Is Everything Just a Matter of Belief? Exploring an Existential Crisis

In summary, the conversation focuses on the confusion and uncertainty of the individual regarding the nature of reality and how to think about it. They mention their struggle with epistemology and the difficulty in solidifying facts and knowledge. They also bring up arguments from creationists that confuse them, such as the role of logic and subjectivity in understanding the world. The conversation also touches on the reliability and limitations of science in answering certain questions and the idea of choosing a side between traditional beliefs and scientific evidence. The individual also expresses their existential crisis and asks for guidance on how to analyze the root causes of their confusion. However, the conversation ends with a statement that philosophy is not discussed, leaving the individual still searching for answers.
  • #1
Kaine Usher
Hello everyone.

This is my first post on these forums. I came here for guidance, as I am currently very confused with the nature of reality, and how I should be thinking. I can't imagine that anyone here will have an absolute answer, but I am hoping to be grounded a little. The biggest problem I am having now, is one of epistemology; I am having a very hard time trying to solidify "facts" or "knowledge" in my mind. I have a habit of taking in all views, and opinions, as possibilities, but I do not know what to accept for certain. I've recently spent a lot of time watching, and reading debates on the internet, usually to do with Science vs Religion, or Atheists vs Creationists. Some of the arguments from creationists really confuse me. Things like "You can't justify logic with logic", and "not believing in god is a belief", "everything is subjective", "Something had to create the Universe", "Quantum mechanics explains spirituality", "The Scientific Method is flawed", "The Universe is an illusion, so evidence is pointless", "Math is subjective", etc. I try to rationalize these things, and my logic tells me that their reasoning is flawed, or that the propositions that they make in their premise is too much of an assumption. Despite my best efforts to analyse logically, I can't help but think that maybe logic itself is just a belief, or that they must know something that I don't. As you can see, I am very confused...what do you think? Sorry for writing half a novel, by the way.
 
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  • #2
Kaine Usher said:
Hello everyone.

This is my first post on these forums. I came here for guidance, as I am currently very confused with the nature of reality, and how I should be thinking. I can't imagine that anyone here will have an absolute answer, but I am hoping to be grounded a little. The biggest problem I am having now, is one of epistemology; I am having a very hard time trying to solidify "facts" or "knowledge" in my mind. I have a habit of taking in all views, and opinions, as possibilities, but I do not know what to accept for certain. I've recently spent a lot of time watching, and reading debates on the internet, usually to do with Science vs Religion, or Atheists vs Creationists. Some of the arguments from creationists really confuse me. Things like "You can't justify logic with logic", and "not believing in god is a belief", "everything is subjective", "Something had to create the Universe", "Quantum mechanics explains spirituality", "The Scientific Method is flawed", "The Universe is an illusion, so evidence is pointless", "Math is subjective", etc. I try to rationalize these things, and my logic tells me that their reasoning is flawed, or that the propositions that they make in their premise is too much of an assumption. Despite my best efforts to analyse logically, I can't help but think that maybe logic itself is just a belief, or that they must know something that I don't. As you can see, I am very confused...what do you think? Sorry for writing half a novel, by the way.

Science supplies a set of rules/procedures by which humans can investigate the natural world. These are actually pretty straightforward rules, and they have gotten us incredibly far. Despite the power of science, it has difficulty answering some questions: "Why is there a universe?", "Is there a God?", "Why doesn't Betty like me?" etc. If you cannot think of a way of measuring something using real tools, then the methods of science tend to break down.
 
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  • #3
Well said, but why do you think some people deny science? Do you think that some people just misunderstand it? It seems to be the only thing we can rely on, to me. Is that faith on my part?
 
  • #4
Kaine Usher said:
Well said, but why do you think some people deny science? Do you think that some people just misunderstand it? It seems to be the only thing we can rely on, to me. Is that faith on my part?

In history, there have been times when science is able to answer previously unanswerable questions that had already been addressed by traditional beliefs. This creates the difficult situation where you must either jetison some of your traditional beliefs, keeping the bits that are unanswerable by science, or push back on the science. We seem to have gone back and forth with the different approaches through the ages. Right now, there seems to be much more pushing back hard on science.
 
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  • #5
Science is grounded in evidence and fact and that our surroundings and physical conditions tend to shape our world view as well. If you are indeed having an "existential crisis" then maybe analyze the root causes which have made you get there in the first place.
 
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  • #6
Quantum Defect said:
In history, there have been times when science is able to answer previously unanswerable questions that had already been addressed by traditional beliefs. This creates the difficult situation where you must either jetison some of your traditional beliefs, keeping the bits that are unanswerable by science, or push back on the science. We seem to have gone back and forth with the different approaches through the ages. Right now, there seems to be much more pushing back hard on science.

Do you think it is a matter of "choosing a side", so to speak? I guess I'm trying to work out whether Science is just another belief or not.
 
  • #7
audire said:
Science is grounded in evidence and fact and that our surroundings and physical conditions tend to shape our world view as well. If you are indeed having an "existential crisis" then maybe analyze the root causes which have made you get there in the first place.

I don't know what else it would be, if not an existential crisis. Where do you think I should start? How can I find the root causes?
 
  • #8
Unfortunately this is philosophy, and we don't discuss philosophy. You've received about as good of answers as can be expected when you are questioning beliefs. A good place to start would be reading our guidelines, which I see you haven't.
 

Related to Is Everything Just a Matter of Belief? Exploring an Existential Crisis

1. What is an existential crisis?

An existential crisis is a period of intense self-examination and questioning about the meaning and purpose of one's life. It often involves feelings of confusion, anxiety, and a sense of being lost or disconnected from one's beliefs and values.

2. Is everything just a matter of belief?

The answer to this question is ultimately subjective and can vary depending on an individual's perspective. Some may argue that everything is a matter of belief, as our beliefs and perceptions shape our understanding of the world. Others may believe in the existence of objective truths that are not influenced by personal beliefs.

3. How do beliefs impact our perception of reality?

Our beliefs can greatly influence how we interpret and understand the world around us. They can shape our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and can significantly impact our perception of reality. For example, someone who believes in the power of positive thinking may perceive a difficult situation as a learning opportunity, while someone who holds negative beliefs may see the same situation as a failure.

4. Can an existential crisis be resolved?

Yes, an existential crisis can be resolved. It often involves a process of introspection, self-discovery, and re-evaluation of one's beliefs and values. Seeking support from a therapist or talking to trusted friends and family can also be helpful in navigating through an existential crisis.

5. How can we find meaning and purpose in life?

Finding meaning and purpose in life is a personal and ongoing journey. It may involve exploring our passions, values, and goals, and aligning our actions with them. It may also involve connecting with others, engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfillment, and finding a sense of belonging in a community.

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