What is belief?

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A Human
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Re: What is belief?

Post by A Human » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:38 pm

Walker wrote:
A Human wrote:
Walker wrote:Some folks steer clear of belief, saying it’s a filter that influences perception of reality.

Some say different.

“What you are is a belief; if you let one belief go, you must replace it with another; otherwise, you will drop dead. I am telling you, a clinical death will occur. It is not the near death experience of those ‘near death’ scoundrels.”
- U.G. Krishnamurti

What do you think about belief?
Beliefs do not actually exist. They're just metaphors for 'x causes y which means z' which is a useful shortcut for our neurology but not actually representing reality.
There’s a meme floating around that says belief can move mountains.

Whatever can move a mountain must exist.
X (whatever) can cause Y (move a mountain) which means Z (it must exist)

A case in point.

All of what we call 'beliefs' are constructed in this way.

Londoner
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Re: What is belief?

Post by Londoner » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:31 pm

Walker wrote:Did you ever have a thought pop into your head that is totally unrelated to your current chain of thoughts, and unconnected to current perception? A thought “out of the blue” as the saying goes. If you describe this thought it seems so out-of-place that you might say, it’s not even my own.
I think the answer must be 'no'.

A 'chain of thought'sounds like the application of logic or mathematics, or the deliberate simplification of a problem. It is such chains of thought that are artificial; such chains are not my own thoughts because I am trying to exclude myself from them, to think objectively about a subject, as we might do when we are doing science.

So I would say it is the other way round; when this inconsistent thought pops into my head it is my subjective existence reasserting itself. It is reminding me that there are always other ways to look at the subject, and other subjects to look at.
If you “unpack” any world view that speculates on first cause or its absence, eventually you’re going to find the box marked belief. What’s in there? Conditioning, and also chemistry that is devoted to the body staying alive, which is the biological imperative for the benefit of the species.
I do not see that is necessarily true. I can be aware that a chain of reasoning is contingent on something being true, I do not have to pretend certainty about that something when it isn't there. For example, I can posit the reason for certain experiences is that there are physical objects (as opposed to simply ideas) but I do not pretend I can ever prove this.

Indeed, I do not see how (strictly speaking) I can believe something is true. To say the reason I think something is true is just that 'I believe it', would be to admit I had no objective reason. If I am aware I have no objective reason to think something, then I am aware it could be otherwise. If I am aware things could be otherwise then I would not have a firm belief.

To put it another way, if somebody says 'I believe X' we can ask them 'Why?' and expect them to give reasons. But if it was literally just a belief, the answer would have to be 'No reason, I just do'. After getting such an answer, we might wonder if they were really a robot.
Folks do not say that a scientist’s incomplete knowledge of science implies non-existence of science.
This is because what a scientist’s incomplete knowledge actually implies, is belief.
That is to confuse science-the-method with what science is applied to. To know the rules of chess isn't a claim to be be able to win every game.

Science is well aware that it rests on certain assumptions and thus everything it says about the world is contingent on those assumptions being true. On the other hand, science does successfully predict things, it makes testable propositions. No act of faith is required.
Folks do say that a God-knower’s incomplete knowledge of God implies non-existence of God.
However like the scientist, what a God-knower’s incomplete knowledge of God actually implies, is belief.
If the God-knower is aware they are working from certain assumptions, like the scientist, then thus far the two are similar.

On the other hand, if the God-knower claims certainty, but cannot show why they should be certain, then we are back with what I wrote above. I do not see how they can believe something - because they believe it. It would be like saying 'I am both uncertain and certain'.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is belief?

Post by Terrapin Station » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:34 pm

A Human wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:That everyone has a large amount of beliefs, and hopefully, most of them are supported by rational arguments and/or empirical evidence, even if it's just rational argumentation of empirical evidence of practical/instrumental utility.
How do you know that everyone has a large amount of beliefs Terrapin Station, how many do I have?
Because there's no way you can function if you do not. For example, you believe that when you type an "h" on the keyboard, an "h" will appear in the text editing field of your post. You believe that clicking on "Submit" will post what you wrote, you believe that opening your refrigerator will reveal food you have inside, you believe that you bought that food, and on and on.

A Human
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Re: What is belief?

Post by A Human » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:38 pm

Londoner wrote:It would be like saying 'I am both uncertain and certain'.
This can be valid (not commenting on the specific content of your post outside of this)

A person can be completely certain about being uncertain. They can operate on different logical levels so they can co-exist....of course, formal logic has an issue with evolved logic, go figure that.

