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Believin' "IN" it idn't gonna git it!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PureX, Jan 13, 2021 at 12:23 PM.

  1. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    Okay. But belief is more naturally expressed in talking about the things we believe in (making assertions) rather than talking about ourselves ("I believe this..." or "I assert that..."). We don't generally go around pointing out what types of expression we are making in conversation, or the value of the classification of our sentence; we just do it. We would assert that the Eiffel Tower exists, or not, based on our beliefs, and hence that expession is a belief.
     
    #41 Willamena, Jan 14, 2021 at 9:00 AM
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021 at 9:10 AM
  2. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I am neither frustrated nor angry. I am simply posting from the point of view that the reason we come here is essentially to learn about ourselves, and to learn about each other, by discussing the ideas and issue that are important or significant to is. And to do this successfully, we will need to be able to articulate our perspectives clearly and honestly. But that can't happen if we don't understand our own positions, clearly or honestly. So I am offering up an instance where I see this lack of clarity of thought and speech occurring regularly among us, regarding the distinctions between concepts like what we believe, what we can know, and what we choose to presume is so even though we cannot know it to be so. All of which are getting muddled and conflated behind the vague pronouncement of 'belief'.
     
  3. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I feel sad for a lot of religious theists who have been wrongly taught from the day they were born til the day they die that faith = belief. And this is yet another reason I would admonish us all to forgo pronouncements of 'belief'. And to instead really try to articulate what we mean by it.

    For example, I am a theist by faith (my choice), not by my belief, not by my knowledge, and not by my affiliation with or practice of any religious or theological system. I do not "believe in" God. I don't even know what that means. I do not "know God", because as a limited human, I find that to be impossible. I don't even know if God 'exists', or what that would even mean. How could I even tell that God exists?

    On the other hand, in my profound ignorance, the possibility of God's existence remains viable. And through that possibility I can explore the idea, and evaluate it for myself. I can invent a God that might exist, and choose to live according to my hope that my invented God does exist, even though I can't know this to be so. But no one will even know any of this about me, nor I about themselves or anyone else if we keep insisting on shoving all these variations in our understanding and intent down to one binary possibility: "believe" or "don't believe"? What a waste of human imagination, and sophistication, and insight and creativity!
     
  4. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Actually, we would not assert it based on our "belief in it". We would assert it based on our evidence, and reasoning. What we're "believing in" is not the Eiffel Tower's existence. It's our own ability to have determined correctly that it does exist.

    See, this is why being as articulate as we can be, matters.

    When someone tells me they "believe in God", I know this is not exactly accurate. What they "believe in" is their own determination that God exists as they imagine God to exist. And that doesn't apply to anyone but them. Certainly not to me.
     
  5. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
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    I'm glad you are neither frustrated or angry. And many share your goal for clarity in expressing thoughts and ideas. However, we all do not share the exact same culture, primary language, experiences, etc. I think we need to be patient and understanding with each other. I don't think it is that hard to decipher whether a belief statement is being presented as a proposition of fact or what is known, what is a presumption, and what is belief based on religious doctrine alone. At the very least, a few probing questions will make it clear.

    I recommend patience and understanding. It is impossible to expect everyone to conform to your expectations of proper dialogue and word usage, so it falls to you to be creative and adaptable to keep the conversation meaningful and constructive.
     
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