Two Arguments Against Some Critics of Religion Based on Feeling and Emotion Following William James

European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (3):207--224 (2014)
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In this paper I will show that you can distinguish two main types of argumentation in respect to feeling and emotions in the philosophy of religion of William James, which point to two different kind of criticism of religion. Especially in his early works, James argues that you may lawfully adopt religious beliefs on the basis of passional grounds. This argumentation points to a type of criticism of religion, which denies that beliefs based on such emotional grounds may be justified. In his famous study The Varieties of Religious Experience, James defines religious experience as an experience of inner conversion, where the individual gets in touch with a higher self. The philosophical interpretation of religious experience points not at least to a type of criticism of religion in the tradition of Ludwig Feuerbach, which is known as the theory of projection.


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