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What Is Belief?

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The word "belief" itself is a much loaded word and even a belief to one person may be something completely different to another. When it comes to religious beliefs there are many and, in religious societies we tend to conflate belief and religious belief. So, what really is belief?



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  • BoganBogan 168 Pts   -  
    A "belief" is believing in a concept which can not be verified using evidence or rational logic, and it is usually associated with the supernatural.   But there can be secular social "beliefs", like believing that all races are equal, economic "beliefs", like governments can spend like drunken sailors and always have money by "taxing the rich", and visionary "beliefs", like climate change, whereby a perfectly natural and regularly recurring event becomes the catalyst for the downfall of western civilisation.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4676 Pts   -  
    I do not think that the precise definition matters that much; the actual meaning can always be determined from the context. For instance, when someone says, "I believe that Muhammad flew into the sky on a pegasus", they clearly mean a very different kind of attitude towards the claim in question, than when someone says, "I believe that giving $100,000 to the Nigerian prince would be a mistake".

    Whichever belief one holds, it can always be traced to some source. The validity of the belief then is comprised of two things: the reliability of the source, and the correctness of the logical chain connecting the source to the belief. The scientific method, for instance, declares a reproducible experiment as the ultimate source of any claim, and a mathematically rigorous reasoning as the method by which to build the logical chain. Religion, instead, declares a holy book or other set of fantasy stories as the ultimate source, and the logical chain is built by means of interpreting that source properly (and what "properly" here means, of course, depends strongly on the religious denomination in question).

    It seems to me that objectively the best way to develop a belief is to follow some methodology that can be reproduced by other people independently without contradicting results. If, say, your church claims that there is one god, another church claims that there are multiple gods, and there is no experiment you can set up that will prove one of you wrong, then your methodology is lousy. Science is great in that scientific claims can be verified or dis-verified independently: no matter what your thoughts are, if you drop an apple, it will fall down - and as much as you want to believe that the apple should fly up instead, you will be objectively proven wrong.
    OakTownA
  • BarnardotBarnardot 185 Pts   -  
    @Bogan well there you go again with your racist baloney again because it’s not the secular belief about all races are equal it’s just that it’s a bogin red neck half a brain believe that all races aren’t equal.
    OakTownA
  • JulesKorngoldJulesKorngold 306 Pts   -  
    Argument Topic: Evidence

    Justified belief requires evidence.
  • SwolliwSwolliw 1444 Pts   -  
    @Bogan
    But there can be secular social "beliefs", like believing that all races are equal, economic "beliefs", like governm.....

    You may feel well and good by taking an issue and making a grand-standing fool out of yourself however you do raise the point that there are beliefs that are based on fact, sound reasoning and societal morals of which all races being equal is one.

    OakTownA
  • SwolliwSwolliw 1444 Pts   -  
    @JulesKorngold
    Justified belief requires evidence.

    And a well founded, moralistic and factual-based belief at that.

    Justified belief on its own requires only evidence that supports the intentions of the proponent, for example, the belief Hitler had that all Jews were the anti-Christs and enemies of the state. He well and truly justified his belief with one-sided evidence and sold it to the public.

    OakTownA
  • BoganBogan 168 Pts   -  
    @Swolliw

    You may feel well and good by taking an issue and making a grand-standing fool out of yourself however you do raise the point that there are beliefs that are based on fact, sound reasoning and societal morals of which all races being equal is one.

    I do not think that races are equal, and I can give plenty of reasoned arguments as to why I think the way i do.     There are people on this site who claim I am wrong, but they can not present any reasoned arguments as to why they think the converse, which must be, that all races are equal.    Therefore, since they can not justify their own opinion with a reasoned argument, it is a BELIEF.       It is just as much a BELIEF as RickyD claiming that evolution is wrong, and that his Gods created the universe in six days.
  • SwolliwSwolliw 1444 Pts   -  
    @Bogan
    I do not think that races are equal, and I can give plenty of reasoned arguments as to why I think the way i do.  

    I get your point however the flaw in whatever reasoned arguments you present is that there is no objective standard to qualify and define what exactly you mean by "equal" and therefore any "reasoned" arguments in support cannot ever been counted as conclusive or credible. It is like the abortion debate, there will be no winning side no matter how much you thrash out every angle of the debate. In the end, we have legislation which draws a line in the sand no matter how fair or unfair anyone thinks it is. The same goes with races; we have legislation that clearly outlines what qualifies as right or wrong when it comes to vilification and racial prejudice and, however you chose to justify or reason the point, you are either a racist bigot or not.

  • BoganBogan 168 Pts   -  
    @Swolliw

    Mr Swallow wrote

    I get your point however the flaw in whatever reasoned arguments you present is that there is no objective standard to qualify and define what exactly you mean by "equal" and therefore any "reasoned" arguments in support cannot ever been counted as conclusive or credible.

     

    ADJECTIVE

    1.                           being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value:

    "add equal amounts of water and flour" · 

    [more]

    synonyms:

    identical · uniform · alike · like · the same · one and the same · 

    [more]

    2.                           (equal to)

    having the ability or resources to meet (a challenge):

    "the players proved equal to the task"

    synonyms:

    capable of · fit for · up to · good/strong enough for · adequate for · sufficient for · ready for · suitable for · suited to · appropriate for

    NOUN

    1.                           a person or thing that is the same as another in status or quality:

    "we all treat each other as equals" · 

    [more]

    synonyms:

    equivalent · peer · fellow · coequal · like · mate · twin · alter ego · counterpart · match · parallel · compeer

    VERB

    1.                           be the same as in number or amount:

    "four plus six divided by two equals five" · 

    [more]

    synonyms:

    be equal to · be equivalent to · be the same as · correspond to · come to · amount to · make · total · add up to · tot up to

     

    Equal means equal, Mr Swallow.    I am sorry if you can not understand plain English?    Perhaps it is your second language?     And you struggle with it?     The objective standards of equality would include, equal solar protection of skin?     Equal physical abilities like swimming and running?    Equal Intelligence quotients?     

     Mr Swallow wrote

      It is like the abortion debate, there will be no winning side no matter how much you thrash out every angle of the debate.

     No.   In the abortion debate we are comparing beliefs.   One side considers killing foetuses murder. While the other side believes that a woman's right to choose is the real issue.    It has nothing to do with "equality" at all.    If that was your example of "equality", it sucks.

     Mr Swallow wrote

     In the end, we have legislation which draws a line in the sand no matter how fair or unfair anyone thinks it is.

     We draw a line in the sand using democracy, which is that the majority is supposed to say what is right and what is wrong.      To make that decision, we must have free speech, so that everybody can have their say, and the majority of people can consider the validity of both arguments.   The electors can then elect political representatives who will enact legislation to make laws which will reflect what the majority opinion is.    But no concepts of right or wrong (except free political speech) can be carved in stone.     Because different time periods throw up different challenges which can only be combated by re-examinaing old concepts of right and wrong, and updating them.   .

     Mr Swallow wrote

     The same goes with races; we have legislation that clearly outlines what qualifies as right or wrong when it comes to vilification and racial prejudice and, however you chose to justify or reason the point, you are either a racist bigot or not.

     Wowee!      Your argument is, that the law says that all races are equal, so THATS IT!    NO ARGUMENT!    JUST !    STOP THINKING!     I would submit that if you really do consider yourself to be a rational, far seeing, social liberal, then you just submitted an argument worthy of RickyD and PamelaJohnson.     REAL social liberals, (as opposed to confused ones like yourself), maintain that "may the truth be told, though the heavens may fall."  

     In the US state of Tennessee in 1925, there was the famous " Scopes Monkey Trial"    In that trial, a science teacher was prosecuted for teaching his pupils about evolution.    It was illegal in Tennessee in 1925 to teach children about evolution.    Using exactly the same mindset and arguments that the Christian fundamentalists used in 1925 Tennessee, you are proposing that any argument on whether races are equal must not be examined because "the law is the law."

     I am surprised at you.    Honestly.   I don't know how any rational person who considers himself to be an intelligent and impartial liberal can contemplate such a way of thinking?   RickyD and Pammie are proud of you.   At least you are not screaming at me that I am a heretic.    Although, you are thinking exactly like a Christian fundamentalist.  Some liberal.


  • SwolliwSwolliw 1444 Pts   -  
    @Bogan
    Equal means equal, Mr Swallow.    I am sorry if you can not understand plain English?

    I suppose you got me there good in proper, having a degree majoring in English literature there should be no excuse, should there? I just did not know that is what equal means at all. And it all makes sense when it gets to the crux of what you are getting at and I am a minimalist, clean desk type of person and like to keep things succinct and matter of fact, none of that fancy blurring the lines crap for me, no sirree. It's all so clear as yin and yang, yes and no, right and wrong, plus and minus and.....oh....black and white. Therefore one can quite rightly conclude that black people will never be as equal as white people since black people are black and white people are white.....no argument there at all is there...they just aren't equal, are they? Then, you have bogans and you have normal people, they could never be equal........never the twain shall meet since normal people have a brain and bogans don't. 

  • BoganBogan 168 Pts   -  
    @Swolliw

    Mr Swallow wrote

     You may feel well and good by taking an issue and making a grand-standing fool out of yourself however you do raise the point that there are beliefs that are based on fact, sound reasoning and societal morals of which all races being equal is one.

