A simple, excellent thought about belief systems: A belief system is a filter through which an entity views reality. A belief system that does not include and understand the mind that contains it is a prison and can only consider the secondary aspects of the reality it inhabits and is condemned to a reactionary existence. Entities with such a system will believe the secondary aspects to be causative rather than effects and have no true measure of their actions. They will record reality as a string of temporal events and look backward to discover cause where there is none, or forward to anticipate events they believe to be outside their influence. Such searching, historically, has led to conflicting dogma and meaningless ritual.
from: ALCHEMICAL OCTAVES thanks to pixszi for this one:
The Social Construction of Reality: Berger and Luckmann synthesize the views of a wide range of philosophers and social thinkers into an original product, in true constructionist fashion. But their systematic "theory" is not totalistic or totalitarian......Their approach reminds one of the classic parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant. Each blind man finds that they are touching or experiencing different parts of the body of the elephant and thus are led to think that the elephant is thin like a tail, or flexible like the trunk, or round and solid like its leg, or immovable like its torso. Only with Berger and Luckmann's approach the blind men may find that the elephant is hollow or man-made .....
The authors explain that the next generation forgets, or is led to believe, that the social world is given when it was produced or manufactured.
But it isn't manufactured mechanistically but is dialectically or interactively produced. The social order can be maintained by various techniques including intimidation, propaganda, mystification, or the manipulation of symbols (symbolic action). However, man is not a passive, but a reactionary creature that will not merely swallow social reality whole but will also often try and alter it. As the authors state man produces society, society becomes an objective, coercive, and reified (as in deified) reality, and, in turn, man becomes a social product of his own creation. Man experiences alienation when he forgets he created society or when he is powerless to control what he created.
Man experiences what is called anomie when social worldviews no longer reflect reality.