Poll: Is "belief" a choice
Yes. Belief is a choice.
No. Belief is not a choice.
I dont know
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Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
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10-03-2016, 07:47 AM
Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
Greeting everyone,
I just wanted to start off by saying that the purpose of this thread is not to try to influence your beliefs or lack of belief but have a conversation about belief in general, have a poll to get a general idea of what everyone else thinks, and discuss how many Christians take belief for granted. Many Christians emphasize free will and that we can use this free will to freely choose to believe or not to believe in God. But is “belief” really a choice and can we truly use this “free will” to choose to believe or not to believe? I can’t say that I agree. I don’t think anyone can simply choose to believe anything….they either believe or not believe something. Here is an example. If I told you that in order to be saved you had to believe the sky was pink and purple polka dotted. You may look me in the face and tell me “yes, I believe it”. Deep down, you truly want to believe it because you want to be saved. But can you really believe it? Let us look at what the bible says about “belief” and salvation.

John 14:12-14 ESV
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

John 20:29 ESV
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10:9-10 ESV
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

So if belief is not a choice, the simple act of believing in Jesus is really not that simple. So how can a Christian truly convince and unbeliever to believe?
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10-03-2016, 07:54 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
Damn program, won't let me vote. Says I already voted. Not true. If I had it would show me the vote totals wouldn't it? Lying damn computer! Anyone would think it was a voting machine!
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10-03-2016, 07:54 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
Belief is not black and white about a choice or no choice. That's dependent upon how someone shapes their personal beliefs. Without evidence or logical reasoning to believe in something, I see no reason to choose to believe in it. With evidence and a logical reason to believe in something, I see no reason to choose not to believe in it. But in neither scenario, is anyone prevented from choosing a belief or not choosing a belief.

How would a Christian convince an atheist of a god? (Assuming atheists want to hear such arguments)
Evidence and logical argument on par with what would be necessary to believe in the existence of anything else that exists.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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10-03-2016, 07:55 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(10-03-2016 07:47 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  So how can a Christian truly convince and unbeliever to believe?

Assume God exists and is omnipotent etc as described in the Bible. Then indeed he should know how to convince an atheist that he exists. The fact that he does not do so - the fact that atheists exist in this world-with-God-too, then implies that he does not *want* to convert them. i.e. the Calvinists are correct, God has chosen his elect to go to heaven and punishes the rest for not believing in him, when he has made such a belief an impossibility for a rational person.

Fortunately this is a reductio ad absurdum argument and when it reduces to something absurd logic dictates that we must examine our premises, and lo and behold, we have assumed that God exists.

Hence God does not exist. QED. Tongue

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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10-03-2016, 08:02 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
We're chemically driven machines carrying out a biological program. It only seems like choice because we can't predict the end result, which makes it seem more arbitrary than it really is.

'Murican Canadian
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10-03-2016, 08:02 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(10-03-2016 07:47 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  So if belief is not a choice, the simple act of believing in Jesus is really not that simple. So how can a Christian truly convince and unbeliever to believe?

It requires demonstrable, rock solid evidence for a person that is not swayed by feelings, unfounded assertions or a holy book.

That's an aspect of the whole belief thing that makes it unjust. Different people will believe for different reasons, there is no allowance for that.

Also, I could believe that Jesus was raised from the dead and think he was a total asshole for going along with the whole atonement nonsense. If Jesus told Yhwh to get over himself, grow up and stop demanding belief and worship, and stop sending people to hell, I could go along with it easier- but he's still going to have to stop with this weird hiding shit, it's idiotic to behave this way if you actually existed.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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10-03-2016, 08:05 AM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2016 08:08 AM by DLJ.)
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
So this is not related to an actual Debate You've Had With Theists?

If it's generally about belief vs. knowledge, it belongs in the Philosophy section.

But I suspect it will be more about the nonsensical notion of being 'saved' - or more specifically, convincing oneself that something is true out of fear - so it belongs in the Atheism/Theism section. Thread moved.

A notion to which I can only say: I'm already saved.

Thanks, though.




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10-03-2016, 08:05 AM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2016 08:14 AM by jennybee.)
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
My vote should be no. I voted yes because I think I initially misunderstood your question. Sorry no coffee yet Wink. I think belief is a choice in the sense that everyone can decide how to live their lives and what to believe/ not to believe whether a god (or gods) exist or not. So in that sense, yes belief is a choice. I don't believe in the biblical version of free will though so in that sense, I would say no. I also think people can be brainwashed into religious belief, indoctrinated, before they even have a chance to think for themselves. So in that sense belief is not a choice necessarily either. I don't believe a magical deity gives us the choice to believe or not believe.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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10-03-2016, 08:13 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
Belief is the state of being convinced. If you are not convinced of something, you really can't truly believe it. You can fake it sure, but you really don't believe it. You probably aren't convibced Zeus is real so try believing in it as you believe in Jesus.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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10-03-2016, 08:19 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
I think religious beliefs are result of indoctrination which sometimes (often?) don't stick. So there is no room for choice here; you either are indoctrinated or you're not, though even if you're not you still can go through the motions or claim that you believe and no one will be able to prove you wrong.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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