A Conversation for Why Do We Have Beliefs?

Severe Flaws

Post 1


There are some severe flaws in this entry's premise and discussion. I guess they have to be taken in order of appearance:

[Beliefs are complicated things. You can theoretically look at them and say 'These beliefs cause wars and manage billions of people's lives. But why?']

Beliefs are both complicated and very, very simple. You COULD say 'These beliefs...', but you would be wrong. Not all beliefs cause wars or manage billions of people's lives. Some beliefs are true, at least in the context of the believer. I, as an example, might have a firm belief that the Sun will continue to circle around the Earth. I count on it.

Forget that the Earth acually revolves around the Sun; am I wrong?

Yes! Someday it will no longer be true, but in the context of my life I feel safe in my belief.

I should probably attempt to answer the question of Why. We have beliefs because we have the ability to imagine, because we are curious, because once we realize that we can figure out why some things happen, we decide that by extension we can figure out why all things happen. Who knows? Maybe someday the imaginers will get it right!

[For the sake of argument we can assume that all these religions are wrong. Thus we have to try and work out why people made these ideas up.]

Well, first, we should be discussing, not arguing. See my assuming that the Sun circles the Earth. This entry's statement begs the question 'Are all religions wrong?'; otherwise it's as useful a premise as saying "for the sake of argument, we can assume that you are a reprehensible clod." The clods won't accept the premise.

The little conversation (and much of the entry) shows an extreme bias on the part of the author(s); not very hootoo like.

It is a somewhat interesting fact that all societies which we have studied to any real extent, all have creation myths. We do tend to ask, 'if everything I see is made/composed of other stuff that I understand, and everything seems to have a life span, and I can make things from stuff, somebody had to make all of the stuff. This is a natural result of not understanding space-time. It displays a belief in linear time, and does not take into account "forever".

The 'gods' were often secondary to the creation myth, and normally centered on the natural elements that created fear in the primitive cultures. If you happen to do something that society frowns upon, and there is a sudden earthquake, volcanic eruption, or storm; it doesn't take too many of these coincidences to make one start to wonder if they might not be caused by the offenses.

[For the sake of argument we can assume that all these religions are wrong. Thus we have to try and work out why people made these ideas up]

The two questions are not at all the same, because the second can be answered by positing the answer to the first. Connected, yes, but not the same.

Atheism, strictly speaking, is not a belief system at all, it's the lack of one A(non) thiest(believer). It is a state of non-belief, not a belief.

[René Descartes' famous philosophy, 'I think therefore I am', compounds beliefs. It shows that knowledge is almost non-existent.]

The discussion of Descartes'starts off in error. He did not propose this as his philosophy. What he was trying to do is to prove 'truth' by starting with 'first principles' which he realized must be based on first assumptions. The most basic assumption he could come up with was his own existence, proven only by his very thinking about it. That's not 'a philosophy'.

Yours in hootoo,
smiley - towel

Severe Flaws

Post 2

Martin Andrew

My first posting. Surely belief began as an attempt by very primitive Homo sapiens to explain his/her existence.How could they explain those things that they couldnt control, Eg Weather, earthquakes, violence from other groups of humans. Is it not probable that they thought "rain creates plant growth, without plants we die, rain comes from the sky....There must be something up there"

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