P e r r y says ( 1 9 5 4 ,  p . 4 7 6 - 4 7 7 ) "the p l e a s u r e s  are so e x a l t e d above the p l e a s u r e s less.  of heaven  of e a r t h as t o be meaning-  ...There are mansions i n heaven, but what does one  do  there?  ...  In short,  a heaven  i n heaven has  than a heaven  on e a r t h . "  It  see  'wrongness'  i s a n d how we a r e  what  this  The p r o m i s e o f h e a v e n it  solves.  As P e r r y s a y s  i s n o t so e a s y ,  could create  more i n t e n s e  (1954, p . 4 7 0 ) ,  v a t i o n of one's the h e l l  soul."  on t h i s  As P e r r y s a y s of  anxiety,  One may be b e t t e r  (1954, p . 4 7 5 ) ,  us s u p p o s e  be r e a l i z e d —  which t o r t u r e s  that the  to  from i t . than  salvation  may b e g e t  another  concerning the off  worrying  eternal  sal-  about  punishment. projection  man w i t h a sense o f  religious believer  a l l our e f f o r t s  (1954, p . 4 7 9 ) , " a s s u m i n g t h a t successful better  p u r s u i t of man's  belief  has  only p o s i t i v e  i n numerous w a y s . healthier Belief  We see  that  is useful  it  will  Says  f o r h e may t h e n be  We must n o t assume subjective  One who l e a d s  value.  that  Perry the  religious  i n d i v i d u a l might  believing. happy and  may w e l l h a v e done b e t t e r  claims  without  it.  religious  o r n o t and even more d i f f i c u l t t o s a y  h e l p o r harm t h e  men  be  s u c h a l i f e t h r o u g h what he  say whether  it  disposed  I t may a f f e c t  of a s u c c e s s f u l ,  i s not easy to  that  i t may be a r g u e d t h a t  I n many c a s e s t h e  his religious belief  will  ideals,  i n God i s no g u a r a n t e e  ideals  G o d ' s power g u a r a n t e e s  and h a p p i e r n o t b e l i e v i n g ^ t h a n he i s  moral l i f e .  belief  - - a l l man's  thinks  are not i n Vain.  f o r man n o t t o know i t ,  to r e l a x h i s e f f o r t s . "  it  'saved'  " R e l i g i o n may be t h e  w i t h God, a l l t h i n g s a r e p o s s i b l e  is  therefore,  and i m p e n d i n g d o o m . " Let  is  of  offer  " a way o f  anxiety  e a r t h t h a n an abode  a morbid conscience  guilt  namely,  to  more p r o b l e m s  a d o p t e d as a r e l i e f f r o m w o r l d l y a n x i e t i e s and  less  i n d i v i d u a l i n the long run,  whether  assuming  1^5 that  i t does a f f e c t  his reactions  and a c t i o n s .  more d i f f i c u l t t o d e t e r m i n e w h e t h e r a b e l i e f what d i r e c t i o n t h i s u s e w i l l termine i f the b e l i e f  is  E v e n were we s u r e  take),  o f what  that  is useful  is true.  Whether i t It  groups,  c o u l d be s a i d t h a t  among v a r i o \ i s g r o u p s  I t may be t h a t  scientific that  progress  merely t r y i n g to  f o r many y e a r s .  It  show t h a t  good o n e s .  lief  religious  shown t h a t  f a i t h that  people  retarded  'action'  and ' r e a c t i o n s ' ,  (and r e a c t i o n s )  may n o t be g o o d ,  religion  i s a great d e a l of  show I am  ground as  used  w i t h o u t argument t h a t  all  due t o r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f  S i n c e James d o e s n o t o f f e r  I have  among  I am n o t t r y i n g t o  e v e n c l a r i f y what he means b y ' a c t i o n ' since  all  nonreligious.  there  c a n n o t be a c c e p t e d  o r most a c t i o n s  dissension  i s more h a r m f u l t h a n a n y o t h e r .  c o v e r e d by s u c h w o r d s as by J a m e s .  more p r e j u d i c e  I t may be s a i d t h a t  religious belief  people).  