A Conversation for Why Do We Have Beliefs?

Writing Workshop: A865488 - Why do we have beliefs?

Post 1

a girl called Ben

Entry: Why do we have beliefs? - A865488
Author: Wotchit. Keeper of White Noise. Community Artist - U197053

Wotchit has written this as part of the Uni Project on Belief. A853751

On my first reading I like it. It is clearly Wotchit's personal view, but since it is impossible to come up with a universal view on belief, it is refreshing to find someone stating that their entry IS a personal view.

I caught a couple of typos on my first glance through, and a couple of things I want to query with Wotchit, which I will do later in this thread.


A865488 - Why do we have beliefs?

Post 2


Hi Ben! Could you please point out my typos so that I can correct them smiley - biggrin


A865488 - Why do we have beliefs?

Post 3

Noggin the Nog

Typos and sundry minor comments.

The first couple of sentences don't read well - they have that I'm not quite into my stride feel.

would be better as or

has something missing.

is nice for comic effect, otherwise is better English.

The para starting is a bit arkward. (The sentiment is fine, but some rephrasing would help it read.)

That's all the ones I spotted.

Good entry smiley - ok


A865488 - Why do we have beliefs?

Post 4


Hi all, smiley - smiley


religion... tricky subject...

may i start by saying this is a very articulate statement of opinion/belief on your part, wotchit, clear and nicely delivered. smiley - ok

I have reservations about this, though, despite the fact that it quite well paraphrases many of my own beliefs at a certain period. This could have been me speaking 10 years ago. But it seems to be quite deeply rooted in a christian perspective.

I fear it doesn't really touch on the amazingly broad range of belief systems in the world, present and past. Not even any mention of beliefs in things like the sun as 'divine' and the moon and stars. Natural divinity. Heck, we still refer to 'Mother Nature' as an entity, don't we?

I don't really buy the 'this guy just starts talking one day and before that nobody believed any of that c**p but then he starts spouting on about the creation and writes this book called the bible and everyone just starts believing what he made up' line, either.

no, belief in all sorts of mystical stuff was flying about way before the rise of monotheism. All over the place, and waaaaaay back when, back in the caves and huts. Lodda years back. heavy duty beliefs.

having said all that, it is pointedly introduced as a personal view and far be it from me to wish to 'argue' with that view. No, that's not the thing.

What i'm wondering is how that affects it's validity as a guide entry. I've had a look at one or two of your belief entries, and it is an interesting project.

Touchy subject though. Requires sensitive handling. This has a hint of the shock treatment about it. smiley - sadface

still, i may just be unwilling to 'face the truth'.

nah! smiley - biggrin Just got a funny feeling about this and the EG. Sorry. smiley - sadface

I must re-iterate, though, that i liked the writing. smiley - ok I do wish you all the best with this and will hope to see you in PR one of these days, smiley - smiley


ps - looking at your impressive array of edited entries i'm surprised i haven't seen you *before*! smiley - smiley

A865488 - Why do we have beliefs?

Post 5

a girl called Ben

Hiya Spiff

As I said when I put the entry into WW this is part of a Uni project on belief, my hope is that there will be a wide range of subjects in the project, though even the Encyclopaedia Gallactica would not be big enough to cover every opinion.

But you give me a timely reminder, I must pop along to the Italics, and ask them to cast their eye over the entries so far, and see whether or not they have any concerns about them.

The project as a whole is intended to provide a forum for personal takes on belief, such as this, (which I - personally - disagree with), by counterbalancing them with other personal takes on belief (such as mine, which is right and perfect in every way smiley - winkeye).

What I like about this entry is its freshness, and its style. I will (I promise) sit down an critique it properly later today or tomorrow.

Why don't you check out the other entries, Spiff, they are all listed on the project page with their WW threads.


A865488 - Why do we have beliefs?

Post 6


Thanks Ben. I'm just about to add the corrections Noggin pointed out.

smiley - smiley Wotchit

Announcing the closing date - 31st Jan

Post 7

a girl called Ben

Hello all

This is beginning to feel like finely diced reconstituted pork product... anyways, in order to get this project its week of glory on the front page, I am proposing to close the bar on all entries on the 31st Jan. We will then go with whatever we have got completed by then. So any additional work on this entry, and indeed any additional entries, should be completed by then.

Thanks to you for your work so far.


Announcing the closing date - 31st Jan

Post 8


I'm definitely finished Ben. smiley - smiley


Announcing the closing date - 31st Jan

Post 9

a girl called Ben

That is great, Wotchit. I wish mine were... smiley - erm

Thanks again, and a Happy New Year!


