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Featured Do You Believe In What You Haven't Experienced?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Do you believe in anything you have not experienced personally? Of so, what is it and what led you to believe it?

    If you have not experienced it, do you have evidence of it?

    If you have no experience of it and no evidence of it, why do you choose to believe in it?
     
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  2. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    I believe in many things paranormal that I have not experienced. And even if you experienced some paranormal things you will often come to doubt what really happened in time.

    I believe in many things I have not experienced through best reasoning like analyzing the quantity, quality and consistency of the evidence and listening to argumentation from all sides. Through that method I can become so convinced that I will say 'I believe...'.
     
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  3. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva
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    Black holes. I accept the authority of scientists who have actively studied the phenomena. I see no reason to second guess their findings.

    Indirect evidence, yes. No one has seen a black hole directly as of this point in time due to the quirky nature of light not being able to escape its tremendous gravity. Massive jets emanating from the poles of some black hole are direct evidence of what is at its heart. Also, monitoring stars being catapulted around our galactic centre is extremely compelling evidence of an invisible, but massive, black hole at the centre of our galaxy.

    If they were good enough for Einstein, they are good enough for me. :cool:
     
    #3 YmirGF, Jan 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
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  4. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I never experienced anything that relates to rebirth. It is something I take up as true because I know nothing just appears or disappears and everything runs in a cycle. What makes it hard is that I do believe in spirits and one's identity whereas in The (Buddhist) Dharma, does not. I also believe because the simplicity of living I do see how attachment keeps us bound t this life and being afraid to die doesn't help free us from it. We assume things will go on forever. That being tied down to one "truth" of forever is contrary to my nature. Everything is in flux.
     
  5. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    I think that's an important point. I believe what people say if I have evidence they're trustworthy. So when my doctor told me I had high blood pressure and that increased the risk of heart attacks, I believed him.

    But as we've seen, some research has been faked or can't be reproduced. And by extension that applies to people claiming spiritual status of some sort or other. Even honest people can misinterpret experiences and come to believe they've achieved something they have not.

    So to me a middle way is best. To be skeptical but not cynical and to be open-minded but not credulous.
     
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  6. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva
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    What an awesome post, @sun rise :cool:
     
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  7. JJ50

    JJ50 Active Member

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    A good question. I was brought up as a Christian and believed in the faith until I realised as a teenager it lacked any credibility.
     
  8. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Are you serious? Any education beyond basic reading and writing involves believing things you have only read about in books, or been told by a teacher.

    Or am I misconstruing your meaning?
     
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  9. BSM1

    BSM1 Who's a good boy?

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    I believe my wife when she said that if I ever cheated on her I wouldn't have to worry about alimony. I thought she was giving me a pass until I realize she knows how to use a pistol.
     
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  10. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Nope. You're right on point, and one of the first that sees the intent of the OP (@sun rise caught onto it).

    How do you discern the credibility of the book or teacher if you had not experienced these things yourself or have no evidence beyond what you read?
     
  11. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Oh I see. Well, I suppose one initially goes on the reputation of the source of information, doesn't one? A good school or university, or a book by an author who is generally well-regarded. In other words, one relies on appeal to authority, in the first instance.

    And then, one cross-compares different sources to see if they tally - in fact one learns at school how to do this and how important it is. Also, one looks for clarity and self-consistency in what one is told i.e. whether a given source tallies with itself, as well as with others.

    Isn't that what we do?
     
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  12. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Sure. There are lots of things I believe that I haven't experienced -- but that kind of belief pales in comparison to having experienced something.
     
  13. Ancient Soul

    Ancient Soul The Spiritual Universe

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    I have never personally experienced going off an Olympic ski jump, but firmly believe that I would be terrified to the point of blacking out.

    Nope, no evidence to back it up.

    Because I just imagined jumping off the the ramp at over 350 feet high and sailing thru the air, and so just know there is no way I would not black out from fright.
     
  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
    God.
    Baha'u'llah.
    Yes.
    I would not believe anything if I had no experience of it and no evidence of it.
    Evidence is better than experience because experience can be misleading.
     
  15. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    I believe in atoms. I haven't personally experienced them.
    The evidence for atoms can (and does) fill a thousand science books. :D
     
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  16. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I do believe in things that I haven't experienced, for example 'Australia'.
    I've never been to Australia BUT I've seen it on maps, spoken to relatives and friends who have been there; watched their cricket team play against England; seen Kylie Minogue and others who are from Australia, etc., etc.,

    So, yes, there is plenty of evidence to make me believe that Australia exists.
     
  17. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    Good points.
    I believed in the existence of a God. The way I found evidence for it was failsafe truth search through truth accommodation that assumed that there was a God and had the objective to become God in human form to prove that I was infallible; God being assumed to be so. Perfect.
     
  18. Nowhere Man

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

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    I really don't like the word believe as much as I would prefer provisional trust.

    Some things are obvious such as findings and discoveries in the scientific community for which I take people at their word because I'm confident that I can see the evidences first hand with the proper arrangements should I choose to do so.

    In regards to less objective views such as rebirth, I resort to the experience by which we are born, for which the state of pre-birth is arguably no different from that of being post deceased , therefore using birth as proof that it is possible to get out of that state for which I resort to an educated guess that rebirth is an actual believable event that is common place whenever conditions and circumstances are favorable for it to happen.

    I would much prefer to have my "beliefs" supported objectively in some fashion even though I'm not 100% sure that what I do believe in is actually true.

    It's kind of strange to note that I'm more privy in believing in my disbelief rather than disbelieving in what I personally believe.

    It generally works well enough so far , but it could also bite me in the *** someday methinks although I doubt I'll still be around to remember any of this in any permanent way past this life.
     
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  19. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    I like your term "provisional trust". I think that describes very well the way we "believe" things that we are told.
     
  20. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, I believe in lots of things which I have not experienced. There are two sources of knowledge: our own experiences and reasoning, and the information obtained from other people's experiences and reasoning. If my evidence is persuasive or the other people have a reputation for reliability, then I'll believe.
     
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