caused  the  of  separate  a war o f e a c h r e l i g i o n a g a i n s t  r e l i g i o n produces  dissolves.  of  ( o r even a l l r e l i g i o u s  r e l i g i o n has g e n e r a l l y —  story.  'togetherness'  o t h e r r e l i g i o n s and o f a l l r e l i g i o n s a g a i n s t  than i t  individual.  B u t t h i s t u r n s o u t t o be a t o g e t h e r n e s s not of a l l people,  helped  c o u l d be a n o t h e r  r e l i g i o n encourages  many o f t h e  any a r g u m e n t s ,  effects  of r e l i g i o u s the defence  James s a y s h i n g e s u p o n a c t i o n .  T h r o u g h o u t The W i l l  t o B e l i e v e and o t h e r s  of  are  nor  and ' r e a c t i o n s ' ,  I t h i n k we c a n r e j e c t  p.139)  t h i s would  l e v e l of the  on a s o c i a l l e v e l  c o u l d be s a i d t h a t  people.  It  is useful  on t h e  de-  (See R u s s e l l ,  i n d i v i d u a l s were u s u a l l y  i t was u s e f u l  (and  t h e n i t w o u l d be t o  r a t h e r t h a n harmed by t h e i r r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f , mean o n l y t h a t  I t may be  James'  and beof  126  works,  a s we h a v e s e e n ,  believe,  t h e y a r e p o w e r l e s s "to a c t .  a c t i o n i s not of  he seems t o t h i n k t h a t  success.  p o s s i b l e when one i s I think that  widespread f a l l a c y that  unless  He seems t o t h i n k i n doubt or i s not  James i s w r o n g h e r e .  "It  the a l t e r n a t i v e t o the f i r m  t h a t we p o s s e s s t h e t r u t h must be weak i n d e c i s i o n . quite  possible  be w r o n g . "  to act with vigor,  (Kaufmann, p . 1 1 7 )  people  r e a l i z i n g that  that certain  is a faith It  is  one m i g h t  P e o p l e c a n and do a c t  decisively,  even though t h e y have a s t r o n g s u s p i c i o n t h a t t h e y a r e taken.  As L a i r d  very l i v e things disturbing. the  'live'  says  (p.152),  part of us, to  the o p p o s i t e is  that  thus  failure.  succeed  not n e c e s s a r i l y If ways,  them?  belief  lead to overconfidence  a c t i o n i s b a s e d on d e s i r e  i n reacting  and  F o r my own p a r t ,  Christians  that  birth  beliefs  truly  d e s i r e them i n t h e i r own r i g h t a n d t o motivate them.  I do n o t see how r e l i g i o u s  important moral problems.  it  effort,  or a c t i n g i n c e r t a i n  I f the r e a c t i o n s and a c t i o n s a r e  n e e d no ' m e t a p h y s i c a l b e l i e f s '  artificial  and  belief.  then people w i l l  h e l p s us s o l v e  In  one n e e d o n l y be  t h e n why s h o u l d t h e r e be a n e e d f o r u n s u p p o r t e d  valuable  that  can e a s i l y  James s e e s v a l u e  to effect  will  succeed,  as  important t h i n g .  As we have s a i d b e f o r e ,  Successful on  regarded  and n o t d o u b t . "  t h e outcome i s t h e one w i l l  c o n c e r n e d t h a t one w i l l . one w i l l  of b e l i e f ,  indifference  care about  One n e e d n o t b e l i e v e  that  " d o u b t a n d i n q u i r y may be  i n d e e d . . . . T h e y may a l s o be e m o t i o n a l l y most  In short,  other words,  mis-  belief  C a t h o l i c s are  told  c o n t r o l i s w r o n g and n o n - C a t h o l i c  i s not wrong.  How do we d e c i d e  this  issue?  127 Could t h e y both be r i g h t ? c a r r i e s more weight? appeals  Which one  of t h e i r a u t h o r i t i e s  Such problems cannot be s o l v e d  by  t o any a u t h o r i t y .  As P e r r y (1954, p.4^8) puts i t , "There are two ways i n which an a u t h o r i t y can be j u s t i f i e d ;  e i t h e r by t r u s t , which  is equivalent to accepting i t without  authority;  i t trustworthy.  