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Featured Do We Choose Our Beliefs?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Left Coast, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Nimos

    Nimos Active Member

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    It depends how you look at it I think. If you don't really question your own beliefs and try to find arguments against them to see if they are actually reasonable or not, then I agree with you, that such person is not in control, because the idea of even testing their own belief wont occur to them. But if you are aware that your beliefs might actually be incorrect, because you might lack certain information, might have misunderstood something etc. and at the same time is willing to test them. You can use methods to help you get rid of wrong beliefs. But it does require that one have a valid approach for testing them, because if it is done wrong and one believe they are doing it correctly, they will obviously reach wrong conclusions.
     
  2. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    Oh, that's very possible. I keep asking theists to give me the information, though, and they just haven't.

    Then again, if it's God's job to give us understanding, the whole thing is his fault. :shrug:
     
  3. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    Just a difference of definition then. I take disbelief to be synonymous with lack of belief. Guess it depends how you use it.
     
  4. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    A lot of people choose self-deception. It is common
    as dirt, and nothing to be proud of.
     
  5. atanu

    atanu Member
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    It is said that there are 4 kinds of believers: distressed, seekers of truth, beggars of worldly goods, and the wise.

    These four types may have different reasons for choosing to be believers but ‘choosing’, IMO, is involved in all cases.
     
  6. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    Best for accurately understanding reality, yes. If someone doesn't agree, I'd love for them to explain why, or why I should agree, without using rationality.
     
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  7. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    [QUOTE="Augustus, post: 6170143, member: 56037"

    I think that, to some extent, we can also deliberately self-deceive but it also has significant limitations.[/QUOTE]

    For that, we'd also need to get into negligence.
    Where is it deliberate, where is it give a ****,
    or laziness, where is it culpable negligence?

    Admiral Rickover famously said to an officer
    who was trying to explain how he was not
    responsible for what happened.
    "if you are not responsible, then you are irresponsible"
     
  8. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Choosing to fool one's self dont sound so wise to me.
     
  9. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    Can you explain what you mean?
     
  10. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    See, I have a big prob with that one Because I really
    like to just wear my hair long and in a pony tail.

    BUT, according to Islam, that is really bad of me,
    I am causing men to sin, and I am apt to be hung
    by my hair in eternal fire.

    Is it then rational for me to quick convert and
    hope for the best? Pascal- wise, and all.
     
  11. MonkeyFire

    MonkeyFire Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry but your wrong. I never acquired faith at all. Since I was a young boy my mind says periodically "I, believe." So to speak I have faith inside me.
     
    #51 MonkeyFire, Jun 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  12. atanu

    atanu Member
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    I think this will belong in the category of ‘wise’.
     
  13. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Ask anyone afflicted with Dementia, Alzheimer's or similar who in life who was religiously devout. Or the corpse in the coffin at the funeral.

    Beliefs gone as they come about.

    Emptiness.
     
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  14. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    I'm not a fan of religion's strictures and rules. Humanity is growing up the the role of religion as a super parent is ending. Children, or at least most young ones, dress according to what mom and dad decide. Adults decide for themselves what is appropriate.

    And another dying aspect to religion is gender bias. Women are stepping up to equality. Some groups try to stuff women back into a historical box and some welcome the joy that comes from the reality of equality.

    Religions today are caught between those who want the parental model to stay in effect and those who want to look beyond superficial rules. Someone who is thinking about affiliating with a religion could keep this in mind.
     
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  15. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    I don't want to derail the thread, but I don't find Pascal's Wager compelling anymore. The problem is that the options are not binary. There are a multitude of different gods/religions to consider. Depending on which is true, just believing in any old God won't do at all. In others, atheism may be perfectly acceptable to the god/religion so long as you do good to your fellow man. So Pascal really doesn't help us.
     
  16. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    The only way I can answer this valid question is through my own experience. Years ago I became interested in whether or not there was something beyond the ordinary. So among other things I started reading and thinking about various religious traditions. I started feeling that the answer was inside me, what is given words as "the sun beyond the sun beyond the sun", "kingdom of heaven is within" "search in the heart" etc depending on the religion.

    I also felt very strongly that a belief had to have a rational element. And for me reincarnation and karma (what you sow, you reap) provided a structure my mind could accept.

    But there is no 'why' here. If the question attracts you, then that attraction itself provides the why without anyone else having to try to convince you.
     
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  17. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    I agree actually.
     
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  18. MonkeyFire

    MonkeyFire Well-Known Member

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    For the last 8 years I have believed that living gnosis is the fallen angel of light, but it was never evil. If anything morality is a fallen angel aswell, as a twin light if you will. Knowledge percieved hell one day after an eternity of perfection in Heaven. The angel of morality fell to host against evil, as God in all his might and pleasure must be passive, we can all refer to genesis where YHWH forbids knowledge of good and evil which includes all hatred, and war.
     
    #58 MonkeyFire, Jun 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  19. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    This is what you choose to believe I guess
     
    #59 stvdv, Jun 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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  20. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Question for you, @Left Coast - what are your thoughts about choice in general?

    I ask because it seems to me that one's response to a question like this would be consistent with one's general sentiments about the human capacity for choice and decisions. Do humans truly decide anything, or is it a fixed result of prior conditions? If one rejects the notion of "free will" as it is often called, humans do not choose anything. If one rejects the notion of "determinism" as it is often called, humans choose everything. Granted, one doesn't have to be quite so dichotomous about it. However, if one makes an exception to one's general position within that dichotomy, what's the justification for that? If, for example, one generally accepts free will but then says beliefs are not chosen, what is the reasoning?

    As an aside, it'd be shameful of me to not mention the concept of paradigm shifting in the context of this conversation. Apparently this is a greater rarity than I once believed, but there are people out there in the world that can fairly readily switch between different maps of the territory. Those who can really do choose what to believe at any given moment based on the map they've pulled out (free will vs. determinism snags notwithstanding). It's certainly something I can do. It seems to be a skill set cultivated by creative types, because when you are writing stories set in worlds very unlike our own, you need to get outside of yourself and into some other mindset to write that authentically. I thought being able to do this was just normal, but apparently it isn't so normal? I don't know.
     
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