Beliefs vs logic

How firm are your most profound beliefs?

  • I have changed my mind many times

    Votes: 6 31.6%
  • I occasionally change my mind.

    Votes: 4 21.1%
  • I rarely change my mind

    Votes: 8 42.1%
  • I never change my mind

    Votes: 1 5.3%

  • Total voters
    19
  • Poll closed .
  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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How many people can honestly admit to changing their mind, as an adult, about a strong belief and due to a logical argument? For example: a belief in God or an afterlife, ghosts, or UFOs? Also consider things like environmental issues, social responsibility, war, nuclear power, save the whales, eating spotted owls baked or fried, or any other highly controversial issue of your life.

Personally, I have seen some of my interests gain intensity, sometimes nearing the point of belief, and I have also experienced a complete reversal in my attitude about other issues.
 

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  • #2
russ_watters
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Not to completely change the point of the topic, but I don't consider all beliefs to be based on logical arguements. A religious one and a scientific one for example don't adhere to the same criterea.
 
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  • #3
Beren
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Originally posted by russ_watters
Not to completely change the point of the topic, but I don't consider all beliefs to be based on logical arguements. A religious one and a scientific one for example don't adhere to the same criterea.


Erm..who said they were based on logic? He means, have your opinions been changed about it because of a different point of view, or argument?

And for me, very rarely. I don't believe in much, and there's not a whole lot to change, with one notable exception. I was raised more or less with a religion, but at an early age I became an athiest, and haven't changed since.
 
  • #4
Ivan Seeking
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Originally posted by russ_watters
Not to completely change the point of the topic, but I don't consider all beliefs to be based on logical arguements. A religious one and a scientific one for example don't adhere to the same criterea.

Sure. But a person may stop believing in God because of a theory of evolution; or one may decide otherwise by way of some logical, philosophical argument.
 
  • #5
TENYEARS
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Belief is something which is unknown. It is a decision about something you do not know. It may be wrong or it may be right.

Logic may also be wrong. Because the logic used may fall within a set of working paramters which does not go beyond a limited system.

Real knowlege is beyond both because it enters a realm which is apparently not readily understood by many. Not because of lacked capacity, most likey lacked desire.
 
  • #6
Beren
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Belief is something which is unknown. It is a decision about something you do not know. It may be wrong or it may be right.

Since when? I believe that the chair I'm sitting on exists, and that's not an unknown.

Belief is generally associated with the unknown, but it isn't only related with that. Read the original post all the way through, you'll see examples are even stated.
 
  • #7
TENYEARS
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There is a state of existance beyond belief and beyond logic, but if you wish...

How do you know you are really sitting in the chair? If you were "mad" would it be a chair maybe a rock in the desert? How would you logically deduce that you were not or are not dreaming?

If you were in a state of knowing and you knew you were sitting in a chair, would that be belief or knowing?

A belief is that which you decide upon, but do not know. Logic is the same thing, but uses sets of parameters and defined rules within a "limited" scope.

Who is it that will pick up the staff and walk forward?
 
  • #8
Beren
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There is a state of existance beyond belief and beyond logic, but if you wish...

No, there's not. What you see, is what you get. All things being equal, the simplest explanation is generally the correct one.

Like it or not, we live in a closed system.
 
  • #9
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
Sure. But a person may stop believing in God because of a theory of evolution; or one may decide otherwise by way of some logical, philosophical argument.
They could but generally they don't. Since you don't gain the belief because of logic, why would logic cause you to change it? Maybe this is your point with the poll though...
 
  • #10
Beren
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Originally posted by russ_watters
They could but generally they don't. Since you don't gain the belief because of logic, why would logic cause you to change it? Maybe this is your point with the poll though...


Most of my beliefs, etc. are changed by logic. I'm the minority, this I realise, but I'm sure it happens quite often.
 
  • #11
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Beren
Most of my beliefs, etc. are changed by logic. I'm the minority, this I realise, but I'm sure it happens quite often.
I would figure most athiest fall into this category: they don't believe anything without some evidence. That doesn't affect my point though.
 
  • #12
Beren
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Originally posted by russ_watters
I would figure most athiest fall into this category: they don't believe anything without some evidence. That doesn't affect my point though.

