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Belief a Conscious Choice?

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  • Sparko
    replied
    Originally posted by rstrats View Post
    I see that you are slapping yourself on your forehead indicating that you see where you went wrong.
    yeah, that's it.

    I told you I already explained that you are just burning straw.

    Leave a comment:


  • rstrats
    replied
    I see that you are slapping yourself on your forehead indicating that you see where you went wrong.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparko
    replied

    Leave a comment:


  • rstrats
    replied
    Sparko,
    re: "Why do you persist in burning strawmen?"

    I don't know what that means.



    re: "You have been told over and over that nobody just 'chooses' to believe something out of thin air..."

    Thin air or thick air shouldn't make any difference. If beliefs can be obtained by consciously choosing to have them, then evidence (thick air?) is not necessary - prudent in certain cases, perhaps, but not necessary.



    re: " You are being completely dishonest in this matter."

    These forums are rife with people saying that they choose to believe this or that (below are some examples). Now in order for something to be considered a choice, there has to be at least 2 things from which to choose and each one of the things has to be able to be chosen. In the case of leprechauns, there are 3 things from which to choose: a belief that they exist, a belief that they don't exist, or a lack of belief either way. In the case of leprechauns I am simply asking that the first one be chosen. How is this being dishonest?

    Some comments that Ive seen on various message boards are:

    "While one can choose to believe whichever side of the argument he or she likes best..."

    "...in this case I choose to believe in the FDA approved technology..."

    "I choose to believe God wants all of us to be happy."

    "I choose to believe that Harry's got some great news to deliver regarding the joint deal between..."

    "I choose to believe that God is still in control of this universe..."

    "I choose to believe the other one (Kirsten Storms) wouldn't have played it like that..."

    "...and I choose to believe the engineers."

    "I choose to believe the facts as opposed to the capitalized ,third person, self..."

    "I choose to believe the second based on zero evidence."

    "Until then, I choose to believe this publication is good news."

    "I choose to believe they are on the verge of success. Only time will tell."

    "I don't have to prove to you or anyone else what I choose to believe."

    "I choose to believe Norfolk Southern, If you choose to believe John Petersen, that is your choice..."

    ...I choose to believe that you are a very poor thinker....

    "I CHOOSE to believe that the bed I am sitting on is going to support me."

    " I CHOOSE to believe that my car will take me to work."

    "I CHOOSE to believe that you are a real person."

    "I CHOOSE to believe that there are words on the pages of my books."

    "I CHOOSE to believe that I will have a job tomorrow."

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparko
    replied
    Originally posted by rstrats View Post
    Rushing Jaws,
    re: "Hope that helps."

    Thanks, but I'm afraid that it doesn't. I was hoping that someone who thinks that they can consciously choose to believe things would be able to demonstrate their stated ability in real time. I suggested leprechauns because I thought that they probably wouldn't already have a belief in them. If beliefs can be engendered by simply choosing to have them, then the issue in question shouldn't make any difference.
    Why do you persist in burning strawmen? You have been told over and over that nobody just "chooses" to believe something out of thin air, yet you continue to make the same argument and demand that someone demonstrate they do it.

    You are being completely dishonest in this matter.

    Leave a comment:


  • rstrats
    replied
    Rushing Jaws,
    re: "Hope that helps."

    Thanks, but I'm afraid that it doesn't. I was hoping that someone who thinks that they can consciously choose to believe things would be able to demonstrate their stated ability in real time. I suggested leprechauns because I thought that they probably wouldn't already have a belief in them. If beliefs can be engendered by simply choosing to have them, then the issue in question shouldn't make any difference.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rushing Jaws
    replied
    Originally posted by rstrats View Post
    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 you might 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" and who hides his gold at the end of the rainbow and if captured has to grant three wishes. 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?
    ## Without wanting to sound like an Evangelical giving a testimony, I had a choice whether to decide to become Catholic or not. I was under no pressure to decide to change, or to stay Evangelical, but I had to make a choice whether to change, or not. So I did choose. Making the choice led (in due course) to gaining understanding of what being Catholic is like - to put things in a familiar slogan, faith precedes understanding; one does not understand, then believe.

    The problem with illustration by leprechauns, is that even if they exist, belief in their existence is not the same sort of belief as adhesion to Christ is. To believe in the reality of Asimov's Invisible Dragon in the Garage, Russell's Teapot, or Flew's Invisible Gardener, is not Christian belief. It may be Deism, but Christianity - especially in its catholic forms - is not Deism. To enter Catholicism is to enter something infinitely satisfying at every level, in full colour, that is meant to affect everything. To think of it as "only" adhesion of the intellect to a set of propositions, is miserably inadequate. So to use belief in leprechauns as a model for Christian belief in God, is gravely misleading and inadequate. Having faith is like swimming - one can't appreciate it by talking about it; sooner or later, one must do it, to find out what having it is like. The experience is so intimately personal, that it cannot be had by proxy. One must either have it - or decide against having it. We may be done with God - that is no reason to think that God is done with us.

