Belief a CHOICE?

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rstrats
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Belief a CHOICE?

Post #1

Post by rstrats »

A number of folks on these boards are saying or at least implying that they can consciously CHOOSE to believe things. If you are one of them perhaps one of you can help me. I have never been able to consciously CHOOSE any of the beliefs that I have and I would like to be able to do that. If you think that you can consciously CHOOSE to believe things, I wonder if you might explain how you do it. What do you do at the last moment to instantly change your one state of belief to another? What is it that you do that would allow you to say, “OK, at this moment I have a lack of belief that ‘x’ exists or is true, but I CHOOSE to believe that ‘x’ exists or is true and now instantly at this new moment I do believe that ‘x’ exists or is true?

Maybe you could use something like leprechauns to demonstrate your technique. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a leprechaun is “a fairy peculiar to Ireland, who appeared in the form of an old man of minute stature, wearing a cocked hat and a leather apron.� So, assuming that you don’t already have a belief in them, how about right now, while you are reading this, CHOOSE to believe - be convinced without a doubt - that they exist. Now that you believe in leprechauns, my question is, how did you do it? How did you make the instantaneous transition from lack of belief to belief?

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Ooberman
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Post #2

Post by Ooberman »

Obviously, it's absurd, but I think the concept behind it is one that makes sense in a certain context. Mythology doesn't really make sense, but there are certain things that if you suspend disbelief, you can mine the fantastic tales for nuggets of value.

The more cynical person would see this as a way for the religion meme to have a self-brainwashing clause built in to it. That it's your fault for not being saved, so you better at least fool yourself first and hope you believe it later: to have faith in faith.

The more generous reading would be that it's kind of like telling someone to "choose to believe that Fox's and Birds can talk when reading Aesop's Fables".

Now, most fundi's don't read it the latter way.

How someone decides to believe is beyond me, unless we are taking about the suspension of disbelief to draw out some more important meaning. In that way, I can say that it is very important that we, a species that loves and learns from narrative, appreciate wild tales for the deeper content, but not the superficial embellishments.

For example, Star Wars is great, but the myth themes are quite common and you could tell the same story in ancient Babylon. Good vs. Evil, God Son vs. Evil Father, redemption, valor, etc.

If you "choose to believe" that Man could find itself in similar situations, then you can appreciate the larger lessons embedded in the story.

This is the beauty of religion, IMO, and what Fundi's don't understand, and destroy with their insistence on believing the tale to be absolutely true and factual.
Thinking about God's opinions and thinking about your own opinions uses an identical thought process. - Tomas Rees

Flail

Re: Belief a CHOICE?

Post #3

Post by Flail »

rstrats wrote:A number of folks on these boards are saying or at least implying that they can consciously CHOOSE to believe things. If you are one of them perhaps one of you can help me. I have never been able to consciously CHOOSE any of the beliefs that I have and I would like to be able to do that. If you think that you can consciously CHOOSE to believe things, I wonder if you might explain how you do it. What do you do at the last moment to instantly change your one state of belief to another? What is it that you do that would allow you to say, “OK, at this moment I have a lack of belief that ‘x’ exists or is true, but I CHOOSE to believe that ‘x’ exists or is true and now instantly at this new moment I do believe that ‘x’ exists or is true?

Maybe you could use something like leprechauns to demonstrate your technique. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a leprechaun is “a fairy peculiar to Ireland, who appeared in the form of an old man of minute stature, wearing a cocked hat and a leather apron.� So, assuming that you don’t already have a belief in them, how about right now, while you are reading this, CHOOSE to believe - be convinced without a doubt - that they exist. Now that you believe in leprechauns, my question is, how did you do it? How did you make the instantaneous transition from lack of belief to belief?
I don't think we choose to believe per se, rather we choose to permit ourselves to engage in activities that suspend our disbelief....we say yes to the group think, we go to church, we get caught up in all the drama and the emotion...the stage settings...the preaching of dogma...the music and rituals...the gaudy surroundings...and eventually, with enough mindless repetition, and people dissuading us from critical thinking, we come to believe...it's a sad state of affairs in my opinion.

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Post #4

Post by Mr.Badham »

I have a 2 year old daughter. She looks like her mother, and nothing like me (her mother says she sees me in her). I have faith that my wife didn't cheat on me, but I've never done a DNA test on my daughter. I do however believe with all my heart that she is mine.

Am I choosing to believe?

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TheBlackPhilosophy
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Post #5

Post by TheBlackPhilosophy »

Mr.Badham wrote:I have a 2 year old daughter. She looks like her mother, and nothing like me (her mother says she sees me in her). I have faith that my wife didn't cheat on me, but I've never done a DNA test on my daughter. I do however believe with all my heart that she is mine.

Am I choosing to believe?
Faith can also equal trust.

The greek word for faith (as used in the bible) actually means persuasion, which implies that faith has evidence and or logic backing it.

In your case you trust that your wife hasn't cheated on you yet because she hasn't done it yet, and there are signs that go along with cheating spouses.

So really it isn't faith, but trust. Of course it all depends on the meaning you choose to apply to "faith".

