Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
quiXilver

When does thought transition to belief?

375 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

quiXilver

A belief is a thought, yet not every thought is a belief.

So what makes a thought into a belief?

 

A question undoubtedly asked before, yet worthy of revisiting.  We are not static nouns in this life, but flowing verbs.  We all shift as we move through life, and as there seems to be a prevailing attitude that adding to existing older conversations is somehow inappropriate I will ask as it seems a question worth revisiting regularly, since one of the aspects of wisdom seems the discovery of one's true nature in the process of exposure to more experience.  Exploration of this can reveal some surprising shifts over the course of one's life.  I'm curious to see what others think now of this question.  Lots of highly potent thinkers here and passionate people, I love both. 

I ask in sincere interest, but not in seriousness.  I try to engage in life playfully, yet sincerely.  It's just a conversation.  And I operate from a position of 'while I may have discovered a truth, it is never 'the' truth.  So with no need to convince anyone of anything and with no interest in selling my sense of it as the one correct perspective... out of curiosity...

What are the transitional elements involved in a thought becoming a belief?

What makes a belief not just another thought?

 

For me it seems to revolve around a notion of questionability, or non-questionability.  Beliefs seem to be thoughts that become imbued with an unquestionable essence, either through Truth by Consensus ("everyone" knows it) , or simple familiarity ( it's cultural background info, that has never been questioned), or perhaps based on sense of Truth (through direct experience that renders further questioning irrelevant).

 

As a secondary question.  What does it take for beliefs to be demoted to thoughts?

For the record, I am into open ranging conversations exploring a concept kind of like chewing a bone, one moves around it a bit to get all the best bits covered.  So I don't mind some meandering into related side topics at all.

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
XenoFish
8 minutes ago, quiXilver said:

So what makes a thought into a belief?

When you believe what you think due to the emotions involved or the sheer repetition of those thoughts.

9 minutes ago, quiXilver said:

What does it take for beliefs to be demoted to thoughts?

When hopefully facts prove beliefs wrong. Or a contradiction of thought occurs. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sci-nerd

I have struggled with this myself. The brain wants to believe. It's easier to settle on an ontology, than to hover over several options. But I have resisted it successfully.

Figuratively one could say I have parked my car in the middle between them, constantly looking to each side, deciding if I need to move it.

It's not easy operating reality like that. It takes will and determination. A will I don't see with neither religious people nor physicists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
XenoFish

How we form beliefs. Might be an interesting read to some.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kismit

I take it this is to do with spirituality and or skepticism. Because for me, I have lots of thoughts and I have things I want to believe in, but I struggle to fully manifest a belief in anything without evidence. That is where my personal stance in skeptics agnosticism sits permanently.

 I can believe that I stick to the Earth when I walk, I would like to believe I could fly, and sometimes I think that I can. 

In that case evidence generally presents itself that my body is fragile. Something that as I age becomes more firmly a belief.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Habitat

It is quite right not to "believe" without some kind of evidence, but equally it is wrong to disbelieve because there is no evidence that has come your way, and that applies to all walks of life.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kismit
19 minutes ago, Habitat said:

It is quite right not to "believe" without some kind of evidence, but equally it is wrong to disbelieve because there is no evidence that has come your way, and that applies to all walks of life.

That’s when you have to be open enough to ask questions, that’s the sceptical part.   To present yourself with evidence. Some people forget that the questions are not used to disprove, and that they should be aimed to understand 

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
XenoFish
58 minutes ago, Kismit said:

I take it this is to do with spirituality and or skepticism. Because for me, I have lots of thoughts and I have things I want to believe in, but I struggle to fully manifest a belief in anything without evidence. That is where my personal stance in skeptics agnosticism sits permanently.

 I can believe that I stick to the Earth when I walk, I would like to believe I could fly, and sometimes I think that I can. 

In that case evidence generally presents itself that my body is fragile. Something that as I age becomes more firmly a belief.

