Month: September 2018

Do we always need evidence for our beliefs? William James, “The Will to Believe” v.s. WK Clifford, “The Ethics of Belief”

These two articles begin an argument that is still pertinent to epistemology today! In his paper, “The Will To Believe”, William James potently responds to William Kingdon Clifford’s famous statement that, “it is wrong, always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything on the basis of insufficient evidence.”  Clifford’s piece, called “The Ethics of Belief,”  was written in the 1876, and although Clifford does not explicitly direct his arguments to religion, the tone of the paper suggests that his target was religion and believers.  Clifford was a Christian-turned-mathematician and adopted strict scientific protocols to ensure hygiene of his beliefs.  James took heart in Christianity and it was an integral part of his mental life, having saved him from feelings of despair that overtook him during his study of psychology, especially after witnessing the suffering of an epileptic. Regarding the question of whether to believe in religious hypotheses especially, James wants to show that it is sometimes rational to believe in the absence of conclusive evidence. James draws attention to the point that Clifford and skeptics …

The Most Amazing Benefit from Fasting and How To Get It!

First of all, the title is not click-bait.  If you stay tuned I guarantee you’ll learn something amazing that could change your life. Quick update on my fasting life. Last Tuesday and Wednesday I fasted, and this week I’m fasting again.  My boyfriend was ready to jump on board and fast with me again, so we’ve turned this into a couple’s activity!  (Yes, we’re THIS fun and will show up at your party if you invite us.)   It’s currently Wednesday morning at 8 am and I haven’t eaten since Monday evening at 6 pm.  Hunger level: 2/10 and I’m drinking a black coffee.  I definitely would enjoy eating breakfast if I could, but I feel that my monkey mind is pretty calm.  No shit-throwing tantrums on the horizon! There was a shit-throwing internal tantrum for me yesterday – keep reading. For me, the greatest benefit of fasting is not the super-fast weight-loss, and it’s mostly water anyways. It’s not about muscles definition after my glycogen stores are depleted and my dermis has thinned out.  The …

Nietzsche, Art, Illusion & Truth

This post was written in response to an article by R. Anderson published in 2005 in the European Journal of Philosophy, entitled “Nietzsche on Truth, Illusion, and Redemption.”  doi/abs/10.1111/j.0966-8373.2005.00227.x In “Nietzsche on Truth, Illusion, and Redemption,” Anderson addresses the Nietzsche’s apparent inconsistency in regards to truth and its value. Anderson explains Nietzsche’s rejection of things in themselves and a ‘true world’ in favour of an epistemology that speaks of truly unknowable chaos given shape and organized by human perception. Still, Nietzsche is committed to truth of a phenomenal world despite our cognitive distortions and perspective and honesty as a correct moral aim. Anderson, having established Nietzsche’s position on truth, shifts the focus to the value of truth in a human life, from which point he addresses Nietzsche’s puzzling indignance for illusion, religion, and self-deception, yet concurrent endorsement of illusion in art. Since honesty and artistry act as regulative drives, they are not incompatible but rather require a balance in the tension between them. Both drives are necessary to fulfill the moral imperative of redeeming our …

Fasting Benefits: Weight Loss, Mental Clarity, Anxiety, and Anti-aging

Keywords: fasting, natural remedy, health, anti-aging, mental health, anxiety, ketogenic diet, spiritual growth Yesterday I fasted and today is day two. I started on Monday night at around 9 pm and have only had tea and sparkling water. I was feeling a bit dizzy this morning so I had some salt and nutritional yeast. I broke my fast this evening with vegetable fish-broth soup and beef brisket (with no ill effects!) at Deer Garden Signatures in Vancouver on Fraser Street. Yum! Why fast? The idea of going without food for at least 24 hours, and still not yet knowing when I’ll eat again, might seem crazy to some people. Most of the times I’ve told people that I am fasting, I hear a version of one of the following: “That’s not good for you! Starving yourself is unhealthy.” “You’ll make yourself sick.” “You’ll become anorexic.” Well, now, none of those are true about fasting. First of all, consider that every major world religion and culture has some mention of fasting for health. Biblical religions prescribe …

Is it Immoral to have Faith?

This post concerns the work Concluding Unscientific Postscript (of pseudonymous author Johannes Climacus) written by existentialist Soren Kierkegaard and the discussion by Robert Adams in “Kierkegaard’s Arguments against Objective Reasoning in Religion”. It also touches on some ideas raised by Lara Buchak in her paper “Can it be Rational to have Faith?” Kierkegaard holds that faith is an intense psychological state of religiosity (i.e., conviction in some sort of religious proposition) that cannot be justified by objective reasoning. Furthermore, as characterized by Adams, it must be significantly likely that at least one of the person’s beliefs absurd, or that there is no certainty provided by historical evidence. The faith must exclude possibility of doubt, and faith must be a continually repeated and decisive act of will. Moreover, the person must feel a great deal of risk in his decision to have faith and also believe it is the morally thing to do, thereby making it a courageous act. In regards to this, I would point out that the person must have a great deal of …