This assignment concerns the opposing views of W.T.
Clifford and William James about the attitude we ought to take towards
religious belief. The readings are the
first two essays in the online book found at:
Essay 1: The
Ethics of Belief
Begin by reading Part I of Clifford’s “The
Ethics of Belief” by W.T Clifford. Write a 200-300 word essay that
describes his attitude towards belief. Be sure to address the following issues:
Why does Clifford say what we believe is not merely
a private matter, but a moral issue?
What is morally permissible for us to believe?
What implications does his view have for religious
faith? Before answering this question, you may want to look at the last few
lines of Part III that begin with “To sum up.”
examples where appropriate in your discussion.
Essay 2: The
Will to Believe.
The second essay, “The Will to Believe,”
contains William James’ response to Clifford.
You are to write 200-300 words explaining James’
response to Clifford’s position. Be sure to include the following:
Explain James classification of hypotheses as alive
or dead and the types of options used in deciding between alternative
Explain why James does not believe it is rational to
suspend belief about the existence of God and like religious matters?
What does James say about the practicality of
Clifford’s claims pertaining to what we are permitted to believe?
Find, utilize, and cite in correct APA format and utilize resources in both essays.