I think it would depend on if the belief in question can be well, tested. In some cases just a bit of playful imagination doesn't hurt. But if you believe you can fly and decided to jump off a bridge to test this, I would recommend reevaluation said belief (not you directly). A belief in ghost is just one based on faith, which is an assumption towards a possible "truth", despite nothing conclusive to back it. Same for all spiritual things. 

Off topic but I'm curious as to the exact trigger from intention to action myself. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
psyche101

beliefs-dont-change-facts-facts-if-youre

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quiXilver

The notion of how thought becomes elevated to belief seems related to me, in how regular everyday objects become cherished posessions.

Our perception imbues the notion, or object with meaning that is utterly private, personal... even when it's source is our societal conditioning, our experience of it is utterly personal.  Perhaps this is why we defend such things so vehemently.

Mis-identification of self with idea or object.  When the notion is revealed as non-factual, when the object shatters, we feel a part of us is under attack, at risk and our instinctual defenses rise in response before logic can intercede.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Porkncheese

I thought about this a while back and concluded that belief comes mostly from feelings and thought comes from thinking.

Therefore i rate thought higher than belief. Being just a thought im open to other suggestions. Believers aren't.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mr Walker
Posted (edited)
On 05/06/2019 at 12:56 PM, psyche101 said:

beliefs-dont-change-facts-facts-if-youre

lol Believe your wife /husband/significant other, is unfaithful, and it will change many  facts about your life.

Plus belief, because of its physiological and  psychological benefits on the human body, changes the health, well being and lifespan of humans.   

Acting on a belief has changed facts or realities for millennia

Finally, why on earth would you chose a stand up comedian as a source of wisdom? :)  

and significantly, beliefs exist independent of facts.

Indeed one can neither believe nor  disbelieve, if one has sufficient knowledge /evidence, to know.

So knowledge might eliminate a belief but it can't change one 

Edited by Mr Walker
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liquid Gardens
4 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Finally, why on earth would you chose a stand up comedian as a source of wisdom?

Because comedians are typically intelligent people and because good comedy is difficult, far more difficult than repeating what is in a holy book.  Speaking of holy books, never heard of, 'out of the mouths of babes...'?  

4 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

So knowledge might eliminate a belief but it can't change one 

That's not correct, beliefs change with new knowledge all the time.  Most beliefs don't exist 'independent' of facts, most rational people incorporate facts into their beliefs and ensure their beliefs don't conflict with those facts.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
XenoFish
On 6/26/2019 at 3:03 PM, Porkncheese said:

I thought about this a while back and concluded that belief comes mostly from feelings and thought comes from thinking.

Therefore i rate thought higher than belief. Being just a thought im open to other suggestions. Believers aren't.

You could say that beliefs are emotion based thoughts. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rlyeh

When you become so invested in a thought, you refuse to accept anything else.  Irrational beliefs like Creationism and The Flat Earth are perfect examples of this, advocates admit they will not accept evidence to the contrary because they sunk so much money and time into their beliefs.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quiXilver
Quote

Whatever the Thinker thinks, the Prover will prove. And if the Thinker thinks passionately enough, the Prover will prove the thought so conclusively that you will never talk a person out of such a belief, even if it is something as remarkable as the notion that there is a gaseous vertebrate of astronomical heft (" GOD ") who will spend all eternity torturing people who do not believe in his religion. - Robert Anton Wilson

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bendy Demon
On 6/4/2019 at 5:39 PM, Habitat said:

but equally it is wrong to disbelieve because there is no evidence that has come your way,

I kind of disagree with that part of the statement.

No one should feel obligated to accept something if there is no evidence to support it. If someone told me they had a unicorn in their backyard, naturally I would like to see it but if all attempts or suggestions to implement to verify its existence has been denied/refused then I see no reason to believe a claim it it is baseless.

Maybe I misinterpreted that part of your statement but if all manner of testing is refused then I can only assume someone is lying and doesn't want to be proven wrong.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mr Walker
On 6/28/2019 at 10:21 PM, Liquid Gardens said:

Because comedians are typically intelligent people and because good comedy is difficult, far more difficult than repeating what is in a holy book.  Speaking of holy books, never heard of, 'out of the mouths of babes...'?  

