Oct 16, 2013 at 8:59 am #1308796
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
" Beliefs are nothing to be proud of.
Believing something is not an accomplishment. I grew up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they’re really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because “strength of belief” is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you’ve made it a part of your ego. Listen to any “die-hard” conservative or liberal talk about their deepest beliefs and you are listening to somebody who will never hear what you say on any matter that matters to them — unless you believe the same. It is gratifying to speak forcefully, it is gratifying to be agreed with, and this high is what the die-hards are chasing. Wherever there is a belief, there is a closed door. Take on the beliefs that stand up to your most honest, humble scrutiny, and never be afraid to lose them."
Something to think about. Even if one does not agree, it's food for thought. Let it sit a while.Oct 16, 2013 at 9:40 am #2034618
Daryl and DarylParticipant
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
I like it. Makes sense to me.Oct 17, 2013 at 10:23 am #2034983
I don't care if you want to worship your deity in a way you see fit. Even if you feel compelled to knock on my door and tell me about your religion, my time isn't so important that I can't take an extra 15 seconds once or twice a year to say "thanks but no thanks."
I do care if you carry your religion like a torch to marginalize other members of society through public policy.
I don't care if you believe in creation or evolution.
I do care when you believe it's your right to indoctrinate my kid to the "one true explanation" whatever that may be for you.
I don't care if you believe birth control is a sin.
I do care if you believe it’s your right to stymie efforts to improve access to birth control.
I don’t care if you want to call out those who are mocking Islam.
I do care if you defend Islam but feel it's all right to mock Christianity.
And most important of all when backpacking…
I don't care if you think my Esbit smells.
I do care if you think I smell. It's manly man odor… get over it.Oct 17, 2013 at 10:48 am #2034991
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I haven't used "deoderant" for years, just a plot by marketers to get some of my money : )Oct 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm #2035023
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
.Oct 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm #2035204
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Is the writer rejecting beliefs? If so, then pretty extreme IMO.
Beliefs serve as a mental guidance for us. Rejecting / avoiding beliefs wholesale ("every belief is a door closed") can result in living life like flotsam. Is an open door always good? Is a closed door always bad? Any tool can be misused and turned into a crutch. But the problem lies with the user of the tool and not the tool itself.
Should I dump my GPS because it is occasionally unreliable? No. Instead, I recognize its usefulness as part of my navigational toolkit – which also includes a compass and my own navigational skills. Similarly, I think one should embrace beliefs appropriately – using them to help navigate through this complicated road of life.
By the way – that we shouldn't kill people for their possessions is a belief that has served us well – which is why we teach it from generation to generation. Shoud this closed door be reopened and revisited each and every time?Oct 18, 2013 at 9:24 am #2035266
@wildtownerLocale: Grand Canyon State
Good stuff, Katerina!
Ben, with respect, I think you're taking it a bit too literally. Most philosophical statements shouldn't be seen as purely "black" or "white", and we should allow for some nuance. That doesn't mean that EVERYTHING is nuance, however!
When you talk about how we shouldn't kill someone to take their possessions, it's not the "belief" that makes that idea true; rather it's the fact that a world where "robbing/killing is ok" would make for a very fragile and unstable existence for everyone.
I think the writer (whoever that may be) is speaking to those folks out there, whether "left" or "right", who live their lives according to a dogma that prevents them from considering the well-foundedness of that dogma, as well as its effects on society. As such, I think it's helpful and rather profound! Many of us need reminders, from time to time, not to be so sure that "our way" is the "right way"!Oct 18, 2013 at 9:58 am #2035277
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
I actually agree with the sentiment that extremism too often reflects a closed mind. But I am taken back with the author's simplistic (and also erroneous) view that equates belief itself with a closed mind.
As they say, two wrongs don't make a right. Taken too literally? Perhaps the author should have been more careful with his (or her) choice of words. Having re-read the post above, I am even less convinced now that it is 'good stuff' at all. My two cents, of course.Oct 18, 2013 at 10:40 am #2035291
@redmonkLocale: Greater California Ecosystem
A lot of "facts" are really beliefs put forth through philosophical arguments on the nature of man, the natural state of humanity, the needs of man, the needs of society, the benefits of a government over absolute freedom etc.
