[lit-ideas] Re: Reason and Politics

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2006 10:24:32 -0800

Walter wrote:

Does one require certainty in order to be religious? I thought the idea
was that if you couldn't get by on faith alone, you couldn't afford to be
religious. Religion in that sense is like friendship.

Walter seems to be speaking of Western religions primarily but there the
evidence is against him in one notable instance.

From the Book of James (King James version):

2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith
without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead
also.

These passages would seem to be compatible with Wittgenstein's later views on
the need for mental states to be exemplified in behaviour. Perhaps he and Ryle
were Christians without knowing it. Either that or the authors of the NT were
logical behaviourists avant la lettre.

Robert Paul
Reed College


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