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Thread: Beliefs

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    People have to believe in something.

    And.

    If you dont believe in something, you'll fall for anything.
    I believe you've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything. I believe in God, family, holding on to innocence and being pure of heart. I don't care if I'm not cool or if I'm the last nerd standing. Not a problem.


  2. #12
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    People have to believe in something.
    I'd need to know the context in which the word "believe" is being used in this case: Believe as in religious belief? As in personal convictions or some sort of moral code? Something internal or external, or all of the above?

    Otherwise, the statement sounds so thoroughly overreaching that I don't know what to make of it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    If you dont believe in something, you'll fall for anything.
    My understanding of this particular statement is that, basically, if you have very weak convictions then you're liable to fall for any really convincing or persuasive ideology. If that's the idea behind that statement, then yes I agree with it.
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    People have to believe in something.
    Yes.


    If you dont believe in something, you'll fall for anything.
    No. I believe that everyone has to believe in something so anything beyond that is out of the question.

    In any case, the effect doesn't follow the cause. If having a belief filters information, then it is done so in part by rationality. Other forces filter information, like emotional responses, but there is still a subdued form of rationality that works to filter in accordance with the whim of emotion. Still, belief is essential to the process, even if it is the simple belief that another belief is undesirable.

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    I think it is not about having particular beliefs but more about coming to terms with ambiguity and the different ways things could be/relate to each other

  5. #15
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    another member and I are inventing a way to apply the laws of physics to morality... morality defined by science!



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  6. #16
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    Default Magic and Belief

    We are pattern perceiving animals. And we prefer any pattern to no pattern.

    But during the Enlightenment we discovered a way to find which patterns correspond to reality and which patterns don't correspond to reality.

    However what we find on this site is a lot of pre-Enlightenment thinking, often called magical thinking.

    I think this is because the predominent culture here was formed before the Enlightenment so magical thinking is still socially acceptable and normal.

    And also, and I know this is controversial, but women tend more towards magical thinking because of their relative powerlessness, where things happen outside their control as if by magic. And so magical thinking seems appropriate, as in astrology.

    Magical thinking takes us back to our childhood where we were safe and secure and looked after, and most women want to be safe and secure and looked after.

    Also magical thinking induces a trance state where wishes become promises and promises become reality.

    We all love magic and magic, so we believe, will get us what we want.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Munchies's Avatar
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    It should be "If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything"
    It has nothing to do with beleiving, it has to do with what your moral stance is, not nessesarily what is the moral doctrin you follow
    1+1=3 OMFG

  8. #18
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    I'm going to disagree with the op and @Munchies as well.

    I don't believe in anything. And @Lark for the comment about reason: I believe in reason in as much as I can use it. Unfortunately, reason is not perfect. After all, no matter how rational one tries to be, s/he will still fall short when rationality is applied to existentialism. Why do we exist? How do we exist? Through some errant fluke? Through some grand, divine creation? No matter how much one reasons, s/he will run into the problem of rationalizing the uncaused causer.

    If anything, it's much more rational to say that existence in itself is an absurdity and/or since everything we know or ever will know is temporary, it would be best to live a hedonistic lifestyle. However, since we do seem to exist, there seems to be a struggle to find any self-evident truths to the way things work.

    This will tie into @whatever 's post as well: As far as I can tell, when one applies reason to the order of the universe, the description that best fits what I see is that of pragmatism: (To tie in physics, for each and every action is an equal and opposite reaction.) If you kill someone, you had better be ready to suffer the consequences, whether it be jail, or retribution by a person of the victim's in-group. We eat animals and stuff because they can't intelligently defend themselves against us. We don't kill people because they can defend themselves against us, or their peers can. One may not lie because s/he is afraid of the blowback any perceived lies could deal to his/her reputation, or for whatever reason. It's purely pragmatic to think that acting "good" will appease a god for some kind of reward. Is it rational? If you're Pascal, it's definitely rational. Is it reasonable? I think not, since I am of the suspicion that no personal gods or supernatural saviors exist.

    That's as far as using reason has gotten me, yet I dislike the conclusions I've made. So while it's arguable whether I believe those things which I've posted above, I ultimately don't want to believe them since being pragmatic is NOT egalitarian, something in which I would like to place a high level of value.

    When one argues over whether it is better to be selfish or beneficent I have to agree that being selfish is better to some extent in that it guarantees self-preservation and that beneficence is unsustainable. Yet I would prefer to live in a world filled with beneficence. Unfortunately, that world would have to be utopian in nature where there is no competition for resources. We live in one that is dystopian. If this world is dystopian in its very nature, what chance is there of changing it? Why bother with anything when at your core, you will be dissatisfied.

    And thus, I believe in nothing, having used reason as my tool to get there and subsequently discarded it.
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  9. #19
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    I assume that we're not talking about belief as in 'hope' but about 'adherence to a belief system.'

    Not particularly. One can keep an open mind and investigate the merits of all sorts of ideas, and not be a staunch adherent to a particular belief--but still be smart or discerning enough to not fall for terrible, misleading, evil, maligned, or counterproductive beliefs.

    Belief systems can take many forms--religion, arrogance (believing oneself to know all the answers), political parties, etc.

    Life is a hell of a lot easier if I have a belief system that tells me what I ought to do, but that's not the only way to navigate life. In fact, I would argue that it's an incomplete way to navigate life--but, to each their own.

    Granted, that is not the same as developing inner-directed, self-guided, general principles by which to navigate life. In my estimation, those are pretty cool. And perhaps the 'discernment' that I describe above is similar to 'belief in something.'

    Long and short, I think we can hold beliefs for good reasons, and we can hold them for bad reasons. My point is that holding a belief, especially if it hasn't been investigated internally and checked against reality, isn't in and of itself a good thing.

    A religious adherent who knows of the existence of nothing outside the bounds of his own religion and hasn't 'spot-checked' his beliefs won't 'fall for' a lot, sure, but there are worse sins than that.


    Related to @Blank's post above, our own moral stances are more than mere practicality and rationality. We make many moral decisions based upon emotions--rationality is far from the entire picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    We are pattern perceiving animals. And we prefer any pattern to no pattern.
    [...]
    Also magical thinking induces a trance state where wishes become promises and promises become reality.

    We all love magic and magic, so we believe, will get us what we want.
    This. We love to seek out patterns. We love things that validate our patterns. It gives us a rush when things validate the way we believe the world to be. It's elegant and self-serving. Our beliefs tend to enforce themselves--and not for good reasons.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    People have to believe in something.
    I understand the context of this particular saying to be something more along the line of trusting in something, rather than blindly believing in something. In that context, I think it is important to psychological health to have something in your life that you are sure of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    If you dont believe in something, you'll fall for anything.
    Do you agree with either of these statements? Why? Why not?
    This is a different type of believing, I think more in the 'blind faith' category. I disagree with this; healthy skepticism rather than belief is the key to not falling for snake oil.

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