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This I Believe Beginning in 1951, radio pioneer Edward R. Murrow asked Americans from all walks of life to write essays about their most fundamental and closely held beliefs. Half a century later ...

This Believe Essays

I say, either accept this truth or go without it, i put on you a forced option, for there is no standing place outside of the alternative. Here the only reason for belief is that everybody has believed the thing for so long that it must be true. Such considerations apply even more obviously and clearly, if possible, to the store of beliefs and conceptions which our fathers have amassed for us in respect of the material world.

Balfour gives the name of authority to all those influences, born of the intellectual climate, that make hypotheses possible or impossible for us, alive or dead. Will that diminish the guilt of her owner?  Not one jot. The question in what cases we may believe that which goes beyond our experience, is a very large and delicate one, extending to the whole range of scientific method, and requiring a considerable increase in the application of it before it can be answered with anything approaching to completeness.

It is rightly used on truths which have been established by long experience and waiting toil, and which have stood in the fierce light of free and fearless questioning. These doubts preyed upon his mind and made him unhappy he thought that perhaps he ought to have her thoroughly overhauled and refitted, even though this should put him to great expense. From certain observations made with the spectroscope, we infer the existence of hydrogen in the sun.

Until recently, the moral tradition of our own countryand indeed of all europetaught that it was beneficent to give money indiscriminately to beggars. And the question which our conscience is always asking about that which we are tempted to believe is not, is it comfortable and pleasant? But, is it true?  That the prophet preached certain doctrines, and predicted that spiritual comfort would be found in them, proves only his sympathy with human nature and his knowledge of it but it does not prove his superhuman knowledge of theology. For if there is no hydrogen in the sun, the spectroscopethat is to say, the measurement of rates of vibrationmust be an uncertain guide in recognising different substances and consequently it ought not to be used in chemical analysisin assaying, for exampleto the great saving of time, trouble, and money.

It may be said, however, that in both of these supposed cases it is not the belief which is judged to be wrong, but the action following upon it. The spectroscope testifies to exactly the same thing in the two cases namely, that light-vibrations of a certain rate are being sent through it. I am all the while, however, so profoundly convinced that my own position is correct, that your invitation has seemed to me a good occasion to make my statements more clear.

Because our knowledge of this uniformity is far less complete and exact than our knowledge of that which obtains in physics, inferences of the historical kind are more precarious and less exact than inferences in many other sciences. The special mark of his religion, it is said, that in which it has never been surpassed, is the comfort and consolation which it gives to the sick and sorrowful, the tender sympathy with which it soothes and assuages all the natural griefs of men. This testimony rests on the most awful of foundations, the revelation of heaven itself for was he not visited by the angel gabriel, as he fasted and prayed in his desert cave, and allowed to enter into the blessed fields of paradise?  Surely god is god and mohammed is the prophet of god. A suspicion got abroad that the professors of this religion had made use of unfair means to get their doctrines taught to children. He may quite honestly believe that this statement is a fair inference from his experiments, but in that case his judgment is at fault.


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This Believe Essays

The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy ...
The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy, and Human Immortality [William James] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The work of William James contributed greatly to the burgeoning fields of psychology, particularly in th
This Believe Essays The text of william james the will to believe is based upon the dover reprint of , which is said to be an unabridged and unaltered republication of the first edition printed by longmans, green & co. College essays are important because they let you reveal your personality. It is conceivable that we might, without ceasing to be men, go there and verify his statement it can be tested by the witness of his companions, and there is adequate ground for supposing that he knows the truth of what he is saying. They were accused of wresting the laws of their country in such a way as to remove children from the care of their natural and legal guardians and even of stealing them away and keeping them concealed from their friends and relations.
  • The Will to Believe : and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy ...


