Beliefs

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Beliefs

Postby mirjana » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:19 pm

We have hardly had any debate without mentioning beliefs. They are connected with philosophy, religion, politics...They start from personal beliefs and eventually those become group, society, even global beliefs.
It is a personal understanding of something that is not necessarily based on proof. Most often we are not able to prove our beliefs, unless something happens or appears and makes it possible. But, in spite of that, even before appearance of such a prove, beliefs can be stronger than proven things.
Then, it happens, that something that was controversial and even attacked because of lack of proof becomes a system of knowledge.
Can you imagine yourself to be a huge opponent of a certain idea that seems so not true to you and based on such a personal belief somebody else's beliefs and such a person lose their credibility in your eyes. And then it happens that this opposing idea turns out to be true, becoming a knowledge. How would you then behave in relation to the person who you had discredited before?

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Re: Beliefs

Postby GenerousGeorge » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:51 am

Beliefs can have a strange life of their own. For example every religion has it's own beliefs that are real for those who profess "faith" in their particular God. All those with the same beliefs reinforce each other so that eventually even when there is no proof or real evidence that their beliefs are credible they all accept those shared beliefs without question. In fact questioning those beliefs becomes unacceptable and indicates a lack of faith.

What is strange is that in this process people believe in really bizzare things that in any other venue would not be accepted without question. Rising from the dead, flying horses, virgin births....... you name it.....anything goes, no evidence required and to question the belief in your group is blasphemy.

These are the same people who in every other aspect of their lives demand proof based in reason for all claims. If you told one of these people for example that a flying horse was coming to collect their hair to turn to gold and they needed to shave their heads, they would think you were crazy.......but they choose to believe equally crazy things on "faith" and think of that as a virtue. Very, very strange this belief thing.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby mirjana » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:49 am

There are different beliefs, stronger or weaker, deeper or less deep, conscious or subconscious. I think that the most dangerous are those subconscious beliefs that a person gets in the earliest childhood. They shape the personality and limit the approach toward life experiences as they put everything that comes within these limitations.Everything which is opposition is rejected automatically without giving any thoughts to it.

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Re: Beliefs

Postby GenerousGeorge » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:16 am

I agree Mirjana ................ that kind of early childhood conditioning is very difficult to change. That is the primary reason we have so many people killing each other over whose invisible friend in the sky is the right and true one.

I would go so far as to say that conditioning children in that way is evil and robs them of some of the best parts of their human experience.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby mirjana » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:58 pm

Hi GG,

I have nothing more to say to that what you said, except to give you Kudos for this last sentence.


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Re: Beliefs

Postby Metatron » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:36 pm

I think beliefs, especially those of religious nature, have people developed to rid themselves of fear from death. It is kind of obvious, that for some individuals, the idea of an afterlife is more appealing and certainly less depressing than that of nihil, or simply the lack of scientific knowledge, or knowledge of the details, rather than rough outlines of other religions, makes it easier for them to accept the rather simple idea of creation, for instance.

I'm fine with such beliefs, as far as they don't affect me directly. However, the problem is, that nowadays one can't be completely unaffected by said ideologies. As Generous George mentioned, it is unhealthy for children to be indoctrinated at a very young age. Not all of these kids are later able to understand, that many of their views are based on unsubstanciated words of their parents or spiritual guides. Thus we have homophobes, racists, religious extremists (which is sometimes equal to my first two examples) and we could go on. On one hand, it is amusing, on the other saddening, that except of neccessary conflicts and problems like making money, rasising children or getting education, people start wars out of hatred against another nation or religion, or, on a smaller scale, make other people's lives a living hell because of something they have no control over.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby Sabina » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:48 pm

Everything you all wrote is very true, but there is one thing that hasn't been considered here, and it also has to do with children and beliefs.

The new generations of parents, it is a phenomenon that I have observed over and over..
These parents don't want to condition their children, they don't want to make the mistakes their parents did and society does, etc. and they wind up going into the other extreme, and in order to not condition the child, they don't educate it. They don't set rules, and children do need rules, if only to teach them how to live in today's society and not be overwhelmed when they grow up.

Metatron wrote:I think beliefs, especially those of religious nature, have people developed to rid themselves of fear from death. It is kind of obvious, that for some individuals, the idea of an afterlife is more appealing and certainly less depressing than that of nihil, or simply the lack of scientific knowledge, or knowledge of the details, rather than rough outlines of other religions, makes it easier for them to accept the rather simple idea of creation, for instance.

Ok, but - why do people have to be religious in order to believe in an afterlife? If they believe in an afterlife they can do so based on fear, or based on an experience, or a feeling, but why would anyone need religion when they can believe it just as well on their own?

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Re: Beliefs

Postby Metatron » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:23 am

Sabina wrote:The new generations of parents, it is a phenomenon that I have observed over and over..
These parents don't want to condition their children, they don't want to make the mistakes their parents did and society does, etc. and they wind up going into the other extreme, and in order to not condition the child, they don't educate it. They don't set rules, and children do need rules, if only to teach them how to live in today's society and not be overwhelmed when they grow up.


But I never said chidlren didn't need rules, quite the opposite. However, there is a difference between being indoctrinated and being educated. The former does not like you questioning it, the latter encourages you to. I think a simple sentence "Never stop doubting what you hear and see." is a good guide for life, and being taught this at a young age is very important for the later development of the mind. I don't even know how could anyone think it is good if they don't set rules for their children. But there are rules and rules. And a child doesn't learn how to survive in the "jungle" by being told "There is a god who created the world in seven days and fags ought to be slaughtered." Because that's what they're gonna do when they go to school. By setting the rule "First ask, observe, then evaluate and conclude" (obviously in a more simple verbalization) there is a higher chance that little Tommy or Peggy will be interested in studying, will be less likely to discriminate people etc etc... However, this is conpletely based on parental influence, I haven't included the influence of the school environment itself.

Ok, but - why do people have to be religious in order to believe in an afterlife? If they believe in an afterlife they can do so based on fear, or based on an experience, or a feeling, but why would anyone need religion when they can believe it just as well on their own?


Well, it is in human nature to look for a purpose in life. A nihilist would say there is none, there is no afterlife, we're just a cosmic accident. A religionist would tell you, usually, that the purpose in life is to worship a god, who created an afterlife and let's you live it after your death, if you have lived well. But there always is a reason, an explanation, you can't live in an afterlife "just like that", because chances are that you're less likely to get it if you don't know what to do to get it. So you look for confidence in other people, who have it all worked out, have a system and can give you a higher chance to get the afterlife.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby Sabina » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:00 am

David,

I didn't at all mean to imply that you said that.
The part that I replied to you specifically was the part I wrote underneath your quote.
Sorry if that was not clear.
I just added this thought as an addition to the other talks of children and conditioning. Conditioning is bad, not educating is just as bad. As with everything in life it is important to find the golden middle.

"Never stop doubting what you hear and see."
My first instinct was to agree with this, and a large portion of me is that way, however... there is also another side to life, and if you are completely focused on doubting everything you might miss out on some things.

Metatron wrote:Well, it is in human nature to look for a purpose in life. A nihilist would say there is none, there is no afterlife, we're just a cosmic accident. A religionist would tell you, usually, that the purpose in life is to worship a god, who created an afterlife and let's you live it after your death, if you have lived well. But there always is a reason, an explanation, you can't live in an afterlife "just like that", because chances are that you're less likely to get it if you don't know what to do to get it. So you look for confidence in other people, who have it all worked out, have a system and can give you a higher chance to get the afterlife.

It is human nature to ask, but I don't think it is obligatory to choose a group and a preset collection of rules. That part is optional.
The way you put it sounds a bit like there is a left and a right path and you choose one. If you don't, then you stay where you are. Kind of.. or like people see it that way, is that what you mean?

So, for argument's sake, let's say I believe in afterlife, but I am not religious, I am obviously not nihilist either. I love people and the beauty they are capable of.
What am I then?

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Re: Beliefs

Postby GenerousGeorge » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:38 am

Sabina the majority of the 50% Christian population of the USA do not fit into the new generation of parents you describe. Their kids are going to be indoctrinated strongly into that reell.ligion and though they might be open minded and flexible about some things, they are not when it come to saving their children from burning in Hades.
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