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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Why believe anything?
    #372881 - 08/16/01 08:25 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Many posts here deal with beliefs as to religion, aliens, death, soul, etc.

First off, why do you care what someone else believes? Curiosity, surely, but usually more for validation. Many famous books and author's opinions are quoted as if that gives a belief more substance.

Secondly, why believe in anything? A belief is a meaningless idea. You can sit in a room forever speculating about what is outside. Then you can kill anyone in the room that doesn't agree with your belief. (Remember that my religion is better than your religion! I can prove it to you with my sword.)

Forget all the noise and step outside the room, then your questions will be answered.


Disicple: Master, what happens to us when we die?

Master: I don't know.

Disciple: But you are the master!

Master: Yes, but not a dead one.



--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflinePhyl
old hand
Registered: 01/18/00
Posts: 597
Loc: United Kingdom
Last seen: 7 years, 2 months
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Swami]
    #372885 - 08/16/01 08:52 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

First off, why do you care what someone else believes?
I don't. There is no right or wrong involved with beliefs. All that matters is that what you believe is true for you.

Curiosity, surely, but usually more for validation
When I post my own beliefs I do so for a few different reasons.
Firstly as my beliefs are true for me, they may also be true for others, and seeing my beliefs in type may inspire others to think.
Secondly I like my beliefs to be challenged. If someone challenges my beliefs, and I can answer those challenges, then that proves to me that I properly understand the concepts I base my beliefs on. If I am unable to answer the challenge, it means that there is ahole in my beliefs, and I will then need to address this, and find an alternative.

Secondly, why believe in anything? A belief is a meaningless idea.
A belief has the power and meaning you assign it. If you choose to not believe in anything, that is your path. To assume your path of non-belief is more valid than anyone elses path would just be arrogant.

My beliefs are cetainly not meaningless. They are the basis for the universe, and everything that I am.

You can sit in a room forever speculating about what is outside.
Indeed. There may be something outside, there may be nothing outside. Personally I find it difficult to believe there is nothing.

Forget all the noise and step outside the room, then your questions will be answered.
Or you could open the door, take a quick glance outside, and then retreat back into the corner and contemplate what you saw.

Take care

Phil



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InvisibleNDK
member
Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 186
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Phyl]
    #372924 - 08/16/01 11:07 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

I know where you are coming from. I tend not to believe in anything like god, spirits, ghosts, crop-circles, the healing power of crystals, life after death etc etc.

In answer to "why do you care what someone else believes? Curiosity, surely, but usually more for validation."

I think that is a good answer. It's interesting to see what other people believe and why. Sometimes you come across an idea which makes you think or even challenge what you believed before. Nothing so far has led me to believe in the supernatural personally but I like to keep thinking.

"Many famous books and author's opinions are quoted as if that gives a belief more substance. "

That is very true and says a lot about the nature of belief in general.

"why believe in anything? A belief is a meaningless idea. You can sit in a room forever speculating about what is outside. Then you can kill anyone in the room that doesn't agree with your belief. (Remember that my religion is better than your religion! I can prove it to you with my sword.)"

I know what you mean but I'd bet that people who are believers would totally disagree and give lots of reasons why their beliefs are beneficial. Bear in mind that none of us really have a clue about the nature of consciousness and so (and this isn't a cop out I hope) even your own views are beliefs to a greater or lesser extent.

"Forget all the noise and step outside the room, then your questions will be answered. "

Can you expand?

I like your Master quote! :-)



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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Phyl]
    #372927 - 08/16/01 11:14 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

>If you choose to not believe in anything, that is your path. To >assume your path of non-belief is more valid than anyone
>elses path would just be arrogant.

Arrogance? Not hardly.

No agnostic has ever killed in the name of his I-Don't-Knowness.

How many million Jews were killed in the Holocaust because of a belief?

Let's check out some very common and damaging beliefs.

Whites are more intelligent than Blacks.

Men are superior to women.

Rich people have more value than poor people.

Only saved Christians will go to heaven. All others are damned for eternity.

Millions of Americans are incarcerated because only my drugs or choice are OK.

On and we go. Believe what you will, but I am not the type of person that you would have to fear. I have no agenda regarding you.

Live and let live.






--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisiblePynchon
Slow Learner

Registered: 04/28/01
Posts: 578
Loc: New Zealand
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Swami]
    #372932 - 08/16/01 11:16 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

But Swami -- why do you care what phyl believes (feeble disclaimer notwithstanding)?

Edited by Pynchon on 08/16/01 10:28 AM.



