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Intertextuality and Its Vicissitudes
14 Jul 2013

‘What matter who’s speaking?’, wrote Beckett, and he may well have a point. In fact, in our fast-paced, hyperconnected times matters of attribution are proving increasingly difficult to determine. Scholars in this area, including Julia Kristeva, Roland Barthes and William T. Fisher, have not been slow to unmask the bourgeois ideology underpinning our conceptions of authorial intention, and one doesn’t need a Ph.D. to appreciate the insurmountable paradoxes that can arise upon their unthinking application.

Indeed, from our postmodern Marxist vantage-point, it is hard to stifle a titter at what a Lanson or Sainte-Beuve might make of the following:

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Let me begin with two personal stories.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Let me begin with two personal narratives about my conception of God and how it relates philosophically to some of the principles of Isaac Newton, Frank Ramsey, Bertrand Russell and William James.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

It was one rainy day. I intended to be too early to go to UP for my afternoon Tuesday classes because I had to read my readings in the library.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

One morning I woke up too early to go to the UP, so I went instead to the library to read Ramsey’s ‘Probability and Partial Belief’ in The Foundations of Mathematics and other Logical Essays ed. R.B Braithwaite. London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Around 11:30 am, I felt my hunger so I decided to go to the Shopping Center to have my lunch.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Around 11:30 am, I felt my hunger develop, thus I decided to go to the nearby Shopping Center to have my lunch.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

As I was walking along the aisle of the Shopping Center, a big white teaser in a bulletin board posted by a certain Catholic Student Organization in UP caught my attention. I read its contents.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

As I was walking along the aisle of the Shopping Center, a big white teaser on a bulletin board posted by a certain Catholic Student Organization in UP caught my attention. I read its contents.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

What were written were a big question printed in capital letters and some answers from the students. The teaser asks: “DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER DEATH?”

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

quietly intrigued by what was displayed, as a big, theological question was printed in capital letters, next to some answers from Ph. D students. The teaser asked: “DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER DEATH?”

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I did not answer the question at hand, even though I already knew what would be my answer if asked (minding that I stayed from the seminary for four years, comes from a religious family and became a Religion Teacher).

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I did not answer the question at hand, even though I already knew what would be my answer if asked, (considering that I stayed at a theological seminary for a period of four years; come from a religious family and eventually became a religious philosophy teacher myself).

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I tried to detach myself and hold my religious prejudices into abeyance and glanced first at the answers of some students. One sarcastic answer really struck me. The student’s answer was written in Filipino and reads likes this: “NO. I don’t believe in such a thing because I did not yet experience how to die. Don’t worry, if I die, I will come back to you and let you know if there is really life after death.”

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I tried to detach myself and hold my religious prejudices into silent abeyance and glanced first at the answers of some Ph. D students. One sarcastic answer really struck me. The student’s answer was written in Filipino and read like this: “NO. I don’t believe in such a thing because I did not yet experience how to die. Don’t worry, if I die, I will come back to you and let you know if there is really life after death.”

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

It made me really rethink about my automatic answer if I were to be asked the same question. After that, I took my lunch. Across the Shopping Center is the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, I decided to attend the Holy Mass. As I knelt down and pray, the answer of that student really perplexed my mind and stayed at the recesses of my heart.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

It made me really rethink about my automatic answer if I were to be asked the same question. After that, I took my lunch and thought about Ramsey’s psychological reading of subjective probability. Across the Shopping Center is the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, I decided to attend the Holy Mass. As I knelt down and prayed, the answer of that Ph. D student really perplexed my mind and stayed in the recesses of my heart.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Here is another personal story. It was a very ordinary Monday morning. I surf the Internet to check my e-mail and see who was online. I saw an online classmate in my Social Political Philosophy Class.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Here is another personal narrative. It was a very ordinary Monday morning in the library reading about Ramsey’s theory of probability as a branch of partial belief logic. I surfed the Internet to check my e-mail and see who was online to speak about Ramsey’s inconclusive argument. I saw an online classmate in my Social Political Philosophy Class.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I messaged her and we had a pep talk about many topics. Suddenly, she asked me if I believe in God. I replied that I believe in God and she said to me that she is an agnostic.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I messaged her and we had a pep talk about many topics including the importance of probability not only to logic but also to statistical and physical science. Suddenly, she asked me if I believe in God. I replied that I believe in God and she said to me that she is an agnostic like Bertrand Russell.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

She tried to ask me about my reasons in believing in God. I gave her some answers and she tried to argue with me. One argument that made me ponder was when she said that most people who do not believe in God are those people who are indeed learned and critical thinkers, that is, great philosophers at that. I don’t know if her argument is factual.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

She tried to ask me about my reasons in believing in God. I gave her some answers and she tried to argue with me. One argument that made me ponder was when she said that most people who do not believe in God are those people who are indeed learned and critical thinkers, that is, great philosophers at that. I don’t know if her argument is factual enough to avoid a purely verbal controversy..

