For anyone that responded to my Belief Mechanisms post yesterday, I wanted to let you know that I removed that post because it had some unintended consequences between bloggers that I’m fond of – for reasons entirely disconnected with the topic of this post.
So I’m REPOSTING the conversation and I will include everyone’s thoughtful responses at the bottom of this post because I don’t want to lose those well thought out thoughts from other readers.
Please feel free to join in the conversation – I’m hoping Soul Walker will respond to the comments made as he is a Philosopher. I loves me a little philosophical discourse.
…and here we go ~
I am particularly fond of belief mechanisms.
Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher:
First, an observation:
People do not have direct control over their beliefs.
Second, a question:
Can the mechanism of belief be described in a meaningful way?
Third, a point, or a possible beginning:
The “unfounded” supports the explainable. In other words: there is a connection between faith and knowledge and it has to do with belief. This faith is not necessarily at all religious.
Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher:
I’m compelled to comment – not because I’m agreeing or disagreeing but because I’m curious.
Why do people not have direct control over their beliefs? I would think that is one thing I can control – what I chose to believe in (with the understanding that despite believing or not believing it doesn’t change the state of that thing I believe in – so if I believe in fairies – that in and of itself has nothing to do with the truth of if they exist).
How do you define ‘knowledge’? I can have faith that fairies will save me from a clown on fire (haha) even if I have no knowledge that fairies exist but I have belief that they do.
I think faith/belief tends to exist regardless of any kind of knowledge if one’s belief/faith is based on a truth.
If you can choose to believe something then do so right now. This is a challenge. Choose to believe something you do not currently believe. Perhaps you could decide right this moment to believe that the earth is actually flat and hexagonal in nature. Let me know how that goes.
So let us proceed…
For Soul Walker – AHHHHH! I cannot force myself to believe something I know to be disproved (i.e. flat world)… I can say it out loud and in my head – but my brain knows that it’s not jiving with what it already believes and knows to be untrue (flat world). I can tell myself anything but if I have to be so conscious of that ‘belief’, it’s obvious that I do not actually believe it.
Are you going to respond with SEE! SEE! you couldn’t CONTROL that you believed it? Because I would say, I believe things all day long – or at least the version of them that I perceive; if they are true or not – that’s different story. And then I’d say –Oh Wait– I see what you mean about no direct control over what I believe – I believe things all day long without being so conscious about ‘believing’. However, what about when you change what you believe (maybe became aware of another version) – in that case, I’d say you made a direct and conscious decision to change your belief.
Ha ha – I don’t even need another person – I can just argue with myself…
Ok – Can mechanism of belief be described in a meaningful way…
How do you know there is a mechanism? Why does there have to be an underlying universal-ness about believing? The more basic question might be why do we believe, correct? I guess you could not believe or disbelieve – just accept whatever you perceive and just change the truths as they conflict with whatever it is you believe to be true. But I don’t think a typical brain could do that. Which makes me feel that belief is a survival mechanism possibly… if you didn’t believe basic things – you could never move forward. If you disbelieved everything you couldn’t even move because you couldn’t even trust that ground is solid, or air is breathable or legs can hold your body up etc.
I have to ponder the last point or possible beginning
COMMENTS FROM PREVIOUS POST:
To your post: one thing seems relatively clear to me, and that is that people are able to reject, that is not believe, anything, even facts, if it does not suit their faith/belief. If you just believe something to be a certain way, though you don’t know, you’re usually able to alter your belief when you eat the facts… like I said in a post the other day:
I have many believes,
for not much is certain,
but belief I have:
Why did I add this? It’s a mystery.
I think a lot of things funnel into any one belief. We each work with a schema which is comprised of our background, life experience, genetic makeup, faith, social encounters, education, hopes and dreams, instinct, etc.
Let’s use the topic of GHOSTS. Do I believe? Yes, even though I’ve never seen one. I believe based on my personal schema. More things point to yes than no, the scale tips. So I believe. If my schema was different I might not believe.
Does this make sense?
I believe it’s getting late and I am toast after reading all this. But I believe I like toast. Which is easy to do because I Do really like toast. But people change their beliefs all the time. Some even before breakfast:
“There is no use trying; one can’t believe impossible things.” (Alice)
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” -Queen
I can choose to believe. I can choose to believe someone when they tell me something… or I can choose not to believe. If my boyfriend tells me he is not cheating on me – I can choose to believe him or not – (or perhaps until proven otherwise.) Or even if proven otherwise, I may choose to go into denial….. or not. ……or I could base my belief on whether he has lied before or is a known liar but …..oops, a tangent that leads even further in to a whole other topic!