What is the author's thesis regarding the nature of religion?.
Based on reading the short story of "William James: The Testimony of Religious Experience," I can conclude that his main argument and belief was that people who examined their religious belief saw and found more meaning in life. People who see more meaning in life tend to try harder to be a person that he/she is proud of. He believed that there are two kinds of people, one who have optimistic view of repentance and one who is concentrate more on the wrongdoing, the separation from god, and then the hope of forgiveness. .
2. What evidence does the author appeal to in defense of this position on the nature religion?.
William James divided the people into two different categories which he named as the "sick soul" and "healthy-mindedness." People with sick soul seem to be afflicted with joylessness, dreariness and a sense of dejection or a loss of any real sense of meaning or purpose in life. Those with a sick soul believe evil is a fundamental part of life. Healthy mindedness is the opposite of Sick soul and people are more positive about life and religion. In the book it states, "Systematic healthy-mindedness, conceiving good as the essential and universal aspect of being, deliberately excludes evil form tis field of vision" (Page 176). James had a different view on god, which he believed that God is necessarily the creator of the universe but that he is there because if god is real than he would make a difference in life and that there is no proof of god, which no one can argue the cause for an effect. He did not agree with the fact that there is one single feature that can define religious experience. He was mostly focused on truth of the experience for the individual rather than comparing it to a god in real world. .
3. Do you agree with the author's thesis? Why or why not?.
I agree with William James and his ideas of what religion Experience really is.