How can "snarling logicality" and "pure intellectualism" prevent us from experiencing the truth of the religious hypothesis?In reference to William James, "The Will to Believe".

Expert Answers
wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This dichotomy – reason vs. faith – is at the center of Cartesian philosophy.  By definition, faith means belief without proof – the Cartesian premise -- that the fact that we exist is the only sure fact – eliminates faith, but the human mind can do more than merely “think” logically – it can conjecture, imagine, suppose, etc.  Like the oft-quoted “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s,” the Jamesian divides the mind’s function into logic and belief, thus making room for both.  Spinoza, for instance, without any logical evidence, “believed” (that is, supposed) that God was the universe itself.  Every Christian child says “Please give me a miracle,” to which the religious teacher says “Belief come from God without so-called “proof.”  This is where James takes us in this question.