Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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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.
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I 119
However, religious experience is simply the individual experience of an individual.
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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"):
The thesis that 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?
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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.
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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.

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


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-05-26