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spartan max2

No one chooses what they believe

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Tatetopa
4 hours ago, Sherapy said:

MW, you are making yet another unsubstantiated claim.

I work for a Neurologist and the facts are 

“...little is understood about how the brain determines and communicates the need to recruit cognitive control, and how such signals instigate the implementation of appropriate performance adjustments” in other words, you don’t know the mechanics behind your own neuro cognitive processes anymore than Neuroscience does. 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0278262604002866

Awesome.  Wish I'd said that.

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Stubbly_Dooright
On 6/27/2019 at 10:32 PM, 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?

 

Yes, I do feel the same way. Thank you for this thread! :yes:  Believing, like other type similar things like feelings, I really think are outcomes to situations. I don’t think it’s the same as behaviors, which I feel can be controlled. I never understood the reason that one can choose to feel or believe something, when it’s seems to me to be something that is coming to be through proof or situations/actions. I tried the choosing to believe before, (rare times I told myself to do it, and other times when ‘lectured’ to do it) and in the end causing major emotional and mental anguish. 

If I’m feeling upset due to situations, and think I can choose to be happy, I feel that my inner self gets confused and counter reacts. Feelings and believing is something that I feel is inside one’s self, where the honesty of who and how one is. The behavior is another thing, which can be placed on the outside. I think one can ‘behave’ a certain way without going against their inner true self, when they behave a way while acknowledging how they truely feel. But to actively feel something that is counter to how you really feel, that is confusion in my book. I feel that way, based on observation ( in the most painful way, I feel I must add) 

My life, dealing with religion or the lack there of, seems to me to be the best example. I grew up secular, no going to any kind of religious meetings, and not owning and reading throughly a religious book. And growing up not being aware of such religious situations and examples that is to be said occurred or is occurring within a certain context, I will not believe what I’m told (in a lecturing or proselytizing manner) because I have no basis to see it as being true. If I’m not familiar with it and not shown how I could be familiar with it, then logically I can’t ‘believe’ it does exist. When it comes to orthodox religions, my life has been the situations where I can automatically not believe it to be true. I don’t think any particular orthodox proselytizer can ever convince me other wise. 

Now, my life has had varying degrees of examples and situations, that have me believing in something. That’s why I’m kind of New Age. And what I have had in varying examples and such, I can’t stop ‘not believing’. Now, as to varying individuals on these boards, who have pointed out that there might be a factor of beliefs and religions being fed of wishfulfillments and ideals, I think are correct. I don’t think it’s like one believes in unicorns because they wish that, it’s more like looking at what they do experience and observe and find it to be helpful for themselves. I think, I have done that to help keep my belief alive. But the big part of my beliefs, are ramifications from experiences. 

I feel in a nutshell, one cannot be told that the ice cream man does not exist, if he is standing right in front of you offering a fudgicle. You would see it, and your inner self can’t help but see the guy as you desperately reach out to take a bit out of that fudgicle. In the end, that belief is born from situations. 

I will never understand why some insist that some are ‘denying’ or ‘choosing’ to not believe religions and beliefs, when ‘choosing’ and ‘denying’ is an action that seems to be the opposite to ‘believing’ or ‘feeling’ that I can’t help see it as being ramifications to something. 

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Stubbly_Dooright
15 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

Greetings Mr. Walker.  Yes the definition of making choices as jmcr8 has said is seeing options and choosing between them.

IBM's Deep Blue the chess playing computer makes billions of comparisons every second from every game in its memory, including the ones it's opponent has played.  It makes the best "choice" for its next move.  Does that mean Deep Blue has free will?  Or does it run within the parameters of its programming, which includes the ability to learn and modify its programming?

I think you assume we have free will if there are no impediments that we perceive when we exercise choice.  You never run into a wall, so there must not be one.

Is it possible that like a self aware  piece on a chess board  you can posit a universe of moves and their outcomes in any game?  

You can choose any course of action  even if it results in your piece being taken.

The knight or the pawn of the rook says, "Of course I have free will, I can imagine any move  I want and if there is nothing in the way I can actualize it. 

But the universe of moves for the bishop is proscribed by moving diagonally, or the rook in straight lines.  For them, that is the entire conceivable universe. 

So yes, they have the ability to choose, but in the metagame, they are restricted by the very nature that makes them a bishop or a rook or a pawn.

I think you will say that you can see over the walls of these limitations and therefore have some higher degree of determination that constitutes free will.

And I wonder if free will is not just the human machine  being unaware that it too moves on a subtle track that is the very nature of what makes us human.

 It makes me wonder, if were told that we were given free will, then we don’t have free will have it for ourselves. We will was chosen for us by another.

