Poll: Is "belief" a choice
Yes. Belief is a choice.
No. Belief is not a choice.
I dont know
[Show Results]
Note: This is a public poll, other users will be able to see what you voted for.
Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 1 Votes - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
11-03-2016, 09:26 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(11-03-2016 09:01 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(11-03-2016 08:50 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  First of all, I would like to extend my appreciation to everyone's participation in the poll and their responses. I find it rather interesting that over 80% of the participants either say belief is not a choice or are unsure. I posted the exact same thread on a Christian forum where over 80% said that belief is a choice. I am trying to understand why the stark contrast in poll results from the two demographics. One possible theory is that Christians are conditioned to believe that belief is a choice because that is, for most denominations, a critical step in the process of salvation. They have to believe that changing ones "belief" and to "believe" in Jesus is simple because they have to believe that the path to salvation should be simple and available to everyone. Many Christians accuse atheists and other non-believers that their refusal to simply believe in Jesus is a result of their stubbornness and refusal to see the truth. This is where I tend to disagree with many of my fellow Christians and I have had many debates on the topic which eventually turn into a debate on Calvinist dual predestination and Augustine single predestination. Yes, I am a Christian who at times will stand up and defend atheists. Any thoughts?

I see nothing surprising in believers thinking that one can choose belief. This way they could easily bash atheists for choosing godless life and wanting to wallow in sin when all they got to do is choose to believe in believer in question fairy tale.
I now cannot help but ask this question to all the individual who claim that "belief" is a choice. If "belief" is simply a "choice" why do you choose not to believe in a God or gods? Why not take caution and choose to believe?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-03-2016, 09:30 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
It's not surprising to me at all that a Christian forum had such different results, though I'm still surprised by the number of "yes" and "I don't know" responses here.

I already posted this in another thread, but I'll post it again here:
Quote:Treating a belief as a decision is one of the most crucial, but also the most fundamentally damaging, aspects of the Christian redemption narrative, IMO. The concept of a faith-based belief that's not only encouraged, but actually required, for salvation was a pretty huge red flag for me when I was first starting to think critically about my faith.

You can't just tell someone what conclusion to draw, and then get mad at them when they become less convinced as they start to examine these beliefs for themselves.
However, that's exactly what a lot of religious parents do to their kids. This dynamic of coerced conviction is harmful to a lot family relationships.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like cactus's post
11-03-2016, 09:32 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(11-03-2016 09:26 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  
(11-03-2016 09:01 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  I see nothing surprising in believers thinking that one can choose belief. This way they could easily bash atheists for choosing godless life and wanting to wallow in sin when all they got to do is choose to believe in believer in question fairy tale.
I now cannot help but ask this question to all the individual who claim that "belief" is a choice. If "belief" is simply a "choice" why do you choose not to believe in a God or gods? Why not take caution and choose to believe?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager
It's been debunked. Big Grin

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Bucky Ball's post
11-03-2016, 09:35 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
Quote:One possible theory is that Christians are conditioned to believe that belief is a choice because that is, for most denominations, a critical step in the process of salvation.

The have to choose a belief, because accepting the evidence and reality would lead them to not believeing in their god. So they first much choose the belief, then reject all evidence against it, or make up their own evidence. Getting lead by evidence and believing what would be consequently rational is no option for keeping their pre conceived belief.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-03-2016, 09:36 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(11-03-2016 09:32 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(11-03-2016 09:26 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  I now cannot help but ask this question to all the individual who claim that "belief" is a choice. If "belief" is simply a "choice" why do you choose not to believe in a God or gods? Why not take caution and choose to believe?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager
It's been debunked. Big Grin
Pascal's Wager is different. It suggests that you should just "go through the motions" of Christianity despite your lack of belief. I am asking if belief is a choice, why not choose to believe in Jesus (just in case) and follow it's teachings because you believe them?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-03-2016, 09:41 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?