Well, considering the number of athiests, it really does affect your point. And again, that is the point of the poll..so yeah.
 
  • #13
TENYEARS
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Originally posted by Beren
No, there's not. What you see, is what you get. All things being equal, the simplest explanation is generally the correct one.

Like it or not, we live in a closed system.

I do not argue with chimes nor will I argue with you. Your first sentence is correct the last six words I would think about.
 
  • #14
Beren
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I think you mean last 8 words.

The simplest explanation, to me, is that we live in a closed system with set, unbreakable, parameters. Trying to add a "supernatural" element into the system complicates things to an unnecessary extent.
 
  • #15
TENYEARS
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Do know what gravity or matter is? Until you have a realization on it, what you have is a belief of a closed system. There is no such thing as the supernatural only that which is not understood. If a person does not understand something that does not exclude it's existance.

The tankless fish tank with the well respected boarders.
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Beren
Well, considering the number of athiests, it really does affect your point. And again, that is the point of the poll..so yeah.
No, what I meant is that someone of a strictly logical worldview isn't going to have religious beliefs in the first place.

Maybe what you are really asking is if anyone has changed from a spiritual to a logical worldview?
 
  • #17
Beren
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No, what I meant is that someone of a strictly logical worldview isn't going to have religious beliefs in the first place.

Maybe what you are really asking is if anyone has changed from a spiritual to a logical worldview?

You're completely contradicting yourself. The topic isn't limited to spiritual views. Perhaps I believed that dinosaurs we're wiped out by martians, but after studying for a while, realised that data pointed towards a meteor strike. My view would have been changed by information and logic. (a badly worded example, I realise, but you get the point)
 
  • #18
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Beren
You're completely contradicting yourself. The topic isn't limited to spiritual views. Perhaps I believed that dinosaurs we're wiped out by martians, but after studying for a while, realised that data pointed towards a meteor strike. My view would have been changed by information and logic. (a badly worded example, I realise, but you get the point)
When I say "spiritual" I mean faith based. Spiritual (religious) beliefs are the most common faith based beliefs.

On what exactly did you base your belief about martians and the dinosaurs? If it was facts and logic, even if incomplete, thats a logical worldview.

A "worldview" is an approach to or way of looking at the world. When discussing beliefs, there are only two possibilities - either you base them on logic/evidence or you base them on faith. Its a spectrum though, no one is entirely logical (except Spock) and no one is entirely faithful.

Now when I said maybe Ivan was asking if people changed their worldview, this particular worldview DOES change for virtually everyone. Its part of the process of maturing. When you are born you have complete faith in your parents. Until you are maybe 5 you believe absolutely everything they tell you without question. Then gradually you start to look for evidence - you become more logical. Santa and the Easter Bunny die. By your early-mid 20s, the process is pretty much finished and after that, you're pretty much set in your worldview.

I answered "rarely" to the poll, but thats based on only the past 10 years up until I considered my views "mature".
 
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  • #19
Beren
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By your early-mid 20s, the process is pretty much finished and after that, you're pretty much set in your worldview.

I answered "rarely" to the poll, but thats based on only the past 10 years up until I considered my views "mature".

And that view, I would suggest, is half the problem with society.

You're generalizing what *you* feel to the entire population. A lot of people don't think like you do.

Now when I said maybe Ivan was asking if people changed their worldview, this particular worldview DOES change for virtually everyone

Read the original post again. He's not asking about "worldviews", that's a term generally meaning "all-encompassing". He's asking about "strong-beliefs". It's not very far-fetched to imagine someone believing in ghosts until the found enough evidence to prove otherwise, no matter what their age is.
 
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  • #20
Another God
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I think there are some really strong unstated beliefs that direct our thinking which force us to conclude with the beliefs we have. Most people don't even let themselves think deeply enough abouta topic to realise that they must choose their own beliefs because of the way they think. Its not a matter of trying to change the superficial beliefs, its a matter of changing the meta-beliefs. The beliefs which structure which superficial beliefs you choose.

For instance, I believe that everything follows very simple logical rules that lead to simple interactions that build up into complex appearing phenomenon.
This sort of belief rules my thought process, so that everything I look at, I try to find the simple systems in it etc.

I am sure that there is an even simpler yet belief that causes this belief, but it is hard to put my finger on what it is exactly.