Announcing the closing date - 31st Jan

Post 10

a girl called Ben

Jimster has cast his eye over the project as a whole and made some comments here: F51226?thread=238444&latest=1

It is exciting to see such a postitive response from the Italics to this!

*spamming WW for the sake of speed*

Announcing the closing date - 31st Jan

Post 11

a girl called Ben

I want this entry for the project *because* it is so unashamedly an opinion piece. It is one researcher's personal approach to the question, and it is fundamentally different from the rationalist aproaches of Noggin the Nog, Ste, and myself.

I personally disagree with a lot of what Wotchit has said, but the project is not about what I agree with. This is a valid approach, and an important change of voice and perspective.

Basic question - can we have this in the 1st Person, or does it need fundamental rewriting? I have left it late to ask this question because we needed to get a feel for the project as a whole before we could answer it.

Jimster, can you advise please?

Many thanks go to you Wotchit for writing it.


Announcing the closing date - 31st Jan

Post 12

Smij - Formerly Jimster

Actually, it's not too much of a problem; a few little tweaks here and there should smooth the 1st person issue out:

- 'In this article I will hope to put forward some theories on why we have beliefs' would be better as 'This entry examines some theories on why we have beliefs...' (and there's no need for the tags; we don't really use them any more for Edited Guide entries).

- 'For the sake of argument I am going to assume that all these religions are wrong. Thus I'm trying to work out why people made these ideas up.'
We often use Blockquotes for personal comments, but in this instance I'm not sure it needs to be a personal one at all. How about 'For the sake of argument, we could assume that all these religions are wrong. The task then, would be to work out why people made these ideas up in the first place.'

(I suppose another question which occurs to us at this point is 'Why do people continue to believe?', which I think is summed up fairly accurately by one of ben's own entries for the project.)

- 'It might have gone something like that conversation' - smiley - biggrin I suspect it'd be more accurate to say 'It's unlikely the conversation went quite like that, but it does serve to illustrate a point.' and then go on with the following sentence.

- And finally, the links at the bottom shouldn't list the researchers - they're already credited on the corresponding entries.

The only other suggestion I'd make is only worth considering if you're going to decide on a preffered 'order' for these entries to be read. Simply it's that I think this entry should probably appear before 'Why are beliefs held so dearly?' in the list, as the question it asks seems to lead nicely into the question asked by the next entry.

I agree that this entry covers enough ground of its own, without too much overlap with the others, to be included. And I think it also sufficiently addresses the questions it raises for it to stand as an entry on its own outside of the project (which all Uni entries really should do anyway).

Right, it's gone 7.00pm and a pub down the road is calling my name (it's a novelty pub. Well, I think a talking pub's a novelty).

Night all,


Announcing the closing date - 31st Jan

Post 13

a girl called Ben

Talking pubs are fine - it is when they start telling jokes you need to worry about it.

Thanks for the recommendations Jimster. It was beyond me to work it out.

I have put together a rough order for the entries on the project page, one of the many things I have been doing today. I had grouped these two together, but the other way round. I will go and switch them over now.

Thanks for your positive feedback. And mine's a dark rum with a couple of shots of coke, no ice, and make it a double! smiley - run

Take care and see you soon.


Announcing the closing date - 31st Jan

Post 14


Thanks Jimster! smiley - cheers

Should I do the tweaking or will that be done by the Sub?

I was wondering whether it would be possible to include a link to a speech by Douglas Adams. He made this wonderful speech at a Cambridge conference a few years back about just this sort of thing. It's included in the Salmon of Doubt.

I just thought that for this project this would be very relevant. i.e., "See what Douglas Adams had to say about Why we have beliefs"

Thanks again for the feedback,


Announcing the closing date - 31st Jan

Post 15

a girl called Ben

It is probably best if you make the tweaks if you have time. You have more control then, and it is your entry after all.

Where is the link? It may be possible to include it, and it sounds good.

Thanks Wotchit and take care.


Announcing the closing date - 31st Jan

Post 16


Oh dear. I edited this last night an changed it, but then I forgot to save the changes and closed the window in a minute of extreme dopiness. I'm off to do again now though...

Announcing the closing date - 31st Jan

Post 17


OK it's been updated. You should read the speech. It really is fascinating and reveals just how much of a genius he was.

Announcing the closing date - 31st Jan

Post 18

a girl called Ben

Thanks Wotchit, that is much better. GTB will tidy up the GML for you, and he may put in a couple of headers or subheaders.

Thanks once again.


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