The popularity of ?The Will to Believe? by William James is not surprising, given the inadequacy of the traditional arguments for the existence of a god or gods, and the strong desire that many people have to believe. James? response is simple and direct: Believe, if one wishes, by faith?that is, without evidence. To be sure, he puts restrictions on when he believes that faith is appropriate, but, as shall be seen, his restrictions are by no means adequate to protect others from the pernicious effects of having beliefs in the absence of evidence?that is, having faith.
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December 31, 2003
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