Other people have a meta-belief that there is an intentionality in everything: That something move 'because it wants to' or because 'something wants it to move' (like God), and because they have this meta-belief, they are forced to conclude that God exists. (there is no other logical explanation to explain the intentionality they see in everything.)

So, RE the poll: I have changed many of my superficial beliefs, on a super superficial level....but I am sure that my meta beliefs have remained the same the whole time, and so even the changes in my beliefs have all remained within the realm dictated by my meta-beliefs.
 
  • #21
Njorl
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One topic that has me changing back and forth is the death penalty.

I went through a phase when I thought it was wrong for the state to kill.

Then I considered "What if we caught Hitler alive?", and decided that, yes, some people deserve execution.

Then, where do you draw the line? Race of the killer, and even moreso, the race of the victim have been shown to affect that line. The state was executing people based on race. If it is abolished, that is no longer a question.

Putting killers in prison for life without parole is significantly detrimental to the rest of prison population. If extra care is taken on the race question, the harm can be restricted to a few people getting life instead of death.

Too many mistakes are made. Illinois overturned many cases recently. Virginia executed a man who was almost certainly innocent a few years back. Texas executed a man with no evidence whatsoever of guilt just a couple of years ago.

I'm currently against it, but on technical grounds, not on moral grounds. But that can change.

Njorl
 
  • #22
Ivan Seeking
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Originally posted by Njorl
One topic that has me changing back and forth is the death penalty.

I went through a phase when I thought it was wrong for the state to kill.

Then I considered "What if we caught Hitler alive?", and decided that, yes, some people deserve execution.

I debated the death penalty many times in high school. I completely supported the use of death penalty well into my early thirties. For the reasons that you list I am now completely against it. Beyond the reasons given, and with the obvious exceptions of the battlefield, law enforcment activities [when no other options exist], and except in cases of self defense, I no longer recognize the right of anyone to take anyone elses life. We should never give this much power to any "system".
 
  • #23
Yaqout
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Why can't spiritual beliefs be based on facts and logic? May be you think that way, because most of you come from Christian backgrounds where the trinity is refuted as an illogical explanation. In the simplest of the pre-algebra problems where we end up 3=1 we cross out the equal sign indicating that three doesn't equal one. At this point I can agree with you that spiritual belief can't be based on logic.

However you will find in other religion especially islam logically-based spiritual beliefs. Back in the ninth century when christians were more faithful to there religion they lived in dark ages because the church refused the admission of new knowledge such as science. While on the other hand the muslims from cordoba, spain to the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan brought a range of innovative scientists, such as al-Khawrizmi, ARrazi, Averros, and Avecina, just to name a few. And it was the prophet Mohammed's words "Knowledge is obligatory for every muslim" and he also said "seak for knowledge even if you have to go to China for it" Peace be upon him.

So as to not digress from the main topic logic and spiritual belief can live along aside each other.
____________________________________________________________

"That fondness for science, ... that affability and condescension which God shows to the learned, that promptitude with which he protects and supports them in the elucidation of obscurities and in the removal of difficulties, has encouraged me to compose a short work on calculating by al-jabr and al-muqabala , confining it to what is easiest and most useful in arithmetic." Abu Abd-Allah ibn Musa al'Khwarizmi
 
  • #24
russ_watters
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Sorry, I haven't been back in a while.
Originally posted by Beren
And that view, I would suggest, is half the problem with society.

You're generalizing what *you* feel to the entire population. A lot of people don't think like you do.
It isn't just me, this is what I learned in psychology class. Ask a psychologist. Read a psychology text. Psychology is a science and the maturation process is something pretty well studied and understood. Everyone on earth experiences a change in their worldview as they mature. If they didn't, they would never leave infancy.
Read the original post again. He's not asking about "worldviews", that's a term generally meaning "all-encompassing". He's asking about "strong-beliefs". It's not very far-fetched to imagine someone believing in ghosts until the found enough evidence to prove otherwise, no matter what their age is.
Thats a circular arguement since a belief in ghosts isn't something based on evidence. By definition, a belief based on evidence can't be overturned by evidence. Which is why I suggested that if someone changed their belief on ghosts, the root cause would not be the evidence itself (the evidence is already there) but a change in worldview that allows a change in the way the existing evidence is evaluated.
Originally posted by Another God
Its not a matter of trying to change the superficial beliefs, its a matter of changing the meta-beliefs.
Your "meta-belief" is what I am calling a "worldview." Same thing.
Originally posted by Yaqout
So as to not digress from the main topic logic and spiritual belief can live along aside each other.
That is true only in highly specific and tenuous cases. Or by careful separation (in my case). So maybe they can live along side each other but they can't intertwine. If for example historical evidence is uncovered that has something to say about Islam, (or any other religion) how would it be recieved by the faithful? Almost by definition (definition of faith), evidence must be ignored. Most especially if that evidence contradicts the religious belief.
 
