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The Compatibility of Faith and Reason When comparing the two selections by WK Clifford and William James on the compatibility of faith and reason I feel that both arguments make very valid points However I do think after careful reading and based on my own experience that William James has the stronger argument William James The Will to Believe claims that 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 James contention is that under certain circumstances it is perfectly legal for a person to go ahead and believe something for which scientific evidence is lacking To do so is not unreasonable This argument makes itself useful in the religious hypothesis for the existence of God James himself believed that there is a Greater Consciousness than that of human beings to which we are connected Among other things this Greater Consciousness cares about and preserves many of the things that we hold dear to us like love truth and justice This is done so that the values possessed by these things continue to exist in the world rather than perishing with us when we die James contention in this regard was that his beliefs on this matter were perfectly legal even though there is currently no scientific evidence for the existence of a Greater Consciousness He claimed that If we had an infallible intellect with its objective certitudes then going ahead and believing something without scientific evidence would not be legal However that is certainly not the case so it is our intellectual duty to regulate what we believe through science according to James Going back to the argument for the existence of God because the existence of God is not a matter of scientific fact why should we suspend our belief in God James believed that modern science is
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