Choosing to believe..or not?

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posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 04:29 PM
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I have a question I'd like to put to the thinkers here,and its quite simple. Can you choose what you believe? I don't know much about many religions,but am very familiar with Christianity. In Christianity, you must believe or be damned. I have had many discussions with people and a statement that I hear time and again is "Well you can choose to believe or not,it's up to you". I believe this is false. I think that you believe whatever your mind can accept,and those things it cannot accept it will not believe. Whatever evidence you may have that makes you believe may well be totally insufficient or unconvincing to someone else, but it works for you so you believe. So, one guy reads the Bible and it is convincing to him and he believes. The other guy does the same and it seems absurd to him and he does not believe. Guy A cannot say that he does not believe. He can choose whether to act on those beliefs or not,but the fact is he believes. Guy B cannot say that he does beleive, even if he wishes he could.

There are lots of stories out there that I wish I could believe,because it would be really cool if they were true. However, I do not and cannot believe,because my mind has weighed the evidence for and against and there simply is more evidence against than for. I can pretend to believe or tell people I believe,but the fact remains that I don't. I have no choice in the matter, I simply believe what my mind lets me believe.

Also, I beleive things that I know may not be true. Maybe it`s because of things that were taught to me as a child, maybe it`s because of certain things that I`ve seen and lived through in my life, but for whatever reason I believe they are true. I can look at these things and admit there is a good possibility I am wrong, but as of right now they seem true and real to me. Maybe one day I`ll ecounter something that changes my mind and I will no longer be able to believe. Kind of like when you were a kid,and for years totally believed in Santa Claus. Then,sometimes slowly and sometimes suddenly, you encountered evidence that it may all be a lie. At some point you made the shift from believeing something to no longer being able to believe something. You probably wanted to, but it had become impossible.

It seems to me that this is how many people deal with religion. Those who believe cannot understand that those who don`t believe didn`t CHOOSE not to believe, they CANNOT believe. Likewise, those who CANNOT believe, don`t understand those who MUST believe. I find Christians very much opposed to this idea, because it makes it very difficult to condemn the non-believers. Non- believers don`t like it either, because it removes the intellectual superiority many feel over those who believe "without evidence" as they see it. People like to feel that they have used their intelligence to make the right decision,and are therefore smarter or superior to those who made the opposite decision. The reality, I beleive, is that we don't make that choice at all and therefore cannot take the credit for it. Unfortunately as humans we have the tendency to want to be better and smarter than others,and religion is one area where we see this alot. Believers think they are more enlightened and therefore can understand things that the non-believer is blind to. Non-beleivers think that they are more rational,more scientific or more intellectual than the believer. I beleive neither is superior to the other,both believe exactly what they must at that moment in their lives, based on childhood teachings,life experiences and probably a myriad of other things I haven't even thought of. I could be wrong though, maybe next week I'll encounter something that completely changes my beliefs. Then I'll believe something else; I'll have no choice in the matter.




posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 04:56 PM
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reply to post by xxclaro
 


I have a question I'd like to put to the thinkers here,and its quite simple. Can you choose what you believe?

I think that people inherit their enviroments beliefs from they are born. some stick to that for the rest od their lifes, others obtain knowledge and experiences that changes their beliefs.

I also think i depends in what enviroment your grow up in that determine how hard it is to "brek free" from the enherited beliefs, for example if you live in remote areas in small soceities where everybody have the same strong belief, its more likely you will continue to stay the same, unlike if you grow up in a multi culturel city where your more likely to get influenced by other people and have higher acces to information.

I dont think that one way is better than the other - religious or non believer - i meassure the quality of a human of how its willing to care for family, friends and surroundings, to help people in need, to be reliable and trustworthy - not bout how smart they think they are or intelligent they appear, how much they earn a year.
You cant buy a good personality, you are not what you own.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 05:16 PM
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I agree to all that, childhood beliefs about yourself and then what fits with your self , I wasn't told to believe in anything , not born into any religion, but my experiences so far in life have gave me the one belief that anything is possible. There is no way i can choose. I'm to open to different ideas.
Sometimes i wish i did just simply believe in something full heartedly , it sounds easy and safe and i wouldn't give myself such headaches trying to work it all out.
Every non believer has moments of faith and all believers have moments of doubt.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 05:23 PM
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reply to post by xxclaro
 




Those who believe cannot understand that those who don`t believe didn`t CHOOSE not to believe, they CANNOT believe. Likewise, those who CANNOT believe, don`t understand those who MUST believe.