  • #25
benzun_1999
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i believe that we should never change a decision, unless it is required.
 
  • #26
Another God
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'unless it is required'
the basis for deciding that it is required could be incredibly stringent or it could be incredibly lax. I don't want to sound rude, but when u consider this, your statement basically means nothing. Can you be a little more specific?
 
  • #27
Bernardo
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Faith & Logic

I don't believe that faith (I'm speaking of those who are sane here) is possible to contradict logic. If your world view can't hold any water against the world we see and feel and touch then it is delusion.

I have been a Christian my entire life. I have not found one logical thing to contradict any single thing I believe in.

As a matter of fact - logically Christianity would not exsist if it were not in fact true.

If the romans hated Christ so much and simply took the body from the tomb - why didn't they produce it, If in fact the miracle of feeding 5000 people was false why could no one expose this as being that? How could anyone fake such a thing and get away with it? Just think how many bakers would be needed - and none of them talked.

If all things need cause and effect then how was anything caused? Even the big bang must have been caused by something otherwise it came from nothing - how could everything come from nothing without a creator?

I love debate - I love hearing others worldviews and listening to those much smarter than I explain the wonders of our universe - but not a single thing I belive in is illogical or has been shaken.

That's me - what about you? Let us reason together.
 
  • #28
Another God
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Originally posted by Bernardo
If the romans hated Christ so much and simply took the body from the tomb - why didn't they produce it, If in fact the miracle of feeding 5000 people was false why could no one expose this as being that? How could anyone fake such a thing and get away with it? Just
Embellishment.

Stories grow, change, alter over time, and you may not be hearing the truth at all.

It is common for nothing to contradict your beliefs, but that is often a consequence of you 'hearing' them through your beleifs, which makes them fit into line with your beliefs. Of course nothing which comes to your through your beliefs will ever contradict your beliefs.
 
  • #29
Bernardo
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But these stories haven't change with time. Manuscripts have been found dating to 50 AD. twenty years after his death - well within the life spans of eyewittnesses. It would be like a holy roller coming to your town in the 1980's with his PR team claiming now in the present that he raised the dead and healed the sick while he was there. If I didn't believe it and wanted to shut him down all I'd have to do is visit your town. People who were there would simply say it didn't happen - game over.

These early manuscripts are the same (preserved and copied by fanatically precise monks) as the ones we have today. If one was found that predated others and was different - that's it game over.

(sorry to use that phrase twice - but I'd rather say sorry than change it cuz' I like it.)

I do agree about the filter of our beliefs - how do we debate then?

You have the same filter turned a different way - honestly I won't budge on my beliefs for anything less that a massive disillussionment (sp?) causing experience - and you won't change from yours with anything short of a conversion experience. Neither of these is possible in the framework of posting.

So knowing this let's just keep going.
 
  • #30
FZ+
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Er, sources I found dispute this:

http://www.comparative-religion.com/christianity/ [Broken]

The Gospels are often cited as having being composed from around 50 AD. However, the first time they appear in the form as we know now does not occur until around the middle of the second century AD....

A relatively large number of Christian texts claiming informed origin soon became read about the Roman Empire, some of which are obvious and poor fakes, whereas others present interesting philosophical angles. It took the will of the Roman Emperor Constantine to bring together various Christian Bishops in 325 AD, at the Council of Nicaea, to decide upon an authorised Christian canon for an alerady greatly diversified religion. Despite the strong will of persons such as Arius, it was Athanasius whose viewpoint essentially became dominant in deciding what core of the New Testament was accepted.

