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spartan max2

No one chooses what they believe

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Will Due

 

Everything is a choice. Either someone elses, or your own.

 

 

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Luca-Rosemom 19

To a point we choose. 

I know people who went to church and studied the bible but don’t believe in the Christian God. 

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papageorge1
1 hour ago, spartan max2 said:

 Or do you feel your belief or lack there of was a choice?

 

My beliefs were formed from my best objective reasoning. 

I am a believer in things like Advaita (non-dualism=God and creation are not-two) and Theosophy.

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Manwon Lender

I think in most cases what we choose to believe are based on feelings we have in the beginning. However, as time goes by some of our beliefs will change as we gain more information about a specific belief. As far as religious beliefs are concerned either you have strong feelings that allow you to believe, you are taught from a young age that Instills your belief, or you do not have the necessary feelings about the subject that others do, so you don't believe. I think whatever you choose to do in these cases is the right thing to do. 

But I do believe that we all choose to believe something or not based upon our experiences and our individual feelings.

JIMO

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Piney
2 hours ago, spartan max2 said:

Does anyone feel the same way? Or do you feel your belief or lack there of was a choice?

You learn more and keep learning even as a adult. I believed in "spirits", until I learned how they work. Then as I studied Tendai I learned more and more about how the spiritual mind works. Then @XenoFish  Helped me translate those concepts from Japanese into English and I began breaking down the human mind when it came to Western religion. 

Although I'm still active with my Temple I'm a straight up Taoist after reading all Lao the Child's teachings. 

 

48 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

My beliefs were formed from my best objective reasoning. 

 Theosophy.

Those 2 are mutually exclusive from a Asian standpoint. 

But after seeing that I now know where you get your racist Western perspectives from. You need to visit one of the half a dozen temples around you and find a real guru. 

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papageorge1
22 minutes ago, Piney said:

But after seeing that I now know where you get your racist Western perspectives from. 

You're comically overemotional.

 

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Piney
5 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

You're comically overemotional.

I'm not overemotional at all. I'm not even accusing you of being a racist. Just only reading out of date Western perspectives. Many written by 19th Century Aryan idealists.

I had to read a lot of theosophical interpretations of Buddhism then was shown the faults. None of them every studied it in our (Asian) languages. That can't be done. You have to understand the language to understand the beliefs. 

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DebDandelion

@spartan max2.  As we are young we don't form our own beliefs. We adopt the beliefs of those who are influencial in our lives. When we get to the age of questioning things in our lives we begin the journey of choice.

This is where conflict arises like Xeno said previously. Cause you have to get a balance, so you either stay as you were taught, disregard what you were taught or choose to grow in what you were taught. 

This choice as mentioned above is the beginning of a cycle. You never really stop Making choices from this point, cause life has a way of working through the things we believe. 

And your choices change with experience and you adopt. A wise man said that the only true constant in life is change. And that is the truth. 

So we all choose, irrespective of age, we all get to that point where we make a choice, where we are coming face to face with that abyss. 

The mere fact that we are human leads to us questioning everything, even if you decide to not change what you believe that is still a choice. 

Imo

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Manwon Lender
2 minutes ago, DebDandelion said:

@spartan max2.  As we are young we don't form our own beliefs. We adopt the beliefs of those who are influencial in our lives. When we get to the age of questioning things in our lives we begin the journey of choice.

This is where conflict arises like Xeno said previously. Cause you have to get a balance, so you either stay as you were taught, disregard what you were taught or choose to grow in what you were taught. 

This choice as mentioned above is the beginning of a cycle. You never really stop Making choices from this point, cause life has a way of working through the things we believe. 

And your choices change with experience and you adopt. A wise man said that the only true constant in life is change. And that is the truth. 

So we all choose, irrespective of age, we all get to that point where we make a choice, where we are coming face to face with that abyss. 

The mere fact that we are human leads to us questioning everything, even if you decide to not change what you believe that is still a choice. 

Imo

 Very good post, the way you presented it is excellent.

Thank for sharing

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Mr Walker
5 hours ago, spartan max2 said:

Do people really choose to be a believer or disbeliever ?

I'm an atheist. I would never say I chose think that way.

At all points in my life, when I was a believer , an agnostic , and an atheist , I never once felt like I chose that.

It always felt likes things that just happened to me. It was always a slow transition until I woke up one day and felt different. 

It seems people do not really choose what they believe. It seems like it just happens. 

Does anyone feel the same way? Or do you feel your belief or lack there of was a choice?

 

Every human being chooses what they believe or do not believe.

