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, 10:56 PM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
Belief is a choice but not in the way you described it.
We all make choices of whether to believe something or not.

When I evaluate the evidence, I make a choice about whether or not that evidence supports the claim.
The more support a claim racks up in my mind, the more likely I am to choose to believe it.

Some people are able to ignore evidence because it doesn't fit what they have already chosen to believe.

There are those who choose to believe without evidence and that choice is made for many different reasons.

And that brings us to the word "delusion"

I could go on, but I think you get my point.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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11-03-2016, 03:32 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
No.
A rational mind does not choose what to believe. A rational mind is forced to accept that which is supported by evidence and to disregard that which is not.
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11-03-2016, 06:57 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
When you accept something or disregard it, you are making a choice between those two.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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11-03-2016, 07:17 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(11-03-2016 06:57 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  When you accept something or disregard it, you are making a choice between those two.

... I dunno. Can you choose really? What makes you accept or disregard something? It's not a choice. Sure, you can be swayed by evidence etc. But there comes a tipping point where you're brain is like "yeah, *this* is the right answer". We can act as if... e.g. small child A is not lying but if evidence comes to light later that indicates that he was lying we can't then prevent ourselves from processing that, and if it's sufficiently strong no matter what, we can't avoid changing our minds.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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11-03-2016, 07:57 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(11-03-2016 03:32 AM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  No.
A rational mind does not choose what to believe. A rational mind is forced to accept that which is supported by evidence and to disregard that which is not.

I agree with this but I would add that rationality is a choice. Having made the choice to be rational to the best of my ability, I don't accept any form of the arbitrary. I've met many people who say to me well, you know reason is good sometimes but faith is needed sometimes too. They go hand in hand. These people have made the choice not to be rational in my opinion because faith and reason are diametrically opposed.

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11-03-2016, 08:27 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
I'd suggest that the concept of "choice" is a vast oversimplification of what's going on in the human brain, in much the same way that Newtonian physics is an oversimplification of physical mechanics. It's a reasonable and accurate model for everyday discussion, but it breaks down if we want to examine it in any fine detail.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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11-03-2016, 08:50 AM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2016 08:55 AM by jason_delisle.)
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
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?
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11-03-2016, 08:55 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(11-03-2016 08:50 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Any thought?

You're becoming more interesting Smile Now do something funny.

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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11-03-2016, 09:01 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(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.

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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11-03-2016, 09:03 AM
RE: Is "belief" a choice?...lets talk about that.
(11-03-2016 08:55 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(11-03-2016 08:50 AM)jason_delisle Wrote:  Any thought?

You're becoming more interesting Smile Now do something funny.




Here you go.
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