Essentially, the consistency derives from the fact that the scriptures we see today are only a tiny porportion of the originals, which were fitted together by an overseeing quasi-political goal, and a need to maintain the same consistency.
 
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  • #31
zoobyshoe
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Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
How many people can honestly admit to changing their mind, as an adult, about a strong belief and due to a logical argument?
I'm intrigued by how this is phrased. Is it that you find alot of people to dishonestly claim they have changed a belief?
For example: a belief in God or an afterlife, ghosts, or UFOs?
My beliefs on all unprovable phenomena seem to change often depending on the solidity of the last argument I've heard on the subject. I gave up on visits from extra terrestrials when I found out how far away the nearest possible habitable planet could be. Just about a month ago I finally gave up all hope in Nessie due to a good show which really went into detail about the mirages and wave effects on Loch Ness that could mislead anyone predisposed to see a lake monster. Alot of eyewitness reports about something is a persuasive thing. I have never been to Tierra del Fuego, for instance, but believe it exists based on eyewitness reports. I would be considered nuts to be skeptical about its existence. That being the case one can often be persuaded to consider alot of things seriously based on a large number of eyewitness reports. In the end, whether or not a thing exists, is completely independent of how many people assert it exists. If you can't check something for yourself the best you can do is say you're not sure and be open minded.
 
  • #32
Bernardo
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FZ+ & Another god, I enjoy your posts generally but feel the need to answer you on this topic.

First I need to say I have no desire for this thread to boil down to an argument that goes on for pages and pages stuck on one point, yes it is, no it isn't, yes it is...... but I will this once respond, and this once only - I hope that's fair with you.

compared with any other ancient documents, the New Testament stands. For example, we have hundreds of copies earlier than AD. 500. The next most reliable ancient text is the Iliad, for which there are only 50 copies that date from 500 years or less than the time it was written. The manuscriopts we have are, in addition to being old, are also reinforcing and consistent. All later discoveries of manuscripts, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, have confirmed rather than refuted previously exsiting documents. There is simply no other ancient text in as good of shape.

If Christianity is a myth invented by later generations, who invented it? Even if it was Christ's disciples or a later generation there is no possible motive for its creation. Until the Edict of Milan in AD 313, Christians were subject to persecution, often tortured, killed or at least hated. No one invents an elaborate practical joke in order to be crucified.

You can also examine the content of the NT to determine the time of its writing. There really is no reason to put any of the NT books later than 70 A.D. The main reason is that there is no clear reference in any of them to the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple which occurred on September 26th of that year. This cataclysmic event brought to an end the sacrificial worship that was the center of the Jewish religion and it should have merited a mention in the NT books if they were written afterwards. In particular, one would have expected to find a reference to the event in the Epistle to the Hebrews, for it would have greatly strengthened the author’s argument that the Temple worship was now obsolete.

Also the date of Luke’s Gospel is closely connected with that of Acts, its companion volume, if Acts is early, then Luke will be earlier. A date before 62 A.D. is likely because Luke does not mention the outcome of the trial of Paul, something that would have been recorded had he known the outcome. Given the pains Luke did to record details of Paul's life, this omission is only explained in that he didn’t know the outcome because it hadn’t happened yet.

So ther you have it. My filter in full view.
 
  • #33
Semper000
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Belief/s can be based on inferences rooted in logic.

For example, perhaps I was skeptical about the existence of psychic abilities (or energy). Let's suppose I test out a random handful of psychic readers (who remain unaware of the testing process). I present myself as a patron to each, with utmost stoicism, maintaining a singular body position (that means no knodding too) plus I withold verbal responses.

If I get statistically significant accurate responses, I can logically say psychic energy may LIKELY be at work. And yes, there may be subtle movements/gestures that one or more psychics use to "read" me. But since I controlled for these in my experiment, there is likely at least an equally strong chance I have what it takes to logically change my belief system in favor of such alleged phenomenon.
 
  • #34
zoobyshoe
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This is beside your point, but if you feel that your gestures and responses might tip a "psychic" off then maintaining a singular posture and withholding responses is the equivalent of shouting in body language.
 
  • #35
Bernardo
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My original comment simply pointed out that I think that for something to be called a belief, it can't contradict logic. To believe something beyond the realms of what is logical (like Elvis is alive) is to be deluded not believing.
 

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