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Varieties Of Religious Exrperince

steve_bank

Contributor
Wiliam James' Verities Of Religious Experience


The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland between 1901 and 1902. The lectures concerned the psychological study of individual private religious experiences
It starts with a neurological view.

 

rousseau

Contributor
I own a copy of this book but it's been on the back-burner for a few months. Seems like it would have been pretty groundbreaking stuff in 1902.
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
The OG. I still quote him often.

"Let us play fair in this whole matter, and be quite candid with ourselves and with the facts. When we think certain states of mind superior to others, is it ever because of what we know concerning their organic antecedents? No! it is always for two entirely different reasons."
 

steve_bank

Contributor
Back then being atheist was not as bad as being gay, but it could cause you trouble socially if you were too open and aggressive about it.

I read it as part of a comparative religion philosophy class in the 70s.
 

steve_bank

Contributor
James tired to be objective. He observed that both sides criticized the other side from a self-serving biased point of view.

On the forum there are atheists who will reject any possibility of positive aspects of religion.
 
Wiliam James' Verities Of Religious Experience


The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland between 1901 and 1902. The lectures concerned the psychological study of individual private religious experiences
It starts with a neurological view.

Do you have any comments or questions about the book, or are you just letting us know it exists?

Although I haven't read the book, I understand that it discusses the psychology of religious belief. Almost all religions are based in strong emotions especially the fear of death. Although an emotional basis to religion doesn't make religion factually or morally wrong, an emotional basis to religion does make morals and facts unnecessary to religion. In other words, a person can accept the beliefs of a religion no matter how immoral and false that religion's claims are as long as that person is emotionally involved in that religion. In fact, I think religious experiences are typically like that a person fearing the religion's claims being wrong to the point where that person will lie or become violent to maintain faith.
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
Wiliam James' Verities Of Religious Experience


The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland between 1901 and 1902. The lectures concerned the psychological study of individual private religious experiences
It starts with a neurological view.

Do you have any comments or questions about the book, or are you just letting us know it exists?

Although I haven't read the book, I understand that it discusses the psychology of religious belief. Almost all religions are based in strong emotions especially the fear of death. Although an emotional basis to religion doesn't make religion factually or morally wrong, an emotional basis to religion does make morals and facts unnecessary to religion. In other words, a person can accept the beliefs of a religion no matter how immoral and false that religion's claims are as long as that person is emotionally involved in that religion. In fact, I think religious experiences are typically like that a person fearing the religion's claims being wrong to the point where that person will lie or become violent to maintain faith.
If that's your schtick, you want to pick up Marx and Freud rather than James, methinks!
 
I own a copy of this book but it's been on the back-burner for a few months. Seems like it would have been pretty groundbreaking stuff in 1902.
I've noticed that people seeing religious belief as purely emotional or even pathological is increasingly common. For example, most of the people in my building are religious, but if any one of them is outwardly religious, then the other tenants see that tenant as eccentric or even a bit looney.
 
If that's your schtick, you want to pick up Marx and Freud rather than James, methinks!
Methinks you need to think and make your own arguments rather than rely on others you hope can pull your position out of the fire. You can start by examining my comments checking them for fallacies and factual errors. Your reaction to my comments only serves to prove them right. I haven't failed to notice that when I say religious faith induces dishonesty, anger, and spite, the religious very often object dishonestly, angrily, and spitefully! LOL
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
If that's your schtick, you want to pick up Marx and Freud rather than James, methinks!
Methinks you need to think and make your own arguments rather than rely on others you hope can pull your position out of the fire. You can start by examining my comments checking them for fallacies and factual errors. Your reaction to my comments only serves to prove them right. I haven't failed to notice that when I say religious faith induces dishonesty, anger, and spite, the religious very often object dishonestly, angrily, and spitefully! LOL
What's spiteful? I don't take reading recommendations lightly, the idea of religion being an expression of anxiety is key to the writings of the two theorists I mentioned.

Whereas the book under discussion is actually a pretty strong repudiation of medicalizing approaches to the religious experience.
 

rousseau

Contributor
I own a copy of this book but it's been on the back-burner for a few months. Seems like it would have been pretty groundbreaking stuff in 1902.
I've noticed that people seeing religious belief as purely emotional or even pathological is increasingly common. For example, most of the people in my building are religious, but if any one of them is outwardly religious, then the other tenants see that tenant as eccentric or even a bit looney.

There was a time when religious thought was a pretty standard and accepted interpretation of the world. But with over a century of scientific thought under our belts it's hard not to infer certain qualities of people who are extremely devout.

I don't feel anyone is wrong to believe, I'm very accepting of religious belief in general. But if I'm choosing a life partner, asking for investing advice, or doing anything else of some material importance a devout Christian likely isn't my first choice to assist. Unless you're hiring a mechanic, then finding a Christian is great ;).
 

steve_bank

Contributor
Wiliam James' Verities Of Religious Experience


The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland between 1901 and 1902. The lectures concerned the psychological study of individual private religious experiences
It starts with a neurological view.

Do you have any comments or questions about the book, or are you just letting us know it exists?

Although I haven't read the book, I understand that it discusses the psychology of religious belief. Almost all religions are based in strong emotions especially the fear of death. Although an emotional basis to religion doesn't make religion factually or morally wrong, an emotional basis to religion does make morals and facts unnecessary to religion. In other words, a person can accept the beliefs of a religion no matter how immoral and false that religion's claims are as long as that person is emotionally involved in that religion. In fact, I think religious experiences are typically like that a person fearing the religion's claims being wrong to the point where that person will lie or become violent to maintain faith.
Why the thread? A profound and deep question, which I leave for the student.

Pepple 'believe' in many strange things that can be destructive to self and others. Drugs for one. Political ideologies. Maoism led to famine and anarchy. Nazism. Russian and Chinese communism were atheist by ideology. Both deductive and abusive.

There are numerous mystical traditions that have survived. Theosophy and Rosicrucians. Tibetan Buddhism is riddled with superstations and mysticism.

People who identify as witches and warlocks.

The title of the book is verities Of Religious Experience. There is a human psychological thread across all human social groups. Unions. religion, politics, philosophies, and today pop culture.

Pop culture has all the ingredients of a 'religion' and cults. Worship, groupthink, and sheep like followers of bands, musicians, and entertainment figures.

Ever wear a rock band t-shirt?
 
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What's spiteful?
I notice you don't deny anger or dishonesty.

Anyway, it's obviously spiteful to deny that victims have not been victimized by their victimizer. To put an end to people bein harmed, we need to root out the cause of the harm no matter how much people love that cause or will do anything to cover it up.
 
There was a time when religious thought was a pretty standard and accepted interpretation of the world.

Sadly, religious thought is still very common, and here in America at least it has its grip on millions of people interfering with science education causing them to reject major scientific theories. Among these people many think that mental illness can be the result of demonic possession and that they can be magically healed.

But with over a century of scientific thought under our belts it's hard not to infer certain qualities of people who are extremely devout.

The religious devotion of the past should today be seen as the mental illness it is.

I don't feel anyone is wrong to believe, I'm very accepting of religious belief in general.

I really can't say that belief can be morally wrong, but acting on some beliefs obviously is evil that should not be tolerated.

But if I'm choosing a life partner, asking for investing advice, or doing anything else of some material importance a devout Christian likely isn't my first choice to assist.
I've found I need to be cautious when trusting religious persons. They often lie which is a result of their having a faith that is a lie to themselves. If they claim that a pack of lies is true, then they have little respect for the truth.

And as far as "life partners" are concerned, there's nothing in a woman that turns me off more quickly than her being pushy with her religion.
 
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