or by  proving  An a u t h o r i t y i s proved t r u s t w o r t h y , when  t h e r e i s r e a s o n t o b e l i e v e t h a t i t s u t t e r a n c e s are t r u e ; but then the a u t h o r i t y i s t e s t e d by the dogma, and not  the  dogma by t h e a u t h o r i t y , and the dogma:, h a v i n g been proved t r u e , i s no l o n g e r a dogma." i n h i s d i a l o g u e Euthyph.ro.  P l a t o put i t more s u c c i n c t l y To paraphrase h i s q u e s t i o n :  "Are the laws j u s t because t h e gods approve them, or do  the  gods approve them because they are j u s t ? "  that  we  do not need the gods t o support  m o r a l i t y because the  argument from a u t h o r i t y i s a f a l l a c y . f i e d w i t h the w i l l of God, and u n a s c e r t a i n a b l e " . dent of God t h e way. standard  I f morality i s identi-  t h e n t h a t w i l l must not be "vague  I f the s t a n d a r d  of m o r a l i t y i s indepen-  or H i s w i l l , then we do not need Him  t o show us  In e i t h e r case, whether God's w i l l i s made the o f m o r a l i t y or whether He i s supposed o n l y t o r e -  c o g n i z e m o r a l i t y when Me 'which' God one.  I t t u r n s out  sees i t , man  h i m s e l f must  decide  to f o l l o w or which system of e t h i c s i s the  In the l a s t a n a l y s i s , man  s c i e n c e t o g u i d e him.  best  i s l e f t w i t h o n l y h i s con-  But a t l e a s t i t i s not u s u a l l y "vague  and u n a s c e r t a i n a b l e " -- when i t i s h e a r d , i t i s heard l o u d and  clear. James concludes  h i s essay by q u o t i n g F i t z James Stephen  128  thus ( p . 3 1 ) : "What must we do? age'.  'Be  s t r o n g and  of good cour-  Act f o r the b e s t , hope f o r the b e s t , and  comes... I f death ends a l l , we  t a k e what  cannot meet death b e t t e r . "  have.argued t h a t the course of courage i s t o f a c e  I  reality  r a t h e r t h a n p r e t e n d i t i s something o t h e r t h a n i t i s , t o r e a l i z e t h a t we have l i m i t a t i o n s and. t h a t our b e l i e f w i l l and  and  a c t i o n s can i n f l u e n c e o n l y a l i m i t e d sphere of t h i n g s ,  t o suspend judgement upon or f l a t l y deny any  'hypothesis'  which seems more c a l c u l a t e d t o s a t i s f y our needs t h a n t o c o r respond t o r e a l i t y .  James seems at t i m e s t o have swallowed  the h e l l - f i r e t h e o l o g y , disbelief.  d e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t he  implies  I have argued t h a t i t t a k e s more courage t o  l i e v e what seems t r u e but may  d i s a p p o i n t , than to b e l i e v e  what seems f a l s e y e t s a t i s f i e s .  I t i s not courage but  t o suggest t h a t we  God.  I am "The  one  could create  of those who  i s t e s t e d by s e e k i n g  w i l l t o b e l i e v e may for  him i t may  the  that object  ".  3fn a l e t t e r t o H. K. K a l l e n ( P e r r y : wrote t h a t " I n any  naivete  b e l i e v e , w i t h Wells (p.658),  t r u t h of a b e l i e f i n God  denoted by the word 'God'  be-  1948,  p.249), James  case t h e v e r i f i c a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l ' s f i r s t o c c u r long a f t e r he i s dead —  be the b e s t p o l i c y " .  yet  I do not t h i n k t h a t  we  can count on the p o s s i b i l i t y of v e r i f i c a t i o n a f t e r death t o j u s t i f y b e l i e v i n g something w h i l e we are a l i v e .  If veri-  f i c a t i o n were t o occur l o n g a f t e r death, then we would be j u s t i f i e d i n b e l i e v i n g ( i . e . a f t e r death).  