I think the very act of being given free well counters having free will to its full extent.  Because it was given to us, or so it has been told in someway or another. 

 I’m reminded of an episode of ‘Westworld’ where the host cat has Madame says she believes she is responsible for her own actions. But then is shown how even her choice actions was planned out as she can observes it on a tablet. 

 I feel, and the same way I guess, how can we tell we actually have free will?

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Desertrat56
On 6/27/2019 at 8:32 PM, 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?

 

The only control you have is what you think, thought comes before action and before belief.

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DieChecker
On 6/30/2019 at 5:05 AM, Stubbly_Dooright said:

I will never understand why some insist that some are ‘denying’ or ‘choosing’ to not believe religions and beliefs, when ‘choosing’ and ‘denying’ is an action that seems to be the opposite to ‘believing’ or ‘feeling’ that I can’t help see it as being ramifications to something. 

Nice post!

I think the difference may be in if a person is a "evidence" based atheist, a "I don't care" atheist, or a non-religious.

People who are non-religious basically don't even think about religion, so obviously they've made no choices. But, then I don't consider them atheists. I consider them undecided, because they've never considered the issue.

People who don't care may have at some point been atheist, or religious, and had considered choosing what to believe in the past, but now just will not consider it anymore, one way or the other. 

Actual atheists actively don't believe in divine beings. Many claim because of lack of evidence. This seems to be a choice to me also, as they are saying there's nothing to believe in. And therefore actively choosing something.

IMHO everything we do is a choice. There may be genetic predispositions, but ultimately we need to own ever single thing we decide to do, say, or follow.

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Liquid Gardens
2 hours ago, DieChecker said:

Actual atheists actively don't believe in divine beings. Many claim because of lack of evidence. This seems to be a choice to me also, as they are saying there's nothing to believe in. And therefore actively choosing something.

'Choosing' something based on how most people come to the conclusion that something is true and has demonstrably shown it to be so.  You are presumably actively choosing to not believe in dragons I'd guess based on the above.

2 hours ago, DieChecker said:

IMHO everything we do is a choice. There may be genetic predispositions, but ultimately we need to own ever single thing we decide to do, say, or follow.

On the first part I'm the opposite, it looks to me like nothing we do is really a conscious choice.  That doesn't mean though that we shouldn't own what we do, not that it is voluntary either, that may assist in updating whatever algorithm in our heads so that we don't make choices in the future that we would rather not have to 'own'.

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Timothy
On 6/28/2019 at 12:32 PM, 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?

 

I think it was an inevitability.

Critical thinking is the main variable.

If someone is not capable of sufficient levels of critical thinking (mentally incapacitated)/or whether said levels of critical thinking are overwhelmed by staunch beliefs/nature/nurture: That is what may cause someone to hold belief over reason.

Believing is not logical.

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DieChecker
1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

'Choosing' something based on how most people come to the conclusion that something is true and has demonstrably shown it to be so.  You are presumably actively choosing to not believe in dragons I'd guess based on the above.

I do. I've read articles and books by people who Honestly Believe dragons are real. And I chose not to believe them.

Quote

On the first part I'm the opposite, it looks to me like nothing we do is really a conscious choice.  That doesn't mean though that we shouldn't own what we do, not that it is voluntary either, that may assist in updating whatever algorithm in our heads so that we don't make choices in the future that we would rather not have to 'own'.

To me, it is even a choice when I get up in the morning. 5 more minutes, or a shower... make a choice. 10 minutes, or a shower and a good breakfast.... Choices, choices...

So... Things happen involuntarily to you, just all the time? Somehow you end up at work every day, and at home every night. Breakfast just makes itself and throws itself into your mouth? Just miraculous how that happens??

Or maybe you're like a slave, that has no free will and only does what you're told??

I have known people who had their lives on autopilot. They weren't usually very nice, or fun, people. 

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Liquid Gardens
2 hours ago, DieChecker said:

I do. I've read articles and books by people who Honestly Believe dragons are real. And I chose not to believe them.

Wouldn't you believe them though if they had lots of pictures and videos and could show you a dragon?  Could you not?  I'm not sure 'choosing' has much to with it if a lot of evidence was presented, not sure about you but I at least can't 'choose' to ignore that when determining what I really believe internally.

2 hours ago, DieChecker said:

Things happen involuntarily to you, just all the time? Somehow you end up at work every day, and at home every night. Breakfast just makes itself and throws itself into your mouth? Just miraculous how that happens??