Perhaps you could define faith for us.

Of course if faith is not based upon evidence or reason, it would clearly make you a fool to believe anything on faith.

You might as well grope in the dark for the light switch. (Faith)

I'll just use a flashlight or a candle. :D (Reason and Evidence)
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Post #6

Post by rstrats »

Mr.Badham,

re: “Am I choosing to believe?�

Well, let’s see. In order for something to be considered a choice, there have to be at least two options from which to select. And each option has to be able to be selected.

There are two belief options in the case of your daughter:

1. Believe that she is your daughter.

2. Believe that she isn’t your daughter.


Can you right now, while you are reading this, CHOOSE to believe - be convinced - that she isn’t your daughter?

Flail

Post #7

Post by Flail »

Mr.Badham wrote:I have a 2 year old daughter. She looks like her mother, and nothing like me (her mother says she sees me in her). I have faith that my wife didn't cheat on me, but I've never done a DNA test on my daughter. I do however believe with all my heart that she is mine.

Am I choosing to believe?
You are not choosing...your belief is based upon both objective and circumstantial evidence. Choices that result in 'belief' often substitute emotion, dogma and setting where evidence is lacking, as in Christian and Muslim belief systems. You don't need music and a preacher; you have evidence.

"Say you will brethren...say you will."

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Post #8

Post by Mr.Badham »

rstrats wrote:Mr.Badham,

Can you right now, while you are reading this, CHOOSE to believe - be convinced - that she isn’t your daughter?
No I cannot. Since you put it that way, I see what you mean. That would impossible without a reason.

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Baz
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Post #9

Post by Baz »

I don’t think you can choose what you believe but you can expose yourself to different ideas that could change your perspective.

What must happen a lot is; people lying about what they believe, for many different reasons, to please a spouse or friend, to be part of a community etc.
:-k
Some people probably lie to themselves in some way about who they are or what they believe.
\"Give me a good question over a good answer anyday.\"

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ttruscott
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Post #10

Post by ttruscott »

A number of folks on these boards are saying or at least implying that they can consciously CHOOSE to believe things.
It is very much a faith, trust, issue. Faith, the proof of things unseen, is a choice....

Creation:
1. GOD created every spirit in HIS image.
2.HE invited us all to join HIS church telling us about the promises of joining and the bad consequences of rejecting, HIS invitation.

Nature of a True Free Will Choice:
1. A true free will choice must not be coerced nor compelled either by fear, love or hate nor of ideas of good and evil nor by an understanding of God’s true nature, ie, the person must be in a true state of ingenuous innocence.

Nor can they be compelled by any prior event impinging on their life or sensibility - they must be totally free from coercions known and unknown, physically, emotionally and mentally.

Nor can they be compelled by any inner nature, any genetic programming of their biology nor spiritual nature from God. A tape recorder saying, "I love Jesus." is meaningless and has no love at all.

I'm sure you understand that if I coerce your choice, it is not free.

2. The person must understand the consequences of their choice or it is a guess, not a choice. “What will happen if I choose left or right, the red pill or the blue pill?� must be answered in full detail.

But "PROOF" of the nature of the consequence would compel or coerce the person to choose what was proven to be the best for them. If the answer “death here,� “life there,� was proven, which would you choose? The weight of knowledge would destroy the effect of a true ‘free will’ choice and we would all just choose what seemed to be in our best interest.

Therefore they must know, but without proof, the nature of the consequences of their choice. Such a choice, might be described as making a choice based on faith.

Only in a situation / system / reality where these things could be true can a true free will choice be made. All other choices fall short of true free will or are not choices at all.

It should be obvious by now that nowhere on earth can these necessary things be met, and that is why we suggest they happened pre-earth.

So, how do we choose?

WE think about and discuss the facts we learned in FULL disclosure.
We weigh the promises of joining against the warnings of rebelling.
And we look closely at the three (I'm a Trinitarian) [who looked the same as everyone else so as to not coerce us with the truth of their Majesty] to see if we should trust them / have faith in them.

It seems like we got quick acceptance in the highest angels and quick rejection in the strongest demons and more rejection and more acceptance till ever spirit made int the image of GOD had self chosen their eternal character and place in GOD's reality.

We know little about the motivation of angels but we are told some things about Satan's pride leading to his downfall. From what we know about pride we can surmise that;

• He took umbrage at the idea that these 3 who looked no better than he claimed to be worthy of worship as his GOD.

• He felt that his love for his friends had to be as good as their GODly love anyway.

• He decided that these three were liars and boasters and could not possibly carry out the promises and warnings they spoke of as they could not be GOD and were no better than he was himself.

I for one think I accepted because of the promises but immediately went my own way, not taking any chance but not dedicating my life to the 3 like the first angels did.

Chirstians get strange when they talk about free will and choice here on earth because it is a necessary doctrine but it is impossible to defend so everyone (till now) does it without ever looking at what its religious definition must be.

It certainly has little to do with your premeise that implies people consciously CHOOSE to believe things out of thin air; with no facts, no understanding, no faith.


<shrug>

GOD bless...

Ted
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

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