At any  rate,  v e r i f i c a t i o n , would o n l y be p o s s i b l e a f t e r death i f t h e r e were an a f t e r - l i f e , and as we  have s t a t e d , t h i s i s the p o i n t  at  129 i s s u e , where the r e l i g i o u s 'hypothesis-'  i s concerned.  Any  b e l i e f might be r e g a r d e d as j u s t i f i a b l e i f v e r i f i c a t i o n were p o s s i b l e a f t e r death. s u p e r s t i t i o n and  T h i s would open the f l o o d g a t e s  propaganda o f the most h e i n o u s s o r t .  o n l y s o r t of v e r i f i c a t i o n which means a n y t h i n g i s the s o r t which t h e y c o u l d see.  Any  enough to j u s t i f y b e l i e f .  The  to l i v i n g  men  o t h e r s o r t of v e r i -  f i c a t i o n i s not v e r i f i c a t i o n but the mere hope of T h i s i s not  to  verification.  To b e l i e v e ( i . e . t o  deem t r u e ) on the mere chance t h a t one may  be r i g h t would  t o p e r v e r t b e l i e f and r e n d e r the words ' t r u e ' and  be  'false'  meaningless. I n The V a r i e t i e s o f R e l i g i o u s E x p e r i e n c e , t h a t "God  James says  i s r e a l s i n c e he produces r e a l e f f e c t s " .  t h a t James r e a l l y means here t h a t b e l i e f i n God real effects. e.g.  I think  produces  B e l i e f i n many t h i n g s produces r e a l e f f e c t s --  the d e v i l , supremacy of the w h i t e r a c e , e t c . —  t h e y are no more r e a l or t r u e f o r t h i s .  We  but  must d r i v e a  wedge between what i s b e l i e v e d and what a c t u a l l y e x i s t s a d i s t i n c t i o n James a l l too o f t e n i g n o r e s . t i o n which he was  l o a t h t o acknowledge.  It is a distinc-  I n the P r i n c i p l e s  o f P s y c h o l o g y (p.294) James says " i n t h e s t r i c t and sense of the word e x i s t e n c e , e v e r y t h i n g  ultimate  which can be thought  of at a l l e x i s t s as some s o r t of o b j e c t , whether  mythical  o b j e c t , i n d i v i d u a l t h i n k e r ' s o b j e c t , or o b j e c t i n o u t e r and  f o r i n t e l l i g e n c e at l a r g e .  Errors, fictions, t r i b a l  l i e f s , are p a r t s of t h e whole g r e a t U n i v e r s e which God made, and  space be-  has  He must have meant a l l these t h i n g s t o be i n i t ,  each i n i t s r e s p e c t i v e  place."  130  To v a r y t h e q u o t a t i o n f r o m R u s s e l l a t t h i s paper, of  "It  proving that  that they fangled  set  hope  an o b j e c t  sense  sense".  everything exists  that  they  1  exists  saying that  "exists"  i n some n e w as t o  we w o u l d s t i l l  d i f f e r e n t ways-.  in a vastly  different  The  We u s u a l l y make t h e  say  does not r e a l l y e x i s t .  and the  t h e y have found o n l y t h e  security,  cheque  P e o p l e who s e e k God w i l l  o r j. i n d i v i d u a l t h i n k e r ' s o b j e c t ' )  never f e e l  idea  o f God - -  they  peace and z e s t from b e l i e f there  d e n o t e d by t h e w o r d ' G o d ' ,  then there  i_s no G o d .  James r e a l l y b e l i e v e d t h a t  God must h a v e meant e v e r y  i n what  i s no  object  And i f error  t h e n f o r J a m e s , God must h a v e meant t h a t t h e r e  agnostics,  atheists  James a l w a y s  and s c e p t i c s .  knew what he  B u t I do n o t t h i n k  (1929,  pp. 435-6)  believed.  that,  "If...we  a p p l y the  e v e n w e r e we f o r c e d by c o e r c i v e  intelligible  confess  significance."  