Beliefs are abstract cognitive constructs, and we have to build them from the ground  up, and then invest time and energy in solidifying and defending them.

You seem to speak of a dissociative state. That is  also a cognitive construct 

Such a person feels that they and their mind are dissociated from reality and have little or no control over it This  is a mild form but it can become much more serious   

quote

Dissociation is any of a wide array of experiences from mild detachment from immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from physical and emotional experiences. The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality, rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis.[1][2][3][4]

Dissociation is commonly displayed on a continuum.[5] In mild cases, dissociation can be regarded as a coping mechanism or defense mechanisms in seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress – including boredom or conflict.[6][7][8] At the nonpathological end of the continuum, dissociation describes common events such as daydreaming. Further along the continuum are non-pathological altered states of consciousness.[5][9

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociation_(psychology)

 

Tthe opposite could be seen as mindfulness where you are more fully aware and conscious of your mind, and how and why you are thinking as you are

(you here used generically) 

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Mr Walker
5 hours ago, XenoFish said:

During our early childhood, various beliefs are burned into our subconscious. These beliefs act as "background programs" in our minds that help shape us. New beliefs tend to grow from the ideas that were planted, eventually contradictions arises. So a conflict of belief is created, creating inner turmoil. Then a resolution must be met, to either reject or accept a new belief. 

And this sort of conflict and trauma sometimes leads to a dissociative state,   thus avoiding recognising the choices you have to make. 

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Mr Walker

Put simply, your beliefs should serve you. So construct beliefs which; empower and strengthen you,  make you happy, and allow you to ;live life to your full potential.

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Tatetopa

Choice is always there, yet sometimes I think it is imperceptible.   You follow a tree of logic or belief and you get to a fork.  One leg of the fork or the other resonates more with the self identity you have constructed getting to the fork.  You follow that path, and you made a choice although it may seem the path drew you along. It may be subconscious.  I wonder how much of our thought is more structured and less free than we like to believe.  You turn a crank and the answer pops up in the window "43".  Was it a choice,  or neurons firing potentials measured and compared and a neural pathway  reinforced by multiple inputs.  

I think there are some brain scientists that wonder if we have free will at all.

A great subject thanks for the thread.

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Tatetopa
17 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

Tthe opposite could be seen as mindfulness where you are more fully aware and conscious of your mind, and how and why you are thinking as you are

Mindfulness indeed is a wonderful thing.  You can trace the path of a thought.   Like looking into a stream and watching a minnow swim this way and that.  If your concentration and focus are good, you can follow that minnow as it swims through a school.

How far does your mindfulness go?  Can you identify its parents and its children?  Are its siblings still in the school or dispersed?  Can you intuit the injury to its left side that causes it to swim in an irregular pattern?  Do you know the daphnia  of its last meal that causes it to swim faster and search for more?  Do you notice the change in pH and temperature of the river that causes the school to swim toward a feeder stream?

A thought like a minnow is a big bundle of smaller things.  Without godlike awareness, we only partially comprehend the whole.

To be honest, I do think self-awareness is a great thing, but the more I read of new developments and understanding of the brain, the less certain I am of free will.  Today's choice may be the inevitable connection of synapses, the balance of brain chemistry and electrical potential you set in motion long ago.  Still awesome. 

 

 

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DebDandelion
32 minutes ago, Tatetopa said:

Choice is always there, yet sometimes I think it is imperceptible.   You follow a tree of logic or belief and you get to a fork.  One leg of the fork or the other resonates more with the self identity you have constructed getting to the fork.  You follow that path, and you made a choice although it may seem the path drew you along. It may be subconscious.  I wonder how much of our thought is more structured and less free than we like to believe.  You turn a crank and the answer pops up in the window "43".  Was it a choice,  or neurons firing potentials measured and compared and a neural pathway  reinforced by multiple inputs.  

I think there are some brain scientists that wonder if we have free will at all.

A great subject thanks for the thread.

Good point. How much of our choices is in free will

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XenoFish

95% of our lives are run subconsciously. Whatever subconscious beliefs (programs) we have, that's what creates our personal subjective reality. Beliefs can be changed through repetition and emotional acceptance. You can literally engineer your entire life if you can change or create new programs. 

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godnodog

There is a reason why some say "Ignorance is a bliss"

Knowledge limits your beliefs.

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Sir Smoke aLot

Only after 30 years of life did i actually see this as something to make choice over. In earlier years it just did not play any importance in my life and i had no respect for something which wasn't by choice, but by birth. Now when i think about it i feel a bit sad because of my not only atheist attitude but because i was very ignorant and vocal in attacking religions.

