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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Post #61

Post by Bust Nak »

[Replying to post 60 by ttruscott]
I AM talking about what one treat in one mind as a fact, the way you believe that a stone will fall from many past experiences. What you called a narrow usage of the word "believe," is the usage set out in the OP. i.e. CHOOSE to believe - be convinced without a doubt - that leprechauns exist.

With that narrow usage in mind, can you confirm that belief is not a choice?

Secondary question, why not use a different word other than "belief" when the "narrow usage" is the actual usage in every non contrived context?

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Post #62

Post by rstrats »

Perhaps someone new looking in who thinks they can consciously choose to believe things will be able to demonstrate their ability by doing aa requested in the OP.

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Re: Belief a CHOICE?

Post #63

Post by rstrats »

re: "The OP seems to be talking about changing a belief from one thing to another in an instant.

It is. The change has to take place in an instant. You can't believe that something doesn't exist and at the same time believe that the same something does exist. There has to be an instant when the one belief changes to the other.

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Re: Belief a CHOICE?

Post #64

Post by McCulloch »

rstrats wrote: re: "The OP seems to be talking about changing a belief from one thing to another in an instant.

It is. The change has to take place in an instant. You can't believe that something doesn't exist and at the same time believe that the same something does exist. There has to be an instant when the one belief changes to the other.
Belief is not quite so black and white. One day you are certain. A few weeks later you have a few doubts. Those doubts grow over the next few months, but you want to believe. One by one, you research those doubts. Some answers refute the doubt. Some answers confirm them. Eventually you get to a place where you admit to yourself that you no longer believe.
Was there a single magical moment when belief stopped? Not any more than there was a single point in time when you became an adult.
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
Gospel of John

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ttruscott
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Post #65

Post by ttruscott »

Today, election day for you guys, gives us an apt analogy: No one has the proof that either candidate will be a suitable president but after listening to the evidence, by trusting it to be fairly presented and hoping you are not making a mistake, hoping the future you want will be borne out by your choice, you commit to standing up for one person to trust AND YOU MAKE YOUR CHOICE TO BELIEVE in one over the other.
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 #66

Post by GlorifiedOne »

[Replying to post 1 by rstrats]

Religious people came up with the idea that we have free will to choose our own god and believe what that god tells them. They have no idea where they get their thoughts from to believe in those gods.

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Re: Belief a CHOICE?

Post #67

Post by rstrats »

McCulloch,
re: "Was there a single magical moment when belief stopped?"

Of course there was. You can't believe - be convinced - that something or someone exists, and at the same time not believe - not be convinced - that the same something or someone exists. There has to be a moment when the one state of mind changes to the other.

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Re: Belief a CHOICE?

Post #68

Post by ttruscott »

GlorifiedOne wrote: [Replying to post 1 by rstrats]

Religious people came up with the idea that we have free will to choose our own god and believe what that god tells them. They have no idea where they get their thoughts from to believe in those gods.
A free will is only necessary if there is GOD. IF there is a GOD who created us then HE created us as thinking beings able to choose by a free, that is, an uncoerced and non-constrained, will. Our thoughts would then come from our nature and the content of them would come from our experience and our desires.
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 #69

Post by Bust Nak »

[Replying to post 68 by ttruscott]

By "our thoughts would then come from our nature" are you not implying our freewill is constrained by our nature? What is free will, if they are not a sub set of thoughts?

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Post #70

Post by rstrats »

Perhaps someone new looking in will be able to demonstrate an ability to consciously choose to believe things.

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