Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Religious beliefs: in contrast to other beliefs, religious beliefs are usually not subject of a questioning. Thus, for example, this is not about the probability of their application or the possibility of their refutation. Even if there are religious arguments, belief itself is not argumentative. See also beliefs.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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William James on Religious Belief - Dictionary of Arguments

Diaz-Bone I 117
Religion/James: James claims two things.
1. The best things are those which are closer to the eternal.
2. It is better for the believer, if he believes.
Religious experience is a part of reality, which the empiricist also acknowledges, as he ascribes the status of reality to every kind of experience.
I 119
However, religious experience is simply the individual experience of an individual.
St IV W. Stegmüller Hauptströmungen der Gegenwartsphilosophie Bd 4 Stuttgart 1989

St IV 439
Religious experience/W. James/Stegmüller: ("The religious experience in its manifoldness"):
All forms of institutionalized religions as well as all theology are merely secondary consequences of individual experiences of individual people. Three questions:
1. What causal origin do the experiences have?
2. What value do they have for oneself and for others?
3. What about the objective claim to truth?
IV 440
James distinguishes experiences of "religion of the light-hearted" and the one of "melancholy" as well as experiences of mystics, which are not communicable.
IV 441
Since such experiences are purely psychologically intelligible, they do not guarantee a supernatural origin.
Moreover, such experiences can scarcely be distinguished from those whose cause is attributed to Satan, and which are also psychologically interpreted by the Church.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

James I
R. Diaz-Bone/K. Schubert
William James zur Einführung Hamburg 1996

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