My opinion was influenced by to the fact that many people lost their lives simply because they were born Christian, Muslim or Jewish. Like in Holocaust, Srebrenica or recent events with isis in ME (alto isis attacked everyone who disagreed with them).

It was hard to think otherwise but i can say one thing, my mind was much more relaxed and my subconscious was clean in the time when i did not bother with deeper understanding. It was easier to ignore and hate.

Sometimes i find my self thinking that i regret learning about religions because all that lies and injustice which was done to people comes to surface and it's hard to ignore anything anymore. But i made a choice never to disrespect and hate that which i do not know. 

Ignorance really is a bliss, as said here already :)

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Mr Walker
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tatetopa said:

Mindfulness indeed is a wonderful thing.  You can trace the path of a thought.   Like looking into a stream and watching a minnow swim this way and that.  If your concentration and focus are good, you can follow that minnow as it swims through a school.

How far does your mindfulness go?  Can you identify its parents and its children?  Are its siblings still in the school or dispersed?  Can you intuit the injury to its left side that causes it to swim in an irregular pattern?  Do you know the daphnia  of its last meal that causes it to swim faster and search for more?  Do you notice the change in pH and temperature of the river that causes the school to swim toward a feeder stream?

A thought like a minnow is a big bundle of smaller things.  Without godlike awareness, we only partially comprehend the whole.

To be honest, I do think self-awareness is a great thing, but the more I read of new developments and understanding of the brain, the less certain I am of free will.  Today's choice may be the inevitable connection of synapses, the balance of brain chemistry and electrical potential you set in motion long ago.  Still awesome. 

 

 

Like all things, the younger you start, the more you learn, and the more  practice you have, the better you get a t it 

You can reach a point where you can access your subconscious mind  as easily as your conscious mind, and can; shape, construct, and live within, dreams you have designed and  shaped. 

And yep with; education, time, practice and skill, you can be aware of all those  things you mentioned, and a great deal more as well 

Your self aware consciousness (which includes what is referred to as the subconscious)  freely makes decisions and exercise your will. It may or may not be well informed, and it may or may not make wise decisions. It may attempt something which is physically impossible.(and in a dream state  it may become possible)    But there is no decision which cannot be made, and no act which cannot be attempted.

There ARE NO physical impediments on the choices a human being is capable of making.  Thus, every choice is a free willed one.

One does not have to be informed to make free willed choices; but also, knowledge and education only inform, and do not prevent, any choice you might make.  

Edited by Mr Walker

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Liquid Gardens
5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Every human being chooses what they believe or do not believe.

What does psychology say about that?  All I can find is that we do not have direct control over our beliefs, at best we have indirect control about what information we seek out to inform these involuntary beliefs.  It's not disassociation, it's a recognition that there's a lot going on in our brains that does not involve us making conscious decisions.

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XenoFish

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eight bits

We can choose overt behavior (to a large and useful extent anyway), but we can't choose our thoughts (ideas, preferences, beliefs).

Choices and decisions you and others make can influence what you believe. You can simply avoid news and information that might challenge or question existing beliefs, or somebody else might shield you from such material. You can also play Mr Walker's game, and banish uncomfortable thoughts from conscious attention, thereby making indestructible "constructs" that masquerade as authentic beliefs.

The problem with constructed pseudo-beliefs is that the non-conforming thoughts, knowledge, unresolved questions, prudent doubts, etc. don't go away. There is no "away" for them to go to. They become unconscious thoughts, and as such, have as much claim to being what we believe as any thoughts, beliefs or preferences which we might be conscious of.

Here is a number from the Book of Mormon musical. It's a little unfair to Mormons :)  because the idea in the song isn't a peculairly Mormon "trick." Hey, maybe we all do it some extent. But I think it's as close to chooosing your beliefs as you can actually get: you can choose what you think and say that you believe. Apparently, that's good enough for Jesus.

 

 

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spartan max2
1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

What does psychology say about that?  All I can find is that we do not have direct control over our beliefs, at best we have indirect control about what information we seek out to inform these involuntary beliefs.  It's not disassociation, it's a recognition that there's a lot going on in our brains that does not involve us making conscious decisions.

That perfectly gives words to what I am feeling.

I have always felt I control what Information I seek out and look at ( to an extent of course)

But when it comes down to the actually belief, or lack there of, I don't control it, it just happens. 

Belief or lack of it seems like a feeling. You either have the feeling or you don't. 

 

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