chapter  4
26 Pages

Religion and emotion

Religion, the emotionalists argued, is not a matter of intellectual curiosity, the quest for material mastery, or of cold dispassionate reasoning. The intellectualists had made primitive humanity seem far too rational and had neglected the emotional side in which they sought to locate the fundamental roots of religiosity. Religious beliefs, for these theorists, were not the product of reasoning from observations of the experiences of dreams or of inferences about the connections between things but were derived from emotional or affective states of mind. The fact that tribal peoples do not attempt to rely solely upon magic and religion, overlooked by the intellectualists, pointed to there being particular reasons for the supplementation of ordinary empirical techniques and normal rationality by the use of magic and religion-reasons which had little to do with rationality.