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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Re: Belief a CHOICE?

Post #51

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 49 by ttruscott]



Nothing but a honking big bag of wrong.
ttruscott wrote:1.
You choose your belief when you have no proof of reality when presented with more than one option as to the truth about a belief. Like before any science proved or taught us how to prove if the earth was flat or round, we had a choice to believe which was true. Arguments supported both but proved neither. But inside we could believe it to be one way even though we were not adamant that was our convicted belief while others chose strongly to accept one definition or the other because they thought the evidence weighed in that direction or even just...because.
Just because is NOT a good reason for ANYTHING.. other than trivialities. If you are hinting that your belief in a god is trivial, and that you believe in it "just because".. you might as well tell us that you HAVE NO GOOD REASON for that belief.

Not news to me, frankly.
ttruscott wrote:2. New Evidence...
Does new evidence really change your mind or do you rather change your mind when presented with new evidence after considering the implications etc, the connotations?
The TRUTH does not depend on the implications or the connotations. If you are hinting that you will IGNORE any evidence that you don't like the IMPLICATIONS of .. you are telling us that you use BIAS as your guide for what is TRUE.
ttruscott wrote:Does not changing your mind mean you choose to accept the new data rather than stay with the old definitions?
Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Data isn't a definition. New data, IF TRUE should ALWAYS be accepted. Denying reality in order to preserve some bias is the OPPOSITE of sound reasoning.
ttruscott wrote:Your choice to now decide to choose to believe that leprechauns exist without any new data is absurd because rather than your senseless definition of what it means to choose to believe, the Christian use is quite ordinary and not different from making up your mind about anything not fully proven.

Your strawman argument fails...
Are you saying that making up your mind about something before it's proven is a GOOD idea?

Critical thinking would have us think the very OPPOSITE of that. The only time that we should MAKE UP OUR MIND as to the truth of a proposition is when we have sufficient REASON to do so.

Making up your mind about something that you know nothing about is being FOOLISH.

:)

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Post #52

Post by ttruscott »

Guy Smiley wrote:I vote no: you can't choose what you think is true. Even if you think one thing and then change your mind, you don't choose to change your mind.
So, physical truth by overwhelming evidence short circuits choosing? What about those areas of life where there is no overwhelming evidence to short circuit choosing?

I'm pretty sure I've experienced choosing to change my mind any number of times despite your pronouncement to the contrary. "I think I'll turn left here - no wait, the traffic is stopped, I'll go right instead." Sheesh.
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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Re: Belief a CHOICE?

Post #53

Post by ttruscott »

Mr.Badham wrote:Does a 6 year old choose anything?
Have you no experience of a 6 year old? They constantly choose things all the time all day!
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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Post #54

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 52 by ttruscott]

All we need now is SALAD DRESSING.
ttruscott wrote: So, physical truth by overwhelming evidence short circuits choosing?
Could you PLEASE stop making word salad? I have NO idea what that could POSSIBLY mean, or where on EARTH you could have possibly got that idea from.

"PHYSICAL TRUTH?"

What does that mean? You have different CATEGORIES of truth, some of them physical and some of them NOT physical?

"physical truth by overwhelming evidence"

Isn't even grammatically COHERENT.

"short circuits choosing"

What does it MEAN to "short circuit choosing"?

The sentence is to reasoning as jalapeno is to diaper ice cream.
ttruscott wrote:What about those areas of life where there is no overwhelming evidence to short circuit choosing?
Can this possibly GET more meaningless?
ttruscott wrote:I'm pretty sure I've experienced choosing to change my mind any number of times despite your pronouncement to the contrary. "I think I'll turn left here - no wait, the traffic is stopped, I'll go right instead." Sheesh.
You've only demonstrated that you can change your mind and NOT that you can choose to change your mind.

But blowfish the compost knothole inside my vicarious sidebarge.

Sheesh.

:)

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Post #55

Post by Elijah John »

Blastcat wrote: [Replying to post 52 by ttruscott]

All we need now is SALAD DRESSING.
ttruscott wrote: So, physical truth by overwhelming evidence short circuits choosing?
Could you PLEASE stop making word salad? I have NO idea what that could POSSIBLY mean, or where on EARTH you could have possibly got that idea from.

"PHYSICAL TRUTH?"

What does that mean? You have different CATEGORIES of truth, some of them physical and some of them NOT physical?

"physical truth by overwhelming evidence"

Isn't even grammatically COHERENT.

"short circuits choosing"

What does it MEAN to "short circuit choosing"?

The sentence is to reasoning as jalapeno is to diaper ice cream.
ttruscott wrote:What about those areas of life where there is no overwhelming evidence to short circuit choosing?
Can this possibly GET more meaningless?
ttruscott wrote:I'm pretty sure I've experienced choosing to change my mind any number of times despite your pronouncement to the contrary. "I think I'll turn left here - no wait, the traffic is stopped, I'll go right instead." Sheesh.
You've only demonstrated that you can change your mind and NOT that you can choose to change your mind.

But blowfish the compost knothole inside my vicarious sidebarge.

Sheesh.

:)
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Post #56

Post by Bust Nak »

ttruscott wrote: So, physical truth by overwhelming evidence short circuits choosing?
There is no choosing involved in the first place to short circuit.
I'm pretty sure I've experienced choosing to change my mind any number of times despite your pronouncement to the contrary. "I think I'll turn left here - no wait, the traffic is stopped, I'll go right instead." Sheesh.
That's an example of you choosing to go right, not an example of choosing to believe something.