I think things happen to everyone 'involuntarily' all the time, but just because it is involuntary doesn't mean there is nothing driving certain behaviors over others.  I make breakfast because of my hunger; the hunger is definitely involuntary and it's not like my brain has no memory of how to alleviate it.  Every day I press a button on a computer and it powers up my monitor and automatically runs several programs, allows input from the keyboard and mouse, etc; that's all involuntary too but we're not left puzzled about how 'somehow' when we press that button all that fairly consistently happens.

2 hours ago, DieChecker said:

Or maybe you're like a slave, that has no free will and only does what you're told??

Told by my brain, a slave to my brain, which is actually myself?  Yes.  One celled creatures do certain things and not other things with some consistency; if one detects food close it may move towards it and consume it.  Presumably you and I would say this microscopic organism has no will, it is just behaving in certain ways according to some kind of programming in its rudimentary nervous system.  Ditto for us, albeit more complex.  A computer system that involves millions of lines of code and can do more doesn't have any more free will than one with a hundred lines of code.

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GlitterRose
On 6/29/2019 at 11:36 AM, XenoFish said:

Same with magick, which is why I detest all forms of divination. It's just putting unfounded ideas into people's heads. 

It seems that if there were actually forces opposed to humanity, divination would be a great way to mess with people.

And even if there weren't, there would still be the psyche. And that's no small thing. 

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GlitterRose

I think if people are honest with themselves, we don't really know everything...or even have a way of knowing it.

That said, some can be hopeful. Not everyone, though. And that depends a lot on what people have been through. 

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XenoFish
1 hour ago, GlitterRose said:

It seems that if there were actually forces opposed to humanity, divination would be a great way to mess with people.

And even if there weren't, there would still be the psyche. And that's no small thing. 

When it comes to divination, I think people want easy effortless answers.

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Iilaa'mpuul'xem
On 28/06/2019 at 3:57 AM, Ruby04 said:

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

I did all that crap as a kid... christened a catholic, from a strong Irish and Scottish background.... it wasn't for me, I always knew it made me uncomfortable, Mum always had a set of rosemary beads and would never have a pack of playing cards in the house, she called them the devils bible.

There has never been a place in my life for God or Religion and never will. 

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Jodie.Lynne
On 6/27/2019 at 10:32 PM, spartan max2 said:

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?

 

When I was very young, I was told what to believe. As I grew, I examined these beliefs that were told to me, and they didn't add up, didn't make sense as to what was related, and the 'why' of how things supposedly happened.

In a way, it can be said that I "chose" to discard what I consider to be illogical, false beliefs. 

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Habitat
Just now, Jodie.Lynne said:

When I was very young, I was told what to believe. As I grew, I examined these beliefs that were told to me, and they didn't add up, didn't make sense as to what was related, and the 'why' of how things supposedly happened.

In a way, it can be said that I "chose" to discard what I consider to be illogical, false beliefs. 

How about you quit banging on about what all the "wrong" beliefs are, and tell us what the "right" ones are, all I ever see are querulous complaints about what you have rejected. I don't care what you reject, but you hang on to it like grim death, as if you haven't quite managed to strangle it !

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Jodie.Lynne
7 minutes ago, Habitat said:

How about you quit banging on about what all the "wrong" beliefs are, and tell us what the "right" ones are, all I ever see are querulous complaints about what you have rejected. I don't care what you reject, but you hang on to it like grim death, as if you haven't quite managed to strangle it !

Oh, I'm sorry! I thought the OP was asking about whether one chooses their beliefs or disbeliefs. I wasn't aware that I had to have your permission to post here.

 

Excuse me for a moment whilst I don't give a f** about your opinion.

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Habitat
14 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Oh, I'm sorry! I thought the OP was asking about whether one chooses their beliefs or disbeliefs. I wasn't aware that I had to have your permission to post here.

 

Excuse me for a moment whilst I don't give a f** about your opinion.

You choose to reject beliefs, but haven't put them out on the trash.

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psyche101
On 6/28/2019 at 12:32 PM, 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?

 

I see people reject facts for beliefs all the time. 

That seems like a choice to me. 

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DieChecker
16 hours ago, Liquid Gardens said:

Wouldn't you believe them though if they had lots of pictures and videos and could show you a dragon?  Could you not?  I'm not sure 'choosing' has much to with it if a lot of evidence was presented, not sure about you but I at least can't 'choose' to ignore that when determining what I really believe internally.

I've been on UM a long time. I've seen bigfoot videos. UFO videos. Ghost videos... All kinds of things. And some are interesting and worth looking into. So I can make an informed choice... and some are just obviously complete crap.

Even if I saw a video of something that is 100% possible, like a kid running down a beach. There is the urge to decide... to choose... if it is real, or contrived.

Lots of religious people say they can ignore scientific evidence, if it offends their beliefs. And conversely, lots of people disbelieve miraculous happenings, because they can't be reproduced, and possibly were faked. People chose to believe what they want to believe.

