Announcement

Collapse

Psychology 101 Guidelines

Welcome to Tweb's couch. Please join us in discussing the joys of the human psyche. Watch in wonderment as the Tweb crowd has violent mood swings. help us understand what makes us tick.

Like everywhere else at Tweb our decorum rules apply.
See more
See less

Belief a Conscious Choice?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Originally posted by rstrats View Post
    Paprika,

    re: "Why should it be written in such a manner?"

    To be consistent with your comment in post #8: "Most of my beliefs aren't held with absolute certainty, so I find your conception of 'belief' unrealistic."
    And the Gospel of John was written in English?

    Comment


    • #32
      Paprika,

      re: "And the Gospel of John was written in English?"


      I don't think so. What is your point?

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by rstrats View Post
        Paprika,

        re: "And the Gospel of John was written in English?"


        I don't think so. What is your point?
        Why do you assume that my understanding of 'belief' is commensurate with πιστεύων?

        Comment


        • #34
          Paprika,

          re: "Why do you assume that my understanding of 'belief' is commensurate with πιστεύων ?"

          So what is your understanding of belief if it is not commensurate with πιστεύων?

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by rstrats View Post
            Paprika,

            re: "Why do you assume that my understanding of 'belief' is commensurate with πιστεύων ?"

            So what is your understanding of belief if it is not commensurate with πιστεύων?
            See post #8 of this thread.

            Comment


            • #36
              Paprika,

              re: "See post #8 of this thread."

              I don't see in post #8 where you define the word "belief".

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by rstrats View Post
                Paprika,

                re: "See post #8 of this thread."

                I don't see in post #8 where you define the word "belief".
                Indeed, but I never claimed it did. What it has should be sufficient.

                Allow me to shed some light: you're trying to perform a reductio ad absurdum on my understanding of belief/believe by assuming that I would translate John 3:16 using "believe". But given that my understanding of "believe" is rather different from yours in at least one key aspect, it is not a wise assumption.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by rstrats View Post
                  JohnnyP,

                  re: "If you want an example that's entirely free of knowledge about the given subject..."

                  With or without knowledge, doesn't matter. If beliefs can be obtained by simply choosing to have them, then knowledge is not necessary - prudent in certain cases, perhaps - but not necessary. But even if it were necessary, how would you know when you had it? What would be the state of your mind with regard to the issue in question once you realized that you had the knowledge? And remember,in order for a belief to be considered a choice, there have to be at least two options from which to select, and each option has to be able to be selected.
                  What Sparko said: "conscious belief by choice with no evidence was never a claim anyone rational has made." But maybe this would qualify for you anyway:

                  You come to a fork in the road with no idea where paths go, no indication that going one way is better than the other, both look exactly the same, you're not trying to go any particular direction, you're just trying to get somewhere.

                  How do you instantaneously choose to believe that going right is better than left, or vice versa?

                  I'll do some anticipating that you may come back to say, well a person could have an OCD fetish that you should always start with the right, or is in the habit of starting with the left when reading, or some other unconscious philosophy that the right way is the best way. But what if a person realizes he's doing that and decides to break the pattern by choosing the opposite of what he normally believes to be true?

                  There's a concept called free won't, where you can consciously choose to go against previous choices that may be based on your subconscious irrational mind. For example:
                  The brain unconsciously initiates the process of "voluntary" action. Subsequently we become aware of this. On the basis of these results, some researchers concluded that free will is an illusion.
                  ...
                  We have free will to abort an action. So, we may better think of volitional action in this case not as free will, but as "free won't." We can stop an action initiated by our brain nonconsciously.

                  -Psychology Today

                  So I'd propose that choosing a belief is choosing a belief, whether it's that one path is better to take than another, or whether it's better to believe in God or not. That's not to say it's guaranteed to be a belief entirely free of doubt and never questioned. I even question my beliefs that reality is as I know it, where it's possible that we're all just in a Matrix-type computer simulation. But it's still choosing a belief, regardless.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Paprika,

                    re: "...you're trying to perform a reductio ad absurdum on my understanding of belief/believe by assuming that I would translate John 3:16 using 'believe'.


                    How would you translate "believe" in John 3:16?

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Deleted.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        JohnnyP,

                        re: " How do you instantaneously choose to believe that going right is better than left, or vice versa?"

                        I don't know. That's why I started this topic.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by rstrats View Post
                          Paprika,

                          re: "...you're trying to perform a reductio ad absurdum on my understanding of belief/believe by assuming that I would translate John 3:16 using 'believe'.


                          How would you translate "believe" in John 3:16?
                          I don't propose something authoritative. pistis and related words are (IMO) hard to render concisely in English, but I would go for "has faith" or "has loyalty".

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by rstrats View Post
                            JohnnyP,

                            re: " How do you instantaneously choose to believe that going right is better than left, or vice versa?"

                            I don't know. That's why I started this topic.
                            When I ask the question, "Why?",
                            I sometimes feel I want to cry:
                            I seek an answer, but instead I get many
                            To decide between;
                            And why is "X" any better than "Y"?

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              I'm always mystified when this conversation comes up, because its been my personal experience that changing one's beliefs is actually quite easy to do. There have been a number of times in my life where I've decided that I will believe or not believe something all things considered equal. So, for instance, when I was younger I used to do roofing with my father, and found that I had a fear of heights. My fear was founded on the premise that if I got too close to the ledge, I would fall off the roof and severely injure myself or die. But I knew from watching other roofers that generally speaking this was not the case, so every day I would roof with my father I would force myself to look over the edge until I conquered my fear. I chose to believe that I would not die rather than that I would.

                              Here's another example, when I was a teen in the late 80s and early 90s my worldview was extremely confused, especially since I had recently disassociated myself from a cult. I felt I had so many questions that could not be answered, and I hovered between holding onto a belief in the divine, and rejecting it altogether. I was in this state of confusion and frustration for years. In my early 20s I found myself in a situation (in Basic Training) of complete despair and solitude, and then I remembered God, and his forgiveness and his love, and decided that from then on, despite whatever questions I was holding onto, I would make a purposeful choice to place my faith in him. I would stop hovering, and believe in him. And lo and behold, in my studies and walk in my faith, all of the questions I had were slowly yet surely answered, and I found that placing my faith in him was perfectly justified all along.

                              I know countless people over the years who have chosen their beliefs. Sometimes consciously and sometimes not so consciously. Paul says in Romans that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and I believe that renewing can come about through prayer, meditation, study, and even talking positive things over yourself. I recently read a terrific book by psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwarz called, You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life. Its a fascinating read, and contains plenty of examples of people who were able to successfully change their beliefs for the better.
                              Last edited by Adrift; 11-03-2014, 11:13 AM.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Adrift,

                                re: "I'm always mystified when this conversation comes up, because its been my personal experience that changing one's beliefs is actually quite easy to do."

                                So how about demonstrating your ability by doing as requested in the OP?

                                Comment

                                widgetinstance 221 (Related Threads) skipped due to lack of content & hide_module_if_empty option.
                                Working...
                                X