That's not correct, beliefs change with new knowledge all the time.  Most beliefs don't exist 'independent' of facts, most rational people incorporate facts into their beliefs and ensure their beliefs don't conflict with those facts.

No A belief is a construct created for a specific purpose or purpose The y are independent of fact.

it is impossible to know  something and believe/disbelieve in it at the same time.

However evidences can be used to support beliefs until enough evidence is gathered that belief becomes knowledge  Eg it is impossible for me to either believe or disbelieve that i had a mother,   because knowledge disallows belief  

The problem is how you define fact and personal  knowldge.  Most people truly only know what the y experience and all other knowledge is taken in faith of its sources.

  When the y do not have enough facts to have knowledge, human minds are evolved to construct beliefs to explain their experiences

I would say tha t new knowledge expands the range of our knowledge but will not change a belief except that the belief may become knowledge or may have to be abandoned because it is proven wrong 

Eg there is no proof of life on mars but here is plenty of suggestive evidence Thus one can maintain a belief that life exists on mars or that it does not and argue  for either.

Once life is discovered on mars this become knowledge (if you accept the evidences and sources as accurate and truthful)  One can no longer (rationally or logically) believe there is no life on mars but NETHER can one believe there is life there.  Of course one can illogically and irrationally maintain any belief, despite  available  knowledge. eg that the earth is flat 

One can also not personally accept knowledge which is accepted by most  eg that smoking kills or that we are a product of evolution

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mr Walker
30 minutes ago, Bendy Demon said:

I kind of disagree with that part of the statement.

No one should feel obligated to accept something if there is no evidence to support it. If someone told me they had a unicorn in their backyard, naturally I would like to see it but if all attempts or suggestions to implement to verify its existence has been denied/refused then I see no reason to believe a claim it it is baseless.

Maybe I misinterpreted that part of your statement but if all manner of testing is refused then I can only assume someone is lying and doesn't want to be proven wrong.

lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.

When we have no evidences for anything, we have three choices.

To construct a positive belief in it.

To construct a negative belief (disbelief) in it,

  or suspend judgement

All are logical and rational choices, depending on other factors, but suspension of belief /disbelief is perhaps the optimal.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bendy Demon
14 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.

Lack of evidence means that said subject is not worthy of further consideration if all one is allowed to go on is anecdote and someones 'insistence' that they be believed on command.

You can scream at me until you're blue in the face that you have a dragon (tired of unicorns)  in the garage but if all attempts or sugestions to prove it are dismissed right off the bat then there is nothing left to say except "Se ya..let me know when you have proof or will allow testing".

Now..if someone tells me that the dragon exist and I find, say, a scale, then I might be more willing to listen but if all you can give me is a "I said so" routine then I will walk away. plain and simple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spartan max2

A very philosophical question , I love it. At what exact point does a thought turn into a belief - how do we pinpoint the exact time. 

I think once a thought turns into a feeling it becomes a belief. We feel beliefs , and I'm not talking about Skeptics vs belief in God or an afterlife, I'm talking all beliefs.

We feel if we believe something is right or wrong. 

And I think those feeling ultimately develop from expierences more then "facts" and I say that to skeptical and believers. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liquid Gardens
1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

However evidences can be used to support beliefs until enough evidence is gathered that belief becomes knowledge 

Yes, that's possible, I didn't say anything different so why did you start your response with 'No'?  Evidences are not only used to transition beliefs to knowledge, they can change beliefs.  Evidence often includes facts, thus a belief is not always independent of facts, most are based on them.  Add to the facts, beliefs can change.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
openozy

Speaking about paranormal stuff,I think its gullible to believe something without experiencing it.Material evidence is only for proving it to others,which doesn't interest me.Other people's accounts of this interest me and you get a feeling if they are being truthful.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quiXilver

I find my mind lately is quite able to entertain thoughts and ideas without instantly needing to either accept or reject them.

 

There is a palpable freedom and a bouyancy to this that is quite pleasant, I find, both for me and those I converse with...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   1 member

    • Liquid Gardens