    But the questioning of this rule, and investigation into it, led men to see that true beneficence is that which helps a man to do the work which he is most fitted for, not that which keeps and encourages him in idleness and that to neglect this distinction in the present is to prepare pauperism and misery for the future. There was once an island in which some of the inhabitants professed a religion teaching neither the doctrine of original sin nor that of eternal punishment. Next, if i say to you  choose between going out with your umbrella or without it, i do not offer you a genuine option, for it is not forced. If this judgment seems harsh when applied to those simple souls who have never known better, who have been brought up from the cradle with a horror of doubt, and taught that their eternal welfare depends on         it may be permitted me to fortify this judgment with the sentence of milton         a man may be a heretic in the truth and if he believe things only because his pastor says so, or the assembly so determine, without knowing other reason, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes his heresy. This is called ohms law but the result, regarded as a statement to be believed, is not the valuable part of it.

    Could such a man speak falsely about solemn things?  And as for his knowledge, was he not a man miraculous with powers more than mans?  He was born of woman without the help of man he rose into the air and was transfigured before his kinsmen at last he went up bodily into heaven from the top of adams peak. But if the belief has been accepted on insufficient evidence, the pleasure is a stolen one. The state of things is evidently far from simple and pure insight and logic, whatever they might do ideally, are not the only things that really do produce our creeds. It is an assumption of uniformity in nature, and can only be checked by comparison with many similar assumptions which we have to make in other such cases. They are measured by his willingness to act.

    And surely no triumph of social morality can be greater or nobler than that which has kept nearly half the human race from persecuting in the name of religion. I can, though i must begin by setting up some technical distinctions that will help us in the end. Whether the medicine was propitiated or not there are no means of verifying, but the cattle are gone. Weigh, then, your infinite gain if i am genuine against your finite sacrifice if i am not!  His logic would be that of pascal but he would vainly use it on us, for the hypothesis he offers us is dead. Is it possible to believe that a system which has succeeded so well is really founded upon a delusion?  Not only have individual saints found joy and peace in believing, and verified those spiritual experiences which are promised to the faithful, but nations also have been raised from savagery or barbarism to a higher social state. It is not only the leader of men, statesmen, philosopher, or poet, that owes this bounden duty to mankind. But a greater and wider evil arises when the credulous character is maintained and supported, when a habit of believing for unworthy reasons is fostered and made permanent. Let us alter the case a little, and suppose that the ship was not unsound after all that she made her voyage safely, and many others after it. No tendency to act on it exists in us to any degree. Our experience is that manuscripts exist which are said to be and which call themselves manuscripts of the history of thucydides that in other manuscripts, stated to be by later historians, he is described as living during the time of the war and that books, supposed to date from the revival of learning, tell us how these manuscripts had been preserved and were then acquired.

    The Will to Believe : and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy - Kindle edition by William James. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.

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    About the Text of the printed book. The text of William Kingdon Clifford’s “The Ethics of Belief” is based upon the first edition of Lectures and Essays, Macmillan and Co., 1879, edited by Leslie Stephen and Frederick Pollock.
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    It is only too possible for a child to grow up in london surrounded by an atmosphere of beliefs fit only for the savage, which have in our own time been founded in fraud and propagated by credulity. I cannot help doing this great wrong towards man, that i make myself dishonest. If our experience is such that it cannot be filled up consistently with uniformity, all we have a right to conclude is that there is something wrong somewhere but the possibility of inference is taken away we must rest in our experience, and not go beyond it at all. Are we then to become universal sceptics, doubting everything, afraid always to put one foot before the other until we have personally tested the firmness of the road?  Are we to deprive ourselves of the help and guidance of that vast body of knowledge which is daily growing upon the world, because neither we nor any other one person can possibly test a hundredth part of it by immediate experiment or observation, and because it would not be completely proved if we did?  Shall we steal and tell lies because we have had no personal experience wide enough to justify the belief that it is wrong to do so?         there is no practical danger that such consequences will ever follow from scrupulous care and self-control in the matter of belief Buy now This Believe Essays

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    Similarly, if i say, either love me or hate me, either call my theory true or call it false, your option is avoidable. But are we not trusting our spectroscope too much?  Surely, having found it to be trustworthy for terrestrial substances, where its statements can be verified by man, we are justified in accepting its testimony in other like cases but not when it gives us information about things in the sun, where its testimony cannot be directly verified by man?         certainly, we want to know a little more before this inference can be justified and fortunately we do know this. They would not be innocent, they would only be not found out. The rule only tells us that in forming beliefs which go beyond our experience, we may make the assumption that nature is practically uniform so far as we are concerned This Believe Essays Buy now

