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Belief without Warrant

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rstrats

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Belief a CHOICE?
« on: February 05, 2012, 07:16:14 am »

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 one of you can 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." 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?

The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.

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FNB - Former non-believer

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Belief a CHOICE?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 10:16:31 am »
When the bible speaks about faith, it means more trusting in God rather than believing he exists. Trusting is a choice.

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Randy Everist

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Belief a CHOICE?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 10:31:16 am »
rstrats wrote: 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 one of you can 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?


The faculty of choice is just how one chooses; there is no intermediate process. Hence, the question is a non-starter. But if we can't choose our beliefs, then I surely cannot be upbraided for not believing I can't choose my beliefs, and hence "no harm, no foul," as we say.
"Every great man was thought to be insane before he changed the world. Some never changed the world. They were just insane."

Check out my blog, "Possible Worlds," at http://www.randyeverist.com

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rstrats

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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 12:11:00 pm »
RandyE,

re:  "... I can't choose my beliefs..."

I am hoping to hear from someone who CAN and can demonstrate their ability.
The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.

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Randy Everist

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Belief a CHOICE?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 12:15:57 pm »

rstrats wrote: RandyE,

re:  "... I can't choose my beliefs..."

I am hoping to hear from someone who CAN and can demonstrate their ability.

I can't be upbraided for believing you were interested in my response, so I apologize. Also, if you're correct, it follows no one is self-deluded, at least not in any recognizable sense (we'd have to say such a person is deluded by something else, or not deluded, or is deluded by force of...something or other within the self). Finally, you ignored my rebuttal that the question isn't even coherent.

"Every great man was thought to be insane before he changed the world. Some never changed the world. They were just insane."

Check out my blog, "Possible Worlds," at http://www.randyeverist.com

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rstrats

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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 12:29:44 pm »

RandyE,

re: "...you ignored my rebuttal that the question isn't even coherent."

 

I’m afraid I don’t see where you said that my question isn’t coherent, i.e., is not consistent.

The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.

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Randy Everist

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Belief a CHOICE?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 12:44:28 pm »
I said, "The faculty of choice is just how one chooses; there is no intermediate process. Hence, the question is a non-starter."

If there is no intermediate process, to ask what the intermediate process is assumes that there both is and is not an intermediate process, which is incoherent. I tried to indicate this by stating the quote above.
"Every great man was thought to be insane before he changed the world. Some never changed the world. They were just insane."

Check out my blog, "Possible Worlds," at http://www.randyeverist.com

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rstrats

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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 07:08:43 am »

RandyE,

re: "I said, "The faculty of choice is just how one chooses; there is no intermediate process."

To what "intermediate process" are you referring?

 

re: "...to ask what the intermediate process is assumes that there both is and is not an intermediate process, which is incoherent."

I’m sorry, but I just don’t understand what you are saying.

The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.

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Randy Everist

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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2012, 08:41:05 am »

You said, "If you think that you can consciously CHOOSE to believe things, I wonder if you might explain how you do it." The explanation is in the faculty of the will. To ask what the process is is just to ask how the will supervenes on things, or the classic problem of mind-body dualism. But the question presumes there is some process or explanation external to the will, which would discount the will (as it would be that process, not the will). But that question is incoherent based on the faculty of the will.

"Every great man was thought to be insane before he changed the world. Some never changed the world. They were just insane."

Check out my blog, "Possible Worlds," at http://www.randyeverist.com

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rstrats

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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2012, 10:26:15 am »

RandyE,

I guess I’m just not smart enough to understand what you are saying, unless it’s that beliefs cannot be consciously CHOSEN.

The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.

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rstrats

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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 04:06:34 am »

Anyone?

The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.

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idunno

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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2012, 02:32:34 pm »
Maybe some context would help rstrats, what did the person choose to believe and in what way did they believe?
“...these things- the beauty, the memory of our past- …are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited.”
- Clive

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rstrats

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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 02:52:09 pm »

idunno,

re: "Maybe some context would help rstrats..."

I state it in the OP.

 

re: "...what did the person choose to believe and in what way did they believe?"

I’m afraid I don’t understand. To what person are you referring?

The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.

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idunno

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Belief a CHOICE?
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2012, 03:03:50 pm »
I've really got Plantinga's properly basic beliefs on my mind right now so if you're referring to belief in God as a choice I'd say that may not be the case initially.

   

   I was asking what the "number of folks" chose to believe, and if they chose to believe after or before evaluating some argument?
“...these things- the beauty, the memory of our past- …are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited.”
- Clive

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rstrats

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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 04:14:12 pm »

idunno,

re: "... if you're referring to belief in God as a choice I'd say that may not be the case initially."

I’m referring to beliefs in general.

 

re: "I was asking what what the ‘number of folks’ chose to believe..."

 

Some comments that I’ve seen 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 technoogy..."

"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..."




re: "... and if they chose to believe after or before evaluating some argument?"

I have no idea.

 

Is there any particular reason for asking? I don’t see why you need this information before you can demonstrate your ability (if you have it) to consciously CHOOSE to believe things.

The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.