Substituting 'cannot' with 'will not' would do better, IMESHO, lol. Aside from that, you could have saved yourself a lot of writing by simply applying those two sentences. They are... well, pretty damned descriptive.

Our place is on a small rock in this vast, vast universe that we have not even begun to explore, much less to know or understand. Science is on a constant roller-coaster where things that were firm and unmovable one year, are torn from the book another. It did take years before mainstream science finally accepted that mankind could apply a motor to a set of artificial wings and then fly...

What does this say? It says that while faith relies on things that are never meant to be proven, science rests on y changing those that can and because human evolution and knowledge are constantly changing, the book must be constantly rewritten.

So, what you choose to believe, today as far as science goes, may be a giggle a century (or even less) from now.
What you choose to believe in faith, will forever be based on that... so you'll likely never have a great argument.

Well, unless someday... after thousands of years and generations pass, that science discovers God sitting in some nebula sipping a margarita and asking... "Hell, what took yall so long?"

edit on 1-7-2013 by redoubt because: typos



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by xxclaro
 


There are some "general-thought" sort of things I think I choose to believe.

Like I choose to believe that I will never be given more in life than I can handle.
I choose to believe that, on the whole, people are good.
I choose to believe that love is the most powerful force in the Universe.

However, I cannot choose to believe specific things, like religion and their tenets. I cannot choose to believe in God or heaven... Like you said, it's something my mind cannot accept any more than it could accept a belief in Santa Claus or the North Pole (of Santa lore).



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by redoubt

Substituting 'cannot' with 'will not' would do better, IMESHO, lol. Aside from that, you could have saved yourself a lot of writing by simply applying those two sentences. They are... well, pretty damned descriptive.



Can you believe that Michael Jackson is your real father? No? You can't or you won't? I imagine that you can't. Because I can't give you sufficient information to prove it. I don't think you have the option to believe it.

That's what he is saying in the OP.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 06:05 PM
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Choosing to believe Depend how big it is

Some take a small bite at a time
Some bite off more then their can handle
Some sawllow the hold thing at once


Which one are you



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 06:10 PM
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Originally posted by Trillium
Choosing to believe Depend how big it is

Some take a small bite at a time
Some bite off more then their can handle
Some sawllow the hold thing at once


Which one are you


Some aren't convinced that it is food.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 06:14 PM
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reply to post by xxclaro
 

To me, the key element in the Christian faith is trust.
It comes before all the details of "things to believe" found in the teaching.
And I'm sure that people can and do choose whether or not to trust.
I speak from personal experience, because I've done it.
It was described on my thread on "How an atheist became a Christian"; the key point was the moment when I realised that the atheist stance I was taking at the time had been the result of personal preference, rather than something which was logically forced on me.
Soon after that, I decided to make my choice the other way.



edit on 1-7-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 06:27 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 




Can you believe that Michael Jackson is your real father? No? You can't or you won't? I imagine that you can't. Because I can't give you sufficient information to prove it. I don't think you have the option to believe it. That's what he is saying in the OP.


If you had suggested that HG Wells was my daddy... it would have walked better, lol.

I apologize... my ability to read the OP is limited to my old age



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by xxclaro
 





Can you choose what you believe?


No. Either something is true for everyone or it isn't true for anyone. You can lie to yourself. You can be brainwashed or brought up to believe in a lie, but you can't "choose".

The word 'choose' implies that research has been done. Facts have been substantiated or debunked. The illogical has been discarded. So, now you can 'choose' to accept the validated truth or pretend that you believe in the lie.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 08:15 PM
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reply to post by xxclaro
 



I have no choice in the matter, I simply believe what my mind lets me believe.


Not necessarily. Even very faithful Christians have their doubts sometimes but we choose to believe.

Nagging doubts creep up on us all and sometimes something will happen which causes us to question God's methods, reasons, or possibly even His existence.

When I find myself in such circumstances it's not uncommon for me to give a little prayer along the lines of, 'God, I don't know what the plan is or why You let that happen to me but I choose to go on with You because I believe You are always faithful.'

