I believe that there must be something in the human mind which exists there at birth that craves contact with or knowledge of an all powerful protector which is called "God," "Allah," or whatever. Even though athiests try to say that this is all foolishness, I am not so sure of that. Yes, I do not believe there is an old man in the sky who hears prayers and judges us at our death, but I do believe that some organizing power which is greater than simple chance is responsible for what we call "intelligence."
Some people use their own share of this "intelligence" to try to prove that existentialism is the highest form of philosophical understanding. I believe this is a kind of arrogance.
I arrived at this belief by noticing that the same cultural forms arise everywhere and always did even when cultures were separated by time, space, and lack of communication.
By the way, Doctor, I agree that this forum is great. I visit several forums about psychology daily, although I don't often comment in them, and this is by far the best mannered and most intelligent of the bunch. I think the many people who think of psychopaths as demons or criminals would be shocked to read some of the perceptive posts on this forum, and I wish they could.
Thank you Dr. That is very kind of you. On the other forum I regularly comment on as Daniel Birdick, I was just called evil, with a rotting brain for good measure by a crusading normal. A few days later, I am called a “person of intelligent humility”, who might even, shocker of shockers, be of service to humanity at large. It’s all so dang funny! But again and with sincerity, thank you.
I would be interested in hearing some
replies to this question:
What does it mean to believe
something? When you look with honesty into your own mind, what do you
believe, and what is the root source of those beliefs?
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
Besides, who said anything about humanity being bad? Here are some adjectives that spring to mind when I think of humanity at large: intelligent, rapacious, passionate, violent, cooperative, selfish, striving, curious, social, blind, courageous, sturdy, hopeful, ambitious, creative, short sighted, multi faceted… The list goes on and on. But is humanity bad or evil? In my opinion, no. Humanity is just itself. I do however object to the overly rosy views of the species. That I think is delusional.
I think that our personal, cultural and religious beliefs limit us if we don't allow them to be influenced continually by scientific findings and by the belief systems of others.
My mind is always open, and I feel no loyalty to the belief systems that I was raised in.
I have read all of your posts on this forum. Are you kidding us with that strange lingo, or is this really the way you talk?
Besides your funny way of writing which I believe must be a joke of some kind, your point of view is terribly judgmental and self righteous. And I hear a nastiness behind it. I suggest you read Doctor Robert's reply to the man who constantly found himself surrounded by sin.
You still will not say anything about your strange style of writing. I do not believe you talk that way, and I cannot understand why you use all those capital letters. Also, if you read the Doctors link, why not say what you think about it?
As far as God goes, you have a right to believe anything you like, but the reason you gave for your belief is just silly. You said you believe in God because if you did not or if God did not exist nothing would make any sense. First of all, that is not true. Many scientists and other intelligent thinkers,poets, artists, etc, etc, have been able to make sense of this world without bringing God into it at all. In the second place, saying that things would not make sense to you if you did not believe a certain thing does not prove in any way that that thing exists. Maybe you just lack enough imagination to make sense of a world without a god in it.
As I say, Lega, you can believe what you like, but don't expect the rest of us to go along with your God must exist or else logic. That really doesn't make any sense!
What do you disagree with exactly Xtine? And what was rude? I am not at all sure what you meant.
When I put words in quotation marks like I did before, that is usually but not always me being ironic. Humanity is what it is. I do not hold any great hope that the species will someday finally live up to its most idealistic images of itself. I suppose it could happen, given enough time and great strides in our understanding of the brain and genetics. Otherwise, we are what we are. I see no point in trying to help people become something they have no authentic wish to be.
What a broad question.
My own truth or belief, as you would call it, would be... Everyone believes in something. It's just human nature to believe in a higher power. Earth, the sun, God.. whatever.
The danger in a belief structure is how and what you are taught. Two people can read the samething and interput totally different messages. One picks up a gun for religious war while the other helps the weak and needy.
Also the information they recieve and learn from should be written in a form easily understood for the reader.
Belief is when you *think* you know and knowing is... well, when you *know* you know. Where does the need to believe in, well, anything comes from is another matter. Many people live in self-delusions because they need to believe in something or someone without any facts to support such claims. Why, i have no idea as i don't believe in anything that i can't confirm with my own observations or logic. If i am unsure of something i'm content in admitting that i don't know.