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Invisiblebaloo
Stranger
Registered: 08/14/01
Posts: 14
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Swami]
    #372936 - 08/16/01 11:21 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Swami
?Forget all the noise and step outside the room, then your questions will be answered.?

This world is based on interaction whether the basic interaction of the hunter and the prey or the higher interaction that comes when we try to understand our place in the world.
Remember the famous quote: ?Be in the world but not of it.? This suggests to me that we can learn more thru interacting with the world rather than removing ourselves to a location distant from all others. I could be wrong; but your quote suggests that life is something to escape from, and I think it is an expression of escapism which in itself is unhealthy.




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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Pynchon]
    #372939 - 08/16/01 11:29 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

>But Swami -- why do you care what phyl believes?

First, let's substitute Society-at-Large for phyl.

Gee, I thought I was pretty explicit. My powers af articulation must be waning.

Perhaps you don't mind spending 20 years in prison for manufacturing dangerous drugs (i.e. growing mushrooms) or for smoking marijuana instead of tobacco, because society believes only certain plant substances are acceptable.

The examples are endless...



--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: baloo]
    #372944 - 08/16/01 11:34 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

>...your quote suggests that life is something to escape from...

Not at all. Belief is an escape from the world. With borrowed ideas, I don't have to think or explore or experiment to discover real knowledge or truth, all I have to do is accept whatever is spoon-fed to me by my parents and my culture.



--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflinePhyl
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Registered: 01/18/00
Posts: 597
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Last seen: 7 years, 2 months
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Swami]
    #372954 - 08/16/01 11:44 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

How many million Jews were killed in the Holocaust because of a belief?
The jews weren't killed because of their beliefs. They were killed because of the nazis refusal to acknowledge the equality of other belief systems.

My point was that it is arrogant to think your beliefs are superior to anyone elses, regardless of what they are (or aren't)

Believe what you will, but I am not the type of person that you would have to fear. I have no agenda regarding you.
Why would I fear you?
Why do you think I would fear anybody?

I apologise if my response came across as hostile. This was not my intention.

Take care

Phil



Edited by Phyl on 08/16/01 10:56 AM.



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InvisiblePynchon
Slow Learner

Registered: 04/28/01
Posts: 578
Loc: New Zealand
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Swami]
    #372957 - 08/16/01 11:48 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Swami, you have just provided us with a list of your beliefs in the middle of a tirade deriding such as "borrowed ideas" -- unless you think you are history's first agnostic! I share your scepticism, but its nonsense to suggest that it is something other than a belief.



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OfflinePhyl
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Registered: 01/18/00
Posts: 597
Loc: United Kingdom
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Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Swami]
    #372958 - 08/16/01 11:50 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Belief is an escape from the world
I would disagree. I find belief enhances the world.





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Offlinegnrm23
Carpal Tunnel
Registered: 08/30/99
Posts: 6,481
Loc: n. e. OH, USSA
Last seen: 2 months, 30 days
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Phyl]
    #372987 - 08/16/01 12:28 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

alan watts:
give us this day our daily faith
but deliver us from our beliefs

old enough to know better
not old enough to care


--------------------
old enough to know better
not old enough to care


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Pynchon]
    #372993 - 08/16/01 12:40 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Swami, you have just provided us with a list of your beliefs in the middle of a tirade deriding such as "borrowed ideas" -- unless you think you are history's first agnostic! I share your scepticism, but its nonsense to suggest that it is something other than a belief.

Saying, "I don't know" about a subject, such as the existence of life-after-death, can hardly be called a belief. My original question is why do people prefer to fabricate a story about something rather than either of the two alternatives:

1. Admit that subject in question is unknowable at the time or

2. Ascertain the facts.

I was in Florida when thay had to shut down the road by a bank. The plastic polarizer sandwhiched in the glass started to separate creating a pattern. Literally thousands of people were there worshipping the image of "the Virgin Mary". There were candles and flowers everywhere.

This type of hysteria and superstition just astounded me.

The discoloration was shaped like an inverted hyperbola and in no way even looked like a woman, let alone to be recognizable as a specific woman from another time.






--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Phyl]
    #373003 - 08/16/01 01:00 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

>The jews weren't killed because of their beliefs. They were killed because of the nazis refusal to acknowledge the equality of other belief systems.

Belief systems rarely allow for different belief systems. The Nazis killed because they erroneoulsy believed (through propaganda) that the Jews were to blame for their econmic woes.

The ego mind wants everyone to be in agreement else it fears it might be wrong.

>Why would I fear you?
>Why do you think I would fear anybody?

