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Beliefs vs logic

How firm are your most profound beliefs?

Poll closed Jan 11, 2004.
  1. I have changed my mind many times

    6 vote(s)
  2. I occasionally change my mind.

    4 vote(s)
  3. I rarely change my mind

    8 vote(s)
  4. I never change my mind

    1 vote(s)
  1. Oct 3, 2003 #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.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 3, 2003 #2


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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.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2003
  4. Oct 3, 2003 #3

    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.
  5. Oct 3, 2003 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    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.
  6. Oct 3, 2003 #5
    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.
  7. Oct 3, 2003 #6
    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.
  8. Oct 4, 2003 #7
    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?
  9. Oct 4, 2003 #8
    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.
  10. Oct 4, 2003 #9


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    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...
  11. Oct 4, 2003 #10

    Most of my beliefs, etc. are changed by logic. I'm the minority, this I realise, but I'm sure it happens quite often.
  12. Oct 5, 2003 #11


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    I would figure most athiest fall into this category: they don't believe anything without some evidence. That doesn't affect my point though.
  13. Oct 5, 2003 #12
    Well, considering the number of athiests, it really does affect your point. And again, that is the point of the poll..so yeah.
  14. Oct 5, 2003 #13
    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.
  15. Oct 5, 2003 #14
    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.
  16. Oct 5, 2003 #15
    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.
  17. Oct 5, 2003 #16


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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?
  18. Oct 5, 2003 #17
    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)
  19. Oct 8, 2003 #18


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    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".
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2003
  20. Oct 8, 2003 #19
    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.

    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.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2003
  21. Oct 15, 2003 #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.
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