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    If there were an infinity of chances, and only one for god in this wager, still you ought to stake your all on god for though you surely risk a finite loss by this procedure, any finite loss is reasonable, even a certain one is reasonable, if there is but the possibility of infinite gain. Our lives are guided by that general conception of the course of things which has been created by society for social purposes. When we come to look into the matter, we find that we have really assumed the matter of the sun to be like the matter of the earth, made up of a certain number of distinct substances and that each of these, when very hot, has a distinct rate of vibration, by which it may be recognised and singled out from the rest Buy This Believe Essays at a discount

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    And that delicious clifford writes  belief is desecrated when given to unproved and unquestioned statements for the solace and private pleasure of the believer. Arab, however (even if he be not one of the mahdis followers), the hypothesis is among the minds possibilities  it is alive. Extensive excerpts of the following essays by william kingdon clifford and william james are often reprinted in anthologies. However plain and obvious these reasons may be, so that no man of ordinary intelligence, reflecting upon the matter, could fail to arrive at them, it is nevertheless true that a great many persons do habitually disregard them in weighing testimony. If our experience is such that it cannot be filled up consistently with uniformity, all we have a right to conclude is that there is something wrong somewhere but the possibility of inference is taken away we must rest in our experience, and not go beyond it at all Buy Online This Believe Essays

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    This is the first printing of an examination of the will to believe, which was originally written in 1994, and has been subsequently revised. The prophet tells us that there is one god, and that we shall live for ever in joy or misery, according as we believe in the prophet or not. And there can be no grounds for supposing that a man knows that which we, without ceasing to be men, could not be supposed to verify. Every rustic who delivers in the village alehouse his slow, infrequent sentences, may help to kill or keep alive the fatal superstitions which clog his race. So great was the noise they made, that a commission was appointed to investigate the facts but after the commission had carefully inquired into all the evidence that could be got, it appeared that the accused were innocent Buy This Believe Essays Online at a discount

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    The maximum of liveness in an hypothesis means willingness to act irrevocably. For then we may justly feel that it is common property, and holds good for others as well as for ourselves. If an event really happened which was not a part of the uniformity of nature, it would have two properties  no evidence could give the right to believe it to any except those whose actual experience it was and no inference worthy of belief could be founded upon it at all. Into this, for good or ill, is woven every belief of every man who has speech of his fellows. He had acquired his belief not by honestly earning it in patient investigation, but by stifling his doubts.

    His unconventionality would probably have some grounds to show for its conclusions but for us, not insight, but the of the opinions, is what makes the spark shoot from them and light up our sleeping magazines of faith This Believe Essays For Sale

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    But is this a true belief, of the existence of hydrogen in the sun?  Can it help in the right guidance of human action?         certainly not, if it is accepted on unworthy grounds, and without some understanding of the process by which it is got at. William james the will to believe is based upon the first edition of , longmans, green and co. Weigh, then, your infinite gain if i am genuine against your finite sacrifice if i am not!  His logic would be that of pascal but he would vainly use it on us, for the hypothesis he offers us is dead. That duty is to guard ourselves from such beliefs as from a pestilence, which may shortly master our own body and then spread to the rest of the town For Sale This Believe Essays

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    We feel much happier and more secure when we think we know precisely what to do, no matter what happens, then when we have lost our way and do not know where to turn. Guest, used to converse with his pupils in this wise  gurney, what is the difference between justification and sanctification?stephen, prove the omnipotence of god! Etc. And that delicious clifford writes  belief is desecrated when given to unproved and unquestioned statements for the solace and private pleasure of the believer. But the questioning of this rule, and investigation into it, led men to see that true beneficence is that which helps a man to do the work which he is most fitted for, not that which keeps and encourages him in idleness and that to neglect this distinction in the present is to prepare pauperism and misery for the future Sale This Believe Essays

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