a man t o a l t e r h i s v i e w s  l o g i c to believe  them t o be d e s t i t u t e It  is possible,  He  p r i n c i p l e of  pragmatism to God's m e t a p h y s i c a l a t t r i b u t e s . . . I t h i n k  should have t o  be  that  He seems a t t i m e s t o be a l m o s t s c e p t i c a l h i m s e l f .  still  never  (or ' m y t h i c a l  If  to e x i s t ,  few  d i s t i n c t i o n by  t h e y know i s b u t an i d e a o r c o n c e p t .  says  say  cashier's  way f r o m t h e  my f e w d o l l a r s r e a l l y e x i s t s  be s a t i s f i e d t h a t  will  it  ( i n some sense"),  in vastly  d o l l a r s i n my w a l l e t .  object'  i n a straightforward  f o r a m i l l i o n d o l l a r s w r i t t e n o u t t o me, w h i c h I now  envisage,  :.  exists  E v e n i f we u s e w o r d s so c a r e l e s s l y  that  cheque  of  i s o n l y when p e o p l e h a v e g i v e n up t h e  t o work t o p r o v e t h a t  'exist  the beginning  that,  t h e m , we of  all  of course,  for  d u r i n g h i s l i f e t i m e , b u t I do n o t  r  131  think that seem t o is  James c h a n g e d h i s mind a s  suggest.  h i s views  of h i s works to  show t h a t  he h e l d i n c o m p a t i b l e  I make t h i s  judgement  h i s views without  on t h e b a s i s  i s no more t h a n s p e c u l a t i o n .  ulation  is  views.  t h i s was a c a s e o f one n o t b e i n g s u r e what he  sur-  I admit  But I t h i n k t h a t t h i s  j u s t i f i e d b e c a u s e James was so o f t e n v a g u e  w h e t h e r o r n o t he b e l i e v e d s o m e t h i n g  be-  explana-  of a general  v e y o f h i s w r i t i n g s a n d n o t any s p e c i f i c w o r k . it  and  I h a v e o f t e n q u o t e d James f r o m  l i e v e d r a t h e r t h a n one who a l t e r s tion.  writings  he u s u a l l y e x p l a i n s why t h i s h a p p e n e d when  he e x p o u n d s h i s new v i e w s .  I think that  as h i s  I f a man r a d i c a l l y a l t e r s  aware o f t h i s ,  various  often  that spec-  about  (which I can o n l y  inter-  p r e t a s a s i g n t h a t he d i d n o t r e a l l y know what i t was he believed).  For example,  P e r r y says  James g r e w o l d e r he came t o b e l i e v e he  had a c q u i r e d a f e e l i n g  d i d not f e e l  of i t s  a ' r a t i o n a l need'  'practical need'." James b e l i e v e d  the b e l i e f .  —  i.e.,  have i t  be t h e  Perry describes  A l t h o u g h he  a growing i n 1904  t h e need f o r  w o u l d seem t o be l a c k o f  case)  that  need t o  was r e a s o n  James ( 1 9 4 8 ,  reasons  believe true,  enough.  p.359)  p e r s o n a l b e l i e f which brought  e v e r y man c o u l d , b e l i e v e  it.  needed  o r n e e d t o deem s o m e t h i n g a s  c o n s o l a t i o n or the i n c e n t i v e t h a t  be n i c e i f  he f e l t  " a s <.  In 1904  from t h i s whether  o r p e r h a p s he f e l t  overwhelming d e s i r e  the  that  P e r h a p s James c o u l d b e l i e v e what he  (i.e.  every  'probability'.  i n i m m o r t a l i t y or merely f e l t  without reasons  with  p.356)  in immortality.  of i t ,  I cannot t e l l  The l a c k o f a ' r a t i o n a l n e e d ' for  (1948,  as h a v i n g t o an  individual  he n e e d e d " .  what  "sympathy  It  would  c o n s o l e d him or gave  132 him i n c e n t i v e .  I do n o t wish t o d e s t r o y i n c e n t i v e or under-  mine c o n s o l a t i o n . one  But t o make i t a g e n e r a l r u l e t h a t  every-  s h o u l d be f r e e t o b e l i e v e what c o n s o l e s him or/and g i v e s  him i n c e n t i v e , i s t o open those f a m i l i a r f l o o d g a t e s and t o l o s e completely  the meaning o f t h e word ' b e l i e f .  