Teaching them from an age when they're not even able to speak is the most popular and effective method. The effectiveness drops way off once the unbeliever is in their teens.

Also, as for whether or not belief is a choice from a biblical sense, I don't know how Christians reconcile Romans 9. KC was pretty blunt that he didn't believe we had free will. That chapter makes it pretty clear that God chooses who does and doesn't believe.

'Romans 9:14-21 Wrote:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes RobbyPants's post
11-03-2016, 09:43 AM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2016 09:49 AM by cactus.)
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(11-03-2016 09:36 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  why not choose to believe in Jesus (just in case)
That's equivalent to Pascal's Wager.

Quote:...and follow it's teachings because you believe them?
sure, Jesus had some good stuff to say.
I'd take inspiration from some of the teachings that have been attributed to the character known as Jesus, but it would not be "just in case," just like I'm not going to assume leprechauns exist, "just in case."
I have no fear that hell is a real thing. None whatsoever Drinking Beverage
Also, if I had the choice of whether I wanted to spend an eternity with Yahweh, I would not. I have much more respect for Satan. Evil_monster

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like cactus's post
11-03-2016, 09:45 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(11-03-2016 09:26 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  
(11-03-2016 09:01 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  I see nothing surprising in believers thinking that one can choose belief. This way they could easily bash atheists for choosing godless life and wanting to wallow in sin when all they got to do is choose to believe in believer in question fairy tale.
I now cannot help but ask this question to all the individual who claim that "belief" is a choice. If "belief" is simply a "choice" why do you choose not to believe in a God or gods? Why not take caution and choose to believe?

Even if belief would be a choice it's changes nothing - there is no proof for existence of something commonly called god. So it would not be a caution but waste of time and depriving oneself of x where x can be life pleasures prohibited by particular cult.

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.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Szuchow's post
11-03-2016, 09:50 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(11-03-2016 09:36 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  
(11-03-2016 09:32 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager
It's been debunked. Big Grin
Pascal's Wager is different. It suggests that you should just "go through the motions" of Christianity despite your lack of belief. I am asking if belief is a choice, why not choose to believe in Jesus (just in case) and follow it's teachings because you believe them?

That's part of Pascal's full argument but the commonly used "believe just in case" argument is what gets called Pascal's Wager. Why don't you choose to believe in Mohammed or Buddha or Vishnu or any of the thousands of other possibilities "just in case"? You could find yourself in the Muslim hell after all. The whole gambit is one big fallacy from start to finish.

As far as most believers thinking it is a choice, why would that be surprising? They are told repeatedly that faith is the highest value and what is faith except believing because you want to instead of because you are convinced by evidence?

I think the reason you only see 80% here not thinking it is a choice is because the term isn't well defined. People can choose to ignore evidence and to not think about why they believe and in that sense they can choose to believe something. On the other hand, if somebody is faced with evidence that is convincing I don't think they can just choose to believe the opposite. They may claim to and may seek counter-evidence and may engage in a lot of cognitive dissonance to protect a belief but when push comes to shove they have to realize that Trump is just a bully.... sorry, I seem to have drifted into another thread...

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like unfogged's post
11-03-2016, 09:54 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(11-03-2016 09:36 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  
(11-03-2016 09:32 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager
It's been debunked. Big Grin
Pascal's Wager is different. It suggests that you should just "go through the motions" of Christianity despite your lack of belief. I am asking if belief is a choice, why not choose to believe in Jesus (just in case) and follow it's teachings because you believe them?

I think not. Pascal's Wager is a "real" wager. It would be a sincere attempt.
Having been educated in the origins of religions, Comparative Mythology etc etc, it's not even in the realm of possibility that I would take it seriously.
For ME, religious belief is not possible. It may be possible for some to chose. Not me. I know how and when and why they cooked it all up, and how meaningless and undefined the notions of "god existing" are.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Bucky Ball's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: