Sophia 46 (1):21-34 (2007)

One cannot prove the truth of theological statement, but perhaps one can justify believing them because of the good consequences of doing so. It is irrational to believe statements of which there are good reasons to think false, but those of which there is some, albeit inconclusive, evidence can be believed for pragmatic reasons. However, in the interest of simplicity, it must not be possible to achieve those good consequences without such faith. John Bishop and others have argued that one need only assume theological statements to be true to enjoy the good consequences of a religious life, but in fact, faith is needed for most of these consequences to be achieved.
Keywords Religious belief  Epistemic justification  Pragmatic justification  Pascal  William James  Wishful thinking
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11841-007-0007-6
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,199
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Religious Experience.William James - 1903 - Philosophical Review 12 (1):62-67.
Faith and Reason.Richard Swinburne - 1981 - Oxford University Press.
Faith as Doxastic Venture.John Bishop - 2002 - Religious Studies 38 (4):471-487.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Idealist Origins: 1920s and Before.Martin Davies & Stein Helgeby - 2014 - In Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis (eds.), History of Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp. 15-54.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
68 ( #170,264 of 2,517,922 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #409,045 of 2,517,922 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes