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quiXilver

When does thought transition to belief?

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and then
On 6/4/2019 at 3:57 PM, quiXilver said:

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

What makes a belief not just another thought?

 

I consider this to be a profound question.  A good question.  Maybe the only one that really ultimately matters in our lives.

For me, faith came as it does to most people - in childhood.  Faith is seen as an acceptance of a magical form of ignorance to many and that is their choice.  I feel no animosity towards them for it.  I sometimes feel anger when they look down the nose at me for my faith but that's just my own pride getting in the way.  That's on me, not them.  

As I became an adult and went through the process of learning and questioning my faith, I became more aware of the seeming contradictions in the texts and I went through a period of doubt.  Then I looked more deeply into the prophecies of what would come in the last days.  One need only listen to newscasts about the middle east and its place in world events today to see the truth of what was written.  Those signs have become more glaring every year, then, every DAY.

Those who mock it in disbelief are making a conscious choice, just as I am.  Christ - who I believe to be the Creator aspect of God - told those around Him 2 millennia ago that He was telling them things that would happen, so that when they happened they would remember - and believe.

Well, those events are happening today.  The Jews have returned to Zion and are surrounded by their enemies.  The world has an incredibly inordinate amount of worry over that situation, just as predicted.  People want to ignore that reality and the totally illogical amount of power that the tiny city of Jerusalem and the even more miniscule 35 acres of the Temple Mount hold over the leaders of the world.  

Why?  What is so important about that place?  It has no staggering wealth, no seaport, no intrinsic value whatever to the modern world yet we literally see it in the news daily.  

THAT is why I believe.  THAT is what convinced me that what a Jew spoke of 2000 years ago, actually was true and was worth believing.  I believe it to the point of dying rather than rejecting my faith in Him.  You will note that I said nothing about KILLING anyone or even raising my hand to them because they believe differently.  

 

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and then
2 hours ago, Bendy Demon said:

No one should feel obligated to accept something if there is no evidence to support it.

I agree.  There should be no obligation.  Remember though, that the disbelief in the idea of man being able to fly caused a lot of newspapers in North Carolina to miss the scoop of the century in a little place called Kill Devil Hills, near Kitty Hawk, NC.

My point being that all the "evidence" isn't available to us right now, in this instant, and having faith in a thing often proves to be prescient.

Edited by and then
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Manwon Lender
On 6/5/2019 at 5:57 AM, quiXilver said:

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.

 

 

For me thoughts transition into beliefs when there is physical evidence that what I am thinking about is real. By the same token once a belief is proven to be true it can no longer only be a consideration or a though. To me in order for me to beleive something it must be able to be touched, smelled or proven by experience.

Edited by Manwon Lender
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Mr Walker
9 hours ago, Bendy Demon said:

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.

Rubbbish Where on earth did you get that idea from?

In the investigation of science many propositions begin with an idea or hypothesis for which there is little or no evidence  Over time evidence is gathered and tested with hypotheses gradually modified until knowledge is gained but almost ALWAYS science examines things which lack enough evidence to be known or proven Eg we have no evidence for life on mars but we spend billions searching for it

The dragon in the garage is a furphy

The fact that you  have not discovered a dragon scale does not mean there is not a dragon in the garage. It might be invisible or it might not have scales :) Evidence proves existence but lack of evidence, in itself, can not be used to prove non existence. 

 

 

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Mr Walker
8 hours ago, Liquid Gardens said:

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.

Because belief and knowledge are two totally difernt things. Once you HAVE knowledge, belief and disbelief are impossible.  There is a transitional process  but evidences dont really support beliefs, they support knowledge  How can evidence change a belief it can change what we know but because beliefs are constructed independent of evidences how can evidences affect them 

Eg many people have knowledge of the evolutionary process and accept it a s accurate BUT still believe god created the earth etc in 7 days.  The evidence is made to fit WITHIN their pre-existing belief  and not allowed to change it    

Other people are raised creationist but when they accept knowledge of evolution abandon their belief in creation.

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quiXilver

I wonder...

 

are thoughts real?

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Liquid Gardens
1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

There is a transitional process  but evidences dont really support beliefs, they support knowledge 

Most beliefs are supported by some evidence and facts, we've been over and over this, simply look at the operations of a court room which is not in the business of absolutely proving anything.  Beliefs and knowledge are not totally different things, 'knowledge' is just at one end of the spectrum of belief, and the error you continue to make is assuming that you define what these words do and don't mean.  Knowledge in philosophy is usually defined as 'justified true belief', so obviously not totally different things at all.  

I'm entirely within the bounds of both the English language and philosophy to define knowledge as something that has been absolutely proven to be true with no possibility of it being false.  I'm also entirely within the bounds of philosophy to note that using this definition, nothing is literally knowledge; you cannot prove that this reality is not an illusion.  Everything then is a belief, of varying justification and certainty; knowledge is just a state of mind and subjective decision.

1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

How can evidence change a belief it can change what we know

One may believe that Bigfoot is real based on the Patterson film.  One then finds out that the reason that Patterson was in the woods with a movie camera was because he specifically wanted to shoot a Bigfoot documentary, and lo and behold, miraculously, incredibly coincidentally just happens to find a remarkably cooperative Bigfoot for him to film.  That is evidence, and it alters my belief that Patterson documented an actual Bigfoot and leads me to believe, along with other evidence, that it is someone in a suit.  Using your nomenclature, I am not certain that it is someone in a suit and thus don't have knowledge, but evidence and facts have everything to do with my belief. 

You again make the mistake of thinking that just because a belief does not have to be based on any evidence that it can't be based on any evidence/facts, that is obviously not true.  You are just saying that using your definitions, something cannot be a belief and knowledge/fact simultaneously, which you should be able to see is a different proposition than 'evidence doesn't really support beliefs'. They obviously do.

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XenoFish

Belief and Thought. Going by the definitions thoughts can be beliefs. So there is no transition really. I suppose if you believe what you think and think what you believe, then that's that.

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lightly

Any body say this yet?...      " A belief is a thought that you agree with."

          

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Mr Walker
13 hours ago, quiXilver said:

I wonder...

 

are thoughts real?

You can see them on a machine so I would say so. Real as in physical things.  

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Dejarma
11 hours ago, lightly said:

 " A belief is a thought that you agree with."

yep, i agree with that

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Mr Walker
12 hours ago, Liquid Gardens said:

Most beliefs are supported by some evidence and facts, we've been over and over this, simply look at the operations of a court room which is not in the business of absolutely proving anything.  Beliefs and knowledge are not totally different things, 'knowledge' is just at one end of the spectrum of belief, and the error you continue to make is assuming that you define what these words do and don't mean.  Knowledge in philosophy is usually defined as 'justified true belief', so obviously not totally different things at all.  

I'm entirely within the bounds of both the English language and philosophy to define knowledge as something that has been absolutely proven to be true with no possibility of it being false.  I'm also entirely within the bounds of philosophy to note that using this definition, nothing is literally knowledge; you cannot prove that this reality is not an illusion.  Everything then is a belief, of varying justification and certainty; knowledge is just a state of mind and subjective decision.

One may believe that Bigfoot is real based on the Patterson film.  One then finds out that the reason that Patterson was in the woods with a movie camera was because he specifically wanted to shoot a Bigfoot documentary, and lo and behold, miraculously, incredibly coincidentally just happens to find a remarkably cooperative Bigfoot for him to film.  That is evidence, and it alters my belief that Patterson documented an actual Bigfoot and leads me to believe, along with other evidence, that it is someone in a suit.  Using your nomenclature, I am not certain that it is someone in a suit and thus don't have knowledge, but evidence and facts have everything to do with my belief. 

You again make the mistake of thinking that just because a belief does not have to be based on any evidence that it can't be based on any evidence/facts, that is obviously not true.  You are just saying that using your definitions, something cannot be a belief and knowledge/fact simultaneously, which you should be able to see is a different proposition than 'evidence doesn't really support beliefs'. They obviously do.

Maybe just a matter of opinion Once we define knowledge  as justified true belief  you are correct, but  true peroanl knowledge is not belief; even if this is the philosophical term  Eg you dont KNOW the height of Everest until you have measured it for yourself 

  eg I dont believe in anything.( and generally i dont disbelieve in anything either)   I know certain things from  personal experience  and i hold everything else in a suspension of belief and disbelief 

In general you can gain justified true belief from books or other people if you choose to accept their word, evidences and proofs, as supplied,  But in your head you cant know one thing and believe another unless you are illogical or unwell 

Your Patterson example shows how knowledge replaces belief  not how belief can be changed. The first was a belief  ( Actually your skepticism is belief based also ) Only your own experience could prove to you that big foot was real and thus you would have knowledge not belief  where is your 'evidence" that big foot is real OR is not real You've changed your belief but not due to any evidence only to an inner thought or bias 

This is becoming pedantic and drifting away from  my original point   Maybe your mind works differently to mine and you use different definitions for belief and knowledge   i do NOT accept that, just because we hold a belief which turns out to be true and justifiable, it is knowledge  It remains belief until we have evidences. 

I am open to being convinced. if you  can give me an example where evidence changes a belief, but does not  provide knowledge,  i would be interested 

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XenoFish

The more you think upon something and the more it appeals to the emotions, regardless of the truth of it, it becomes a belief if you accept it. The more you think about what you believe the more dominate those thoughts will become. Beliefs shape our perception and subjective experiences. 

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Dejarma
6 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

 i do NOT accept that, just because we hold a belief which turns out to be true and justifiable, it is knowledge  It remains belief until we have evidences. 

what on earth does that mean?

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quiXilver

After decades of incessant, dedicated study of eastern and western philosophy, ancient religion, physics, meditation, kung fu, nei gong, druidic and native americal lore.  Silence has replaced my previous love affair with thinking and thoughts.  Good thoughts to me were like life blood, whether read by another or discovered in ruminations.  They were the ultimate treasure and I'd chew on a good idea, or concept, like a wolf on a femur, for hours each day, weeks and months on end... returning to beloved topics year after year.  Thousands of pages of journal entries, essays, log a portion of the process.

Far more penetrating, revealing and healing to awareness for me lately, is silence.  Internal silence of mind and deep letting go of the body.

 

We take in such a small percentage of universal information with our senses.  Then mind interprets that bit of info based on our social and familial conditioning... and we experience a personal version of reality that is heavily self generated... this interpretation is not reality as it exists, but reality as we project and evaluate it.  Most of that is thought and the subsequent emotion that thought engenders often reinforces another similar thought.  Creating inertia and cycles of thinking and feeling that can endure indefinitely.

 

Somewhere along the line I realized i no longer believed much of what i thought.  They weren't necessarily true, or important.

Nor, gratefully, are they filled with even a fraction of the vigorous certainty of youth.  At 60k - 90k a day on average, I find many of them are the same as yesterday, with many of the rest seemingly centered around sensations generated by the body.  As they lose their gravity, something so welcome has come to replace them... contentment.

After years of cultivating silence and allowing thoughts to come and go without attaching, evaluating or judging them, I now find thoughts are losing gravity and lack an ability to pull awareness in and an abiding calm arises consistently in life.  Now, off the cushion, in the midst of hectic daily errands, chaotic hollywood egos at work and social time thoughts arise less often and when they do, they quickly dwindle if not fed with added attention.  Gaps between thoughts expand and in the place of thoughts, is a deep abiding calm.  The calm of simple presence.  Raw beingness.

 

Bouyancy is the word that comes.  Simple beingness is experienced as bouyant, effortless, when what is not essentially self, is allowed to be as it is.

 

I notice my wife no longer asks me 'how was your day?' when I return home.  For quite sometime, I kind of fish mouth and have no answer, either unable, or unwilling to even want to put an evaluation or judgement on the days events.  We've fallen out of the habit of mindless gossip talk of neighbors issues, or happenstance news articles.  She now greets me with a simple 'welcome home' or 'hey love'.  

 

The sensation in the body that arises in the silence of quiet mind, is one of emptiness that shines with clarity and a simple joyful raw beingness.  I find barefoot walks to be intoxicating and thoughts are like clouds.  They arise, then dissolve.  Some of them are dark and ominous and stormy, but these dwindle soon as well, pretty quickly unable to maintain their inertia when not fed with more attention.

Thoughts are no longer perceived as inherently real, true, or even important to me any longer.  They are a curiosity.  Some of them are intrisic to nagivating life, and these are utilized, but not worshiped, or fed, they are what they are and when the need no longer sustains them, they blissfully fall silent.

 

I find there to be no greater truth currently, than simple raw beingness.  No thoughts required.

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Mr Walker
1 hour ago, Dejarma said:

what on earth does that mean?

It gets complicated

Some argue that, when we hold a belief which happens to be true or, can be justified as true ,this constitutes knowledge.

Others, including me, disagree.  True knowledge is only what we know from  experience and have personal  evidences for.

eg  you might believe that mt Everest  reaches 29030 feet above sea level  because you had read or seen this  figure

You would be right 

You would be justified  but until you measured it for yourself this would not be something you knew

Everything else must be taken on faith, based on your confidence in the sources of the information. 

Thus i can know that Januaries are hot in my home town (sometimes well over 40 degrees C ) But i cant know that they are cold in  London. I can only have a justified true belief, based on second/third hand data. If i went to London in January, then i would have knowledge of conditions there 

This involves a well known argument, called the Gettier problem, which explains why  (despite the philosophical argument that the y are the same) justified true belief is not knowledge

Edited by Mr Walker

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Mr Walker
1 hour ago, XenoFish said:

The more you think upon something and the more it appeals to the emotions, regardless of the truth of it, it becomes a belief if you accept it. The more you think about what you believe the more dominate those thoughts will become. Beliefs shape our perception and subjective experiences. 

Because beliefs are constructed where knowledge is lacking, the y can be built on logic and reason as much as emotional reasoning.

This was found in much of early science and medicine, where observation suggested conclusions which were quite wrong but logical and reasonable.   

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Aquila King
On 6/4/2019 at 4:57 PM, quiXilver said:

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

So what makes a thought into a belief?

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

What makes a belief not just another thought?

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

I dunno. Interesting thought exercise, but doesn't really matter all things considered.

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Manwon Lender
16 hours ago, quiXilver said:

I wonder...

 

are thoughts real?

Are you real, please answer.

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Liquid Gardens
12 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Eg you dont KNOW the height of Everest until you have measured it for yourself 

Your memory, upon which your idea that personal experience is paramount relies, should tell you that we've discussed this before and I don't agree with you.  Assuming you are using measuring capabilities that you might reasonably have access to, your measure of Everest is very unlikely to be exactly correct, there are too many opportunities for misperceptions, erroneous measurements and calibrations, as well as the unavoidability of lack of precision.  Anyway, your 'true personal experience' theory doesn't work well, you are smuggling in the relevant point as a given:  'true'.  My knowledge that Everest exists, despite never visiting it nor personally experiencing it, is far more reliable than what my memory says occurred when I was in 4th grade which I did personally experience.

13 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

 I know certain things from  personal experience  and i hold everything else in a suspension of belief and disbelief 

I don't, I factor in evidence and make estimates which become my beliefs.  I played the lotto last night, I haven't checked the tickets yet but the odds are at least 1 in 70 million of winning the jackpot.  Do you neither believe nor disbelieve I won the lotto?  You're really 'suspending' belief about something that has incredible odds against it?  Personally, I don't believe I won the lotto, I just believe I have a minuscule chance of winning.

13 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Your Patterson example shows how knowledge replaces belief  not how belief can be changed. The first was a belief  ( Actually your skepticism is belief based also ) Only your own experience could prove to you that big foot was real and thus you would have knowledge not belief  where is your 'evidence" that big foot is real OR is not real You've changed your belief but not due to any evidence only to an inner thought or bias 

Then you need to reread the Patterson example, I didn't say anything about 'knowledge' or 'prove' and I have no idea where you think 'bias' is entering into the equation.  I think for you to understand this, you need to not just use 'belief' and 'knowledge' without specifying what the belief and knowledge is.