    Leprechauns do not illuminate the universe of created being, whether existing or yet to be. Christ does. There is nothing whatever that He does not illuminate, for all things exist because of Him, for Him, and through Him, whether the furthest galaxies or the slightest particles. Christ is validated by Himself - imitations of Him, and rivals for the place that is His alone, are credible only until He is compared with them. Unlike leprechauns, He is immanent in creation, yet He transcends it, because it is in Him that all creation (including leprechauns and notions about them) consists.

    What you don't mention, crucially, is that faith in Christ is a gift. It is not possible to will oneself to have faith. It must come from God, not from man, for only something that is above created nature - IOW, super-natural - is adequate to enable creatures who are flawed, deficient, ignorant and sinful to enjoy and desire God. We cannot convert ourselves, or even desire to be converted, unless the grace of God comes to us and transforms us into people who can have faith in God. Faith is of its very nature God-given, God-centred, Christ-glorifying. Reason is far too weak and thin and poor and feeble and lame and blind to be able to do what the gift of faith is meant to do in us. Reason is fine for a great many things - the things that belong to the natural order, rather than to the super-natural AKA Divine order. Only the theological virtues and graces of faith, hope and charity are robust enough for a Divine thing like the creature's union with Christ.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 07-23-2015, 06:59 AM.

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  • Sparko
    replied
    Originally posted by rstrats View Post
    Sparko,

    I suggested the use of leprechauns for you to demonstrate your ability to consciously choose to believe things. What evidence would you need in order for you to do that?
    I give up. You have consciously chosen to believe in your strawman version and nothing will convince you otherwise. I am tired of repeating myself only to see you ignore me and make the same idiotic claim over and over.

    Unsubscribing.

    Leave a comment:


  • rstrats
    replied
    Sparko,

    I suggested the use of leprechauns for you to demonstrate your ability to consciously choose to believe things. What evidence would you need in order for you to do that?

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparko
    replied
    Originally posted by rstrats View Post
    Sparko,
    re: "Even with evidence I would have to decide whether to accept it or not."


    I maintain that if beliefs can be engendered by simply choosing to have them, then evidence is not necessary. However, you say that you need evidence in order to consciously choose to believe things. So I ask again, how would you know when you had evidence?
    First, you keep saying "simply choosing to have them" - but the problem is, is that it is your strawman version. Nobody makes that claim but you. Nobody says they simply choose to believe in something without evidence. That you keep ignoring this and repeating your strawman argument shows that you really don't care about facts, you just want to win some argument, and to do that you make up claims that nobody makes.

    Originally posted by rstrats View Post
    Sparko,
    re: "You don't just wake up one day and say 'OK I am going to be a democrat today, since I was republican yesterday'".

    It has to work that way. You can't be a democrat and a republican at the same time. There has to be an instant when your one designation changes from the one to the other.
    Yes and it requires evidence to consider. The thing with evidence is, you can trust it or not.

    If you ever sat in a jury and listened to witness testimony, that is evidence. Both sides will present such evidence. But it is up to the jury to weigh the evidence of both sides and then choose which one to believe. The evidence doesn't force you to make a specific choice, that choice is still yours to make using your own free will.

    Now stop repeating yourself.

    Leave a comment:


  • rstrats
    replied
    Sparko,
    re: "You don't just wake up one day and say 'OK I am going to be a democrat today, since I was republican yesterday'".

    It has to work that way. You can't be a democrat and a republican at the same time. There has to be an instant when your one designation changes from the one to the other.

    Leave a comment:


  • rstrats
    replied
    Sparko,
    re: "Even with evidence I would have to decide whether to accept it or not."


    I maintain that if beliefs can be engendered by simply choosing to have them, then evidence is not necessary. However, you say that you need evidence in order to consciously choose to believe things. So I ask again, how would you know when you had evidence?

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparko
    replied
    Maybe a better example is politics. Democrats and Republicans each have various reasons why you should believe them and join with their side. And both parties have done things that are good, and bad. So it comes down to your choice of who you want to follow. You don't just wake up one day and say "OK I am going to be a democrat today, since I was republican yesterday"

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparko
    replied
    Originally posted by rstrats View Post
    Sparko,
    re: "... I don't find the evidence for...[leprechauns]... to be convincing."


    So you're implying that the way that you would know that you had evidence for the existence of leprechauns is if the evidence convinced you of their existence?
    Even with evidence I would have to decide whether to accept it or not. So belief is a choice. I have seen evidence of UFO's but I don't believe in Aliens flying around our planet in saucers. The chances of some alien race finding us in this galaxy is very small. And their technology would have to be incredible to make it here through interstellar space, so why can't they disguise their craft better and stop them from crashing all the time?

    Leave a comment:


  • rstrats
    replied
    Sparko,
    re: "... I don't find the evidence for...[leprechauns]... to be convincing."


    So you're implying that the way that you would know that you had evidence for the existence of leprechauns is if the evidence convinced you of their existence?

    Leave a comment:

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