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, 10:21 AM
Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
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10-03-2016, 10:33 AM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2016 12:05 PM by jason_delisle.)
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(10-03-2016 10:04 AM)cactus Wrote:  
(10-03-2016 09:53 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Would you say that "belief" and "faith" are the same?

No, faith can influence your beliefs, but I think belief is a much more subconscious process. I would say that faith is mostly a manifestation of peer pressure, and often a tool that people use to suppress their beliefs.

A common saying in Christianity is "I'm struggling with my faith," which means "My beliefs are starting to become more apparent to me, but I don't like them. I need to crank up the volume on my faith to drown out those beliefs, or even permanently change them if I can manage to keep myself sheltered enough from outside influences."
I agree to an extent but not quite. Faith and belief are different. The foundation of faith is trust with a lack of understanding or knowledge. Like if I had an idea that you did not believe was going to work and I simply told you "trust me...it will work". And you begrudgingly agreed with my idea because you trusted my expertise on the subject.

Because your previous post brought up scripture I think it would be fitting provide the scriptural definition of "faith" so we will have a better understanding of the biblical context that was used.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1
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10-03-2016, 11:18 AM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2016 11:21 AM by cactus.)
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(10-03-2016 10:33 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

That's better than the King James Version.
Quote:Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Evidence, my ass Laugh out load

(10-03-2016 10:33 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Like if I had an idea that you did not belief was going to work and I simply told you "trust me...it will work". And you begrudgingly agreed with my idea because you trusted my expertise on the subject.

If I truly had no knowledge of your prior work, and I just had to take your word for it, or take someone else's word for it, then yes, that sounds pretty much the same as religious faith to me.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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10-03-2016, 11:28 AM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2016 11:53 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
No.
No rational, sane person "choses" to accept things as true, they know are untrue.
But kind of depends ... how good you are at this : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compartmen...sychology)

Of course there are many conflicting thoughts on the subject by various religious and other writers.

http://www.pathsoflove.com/blog/2008/11/...n-aquinas/
"To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:8-9)
Paul said it was a "gift"

Jesus said it's his father's doing : "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day" (John 6:44)
""This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them." (John 6:65)
"For many are invited, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:14)

In the American Fundamentalist tradition, it's considered "rebellion" (evil) not to "compartmentalize" (from psychology) one's doubts, and just accept their religious brands, anyway. Not so much in the more liberal European traditions, where "free-thinking" has been tolerated. That's just dishonesty. In Catholic Moral Theology, one must "consciously assent" to something to sin, so really that is not the position of Catholics. If you REALLY don't believe, and honestly follow your conscience, (assuming "proper formation") then, according to them, you are "not lost").

Bonhoeffer died an atheist, as well as Mother Teresa ("That which I see in my heart, I dare not name"... from her published letters).
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid171915
http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/expo...eneral.htm

So, I'm really happy you started this thread, "other Jason" ( Tongue ). I meant to a few weeks ago. >> I saw a few weeks before Oscars a piece on CNN where someone involved with the film "Shoah" was being interviewed about how he, a Jew, could possibly believe in a god, after seeing what happened in the Holocaust. He was sincere, but came up with some fairly *preposterous* answers as to where god was, during that catastrophe. (Ie "he was right there" Facepalm ) In the end he said he believed "because he was more *himself* ("true to HIMSELF") as a believer, than not. It was his own "comfort level" with his thought patterns, really.
I got that. I totally disagree with that conclusion, and reasoning, but I get it.

As I have said before on TTA, (Girly and HOC know about these), there really is no practical difference between an agnostic, a follower of Eastern Tao mysticism, and the highest level of Christian (European) contemplative mysticism : John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila's 's "Dark Night of the Soul", (maybe Thomas Merton) and this : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_of_Unknowing

So it's an interesting question. Practically speaking, the answer is irrelevant, (to me).

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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10-03-2016, 11:38 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
The terms are too ill defined for me.

When you mix dialogues potentially using religious, philosophical, & scientific terms and through around what Aquinas or so and so thought it doesn't tend to lead to much better understanding.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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10-03-2016, 11:42 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
Belief is not a choice, per se. The decision to accept something without evidence is a choice to be credulous, to not require evidence.

Belief in something like plate tectonics is acquired by studying the evidence.
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10-03-2016, 12:17 PM
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?

They need to meet their burden of proof, and to anyone with a sufficient level of skepticism, Christianity simply cannot.

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10-03-2016, 12:34 PM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(10-03-2016 11:28 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  As I have said before on TTA, (Girly and HOC know about these), there really is no practical difference between an agnostic, a follower of Eastern Tao mysticism, and the highest level of Christian (European) contemplative mysticism : John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila's 's "Dark Night of the Soul", (maybe Thomas Merton) and this : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_of_Unknowing

So it's an interesting question. Practically speaking, the answer is irrelevant, (to me).

Yup. I see no practical difference between atheists and pantheists. In the end all there is:

Birth, and copulation, and death.
That’s all the facts when you come to brass tacks:
Birth, and copulation, and death.

And pragmatics. Big Grin

#sigh
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10-03-2016, 12:45 PM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
Belief without evidence is pure opinion and guesswork, aka faith. So, in essence, you cannot truly believe anything without evidence. I stand by my answer.

If you came to me and said I have a purple insect in my fridge. At that very moment I can choose to believe you or not. I currently have no evidence to sway me. You COULD have one, how do I know? I am not so well-versed in the study of insects to know if one exists, so it's possible. I also have never seen a purple insect that I know of, so it could be you are full of shit. At that moment I have zero proof either way, so I have to choose to believe one or the other. It's choice, as they say in the Matrix.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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10-03-2016, 12:51 PM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(10-03-2016 12:45 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  Belief without evidence is pure opinion and guesswork, aka faith. So, in essence, you cannot truly believe anything without evidence. I stand by my answer.

If you came to me and said I have a purple insect in my fridge. At that very moment I can choose to believe you or not. I currently have no evidence to sway me. You COULD have one, how do I know? I am not so well-versed in the study of insects to know if one exists, so it's possible. I also have never seen a purple insect that I know of, so it could be you are full of shit. At that moment I have zero proof either way, so I have to choose to believe one or the other. It's choice, as they say in the Matrix.

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