Hmmm... beliefs. I can say that apart from a few temporary statements that I'm attached to or convinced of, even though I may say I "believe", I simply don't really believe in them. The words "I believe" is simply used by me for grabbing people's attention, for emphasizing certain things or simply, a play at what people think as "beliefs". I use the word "belief" to represent statements and ideas and perceptions I hold for a while, before I'm forced to abandon them or rework them. Or only when I'm feeling extremely cynical or depressed and feel like going for a temporary "emotional ride" before I abandon them. Or when I want to explain something to someone and don't feel like delivering a 20 page thesis. Or quite simply, when I know the other person just is incapable of grasping that huge motherload of logic I use. Or when I'm unable to find a proper word or thought to label something under.
Because for me, I come across so much information once every few days, that it quite simply repeatedly reprograms my sense of reality: sometimes altering it, challenging it or even tearing apart everything. These bits of information all come from different perspectives and fields: medicine, science, geography, history, different groups of people, etc.
To say that I "believe", would probably require me to abandon logic, rationality, information, humanity, etc. and to adapt statements and stands that would never change or not change much. Therefore, things to me are always defined as "perceptions", "thoughts", "concepts", "actions", "consequences", "the total sum of this and that", etc., etc. that belong to either me or to others, in terms of time periods, faiths, cultures, sub-cultures, etc, occupations, etc.
And I judge or measure people and concepts by reliability, usefulness, logic(well the logic sets that I know of or can recall at that singular moment), how they treat themselves/others, their actions, their intentions, etc., etc. So yes, I abandoned the concepts of "belief", of "trust" and stuff like that. Why bother stating I "believe" when every 10 to 20 to ___ days, I'm going to come back with a set of altered statements and come off sounding as someone foolish?
The "me" before would be like this. Yes, everything below is likely about the former "me":
To "believe" would require me to analyze, observe and perceive said subject for a period of time, before I can actually arrive at a conclusion that would lead me to believe in a theory or a statement. However, my beliefs change all the time as I come across new information, as I see things from different angles and so on. Also, I understand that what I "believe" is not always true but until I can come across new information, new methods that will change my beliefs, I will just simply keep these beliefs but not tell the world. Upon the moment when I start to realize that my belief is in no way accurate, I will just either keep it and demote it to an observation, a perception, a piece of information, etc. or simply abandon it.
A very simple example of how I can arrive at beliefs: I used to eat fast food all the time. I did not believe too much in health, nutrition and so forth. But then, I fell tremendously ill. The doctors were either unable to or uninterested in helping me and their medicine was mostly useless. So, I started to learn more about nutrition, vitamins, medicine(modern, alternative, etc.), etc. and all these information helped shape some of my views and beliefs about the human body.
And another example: I used to believe the sky was simply "light blue" until I found out that the colors perceived by others through their eyes, are not always the same as mine. Same for scent, taste, touch, etc.
I hold beliefs out of xenophobia, cultural beliefs, fascism, superstition, "weird concepts" about aliens and so forth. Seriously, do not ask me how I came to believe, at one time, that flying saucers existed!
Yes, yours truly actually tampered with a gazillion faiths/branches of faiths(either by joining or reading about them and considering conversion): Christianity, Satanism, Buddhism, Islam, European pagan faiths, voodoo-based faiths, tarot-based faiths, etc., etc.
i know this is an old post but what the hell.
simply, isn't belief just the extension of the way a child must innately trust it's caregiver in order to survive?
adult beliefs are when the person has not outgrown that trait, not broken through their superego, which comes in during those young formative years.
that is my summation. they have not outgrown the need to be parented, going from mum to god etc.
it is possible to be totally without belief when you deconstruct all that you are taught in those early years. things like hope still find their way into your psyche from time to time, but free from belief, rationality becomes the most dominant force in your life.
Interesting thoughts trouble. It would seem that belief is tossed around and used in different connotations. For example, people often say, "you gotta believe in yourself to achieve anything." I would say that "envisioning" an outcome and "believing in something" are often misconstrued. For example, envisioning a desired outcome has been shown to be a successful technique in helping many athletes achieve goals. So has hard work and practice but it is often the ability to push the limits of what we "believed" were our limitations. So there is a certain kind of belief that I would say is valuable, however the "Constructed belief systems" we're taught as children can become hindrances as we grow older. One of my favorite quotes from the Principia Discordia is "I firmly believe that nothing should be firmly believed."