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Post #57

Post by ttruscott »

Bust Nak wrote:
ttruscott wrote: So, physical truth by overwhelming evidence short circuits choosing?
There is no choosing involved in the first place to short circuit.
I was answering
Guy Smiley wrote: I vote no: you can't choose what you think is true.
What I think is true can be based upon physical evidence, like I believe in gravity because I see it working. But he says if I believe gravity is true I can't choose it as the reason things fall? I think this is wrong as I can believe many things about why things fall and gravity is only one of them and I chose it as the most plausible. I chose to mention physical truths (things fall) because spiritual truths are ambiguous.
Bust Nak wrote:
I'm pretty sure I've experienced choosing to change my mind any number of times despite your pronouncement to the contrary. "I think I'll turn left here - no wait, the traffic is stopped, I'll go right instead." Sheesh.
That's an example of you choosing to go right, not an example of choosing to believe something.
No, that is an example of you arguing the lack of absolute truthfulness of an analogy and not the reality the analogy points to. I saw new evidence. I changed my mind ie I chose to believe a different direction would get me home faster.

At one time I believed YHWH was evil and possibly Satan, rejecting the option to believe HE was my GOD because I hated HIM. Now I do not. By what method do you see me using to change my mind if I did not choose to change my mind based upon new evidence? Especially since it was not a snap decision like the driving example but happened slowly over a long time as I pondered and worked the options?
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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Post #58

Post by Bust Nak »

ttruscott wrote: By what method do you see me using to change my mind if I did not choose to change my mind based upon new evidence? Especially since it was not a snap decision like the driving example but happened slowly over a long time as I pondered and worked the options?
That's the point, you were forced by new evidence to believe in different stuff. You can of course change your mind when it comes to how you act. No choosing was involved when it comes to believing. You chose go a different direction because you were forced to believe it would get you home faster; you chose to become Christian because you were forced to believe the Biblical God was the one true God. If beliefs were a matter of choice then evidence wouldn't be relevant when you can simply choose to believe otherwise. And if we introduce pre-existence, you were still forced to believe God was truthful but too harsh on sinners because what you were told made sense.

The clearest way to demonstrate this is to attempt to believe the absurd, you simply cannot do it. Go ahead and try to believe 2+2=5 and report back your success or lack there of.

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Post #59

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 58 by Bust Nak]

ttruscott wrote:
By what method do you see me using to change my mind if I did not choose to change my mind based upon new evidence? Especially since it was not a snap decision like the driving example but happened slowly over a long time as I pondered and worked the options?
If we aren't open to change our mind based on NEW DATA, we open ourself to have false beliefs. We acquire new data all the time.. this is called "LEARNING" and "PROGRESS". Holding on to outdated beliefs and refusing to consider new data... Is most likely going to make a person have FALSE BELIEFS.

And I don't see the point of believing in falsehoods.

I don't believe the pathway to knowledge starts off from an unwillingness to get out of a tidy little room. I suggest, OPENING THE DOOR to the world of knowledge.

ttruscott might have been open to new data AT ONE TIME... but that time seems to be long gone now. Now, he seems to be telling us that he has LOCKED himself into an ideological room that he simply refuses to get out of.


:)

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Post #60

Post by ttruscott »

Bust Nak wrote:You chose go a different direction because you were forced to believe it would get you home faster; you chose to become Christian because you were forced to believe the Biblical God was the one true God.
Ok, you've convinced by that a secular analogy does not work. You are talking about what you treat in your mind as a fact. I believe that a stone will fall from many past experiences. To apply this narrow usage to the word 'believe' in Christian thinking is to misuse the word or the doctrine.

When I claim we chose to accept YHWH's claims to be our GOD or to reject HIM as our GOD I am contending that we chose where to put our faith, our unproven hopes for future happiness, and the content of that faith is called a belief in HIM as GOD or a belief in HIM as non-god. It's like a money manager making his claims of expertise and trustworthiness and people, after doing their due diligence, believing him to be what he claims and investing their hope in him and his expectations for the future.

After a scrutiny of the evidence but holding our need for proof in abeyance for the future to prove out, we believe we have made a good deal / decision when we buy a car, when we invest in our children's college fund, when we change jobs, start dating a new person etc etc. But we are in fact choosing to believe, choosing to make a faith based decision (unproven so based on some degree of hope).

While not all Christians go this deep into the distinction between belief as a proven fact or belief as a faith acceptance of an unproven hope, it is a real distinction. If you are comfortable saying some people choose their faith then in Spiritual language, they are also choosing their belief, pro or con. My particular contention for our pre-earth free will decisions about the content of our faith/belief about the nature of GOD and reality contends everyone created in HIS image chose their belief about HIM, acceptance of HIS claim or or rejection. These choices are perfectly reflected in our lives on earth.

It was basically a willingness to trust HIS claims, invest in HIS methodology and to let things work out, believing / having faith HE will prove HIS claims. Many Christians happily claim HE has done that for them in their lives to their satisfaction, thus contending that their faith is now a belief on the order of a belief in gravity...and I know how that feels, <shrug>.
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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