Friday, September 24, 2010

Better duped through hope than through fear

Religious beliefs are the quintessential case for which there's not enough evidence to decide. The sceptical mind of [Bertrand] Russell looks at the evidence for belief in God and, while seeing it's not conclusive, decides that he does not want to believe in God for fear of believing in an error. [William] James, though, has a different thought. He looks at the evidence for belief in God and, while seeing it's not conclusive, feels the force of the duty to believe what's true as well as the duty to avoid error. The sceptic ignores the first part of that duty, which James also called the "will to believe". He noted that while both believer and nonbeliever run the risk of being duped, he thought it was better to be duped "through hope" than "through fear". - Mark Vernon

2 comments:

  1. The 'force of duty to believe what's true .... and avoid error' arrives one closer and closer to neither hope nor fear (in a God or lack of) because God is a concept. Mind free from error is one that does not position itself / identity/ way of understanding in relation to hope and fear, nor does it exercise judgement or clinging to concepts such as God, hope or fear ... Though they exist in the minds of man, they key is to walk lightly through them.

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  2. I'd like to subsitute Love for God here

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