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Nonetheless, I tried to absorb the essence of the argument and it made me reflect on my own rationality in believing in God.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Nonetheless, I tried to absorb the essence of the argument and it made me reflect on my own rationality in believing in God through the calculus of probabilities as a branch of pure mathematics.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I suppose that it is still unclear to you about what position I really want to be highlighted. There are some grey areas that are not yet crystal clear to you.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I suppose that it is still unclear to you about what position I really want to be highlighted. There might be some grey areas that are not yet crystal clear to you with regards to formulae and axioms.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

However I also suppose that you already got some grasps that it must have something to do about “believing in God.” To elucidate the issue that I am pursuing, let me draw it from the two above stories that I related to you.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

However I suppose that you already have some grasp that this article must have something to do with the symbolic calculus developed by Keynes and “believing in God.” To elucidate the issue that I am pursuing, let me draw it from the two above stories that I related to you.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

The first story forces me to examine if one have the right to believe in life after death or in God. The second story forces me to examine the rationality in believing in God. To put these into two intertwined questions: Do we have a right to believe in God? Are we rational in believing in God? To answer these connected questions is the endeavor of this opus.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

The first story forced me to examine if one has the right to believe in life after death or in God in terms of Ramsey’s ideas on partial belief. The second story forced me to examine the rationality in believing in God. To put these into two intertwined questions: Do we have an ethical right to believe in God? Are we mathematically rational in believing in God? To answer these connected questions is the endeavor of this opus.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

In order for me to do this, I will discuss first some concerns about evidentialism, which criticizes or even condemns such a belief in God, especially about religion. Then, I will try to criticize evidentialism adopting the attack of William James. Consequently, I can already give answers to the two questions posed above. Let us begin.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

In order for me to do this, I will discuss first some concerns about evidentialism, which criticizes or even condemns such a belief in God, especially about religion. Then, I will try to criticize evidentialism adopting the attack of William James. Consequently, I can already give answers to the two questions posed above. Let us begin.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

The student’s sarcastic answer in the first story captures the notion of evidentialism. Evidentialism holds that one ought to believe only that for which one has sufficient evidence. To put it in William Clifford’s words, “it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

The Ph. D student’s sarcastic answer in my first narrative captures the notion of evidentialism. Evidentialism holds that one ought to believe only that for which one has sufficient evidence. To put it in William Clifford’s words, “it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”i

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Bertrand Russell defends a similar position with his ‘true precept of veracity’ that goes as follows: “We ought to give to every proposition which we consider as nearly as possible that degree of credence which is warranted by the probability it acquires from the evidence known to us.” At best, evidentialists suggest to us that we opt to believe which is warranted by evidence than to believe something which is not.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Bertrand Russell defends a similar position with his ‘true precept of veracity’ that goes as follows: “We ought to give to every proposition which we consider as nearly as possible that degree of credence which is warranted by the probability it acquires from the evidence known to us.” ii At best, evidentialists suggest to us that we opt to believe which is warranted by evidence than to believe something which is not.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Evidentialism has pervaded itself not only in the philosophical inquiry but also in the public domain. In fact, evidentialism is often utilized as a tool to criticize religion. Bertrand Russell, upon being asked about what he would say if after death he would be brought to God, said: “Not enough evidence God! Not enough evidence!” Evidentialists consider that being warranted by evidentialist means mostly implies the being warranted by sense perception. In our modern Western culture, influenced by evidentialism, a reasonable theory must be testable, that is, it must be verifiable by using sense perception. By this way, we are given hard evidences that could lead us to being warranted compared to using some cognition-mechanisms which give us less reliable evidence or no evidence at all. That is why, evidentialism strongly criticizes religion since religions are not usually based upon sense-perceptions, which cannot meet the evidentialism’s standard.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Evidentialism has pervaded itself not only in philosophical inquiry but also in the public domain. In fact, evidentialism is often utilized as a tool to criticize religion. Bertrand Russell, upon being asked about what he would say if after death he would be brought to God, said: “Not enough evidence God! Not enough evidence!”iii Evidentialists consider that being warranted by evidentialist means mostly implies the being warranted by sense perception. In our modern Western culture, influenced by evidentialism, a reasonable theory must be testable, that is, it must be verifiable by using sense perception. By this way, we are given hard evidence that could lead us to being convinced or persuaded, compared to using some cognition-mechanisms which give us less reliable evidence or no evidence at all. That is why, evidentialism strongly criticizes religion since religions are not usually based upon sense-perceptions, which cannot meet the evidentialism’s standard.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