A Human
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Re: What is belief?

Post by A Human » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:43 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
A Human wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:That everyone has a large amount of beliefs, and hopefully, most of them are supported by rational arguments and/or empirical evidence, even if it's just rational argumentation of empirical evidence of practical/instrumental utility.
How do you know that everyone has a large amount of beliefs Terrapin Station, how many do I have?
Because there's no way you can function if you do not.
You are stating that living things must have beliefs in order to function. Interesting.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is belief?

Post by Terrapin Station » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:44 pm

A Human wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
A Human wrote:
How do you know that everyone has a large amount of beliefs Terrapin Station, how many do I have?
Because there's no way you can function if you do not.
You are stating that living things must have beliefs in order to function. Interesting.
No, I stated that you (as a human, doing human things, etc.) could not function as you do without beliefs. That why I gave examples of typing, submitting posts, getting specific food items out of refrigerators, etc.

A Human
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Re: What is belief?

Post by A Human » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:47 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
A Human wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
Because there's no way you can function if you do not.
You are stating that living things must have beliefs in order to function. Interesting.
No, I stated that you (as a human, doing human things, etc.) could not function as you do without beliefs.
You stated "Because there's no way you can function if you do not."

That means there is no possible way you could function without beliefs.

So, for example, you'd need beliefs to take a nap from your view.
Last edited by A Human on Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is belief?

Post by Terrapin Station » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:48 pm

A Human wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
A Human wrote:
You are stating that living things must have beliefs in order to function. Interesting.
No, I stated that you (as a human, doing human things, etc.) could not function as you do without beliefs.
You stated "Because there's no way you can function if you do not."

That means there is no possible way you could function without beliefs.
Right, you. That's not the broader generalization that you wanted it to be, that you seem to believe it was (if your aim at the moment isn't simply to troll, which isn't clear yet).

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is belief?

Post by Terrapin Station » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:50 pm

Try it this way: what would you say you'd be able to do without beliefs?

A Human
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Re: What is belief?

Post by A Human » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:51 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
A Human wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
No, I stated that you (as a human, doing human things, etc.) could not function as you do without beliefs.
You stated "Because there's no way you can function if you do not."

That means there is no possible way you could function without beliefs.
Right, you. That's not the broader generalization that you wanted it to be, that you seem to believe it was (if your aim at the moment isn't simply to troll, which isn't clear yet).
It is specifically what you said and I replied to what you specifically said.

If I replied to something else then the problem would be on my end, not yours.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is belief?

Post by Terrapin Station » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:53 pm

A Human wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
A Human wrote:
You stated "Because there's no way you can function if you do not."

That means there is no possible way you could function without beliefs.
Right, you. That's not the broader generalization that you wanted it to be, that you seem to believe it was (if your aim at the moment isn't simply to troll, which isn't clear yet).
It is specifically what you said and I replied to what you specifically said.

If I replied to something else then the problem would be on my end, not yours.
Sure, I specifically said you. So what are we arguing about?

A Human
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Re: What is belief?

Post by A Human » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:58 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:Try it this way: what would you say you'd be able to do without beliefs?
EXIST for starters. A baby does quite well when born without any beliefs at all.

Beliefs are not required to Be. They are a stance we use, a shortcut, an abstraction, that is often useful for us as a species, but not required at all for all things as you seem to believe about beliefs.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is belief?

Post by Terrapin Station » Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:02 pm

A Human wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:Try it this way: what would you say you'd be able to do without beliefs?
EXIST for starters. A baby does quite well when born without any beliefs at all.
(You believe) you are a baby?

I'll just stress again that I used the word YOU to refer to YOU, an individual, the person who goes by the nickname "A Human" here. I'm asking what you'd say that you could do sans beliefs. Unless you're a baby, answering for a baby wouldn't work as an answer.

A Human
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Re: What is belief?

Post by A Human » Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:08 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
A Human wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:Try it this way: what would you say you'd be able to do without beliefs?
EXIST for starters. A baby does quite well when born without any beliefs at all.
(You believe) you are a baby?
Sure, whatever floats your epistemological boat is fine.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is belief?

Post by Terrapin Station » Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:09 pm

A Human wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
A Human wrote:
EXIST for starters. A baby does quite well when born without any beliefs at all.
(You believe) you are a baby?
Sure, whatever floats your epistemological boat is fine.
Why do you believe that you're a baby?

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