I t would  open t h e f l o o d g a t e s because some people t a k e c o n s o l a t i o n i n the f a c t t h a t , e.g. Negroes a r e i n f e r i o r t o them and because people have found i n c e n t i v e i n other b e l i e f s p e r n i cious to others.  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , i t seems t h a t some people's  c o n s o l a t i o n and i n c e n t i v e a r e i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h t h a t o f o t h e r s . T h i s i s why b e l i e f must be p r o p o r t i o n e d t o t h e evidence, n o t t o one's needs.  -the end-  133 BIBLIOGRAPHY  Clifford,  W.K.  L e c t u r e s and E s s a y s . VolJI. Macmillan & Co. (chapter: " T h e E t h i c s o f B e l i e f " and "The E t h i c s o f R e l i g i o n " ) 1901  Findlay, J . N .  V a l u e s and I n t e n t i o n s . Unwin L t d .  Grant,  Belief  C.K.  and A c t i o n .  Griffiths,  A.P,  "On B e l i e f " . Society.  Hampshire",  S.  Thought  Hobhouse, James,  L.T.  William  George A l l e n &  U n i v e r s i t y of  Proceedings  and A c t i o n .  of the  Durham. I960 Aristotelian 1962-63  C h a t t & Windus  " F a i t h and t h e W i l l t o B e l i e v e " of the A r i s t o t e l i a n S o c i e t y . The P r i n c i p l e s o f P s y c h o l o g y . Henry H o l t & C o . , N . Y . '  1961  London, 1959  Proceedings 1903-04 Vol.11.  I89O  The W i l l t o B e l i e v e and o t h e r e s s a y s i n p o p u l a r p h i l o s o p h y , and Human I m m o r t a l i t y . Dover P u b l i c a t i o n s I n c . 1956 ( F i r s t p u b l i s h e d New Y o r k , Longmans G r e e n & C o . 1897) The V a r i e t i e s o f R e l i g i o u s Modern L i b r a r y . ( F i r s t p u b l i s h e d New Y o r k , C o . 1902)  Experience.  1929 Longmans G r e e n &  S e l e c t e d P a p e r s on P h i l o s o p h y . J . M . Dent & Sons L t d . 1961 ( F i r s t p u b l i s h e d i n t h i s e d i t i o n 1917) Some P r o b l e m s o f & Co. K a u f m a n n , W. Laird,  Critique  Philosophy.  Longmans  o f R e l i g i o n and P h i l o s o p h y .  Green 1931 Anchor. 1961  J.  Knowledge, B e l i e f and O p i n i o n . The C e n t u r y Co. ' 1930 Metaphysical Beliefs. SCM P r e s s L t d . Macintyre, A. withy * ' 1957 T o u l m i n , S. and H e p b u r n , R. Maclver,  A.M.  "Knowledge". P r o c . o f the A r i s t o t e l i a n S o c i e t y Supplementary Volume. 1958"  134 Mayo, B.  " B e l i e f and C o n s t r a i n t " . A r i s t o t e l i a n Society.  P r o c . of The 1963-64  M i l l e r , D.S.  "The W i l l t o B e l i e v e and the Duty t o Doubt". I n t e r n a t i o n a l J o u r n a l of E t h i c s . V o l . 9. 1898-99  P e r r y , R.B.  The Thought and C h a r a c t e r Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . Realms o f V a l u e .  o f W i l l i a m James. 1948  Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press. 1954  P r i c e , H.H.  " B e l i e f and W i l l " . Proc. of the A r i s t o t e l i a n S o c i e t y , Supplementary Volume. 1954  Rogers, A.K.  " B e l i e f and the C r i t e r i o n o f T r u t h " . J o u r n a l of P h i l o s o p h y , V o l . 13,  R u s s e l l , B.  P h i l o s o p h i c a l Essays. Co. '  S c h i l l e r , F.C.S. Problems o f B e l i e f . T o u l m i n , S.  1916  Longmans Green & 1910 B i l l i n g and Sons, L t d . 1924  F o r e s i g h t and U n d e r s t a n d i n g . U n i v e r s i t y Press.  Indiana 196l  V e t t e r , G.B.  Magic and R e l i g i o n .  Philosophical Library. . 1958  W e l l s , W.R.  "Two Common F a l l a c i e s i n the L o g i c o f Religion". Journal of Philosophy. V o l . 14, 1917  

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