Knowing the arguments behind our accepted "facts", and finding them acceptable is belief.
Not understanding the arguments behind the "facts" and accepting them is faith.
Belief is not the enemy, but the product of, rational, sustained, logical thoughts.
Perhaps faith is the enemy of belief, and that is what the author was writing about ?Oct 18, 2013 at 10:51 am #2035293
just Justin WhitsonMember
Real faith is perception and beliefs influenced or informed by intuition/imagination/feeling sense. Because such perceptions are so subtle and quiet in this LOUD world filled by a humanity which is largely filled with busy, loud minds, most who live in their intellect can't but help to reject them or rather, just not hear them consciously at all.
But faith/intuition/imagination should always be balanced and checked by intellect, logic, rational thinking and discrimination. Without a balanced combo of the two, neither one by itself is of much help or good.
No beliefs should be based on indoctrination. But on and by self experience, thinking, and listening to those quiet perceptions talked about above. And it's always helpful to try to take the mind set and attitude of open minded but skeptical. Skepticism doesn't mean outright rejection, but considering the validity. Perhaps a better term is open minded but discriminating.
Granted, some beliefs i have are core and will probably never appreciably change in essence. One such "belief" is Love.Oct 18, 2013 at 11:03 am #2035294
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
For many, believing that life is worth continuing is an accomplishment. One that is repeated daily or even hourly.
For many, believing that they have worth is an accomplishment, and to close the door to exploring alternatives is an additional achievement.Oct 18, 2013 at 11:22 am #2035298
@wildtownerLocale: Grand Canyon State
I agree with Redmonk that the anonymous author was probably talking about "faith", rather than "belief", per se. In informal conversation, the two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Actually, I think the author was really referring to "blind faith", the uglier cousin of "faith".
Perhaps I'm extremely unlucky, but I find myself faced with the proponents of "blind faith" more and more often these days, and — more discouraging still — they usually hide behind a persona of faux-kindness and "political correctness". There are a lot of fabulous actors out there, who will never get an Oscar (but deserve one). It's really not doing good things for my inherent cynicism…sigh.
Surely humanity could do with a little more open-mindedness; I think we're largely going down the wrong path…Oct 18, 2013 at 11:31 am #2035302
@aldoleopoldLocale: Great Lakes
At times you stand by your beliefs no matter what, sometimes you need an open mind; "a time to plant, a time to reap". Does any mind set work all the time in all situations?
It smacks of elitism when the author characterizes the beliefs of others as a negative while extolling his/her own beliefs as a positive. My "belief" is that this person has some sort of snake oil to sell, a motivational speaker no doubt.Oct 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm #2035331
It's interesting to me to see people react differently to the OP. I focused less on the open-mindedness aspect of it and more on a person’s pathological need to be right.
Recently a person made an off topic remark in a thread against creationism which made no sense to me. I personally believe in evolution but really couldn't care less what you believe as long as you don't impose those beliefs on me. I really see no need for me to write books or lecture about gods who aren’t there or on ideas about how the world was created.
Regarding belief vs faith vs whatever, one valuable thing I learned from working in healthcare is that what's gospel today is heresy tomorrow. I can think of a dozen protocols which were changed dramatically over the years.
Either way, it seems to be human nature to argue a point to a bloody pulp on the internet about crap that really doesn’t matter. I'm of course guiltier than most.Oct 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm #2035338
"I'm of course guiltier than most."
Do you have any links to back that up, or am I supposed to just take it on faith? …Oct 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm #2035341
"Do you have any links to back that up, or am I supposed to just take it on faith? …"
I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and still have the receipt. Will that work?Oct 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm #2035346
It is interesting, as is the entire post that this bit came from. I enjoyed his link to his favorite Nietzsche statements, including – "We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the way in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us." – which I think helped formulate his graph on beliefs. I also enjoyed his – "Quality of life is determined by how you deal with your moments, not which moments happen and which don’t."
I don't think he's saying anything others haven't said, even if saying them in his own way. Such folks, if we're open to it, often give us things to ponder. We may end up disagreeing, we may end up only partially agreeing, but we're better off for truly taking the time to ponder. Methinks we don't do enough of that, which is what I get as the premise for the above paragraph. And in that, I agree.
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