Quote

I think things happen to everyone 'involuntarily' all the time, but just because it is involuntary doesn't mean there is nothing driving certain behaviors over others.  I make breakfast because of my hunger; the hunger is definitely involuntary and it's not like my brain has no memory of how to alleviate it.  Every day I press a button on a computer and it powers up my monitor and automatically runs several programs, allows input from the keyboard and mouse, etc; that's all involuntary too but we're not left puzzled about how 'somehow' when we press that button all that fairly consistently happens.

But in your example, you would have NO CHOICE, but to make breakfast. Your stomach is hungry and you MUST make breakfast. That's obviously not true. Humans decide what they want to do. At least in most situations.

Naturally a computer is involuntary. It is an object. It doesn't make free choices. If computers did, we'd probably all be dead by now.

Are you then just a meat computer that is only allowed to run preset programs?

Quote

Told by my brain, a slave to my brain, which is actually myself?  Yes.  One celled creatures do certain things and not other things with some consistency; if one detects food close it may move towards it and consume it.  Presumably you and I would say this microscopic organism has no will, it is just behaving in certain ways according to some kind of programming in its rudimentary nervous system.  Ditto for us, albeit more complex.  A computer system that involves millions of lines of code and can do more doesn't have any more free will than one with a hundred lines of code.

I'll admit that if you put a sandwich in your mouth, and chew it up... swallowing is involuntary. That's reflex. Humans don't operate on reflex. If they did, they'd be violent barbarians and anarchy would rule the world.

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Jodie.Lynne
Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

Humans don't operate on reflex. If they did, they'd be violent barbarians and anarchy would rule the world.

Yeah, it's a good thing that all humans are rational, logical beings, isn't it? :whistle:

Edited by Jodie.Lynne
agood thing is not a good thing!
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DieChecker
2 hours ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Yeah, it's a good thing that all humans are rational, logical beings, isn't it? :whistle:

Being illogical and not being responsible for your choices are two different things.

But, I agree humans are mostly illogical, going off impulse, intuition, and emotion. The perfect targets for religion?

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Liquid Gardens
3 hours ago, DieChecker said:

But in your example, you would have NO CHOICE, but to make breakfast. Your stomach is hungry and you MUST make breakfast. That's obviously not true.

We don't know that, it depends on what constitutes a choice.  An amoeba detects possible food, it can either move towards it and consume it, or not.  Whatever it does, was that a 'choice' it made?  I think most think it's deterministic, the amoeba has no more choice than a ball does to drop towards the earth if you let go of it.  If so, then our theory must be that at some point in our evolution we developed a way somehow to break out of this determinism that seems to govern everything else, but I'm not sure even in principle how that would work without magic or the supernatural or souls or something.

Let's put it another way, let's set aside whether it's a choice to make breakfast and say that we decided we are going to make it.  Wouldn't we choose what to eat at some level based on what sounds good to us to eat?  I would argue that we definitely do not choose what sounds good to eat, at any moment some food does and some food doesn't, it's not like we 'choose' to make bacon 'sound good to eat'.  So did we really choose what we were going to eat, or do we just 'choose' what sounds the best to us (taking in lots of other factors like expense, time needed to get this food, etc) and made that for breakfast?  When do we not do that?

3 hours ago, DieChecker said:

Naturally a computer is involuntary. It is an object. It doesn't make free choices. If computers did, we'd probably all be dead by now.

Ha, agreed, but we are objects also, and I don't know that our choices are really 'free' let alone 'choices'.  Although it's somewhat tautological we can view it as everyone always does what they overall desire, within the confines of what we can do.  Bacon sounds great for breakfast, but maybe you 'decide' not to have it because you want to demonstrate you can make a free choice, but of course you are making that 'choice' only because that's what you want most to do, more than you want to eat bacon.  The issue then is that what we desire is not a conscious choice, we just want some things to fulfill an involuntary desire that we didn't choose, without the desire being a conscious decision.  So where is there room for us to make choices?

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DieChecker

In deciding how, or if, to fulfill a desire.

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Liquid Gardens
7 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

In deciding how, or if, to fulfill a desire.

Which would just be fulfilling another desire?  If you decide not to fulfill a specific desire, aren't we just fulfilling a different and stronger desire?  What else is motivating us not to fulfill it if it's not because we desire something different?

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DieChecker
11 hours ago, Liquid Gardens said:

Which would just be fulfilling another desire?  If you decide not to fulfill a specific desire, aren't we just fulfilling a different and stronger desire?  What else is motivating us not to fulfill it if it's not because we desire something different?

Sorting them out is called "choosing".

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