"Belief creates the actual fact." -William JamesBut just how much do we 'create' reality? and what is truth? fact? I think that if we are talking about god as a 'being' then as much as we believe/wish for it we could never make him materialise. But if we are talking about a belief in happiness or goodness (or the opposite of those) then yes I think we can create 'the fact'.
Maybe a little more clarification from James would help.
"This life is worth living, we can say, since it is what we make it."
"Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact."
Now that sounds like something an atheist like me could tweet.
I also Wiki-educated myself a little about William James and pulled out a couple of things to talk about here:
What is your truth? This is something I hear a lot in 'hippie' circles. Finding one's own truth. It's quite a tantalising idea.
- James defined true beliefs as those that prove useful to the believer.
Pragmatism is right down my alley. Feet on the ground, down-to-earth, "let's get this wagon train a-movin'" type of girl. (Not all of the time though, just one part of me).
- James held a world view in line with pragmatism, declaring that the value of any truth was utterly dependent upon its use to the person who held it.
Now is pragmatism about to bite me on the bum? I still like this eh. If my belief in god, whatever that might entail, improves my experience of life and other people's experience of me then how do I argue with that? I'm thinking I need to have a chat with Nietzsche right about now.
- Through his philosophy of pragmatism William James justifies religious beliefs by using the results of his hypothetical venturing as evidence to support the hypothesis' truth. Therefore, this doctrine allows one to assume belief in God and prove His existence by what the belief brings to one's life.
A pick-and-mix or potpourri of theory; sounds good and pragmatic to me ;)
- He was, by nature, a pragmatist, and therefore believed that one should use whatever parts of theories make the most sense and can be proven.
And this quote:
"I think that yesterday was a crisis in my life. I finished the first part of Renouvier's second Essais and see no reason why his definition of free will — 'the sustaining of a thought because I choose to when I might have other thoughts' — need be the definition of an illusion. At any rate, I will assume for the present — until next year — that it is no illusion. My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will."I am intrigued but also quite lost by this one. I believe in my free will because I like my free will but... Rockstar thinks it is an illusion. "We are all slaves" he says, as well as "there is no such thing as individuality" and "happiness is highly overrated". Now imagine our date nights after a few glasses of happy juice.
I will leave you tonight with a quote and a link to an article a friend posted on facebook today titled Disbelief Is Not a Choice.
...when we consider theistic beliefs we see different causal environmental factors at work. Early childhood indoctrination by family, for example, is a key environmental factor that promotes such beliefs in many, as is the pro-religion conditioning that one receives from the community and broader society. Even if the overt promotion of religiosity by society is mild (which usually isn't the case in much of America), prevailing social views that disapprove of open disbelief will often discourage serious exploration of secularity.Creating my reality.
Discovering my disbelief.