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Holding onto beliefs

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by idea, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. idea

    idea Well-Known Member

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    OK - In another thread dianaiad said:

    "if we hold to what we truly believe to be true, and have faith that God will straighten things out if we are faithful, then...He will straighten things out. "



    ... if we hold to what we truly believe...

    I do not think it is good to hold onto beliefs. We are all misinformed, when we get new information we should let go of old beliefs, and follow where the new information leads, correct?

    Example: Let's say your church taught the earth was flat, or that the earth was the center of the universe, and you believed your church leaders and thought holding onto that belief was somehow showing faith in God.

    Then - new information comes along, people are saying the earth is not flat afterall.... so.... do you

    a) ignore what everyone is saying, and "hold onto your beliefs"

    b) study it out using only church approved material, and rationalize how the church beliefs in a flat earth are correct

    c) study it out using materials from multiple organizations, test it out yourself, and come to your own conclusion - then re-evaluate your beliefs. (Keep some beliefs, get rid of others)

    So... what beliefs have you discarded? what beliefs would you have a hard time getting rid of?

    What pieces of your faith do you hold onto, and what pieces are you willing to let go of?
     

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  2. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    People confuse faith with belief all the time, both religious and non-religious. Faith is something we practice when we lack sufficient knowledge to control the significant outcomes in our lives. It is not a presumption of knowledge that we hold onto in spite of the outcomes or evidence to the contrary. Faith is hope being acted upon, not knowledge being presumed upon. Once we understand this, faith does not compete with knowledge, it simply steps in where knowledge comes up short.
     
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  3. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    I think you are talking about two different things...

    There is gravity... what if I didn't hold onto the belief?

    There are beliefs that you hold on to because they are true. (faith)

    There are those you throw out... like having to wear a coat and tie to go to church. (beliefs - I'm happy I got rid of that one)
     
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  4. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Depends on the belief, but generally yes, it's wise to be open to change should some experiences arise that shows a certain belief isn't beneficial.
     
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  5. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    If the old information was wrong, how can we be sure that the new is correct and doesn’t change after few years?

    Interesting thing about scientific “knowledge” is that it constantly changes. It would be really stupid to hold on to it, in matters that could be in contradiction with the Bible, when after few years it can be different.

    Nice thing is, that there is no real truthful knowledge that is in contradiction with the Bible.
     
  6. idea

    idea Well-Known Member

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    There is uncertainty in everything, but some directions are more clear than others. With all the billions of people sharing information and experiences with one another we have made giant leaps - from landing on the moon, to medical advances. Nothing is perfect, but there are good, better, and best directions to go in.
     
  7. Jedster

    Jedster Well-Known Member

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    Yes, we should always be open to an upgrade. :)
     
  8. Nimos

    Nimos Active Member

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    I think your example is misleading yourself. If a church taught you that the earth was flat, you should leave it at once :) The reason being and I think the majority of people, that believe in the God of the bible, if we use that as an example, would agree that its not a scientific book and therefore not a place where you would go to seek answers to such questions. And it shouldn't be attacked by science either I think. Its obvious that some of the things written in it doesn't reflect reality, which I personally think is fine. Even though it can cause some problems.

    Faith is basically just to trust something or someone without "hard" evidence. So "I have faith in you doing the right thing" is basically just me saying "I trust that you will do the right thing", with "hard" evidence I mean, even if you have faith in your best friend, you would never be able to really proof that he wouldn't kill you at some point or whatever, as you can't read his mind and he is able to make choices, which could surprise you or you could misunderstand. So it doesn't mean that faith as such is wrong or bad, because we all have faith in each other, but its not a way to really expand our knowledge, as we can never know for sure. At least not yet :D

    So you could look at what the church have as argument for why they believe the earth is flat simply out of interest, but following the principals below it would fail rather fast I think. But if you want "truth" about these things, and the reason I write it like that, is because there is not really anything as absolute truth, it becomes a bit sketchy thinking like that. So lets just say that, you want to get as close to the truth as possible, then the best method is critical thinking as it is also the best defense as i see it, against not believing everything and anything you hear.

    So if you follow these principals I think it could help you be able to do good critical thinking and stay true to yourself. Which is basically what you want, right? You want to not fool yourself into believing something that might be wrong.

    If you agree with that, I would put several things forward that I would stick with as your basis for obtaining knowledge:

    1. Never get attached to anything you believe as if they were absolute truth.
    If you do that, its very difficult to be objective towards your belief in that.

    2. Understand the value of being wrong
    Its very common for people to not want to be wrong, which is sort of understanding as you might appear stupid. But when it come to being true to one self, its actually quiet important to know why being wrong is not a bad thing. I think the best way to explain it is through a question, which I think hold a lot of meaning and surprising truth to it.

    "What does it feel like to be wrong?"

    Most would as I mentioned above say, it makes you feel stupid etc. But in fact its feels like you are right. And I think once you understand that, you know why being wrong is not a bad thing.

    3. Never have complete faith in anyone
    Just because someone believe that something is the way it is, doesn't make it true. Be very careful when people explain things, whether they present them as facts or mere opinions. When you start paying attention to this, you will notice it everywhere, doesn't matter if its scientists or priest etc. The amount of guessing that is going on is insane.

    4. Be true to the evidence
    Be honest about the evidence, if truth is what you are after. You have to be able to throw your beliefs away, which is why point 1 is crucial. If the evidence doesn't match what you think they should, you have to accept it.

    5. Always question the evidence
    By that I mean, if evidence show one thing, try to find alternatives that say the opposite, so you know as much about each side, if there are such. Also because people might make mistakes, misunderstandings, intentionally try to force their belief on others etc.

    6. Accept that you are not really looking for absolute truth, but merely what is most likely to be true
    As mention in point 3, the amount of guessing and lack of knowledge once you start paying attention to it, is beyond believe. So being able to accept that you just want to get as close to the truth as possible to avoid fooling yourself is the goal.

    7. Keep questioning what you believe is true
    On a regular basis go through what you believe and see if new information or alternatives are available and then put them through the whole process again.

    8. Know the difference between claim and evidence
    Should probably have been the first one, because if you don't know this or understand what good evidence are, there is little chance of being able to be true to one self :D

    Obviously this is no guarantee that you will end up with knowing everything, but at least to me you tried to be honest to yourself and that is what matter in the end I think :)
     
    #8 Nimos, May 3, 2019
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  9. dmap

    dmap God is good and beautiful

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    We should only believe things provably true, or things with good support from philosophy. Revealed religions and revealed spiritual paths are not trustworthy sources of truth and knowledge.
     
  10. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    Faith is generally what people invoke when they don't have good reasons to believe something - "well, I just have faith in _____." When we have strong empirical evidence for a proposition, we don't need faith. We logically accept that it is true based on the evidence.

    If faith is just used as a synonym for "confidence" or "trust," our degree of confidence in a proposition should be proportioned according to the strength of the evidence for it. We should always be willing to revise our beliefs as we receive new evidence.
     
  11. JJ50

    JJ50 Well-Known Member

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    I think it is very important to question your beliefs to see if they are credible in the light of modern science and technology.
     
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