Original Belief: The Patterson film depicts a real Bigfoot.

Evidence: The discovery that Patterson didn't just happen to be carrying a camera into the woods and stumbled on a Bigfoot, he purposely was shooting a Bigfoot documentary.  That requires money, which provides a motivation to fake it.  And as the availability of cameras has increased, the quality and quantity of Bigfoot footage has decreased since this film, which is not what we would expect if Bigfoot was real.  And the evidence against it provided by biology concerning evidence for Bigfoot that would be expected but does not exist.

Revised Belief: The Patterson film does not depict a real Bigfoot.

Thus, you are incorrect and 'evidence does really support beliefs'.  This is an example as requested where evidence changes belief yet doesn't provide knowledge of the status of Bigfoot.  So where is this 'inner thought' or 'bias' are you referring to?

13 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

 i do NOT accept that, just because we hold a belief which turns out to be true and justifiable, it is knowledge  It remains belief until we have evidences. 

I'm not sure anyone's said differently although that is not a well constructed statement, I don't know what 'turns out to be' is doing in there.  A belief that turns out to be true and justifiable is at that point usually called 'knowledge', and it can't turn out to be 'true and justifiable' without evidences.  Again, I think your insistence of trying to treat knowledge as its own special thing is pointless and results in needless complication.  There is no philosophical, mathematical, or scientific equation that indicates the threshold when a proposition becomes knowledge, there is no unit of measure involved there, so it's always personal judgment.

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quiXilver
12 hours ago, Manwon Lender said:

Are you real, please answer.

Who are you?  asked the Caterpillar

What are you?  asked Alice

Are you real?  Asked Manwon

 

Wonderful question.  More and more I love the open, answerless questions.  Those whose answers depend entirely on the perceptual position and whose answer is usually parametered by how the question is phrased.  How one frames a question, or line of questing, will determine the potential set of answers.  Reframe the question and the line taken to answer it will diverge to a new potential set.

The nature of any given thing studied, often depends on the level of magnification and the tool of perception.  I got my son a microscope when he entered 5th grade.  We are constantly taking samples under it to examine their nature at various levels of myopia.

 

To my naked eye, my fingernail looks smooth.  Under 100x magnification, it's a craggy mountainous plateau, streaked with valleys and peaks, blowouts and odd shapes.

To the naked eye, I would likely be identifiable as human to another human.  Yet look more myopically, on the cellular level, at my intestines and you would see a veritable war zone of cells dissolving, consuming and offing each other in great battles.  Yet less myopically, this war zone, is the healthy incorporation of nutrition to the overall organism and the venting of unusable and toxic byproducts.

At the atomic and sub atomic level... is any resemblance to human present?

What is real?

 

 

Thoughts occupy a length of time, but not a position in space.  They lack a shape.  Are they real?

Yet in engendering emotional charges, thoughts can directly impact the physiology of my physical form and its state of health.  My wife's experience with Ulcerative Colitis is testament to the impact on physical form, of thoughts and emotions. 

 

Perhaps another topic all together. 

 

What is real?

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XenoFish

So what's the point of this thread since you are now just questioning the validity of thought itself? 

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quiXilver

hmm... what's the point of exploring?

 

Reminds me of the pursuit of finding the point of music, or dancing... is the point of music to arrive at the end of the song? 

If so, then the most adroit musicians would be the ones who played fastest.  And if the point of dance is to arrive at a certain spot on the floor... walk there and win?

But to answer openly... I posed the question as it's one that still lingers with some interest and appreciating the quality of some of the varied minds here, i would phrase it that 'i am curious to explore the dance of responses it would generate'... while listening to classical spanish guitar and occasionally sharing the answers offered with my son while he snuggles his cat on the couch nearby on a well earned lazy saturday morning near the beach.

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XenoFish

So you asked for no other reason than amusement. Do remind me to not respond to any of your future topics. 

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