Our minds are made up beforehand

From: John W Burgeson (burgytwo@juno.com)
Date: Sat Jul 13 2002 - 16:21:42 EDT

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    Recent posts reminded me of what Wm James wrote in THE VARIETIES OF
    RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE. On page 330 of the Modern Library Version, in the
    lecture on THE VALUE OF SAINTLINESS, XIV and XV, some eleven pages from
    the start of that chapter, James writes (what is in [] are mine:

    "The plain fact is that men's minds are built ... in water tight
    compartments. Religious after a fashion, they [the minds] yet have many
    other things in them beside their religion, and unholy entanglements ...
    inevitably obtain [result]. The basenesses so commonly charged to
    religion's account [he has been speaking of religious wars are thus,
    almost all of them, not chargeable at all to religion proper, but rather
    to religion's wicked practical partner, the spirit of corporate dominion.
    And the bigotries are most of them in their turn chargeable to religion's
    wicked intellectual partner, the spirit of dogmatic dominion, the passion
    for laying down the law in the form of an absolutely closed-in theoretic
    system. The ecclesiastical spirit in general is the sum of those two
    spirits of dominion... ."

    I find that dipping into James from time to time is well for my psyche.

    John Burgeson (Burgy)

            (science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
             humor, cars, philosophy, ethics and much more)

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