     I used the widely accepted belief that races are equal, to display a perfect example of the concept of "belief."    A "belief" is a deeply and widely accepted "truth" that is unverified or unverifiable.       If you believe that races are equal, then write a reasoned argument supported by any form of evidence you can find, which supports your view.     If you can not do that, it is because the truth you hold so dear is unverifiable.   It is simply wishful thinking.   It is a  fantasy you can not explain or support, but which makes you feel good.    It is the way you think the world should be, not the way the world really is.  "Morals" are not evidence, or an argument.     Morality is just the unofficial opinions of a large group of people in society pertaining to what constitutes correct behaviour.    Morals differ very widely among different national, racial, and demographic groups, so morality does not represent any impartial truth.


  • BoganBogan 168 Pts   -  
    @Swolliw

    Mr Swallow wrote

     I suppose you got me there good in proper, having a degree majoring in English literature there should be no excuse, should there?

     Absolutely right.   No excuse.   Did you sleep through your course?    Or were you in your dorm room smoking wacky tobaccy?

     Mr Swallow wrote

      I just did not know that is what equal means at all.

     And you have an English Lit. degree?    Or did you flunk out, or not finish your course?  Perhaps you should have studied Applied Electricity like me?   You might have gotten a better understanding of plain English if you had?

     Mr Swallow wrote

     And it all makes sense when it gets to the crux of what you are getting at and I am a minimalist, clean desk type of person and like to keep things succinct and matter of fact, none of that fancy blurring the lines crap for me, no sirree. It's all so clear as yin and yang, yes and no, right and wrong, plus and minus and.....oh....black and white.

     And the point is.....?

     Mr Swallow wrote

     Therefore one can quite rightly conclude that black people will never be as equal as white people since black people are black and white people are white.....no argument there at all is there...they just aren't equal, are they?

     I see that you are still having a problem understanding plain English?    I advocate that races are quite self evidently not equal in terms of physical ability or mean IQ.   And that this perfectly explains the very obvious dysfunctions or material success of the different races in the world.     I hold this opinion because I oppose the equally racist opinion, that the white race, my race, is responsible for every thing that ever went wrong with the dysfunctional races.

     Is there anything wrong with defending my race against racist attacks?

     Mr Swallow wrote

     Then, you have bogans and you have normal people, they could never be equal........never the twain shall meet since normal people have a brain and bogans don't. 

     Oh, Mr Swallow, you really nailed it!    YES!    Unlike yourself, I was smart enough to realise that all of those so called educated, (English Lit. grads who can't understand plain English) "anti racists" were very racist towards my race.     What was more, these social snobs never stopped going on and on about "equality" a concept they never extended to their own social position.  These social snobs really did know how to talk down to their working class inferiors, like me.

      I began to understand that their entire ideology was contradictory and self serving.     Say the word "n-i-g-g-e-r" to them and they run around in self righteous apoplexy.    Yet the words "redneck" and "bogan" which are equally racist labels, they write and speak all the time without the slightest sense of self realisation or guilt.      The ability of a group of people to believe in opposing concepts at the same time without crashing mental gears, is a psychosis that psychologists call "cognitive dissonance." This seems to be a condition inculcated into Humanities grads through the debilitating means of having a family rich enough to send their kid to attend a university.   You seem to have that sad condition in spades.


  • SwolliwSwolliw 1444 Pts   -   edited July 9
    @Bogan
    This seems to be a condition inculcated into Humanities grads through the debilitating means of having a family rich enough to send their kid to attend a university.   You seem to have that sad condition in spades.

    I was always torn between the two disciplines when I was a kid.....science or the arts, and logic always told me to follow science. The turning point came when, at seven years of age, I thought radio waves came through the power point (and no, I'm not talking of Vietnamese refugees here) so brainy boy gets his brother's ex-army disposal headphones and plugs the metal tip into said power point which brought me very close to death; I suffered a severely bruised arm. Then, as if to learn another lesson, the chemistry set I got for Christmas was responsible for putting a hole through the fibro shed. So, as with many things in life, fate and circumstances became my prime movers and I pursued a literary career. If I had been brought up in any less a salubrious setting I dare say that I would have turned my hand to cooking ice and would have, by now, blown myself through the brick veneer wall of my Davoren Park government rental home. 

  • BoganBogan 168 Pts   -  
    So you plugged an earphone into a power point which shorted out your brain, and that is why today you vote for Biden?
  • SwolliwSwolliw 1444 Pts   -  
    @Bogan
    So you plugged an earphone into a power point which shorted out your brain, and that is why today you vote for Biden?

    Something like that....Beats is still questioning my warranty claim.

    Besides which, a vote for Biden would have been voided, I voted for Morrison.

  • BoganBogan 168 Pts   -  
    Oh, you are Strine?    Okay, ma-a-a-a-a-te.      Well, it looks like that 240 volt jolt didn't do you too much harm if you voted for the Liberals.
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