For us to elucidate the nature of evidentialism with regards to the ethics of belief, let us go back to that statement of Clifford: “it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.” In this since we can infer some fertile views about the nature of evidentialism: First, it holds the methodological idea that one should remain skeptical until it is warranted by sufficient evidence because it is wrong to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. Secondly, that this Cliffordian maxim holds to be universal. In other words, the Cliffordian maxim seems to recommend two components: (1) a maxim to refrain from believing anything without any sufficient evidence and (2) that this maxim must be applied universally. In this sense, evidentialism is understood in this paper.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

For us to elucidate the nature of evidentialism with regards to the ethics of belief, let us go back to that statement of Clifford: “it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.” In this sense we can infer some fertile views about the nature of evidentialism: First, it holds the methodological idea that one should remain skeptical until it is warranted by sufficient evidence because it is wrong to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. Secondly, that this Cliffordian maxim holds to be universal.iv In other words, the Cliffordian maxim seems to recommend two components: (1) a maxim to refrain from believing anything without any sufficient evidence and (2) that this maxim must be applied universally. In this sense, evidentialism is understood in this paper.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I think the criticism against evidentialism lies on those two components mentioned above. William James devoted his time to rebuking an evidentialist opponent. He criticized evidentialism by suggesting that there are certain situations which makes it possible to decide and to believe even without any sufficient evidence and there are cases that evidentialism should not be applied everywhere, in all domains and in all circumstances. The critique that I will make against evidentialism is inspired by William James’ view especially in his article, the Will to Believe.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I think the criticism against evidentialism lies on those two components mentioned above. William James devoted his time to rebuking an evidentialist opponent. He criticized evidentialism by suggesting that there are certain situations which makes it possible to decide and to believe even without any sufficient evidence and there are cases that evidentialism should not be applied everywhere, in all domains and in all circumstances. The critique that I will make against evidentialism is inspired by William James’ view especially in his article, The Will to Believe.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

For William James, he allows us to use non-epistemic elements such as our passions rather than on relying solely on intellectual faculties in certain circumstances when evidence is not yet available or it could not be acquired in the near future. He says:

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

For William James, he allows us to use non-epistemic elements such as our passions rather than on relying solely on intellectual faculties in certain circumstances when evidence is not yet available or it could not be acquired in the near future. He says:

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

“Our passional nature not only lawfully may, but must, decide an option between propositions, whenever it is a genuine option that cannot by its nature be decided on intellectual grounds; for to say, under such circumstances, “Do not decide, but leave the question open,” is itself a passional decision,—just like deciding yes or no,—and is attended with the same risk of losing the truth.”

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

“Our passionate nature not only lawfully may, but must, decide an option between propositions, whenever it is a genuine option that cannot by its nature be decided on intellectual grounds; for to say, under such circumstances, “Do not decide, but leave the question open,” is itself a passionate decision,—just like deciding yes or no,—and is attended with the same risk of losing the truth.”v

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

In our practical life, there are times that we are faced by certain circumstances that we need to decide in a certain moment even without sufficient evidences, because not to decide for that moment will be too costly. Facing those instances in our life, evidentialists would suggest that we must leave the question open because we do not have sufficient evidence. We must become hostile to a hypothesis until it is tested and warranted by sufficient evidence because we might dupe people in believing to something that there is no really warrant. Unless we are not warranted in our belief, we are not granted the right to believe.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

In our practical life, there are times that we are faced by certain circumstances that we need to decide in a certain moment even without sufficient evidences, because not to decide for that moment will be too costly. Facing those instances in our life, evidentialists would suggest that we must leave the question open because we do not have sufficient evidence. We must become hostile to a hypothesis until it is tested and warranted by sufficient evidence because we might dupe people in believing to something that there is no really warrant. Unless we are not warranted in our belief, we are not granted the right to believe.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

