Can you choose what to believe?

I think you can only choose to ACT like you believe something. That's of course not genuine, though.

Help us keep this site organized and clean. Thanks!
[ Report Post ]
Comments ( 60 ) Sort: best | oldest
  • Deep down you either just believe it or you don’t

    Comment Hidden ( show )
  • I'm coming to understand I'm apparently a minority but it's utterly impossible for me to choose what to believe. I feel like a blind person trying to imagine color when I hear of this. It's _that_ alien to me.

    How the fuck is there a choice? To me that's like looking at a white wall and attempting to choose to see black. It's going to stay white. If I were hooked up to a polygraph test with a gun held to my head and told to say (and mean) I believed something I currently don't without new evidence being provided, I'd be dead.

    No choice in the matter whatsoever.

    Comment Hidden ( show )
  • Yes you can chose what to believe. You may not be able to logically explain your choice. That is OK because humans generally make decisions based off of emotions and feelings, and not logic.

    Comment Hidden ( show )
  • Do you choose to believe 2+2=4?

    Comment Hidden ( show )
  • Every position I have has a logical backing to it. I'm not big on emotional arguments.

    Comment Hidden ( show )
      -
    • Every position that everybody has has a backing to it that’s logical to them. Logic is always driven by emotion,

      Comment Hidden ( show )
        -
      • Emotionally-driven "logic" isn't logic.

        Comment Hidden ( show )
          -
        • Emotion dictates what is logical to you. There’s no such thing as logic that’s not emotionally driven.

          Comment Hidden ( show )
            -
          • "Emotion dictates what is logical to you."

            No, logic is objective, not subjective.

            "There’s no such thing as logic that’s not emotionally driven."

            Nonsense. If it's emotionally-driven, it's not logic.

            Comment Hidden ( show )
              -
            • No, logic is an opinion and, by definition, all opinions are subjective.

              There’s no such thing as objective logic and there’s no such thing as logic that’s not emotionally driven.

              Comment Hidden ( show )
            • I disagree with both of you. There is emotionally-driven logic and logically-driven emotion. People tend to sway towards one or the other, though they almost always have some of both. The non-logic-driven emotion is driven by instinct, and the non-emotion-driven logic is driven by knowledge. The existing logic driven by knowledge is used to derive further emotion, and the existing emotion driven by instinct is used to derive further logic. So logic can be emotionally or knowledgeably driven, and emotion can be instinctually or logically driven.

              Comment Hidden ( show )
  • Yes- people already do this to an extent. People typically choose whatever feels right, whatever seems most flattering to whatever prejudices, intellectual or otherwise, that they hold prior to getting new information, and will either interpret facts in such a way that their preconceived notions aren't challenged or they will play the "lalala can't hear you" game while attacking the reputation or character of whomever it is that is providing these new and inconvenient facts.

    Comment Hidden ( show )
      -
    • "People typically choose whatever feels right"

      Is it a choice when your feelings decide it? I dunno...

      Comment Hidden ( show )
        -
      • Granted - these feelings may be the product of material circumstances beyond the control of the person experiencing them, such as person's level of wealth, the culture and values with which they were raised, their genes, psychological and mental health, etc. So perhaps not.

        I am not one to deny that one doesn't have agency entirely, so I would go so far as to say that one still has a choice, but the context is very limited.

        Comment Hidden ( show )
          -
        • "I would go so far as to say that one still has a choice, but the context is very limited."

          I can go along with that.

          Comment Hidden ( show )
  • I think it's pretty easy to tell yourself you believe something even though you dont

    Comment Hidden ( show )
      -
    • Yeah, but it isn't very sincere then.

      Comment Hidden ( show )
  • I really believe you got 3 options. No God, One God, or Several Gods?? Whatever a person chooses picks or prefers is fine with me but guess it just depends on maybe your relationships with God and Other People??

    Comment Hidden ( show )
  • I don't think so. You can choose to accept facts, something you can prove. Believing is about feeling and you can't choose how you feel. I don't believe in any sort of god/gods - it just seems irrational and I simply don't feel the presence of faith in me at all. I could behave as if I believed, but deep down I still wouldn't and can't really change it. Currently I don't really want to, though.

    Comment Hidden ( show )
      -
    • I agree with what you've said. However, I wonder one thing:

      "I could behave as if I believed"

      Yes, and what if you behaved as if you believed for a very long time? Would you start to genuinely believe then?

      Comment Hidden ( show )
        -
      • I don't think so. I think I would just feel like a hypocrite, but I can't be 100% sure without trying.

        Comment Hidden ( show )
  • In a sense, yes. You can choose to believe in the things your “heart” already believes in.

    By “heart”, I am talking about the deepest voice within yourself that may not have ever bothered listening to. Or maybe you have, I really don’t know.

    What I’m talking about is that voice that niggles in the back of your mind when something doesn’t feel quite right. This could be in absolutely any personal situation that you can imagine. Listen to that voice and reason out what it means. This is how you “choose” to believe in something.

    Comment Hidden ( show )
  • I think you can choose what to believe to a certain degree, but I also think if you feel unconvinced deep down in your gut that you might want to reconsider your belief. I also don't believe in placing faith in an individual person, or in humanity. My faith is in God, not in his creations.

    Comment Hidden ( show )
      -
    • I wish I could believe in a God. It would be really nice to believe death isn't the end...

      Comment Hidden ( show )
        -
      • I guess the way I see it is that something had to create the known Universe. I certainly don't believe that the Universe just randomly created itself.

        It's different for everyone of course. Maybe, if you feel so inclined, you could pray for the willingness to be willing to believe in a Higher Power. Pray for the willingness to be willing to believe for about two, or three weeks, and then see how you feel.

        Comment Hidden ( show )
          -
        • "I guess the way I see it is that something had to create the known Universe."

          But what then created that something? It doesn't solve the problem.

          "I certainly don't believe that the Universe just randomly created itself."

          Stephen Hawking did. A quote of his is:

          “The question is: was the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we cannot understand, or was it determined by laws of science? I believe the second. Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and wants to create itself out of nothing.”

          "Maybe, if you feel so inclined, you could pray for the willingness to be willing to believe in a Higher Power."

          I'm already willing. I just can't.

          Comment Hidden ( show )
            -
          • When they talk about changing belief people mean practices not auctual belief system behind the practices. Like a Christian and a Catholic both believe in god and heaven but they practice differently. This is what people do not understand.

            Comment Hidden ( show )
              -
            • "When they talk about changing belief people mean practices not auctual belief system behind the practices."

              Could well be.

              "Like a Christian and a Catholic both believe in god and heaven but they practice differently."

              Catholics ARE Christians, a specific type of Christian, but I get your basic point.

              Comment Hidden ( show )
          • If you're already willing just pray.

            Comment Hidden ( show )
Add A Comment