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|11-28-2011, 03:06 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2011
Can you control what your beliefs are?
Are beliefs something that can be changed through sheer will power, or do they require something external? My inclination is that a "belief" is something you form through empirical evidence from life experience. There's nothing I can think of that I outright believe in without any evidence, though I never like to rule out possibilities. Let me show you what I mean:
Conservatives believe taxes should be low because the free market and small government has been shown through past experiences to create successful economies. Liberals believe in stronger government and regulation based on past experiences where companies with too much freedom have caused detrimental effects against the public.
Both of these political views draw from empirical evidence and it is a simple matter of balancing the concerns of both sides. People inevitably choose one or the other and do not typically change their belief structure without some outside reason. I don't think that a firm liberal or conservative would be able to voluntary change their belief unless presented with more empirical evidence that contradicts their original view.
If I am correct, and a belief is something formed unconsciously and is subject to the stimuli around you, then where do things like faith in religion come from? Is it simply a matter of being raised in the right place in the right time? Are there some people who are just born with a different approach to making beliefs? The question is particularly important in religion because your belief in part determines your salvation or damnation.
I am an agnostic athiest. I don't really believe in God and I think it's very unlikely that he exists, but not impossible. I'm comfortable saying this, even though I was raised in a christian home. The thought of having no afterlife is scary, but ultimately it cannot sway my belief. I still have moral values and manners. I have the ability to love, and I think I'm generally as well off as the average person all things considered. The absence of God doesn't upset me because I never really felt a "Presence of God" in the first place. I believed in God as a child but church always felt more like a weekly process rather than anything meaningful.
Quite frankly, the only reason I worry about having faith is because I worry about the consequences if I am wrong. If the bible allowed everyone into heaven, I wouldn't even worry about it. I have accepted and embraced a godless life while still having respect for others. So.....
How would a person like me possibly change my belief?
|11-28-2011, 03:13 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2010
I think in order to change a belief, you have to find sufficient evidence that supports the new belief, and this comes from direct experience. Also sufficient exposure to channels that tries to convert you to the new belief. And other things like hypnosis, affirmations, etc. (these may take more time though)
|11-28-2011, 09:15 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
i think you can "try on" a new belief for a while and then start to find the supporting evidence. i didn't grow up christian but i had christian friends and tried it on for a while. i went to church a few times, i read a few books blah blah. it didn't ultimately sit with me but years later i still feel more comfortable with what jesus represents than i did before i tried it.
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