However, I would agree with James and suggest that we must take some risk to form a belief in matters of insufficient evidences than playing safe at all. Not forming a belief in moments like this that we need to decide even without sufficient evidences could be more dangerous than forming a belief and taking some risks because in reality there are truths that are hidden to us and that we cannot know them unless we take the path of believing in them even we are not warranted in the truth of our belief.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

However, I would agree with James and suggest that we must take some risks to form a belief in matters of insufficient evidence, than playing safe at all. Not forming a belief in moments like these when we need to decide even without sufficient evidence could be more dangerous than forming a belief and taking some risks, because in reality there are truths that are hidden to us and that we cannot know them unless we take the path of believing in them even we are not warranted in the truth of our belief.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

James admits that this way of believing involves some risks. The risk of James in believing though not being warranted by sufficient evidence has two fold consequences: (1) the risk that what I believe may be false and (2) the possibility that what I believe may be true. It seems that he is saying that in believing even without sufficient evidence, I am opening my horizon to the possibilities that I may be wrong in my belief, but more importantly, I am also opening myself to the hope that what I believe is true. Rather than not believing at all because I fear that I may be wrong.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

James admits that this way of believing involves some risks. The risk of James in believing though not being warranted by sufficient evidence has two fold consequences: (1) the risk that what I believe may be false and (2) the possibility that what I believe may be true. It seems that he is saying that in believing even without sufficient evidence, I am opening my horizon to the possibilities that I may be wrong in my belief, but more importantly, I am also opening myself to the hope that what I believe is true. Rather than not believing at all because I fear that I may be wrong.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Evidentialists might again criticize this point in arguing that if there is a possibility of error in our belief then we must not pursue. We must avoid error! That’s our epistemic responsibility! Evidentialist put a great premium in avoiding error in one’s epistemic responsibility. On the other hand, James put a great premium in believing the truth. Avoiding error is very different from believing the truth especially when evidence is not available in the present or even in the near future. The evidentialists are wrong in their notion that if we avoid error what comes after is the achievement of truth. A big NO. Avoiding error does not entail achieving the truth. They are two different and separate actions. Take this example: A man who avoids climbing a steep mountain because it is risky does not imply that he reached the peak of the mountain. He still needs to take the risk of climbing the steep mountain in order for him to say that he reached the peak of the mountain.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Evidentialists might again criticize this point in arguing that if there is a possibility of error in our belief then we must not pursue. We must avoid error! That’s our epistemic responsibility! Evidentialist put a great premium in avoiding error in one’s epistemic responsibility. On the other hand, James put a great premium in believing the truth. Avoiding error is very different from believing the truth especially when evidence is not available in the present or even in the near future. I contend that the evidentialists are wrong in their notion that if we avoid error what comes after is the achievement of truth. A big NO. Avoiding error does not entail achieving the truth. They are two different and separate actions. Take this example: A man who avoids climbing a steep mountain because it is risky does not imply that he reached the peak of the mountain. He still needs to take the risk of climbing the steep mountain in order for him to say that he reached the peak of the mountain.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I think it is true that most of our experiences capture the notion of James about how we should believe. For example, in terms of relationship, Should I believe or not believe that the woman that I like likes me also? I think I would rather risk my chance and believe that she also loves me rather shun away the notion that she also loves me because I am not yet warranted by evidence. Definitely, I would rather choose to believe. If my belief is wrong then that is part of it but at least I tried to believe and became open to the possibility that she loves me also than not trying at all.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I think it is true that most of our experiences capture the notion of James about how we should believe. For example, in terms of relationship, Should I believe or not believe that the woman that I like, likes me also? I think I would rather risk my chance (with Pascal’s wager) and believe that she also loves me, rather shun away the notion that she also loves me because I am not yet warranted by evidence. Definitely, I would rather choose to believe. If my belief is wrong then that is part of it, but at least I tried to believe and became open to the possibility that she loves me also than not trying at all.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I think that the example on social relation as mentioned above is a good attack against the alleged universality of evidentialism. However, can the same logic apply to religion? William James thinks it can be.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I think that this example of a social relation (as mentioned above) is a good attack against the alleged universality of evidentialism. However, can the same logic apply to religion? William James thinks it can be.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Reading James, I infer that he seems to be saying that when we believe in God or in any religious claims, we do not really imply that what we believe in is something true in the proper sense of the word, that is, “to believe implies to hold our belief as true.” However, does it mean that we don’t have the right to believe in God anymore if our belief does not imply that it is true? James would answer that we still have the right to believe. Believing in something without sufficient evidence can be possible and legitimate, not on epistemic ground, but on some non-epistemic grounds. James does not really suggest that to form a belief in religion is to say that religion is true in the proper sense of the word or to say that there is sufficient evidence for religion. He seems to be saying that even though we do not have sufficient evidence in the truth-value ground, we can still have faith in such religious claims and this faith can be justified not on epistemic grounds but on some non-epistemic grounds such as passions or the will. Epistemic grounds are not the only means to justify beliefs. Therefore, we still have the right to believe in our religious claims on non-epistemic grounds and nobody, even the evidentialists, can take that away from us.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Reading James, I infer that he seems to be saying that when we believe in God or in any religious claims, we do not really imply that what we believe in is something true in the proper sense of the word, that is, “to believe implies to hold our belief as true.” However, does it mean that we don’t have the right to believe in God anymore if our belief does not imply that it is true? James would answer that we still have the right to believe. Believing in something without sufficient evidence can be possible and legitimate, not on epistemic grounds, but on some non-epistemic grounds. James does not really suggest that to form a belief in religion is to say that religion is true in the proper sense of the word or to say that there is sufficient evidence for religion. He seems to be saying that even though we do not have sufficient evidence in the truth-value ground, we can still have faith in such religious claims and this faith can be justified not on epistemic grounds but on some non-epistemic grounds such as passions or the will. Epistemic grounds are not the only means to justify beliefs. Therefore, we still have the right to believe in our religious claims on non-epistemic grounds and nobody, even the evidentialists, can take that away from us.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