Walk down the street naked, go smoke a bowl in front of the police station. Visist a country where you ave never been, but where Americans (if that is your nationality) are despised or go to a part of town where you race/color/creed is not welcome. You have much to fear from poeple holding firm to their beliefs.

Your response was not hostile, I was speaking somewhat metaphorically when I said that I had no agenda against you.
I meant that a person without beliefs (not that I am one as enculturation goes deeper than we realize) will not try to change anyone except when another's beliefs interfere with his personal life..



--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Invisiblebaloo
Stranger
Registered: 08/14/01
Posts: 14
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Swami]
    #373018 - 08/16/01 01:34 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

?I don't have to think or explore or experiment to discover real knowledge or truth, all I have to do is accept whatever is spoon-fed to me by my parents and my culture.?-swami
I take this sarcasm to infer that indeed we should explore, experiment and think for ourselves, and by doing so we adjust our beliefs.
Also you say: ?A belief is a meaningless idea??
No. It is an intangible idea, but it definitely has meaning.
When we breakthru to a new understanding thru meditation then our perspective of the world has changed. Our fundamental beliefs also. As Phyl said, it is fun to bounce these ideas off other people to see how they react. This way we can further refine and understand our own beliefs.
It is better than war, Huh?



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OfflinePhyl
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Registered: 01/18/00
Posts: 597
Loc: United Kingdom
Last seen: 7 years, 2 months
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Swami]
    #373052 - 08/16/01 02:32 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Belief systems rarely allow for different belief systems. The Nazis killed because they erroneoulsy believed (through propaganda) that the Jews were to blame for their econmic woes.
In our society it's understandable why people want to believe that others are inferior. Doing so provides your ego with an illusion of power, which in turn breeds confidence, which is important to achieve what many see as success, but at the same time also breeds arrogance and intollerance. If you are subjected to a continuous repeated message, it is easy for your ego to adopt this message as the truth, and your reality will be adjucted accordingly.

The ego mind wants everyone to be in agreement else it fears it might be wrong.
One feature of the ego is that it can be adjusted, and in doing so your entire reality can be altered. Just as the propganda in Nazi germany could convince people that the jews are inferior, you can also alter your ego in the other direction, to accept everyone and everything as equal.
Because of this it's not the act of having beliefs that is the problem, but the system that provides these beliefs.

It sounds to me like your problem is not with having beliefs, but by adopting the beliefs of others. Just because someone is religious and has strong beliefs, that doesn't mean the follow any of the orthodox religions.

You have much to fear from poeple holding firm to their beliefs.
I have a desire to avoid confrontation, and I tend not to do anything that would encourage this, however I do not fear people. If someone would attack me because of my race/colour/creed, I would feel compassion for them rather than fear them.



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OfflinePhyl
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Re: Why believe anything? [Re: gnrm23]
    #373128 - 08/16/01 05:01 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Because then there is no need to question ?



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OfflineLOBO
Vagabond

Registered: 03/19/01
Posts: 655
Loc: NY
Last seen: 10 years, 2 months
Re: Why believe anything? [Re: Swami]
    #373587 - 08/17/01 09:53 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

"All truths are semi thruths"
A wolf by it's self is a beutifull thing, a bunch of them are a pack and dangerous"
We are all searching for an answer a meaning it is an individual path, but it is nice to share with friends a long the way it helps with the lounines.
The more I know the less I know, it has help me to be tolerant with others belif systems and ideas even if I think they are crazy.

"We have infinite possibilities of existence"


--------------------


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Dangers of belief [Re: Phyl]
    #393174 - 09/13/01 10:06 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

>You have much to fear from people holding firm to their beliefs.

>I have a desire to avoid confrontation, and I tend not to do anything that would encourage this, however I do not fear people. If someone would attack me because of my race/colour/creed, I would feel compassion for them rather
than fear them.

The attack on the WTC is precisely the reason that I made this
post. *Sigh* Everyone argued with me and said belief systems were necessary and not dangerous. I rest my case.

My condolences to all families affected as well as all of America.





--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflinePhyl
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Re: Dangers of belief [Re: Swami]
    #393192 - 09/13/01 10:36 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

*Sigh* Everyone argued with me and said belief systems were necessary and not dangerous

As I said in a previous post in this thread:

In reply to:

it's not the act of having beliefs that is the problem, but the system that provides these beliefs.




Since the tragedy many people have been turning to their beliefs and religions, using prayer to offer their support and find some sanctuary. These beliefs have been beneficial to these people.





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