Sometimes it comes down to a simple matter of who you will serve or what spiritual path you will choose. I don't think there is anything wrong in saying, 'God, I don't have all the answers and I don't fully understand the Bible or its teachings but I choose to follow You.'

Just the way I see it. You don't have to *KNOW* to believe. If that were the case, faith would not exist.



posted on Jul, 3 2013 @ 06:47 PM
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I believe that we can believe anything at all, but not in most peoples current condition of understanding. I say this because there have been many recorded and unrecorded cases of people committing minor miracles due to their beliefs, or what could be considered as their beliefs. I think, also, it has a great deal to do with the way we linguistically express our thoughts and beliefs. Many people use the term "is" very liberally to things which can be considered as not concrete. My intentional use of words here are not to use 'is' but to use more open language like 'can be considered as', since that is what I consider to be the truth or what have you. However in using this language we are opening up the amount of the 'truth' that we can experience as 'true' and can in this way expand the horizons of what we can consider 'true'.

However, having said that, while it is taught that anybody can achieve these states of expanded truth awareness (what a clumsy string of words) that may or may not be 'true', but anybody can certainly TRY at least... and that is what I 'believe' that many of us are trying to do by involving ourselves with these sorts of thoughts and internet social circles.

It is also entirely possible that we are all incapable of reaching a state of being able to believe anything at all and we are all sorrily going through life in a sort of mystical haze of what the 'truth really is.



posted on Jul, 3 2013 @ 07:29 PM
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When they say that if you don't believe ... you will NOT go into heaven...

I Say the Hell with Heaven I WANT to GO to Valhalla !!!!



posted on Jul, 3 2013 @ 07:40 PM
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I'm sorry, but in order for you to be in Valhalla you must fall honourably in battle....


and the only battles going on are not honorable.

edit on 3-7-2013 by 3OGRE3 because: be not fight



posted on Jul, 3 2013 @ 08:37 PM
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Originally posted by 3OGRE3
I'm sorry, but in order for you to be in Valhalla you must fall honourably in battle....


and the only battles going on are not honorable.

edit on 3-7-2013 by 3OGRE3 because: be not fight


Yes in Battle ... and your point is?? depends what battle and what purpose ....



posted on Jul, 3 2013 @ 10:14 PM
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My point is that if you want to go to Valhalla you have to die in battle. Honourably.

If you want to go down that path you're going to have to find out what honour is, what you are made of and what dying in honour in battle really means. If this is something you truly desire I am very happy for you and wish you the best of luck... If you are not serious you will not find yourself in Valhalla, but indeed in "Hell". It's not really an eternity, but a minute of having your hand over a hot stove feels like an hour, and an hour with a pretty woman feels like a minute.



posted on Jul, 3 2013 @ 10:36 PM
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reply to post by xxclaro
 


Sometimes God has nothing to do with religion.

Religion is history, and history is inspired by God unless the human ego gets in the way. So some roots of religion can bring you to the right belief system but you cannot categorize yourself as a part of worldly history only the history inspired by God (minus human ego), so it does get tricky.

So we can see the history, which is the earth and people, and we can see the actual universe. So science and religion has to come together as one. It is the thing that will be argued against, but I know we are living in an age where people say what they do not see and reject what they do see.



posted on Jul, 4 2013 @ 02:07 PM
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Believing is accepting something as truth, and you then put your hope and trust in it which is called faith. Can you choose what to believe? Yes you can, and that lesson can be applied from the bible when Eve believed the serpent. No one can force you to believe something you don't want, you wouldn't accept it.



posted on Jul, 4 2013 @ 02:39 PM
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Belief and Doubt...

If I tell my son the water is hot and dont touch the first thing he will do is touch it. Maybe later in life he will learn to believe me. We build up trust in people and things and we can believe without doubt. Or we discover for ourselves and believe.

When things are unknown to us we continue to search out the truth in that subject. May that be by touching the unknown or listening to someone we trust on the matter.

Say I wanted to know how many people in the world, I would Google it and believe a trusted link such as BBC. However as shown on here it can get more complicated the more complicated the question.

In these cases, say such as religion, we may not have a trusted source such as family, BBC or the church so we formulate our own belief based on what we can figure out and see.

I find it interesting that even if many doubt their cultures religions they still believe in a deity.





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