In this understanding I see James clarifying the distinction between statements, “I believe that…” and “I know that…” The former refers to a state when someone is still open for the possibility of his belief as being true (or being false) and the latter refers to the state when someone has already been justified for the belief that he holds to be true.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

In this understanding I see James clarifying the distinction between statements, “I believe that…” and “I know that…” The former refers to a state when someone is still open for the possibility of his belief as being true (or being false) and the latter refers to the state when someone has already been justified for the belief that he holds to be true.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

The next question arises: Does the use of passion make us rational to believe something without any sufficient evidence? Or can it help us to search for the truth-value of something?

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

The next question arises: Does the use of passion or the will make us rational to believe something without any sufficient evidence? Or can it help us to search for the truth-value of something?

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Many agnostics in believing in God will argue that when we use passions as the source of our belief, it impedes us to our finding the truth. It is better to keep out of our passions in order for us to seek the truth. What makes us rational in seeking for truth is to let go of our passions, wills and desires.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

Many agnostics in partially believing in God will argue that when we use passions as the source of our belief, it impedes us from finding the truth. It is better to keep out of our passions in order for us to seek the truth. What makes us rational in seeking for truth is to let go of our passions, wills and desires.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

On the opposite view, I think this is untenable. We cannot let our passions, our willing natures and our desires to keep out of the game. What is wrong with the evidentialists is that they see human nature being devoid of passion in order to be rational. However, is that what really human persons are? Must they be devoid of passions in order for them to be rational?

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

On the opposite view, I think this is untenable. We cannot let our passions, our willing natures and our desires to keep out of the game. What is wrong with the evidentialists is that they see human nature being devoid of passion in order to be rational. However, is that what really human persons are? Must they be devoid of passions in order for them to be rational?

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I beg to disagree. The human mind does not work on that way, that is, without passions. Those who are saying that we must keep our passion out of the game (agnostic vetoers) are suffering from false consciousness. Passions are integral part of our human nature that we cannot really just eliminate out of us. It is an important part of how human mind works. This is how James saw the role of passion in human thinking.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

I beg to disagree. The human mind does not work in that way, that is, without passions. Those who are saying that we must keep our passion out of the game (agnostic vetoers) are suffering from false consciousness.vi Passions are integral part of our human nature that we cannot really just eliminate out of us. It is an important part of how human mind works. This is how James saw the role of passion in human thinking.

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

“It is the part which has the prestige undoubtedly, for it has the loquacity, it can challenge you for proofs, and chop logic, and put you down with words. But it will fail to convince or convert you all the same, if your dumb intuitions are opposed to its conclusions. If you have intuitions at all, they come from a deeper level of your nature than the loquacious level which rationalism inhabits. Your whole subconscious life, your impulses, your faiths, your needs, your divinations, have prepared the premises, of which your consciousness now feels the weight of the result; and something in you absolutely knows that that result must be truer than any logic-chopping rationalistic talk, however clever, that may contradict it.”

