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Belief without Warrant

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idunno

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Belief a CHOICE?
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2012, 04:59:09 pm »
To answer your last question first, I ask because there are beliefs that we hold without any arguments such as the existence of other minds, the existence of the external world, that the universe wasn't created ten seconds ago with the appearance of age and memories.

   

   For the most part your list consists of "beliefs" that are informed by other sources (except for the zero based evidence one). Are you asking why one would choose to believe one source over another?
“...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.”
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rstrats

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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2012, 04:08:31 am »

idunno,

re: " Are you asking why one would choose to believe one source over another?"

No. Let me repeat what I wrote in the OP; 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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idunno

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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2012, 12:16:27 pm »
I'm sorry rstrats, the examples you have on the other page are nothing like belief in leprechauns. The other beliefs are informed. I believe God wants us to be happy "based on" what I read in the Bible, I choose to believe the engineers "based on" the level of education they have, I choose to believe the other one wouldn't have played it like that "based on" Kristen Storms character etc. One couldn't choose to believe in leprechauns if they had nothing to base that belief on, its not a mental trick.  
“...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 #18 on: April 06, 2012, 05:49:46 am »

idunno,

re: "One couldn't choose to believe in leprechauns if they had nothing to base that belief on..."

 

If beliefs can be obtained by simply CHOOSING to have them, then evidence is not necessary - prudent in certain cases, perhaps - but not necessary. But even if it were necessary how would you know when you had it?






The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.

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idunno

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« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2012, 12:18:16 pm »
But their beliefs weren't simply chosen , they were based on something else.
“...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 #20 on: April 08, 2012, 06:13:32 am »
idunno,

re: "But their beliefs weren't simply chosen..."

OK, take the word "simply" out. If beliefs can be obtained by CHOOSING to have them, then evidence is not necessary - prudent in certain cases, perhaps - but not necessary. But even if it were necessary how would you know when you had it?

 

re: "...they were based on something else."

Again, how would you know when you had the basis for making a conscious CHOICE, What would be the indicator that would allow you say: "At the moment I believe that "x" doesn’t exist, but I have obtained evidence regarding the existence of "X" and while I still do not believe that "X" exists, I am going to CHOOSE to believe - be convinced without a doubt - that "X" exists and - poof - I now believe that "X" exists? What would be the state of your mind with regard to the existence of "x" the instant you realized that you had the evidence?

The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.

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idunno

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« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2012, 10:27:34 am »
I tend to come to believe something gradually. But I "believe" what you're talking about is an epiphany , I don't know what one is like though since I haven't had one (yet).
“...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 #22 on: April 09, 2012, 08:13:20 am »

idunno,

re: "I tend to come to believe something gradually."

Actually, it has to happen instantly. You can’t believe that something doesn’t exist AND at the same time believe that it does. There has to be an instant when your one state of mind changes to the other.

 

re: "But I ‘believe’ what you're talking about is an epiphany."

Indeed I am, if by "epiphany" you mean a sudden conscious realization that you have a new belief - a conviction without doubt - with regard to your perceived truth about an issue. And I suggest that that is how all beliefs are obtained.

The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.

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idunno

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« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2012, 03:03:25 pm »
Well I tend to think of coming to believe something as more of a process. When coming to new beliefs its like changing points on a spectrum, where once I was 40% sure that such and such was false, after reading, contemplating, and discussion I could come to a place where I am now at 51% sure otherwise and continue moving towards 100%. However I'm not saying that this is always the case, I do think we are capable of having epiphanies.
“...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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spanoftime85

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« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2012, 01:12:24 am »
I only believed because i saw a demon and had my "epiphany".. else id still be an atheist, even though it still took me about 5 years to come to terms with the existence of God. Thank God He found me before richard dawkins. xP





Truth is independent of whether you can convince a person that the truth is actually false through facts.. In the end the truth still stands amongst fools whom were swayed to believe the contrary.

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Jacob Bukaty

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« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2012, 03:41:41 pm »
Perhaps this might help:  I always say that I don't have any beliefs.  I have reached conclusions of certainty, falsity, and uncertainty.  When I say "I" I really mean my brain and the cognitive abilities that it has.  It makes the conclusions and my conciousness makes me aware of them.  The choosing part seems to be an illusion--the illusion of free will.  This would help explain why theists just do not get that their arguments are flawed even when you explain it to them.  They just don't have the mental ability, through no fault of their own.  Their brains seem to be, at least in part, more predisposed to hope than reality.  This very well could have been a survival advantage during our evolutionary past which explains why the majority of people of earth have the believing brain.
When God does it that means it's not immoral:  The Richard Nixon fallacy.
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FNB - Former non-believer

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« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2012, 12:51:21 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?

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?


I feel like choice in belief can best be seen in moral activity. Have you ever convinced yourself that something wrong you were doing was justified? (even though it was wrong) I think all of us have experienced this when we do something morally wrong, we, at least for a moment convince ourselves that it is not so bad. We are choosing to believe that what we are doing is not so bad.

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rstrats

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« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2012, 05:42:19 am »
emailestthoume,

Any particular reason for quoting all of the OP and then ignoring it?
The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.

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FNB - Former non-believer

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« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2012, 11:45:52 am »

rstrats wrote: emailestthoume,

Any particular reason for quoting all of the OP and then ignoring it?


I thought my comments were relevant to your point. To answer directly your point in the OP, I don't know exactly how denying what we know to be true happens, (and I don't think I have to know how something works to know that it actually happens) and the leprechaun example would show that there are certain things we know, which we cannot choose not to believe. However, this does not show that all things we know are true can be denied, and I gave you an instance where we do chose to believe (in a sense) what we know to be false.




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rstrats

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Re: Belief a CHOICE?
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2012, 02:13:46 pm »
emailestthoume,

re: “...there are certain things we know, which we cannot choose not to believe.”


So you don’t think that beliefs can be consciously CHOSEN.  I’m looking for someone who DOES and who can demonstrate such an ability.  Remember, in order for a belief to be considered a choice, there must be at least two things to select from, and each one of the things has to be able to be selected.  In the example of leprechauns there are three options available - option (1) the belief that leprechauns exist, option (2) the belief that leprechauns don’t exist, and option (3) no belief either way.  I am simply asking that option 1 be selected.
The City of Happiness is in the State of Mind.