posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 04:29 PM
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.