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

It is the part which has the prestige undoubtedly, for it has the loquacity, it can challenge you for proofs, and chop logic, and put you down with words. But it will fail to convince or convert you all the same, if your dumb intuitions are opposed to its conclusions. If you have intuitions at all, they come from a deeper level of your nature than the loquacious level which rationalism inhabits. Your whole subconscious life, your impulses, your faiths, your needs, your divinations, have prepared the premises, of which your consciousness now feels the weight of the result; and something in you absolutely knows that that result must be truer than any logic-chopping rationalistic talk, however clever, that may contradict it. vii

Franklin [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

In conclusion, indeed, we have the right to believe in God even without sufficient evidences for believing in Him. Evidentialism cannot criticize people who believe in religion because it does not meet the evidentialist means to warrant such a belief, which I think is not applicable always, anywhere and for anyone. Not all beliefs are justified on epistemic grounds such as the stringent requirement of evidentialism; some beliefs are justified on non-epistemic grounds such as passions and desires. These passions and desires are essential part of how the human mind works as a whole. It is a facet of a rational human person that we cannot just keep out of the game. And to use them makes us no less than rational.

Jason M. Austria [Mirror 2013-07-14]:

In conclusion, indeed, we have the right to believe in God even without sufficient evidences for believing in Him. Evidentialism cannot criticize people who believe in religion because it does not meet the evidentialist means to warrant such a belief, which I think is not applicable always, anywhere and for anyone. Not all beliefs are justified on epistemic grounds such as the stringent requirement of evidentialism; some beliefs are justified on non-epistemic grounds such as passions and desires. These passions and desires are an essential part of how the human mind works as a whole. It is a facet of a rational human person that we cannot just keep out of the game. And to use them makes us no less than rational.

Whilst Newton was writing the Principia Mathematica, his main passions where studying the occult and reading the Bible, not astronomy. Newton’s religious views where unorthodox and he wrote several religious tracts that showed a dichotomy between mathematical principles and the belief of a Diety to rejoice in. Christian scriptural belief, perception of reality attained by Pythagoras and the prisca sapientia of Democritus gave Newton a rationalism to his belief.

A.J Ayer suggested that Heidegger’s work was (despite its careful methodology) completely unverifiable through empirical analysis and thus useless. Hume and Russell where Ayer two main influences, which is why he placed so much emphasis on the need for empirical demonstration and logical analysis.

What page 20 of Wakefield’s The Question of Non-Being? A Pragmatic Methodology is attempting to argue here, probably under the influence of Blackburn’s Ruling Passions: A Theory of Practical Reasoning, is that we should be atheists due to God being unverifiable through empiricism. Contra Wakefield, is Ayer’s Language, Truth and Logic which posits atheistic language as equally unverifiable and metaphysical. The non – being of God lacks a ‘presence-at-hand’ or Vorhadenheit. Page 103 of Heidegger’s Being and Time calculates this as an un-ready-to-hand via negative. Despite God not having a ready-to-handness (Zuhandenheit) we can still give Him a ‘tool-being’ in our reading of Being and Time. Graham Harman’s Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects is a good starting point for measuring degrees of belief and the logic of partial belief in the sense of Ramsey. Harman’s first chapter is about the tool, its reversal and the invisible realm.

i W.K. Clifford, Ethics of Belief.
ii Bertrand Russell, ‘Pragmatism’, in: Philosophical Essays (London 1966 [rev. ed. from 1910]), 79–111, esp. 86.
iii In: Plantinga, ‘Reason and Belief in God’, 18.
iv Dirk-Martin Grube, ‘Refuting the Evidentialist Challenge to Religion: A critique inspired by William James. ’ Ars Disputandi: The Online Journal for Philosophy of Religion.
http://www.arsdisputandi.org/index.html?http://www.arsdisputandi.org/publish/articles/000132/index.html
v William James, ‘The Will to Believe. ’
vi Charles Taylor, “ RISKING BELIEF : Why William James still matters – ‘Varieties of Religion Today: William James Revisited’ – Excerpt“. Commonweal. FindArticles.com. 26 Aug, 2009. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1252/is_5_129/ai_84817525/
vii Ibid

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