William James on Ethics and Faith


How much do I want to read more? 5/10

Tis is discussing the religious and faith aspect of W. James work.
It's actually boring and un-interesting so far. Not the best book about W. James for sure.


Introduction: a practical faith

What I hope to show, in particular, is that the relationship between James’s religious and moral views ran in both directions, lead- ing him to stress not only the moral value and function of religious belief but also the claim that the highest forms of moral agency and human flourishing can be achieved only through leading a religious life.

James’s interest in religion was due chiefly to its practical value for life, but he did not believe that religion was a mere supplement to morality. Rather, he held it to be the most important of all human functions, and our only means of achieving the highest forms of happiness or human flourishing.

While we can lead moral lives without being persons of faith, James believed, “in a merely human world without a God, the appeal to our moral energy falls short of its maximal stimulating power”.