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Anonymous

The nature of self-serving beliefs
    #951384 - 10/10/02 11:32 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Let me explain......  I will try to make this brief and concise but it may run on a bit.

I have recently been thinking a lot about not what people believe, but  why  they believe it and how you can infer why they believe something from their words and actions.

For the first 18 years of my life I was devoutly atheist, preferring science and logic to explain everything.  I was also mildly depressed.  A few mushroom trips and interesting conversations later, along with a lot of reading books and the internet, I decided I had discovered  truths such as everything being one, God being in everything, everything having a purpose, the world as we know it coming to an end in 2012, and on and on and on.  Am I saying I believe these things are true or false?  No, hear me out.  After my depression subsided somewhat, I began to realize something disturbing about what had led me to my beliefs.

I hated my life situation, I hated the way the world was (or the way I perceived it then), I even hated myself.  I believed the world would come to an end (or beginning or whatever you want to call it) more because I wanted my personal situation to come to an end more than anything.

Case in point:  www.2012.com.au - Some very interesting reading, and also a lot of absolute bullshit.  Read the NESARA updates.  It is all a bunch of complete nonsense.  And who are the people that eat the shit up - 99% of them I would bet you are people with miserable financial situations.  They believe in what the person says because if it held true, it would mean the end of their money problems, which they wrongly perceive as the root of most of their life's problems.  That is the sole reason they believe and cling to all the words there, because if they didn't believe it, it would mean they had PROBLEMS that weren't going to be solved for them.

Hell, you hate your life, but if there is some sort of purpose and karma that led you to your present situation, it gratifies your sense of fairness and makes you feel like there is some master plan being carried out so all is well.  You don't like the way the world is, so you believe it is giong to stop being this way entirely on Dec. 21, 2012.

Now there seem to be 2 distinct kinds of personalities around the Philosophy forum here.  Those who have arrived at their beliefs independantly and are truly experiencing something, and those who are clinging to beliefs because, above all, they are terrified what it would mean if the ideas were not true. 

When the hardcore skeptics say they want proof, real solid proof, and get on people when they can't deliver it, these people react in two ways.  Some are completely peaceful about it and make positive discussion ala Shroomism.  But others get angry (because they are scared) and lash out, call names, etc.  They act this way because what the skeptics imply directly challenges an idea they hold that serves them well.  If the skeptic were right, would you have to change your life?

Seriously question a lot of hardcore Christians (not to single them out, same goes for any belief system really) and many will get angry, because the implications of you being right scare them so bad they refuse to even entertain the thought.  It is much easier to tell you that you are obviously going to hell or are never going to be enlightened and to just fuck off.

Now, do I now believe that mysticism and shamanism and the astral plane and 2012 and the like are all bullshit now?  Not at all.  I think they are interesting theories no less credible than a lot of other more widely accepted theories.  I think, in all likelyhood, a lot of these theories are probably fact in some way.  And I still believe in God, although I have a pretty loose definition that you no one could ever really deny exists.

What I am really asking is, why do you believe what you do?  Do you believe it because you actually experience it, or I should say because you have deduced it from your experiences?  I know there are many that can rightfully and honestly claim this.  But I also know that there are a lot of people around (because I've experienced it first hand) that hold self-serving beliefs.  People who believe in XYZ just because if XYZ weren't the case, well shit, that wouldn't be fair, or that would mean that all your problems weren't just going to go away without a great deal of work on your part, or, heaven forbid, that after you died you were gone, finito, never again to exist.  That last one is the one that really seems to get a lot of people.

I for one, truly believe there are mysterious forces at work in the universe.  But I am trying to start figuring out things based on something besides what makes me feel the best to believe.  You can't expect the truth to always be in your best interest can you?

I would like to hear any thoughts you have on the matter, but please try not to reply just to say you know what you believe is true unless you have something to back it up besides the "I experience what only a true believer experiences."  That carries little weight when Zahid, my older sister, and my old roomate all use that as their defense, and also have three drastically (and I mean DRASTICALLY) differing views on spirituality.  But they all know that they have the master plan of the universe figured out because they wouldn't experience what they do if they didn't (unless of course all they are experiencing is the security of some nice, self-serving beliefs).

Sorry that was so long, next time I have a long post like that I'll edit it down but I'm too lazy this time.  Hope that came out right.  :grin: 


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Offlinethe universe
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #951515 - 10/11/02 12:45 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Good fucking points there man. I think the problem with a lot of people and their hardcore beliefs is this: If you truly believe something so much that it becomes like a delusion everything in your reality will only work as evidence that your beliefs are true. Look at schizophrenics. Everyone should keep an open mind really.


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"If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn't rub out even half the 'Fuck you' signs in the world."- J. D. Salinger


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #951523 - 10/11/02 12:56 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

I agree with you completely. And to answer your question, most of my beliefs are due to direct experience.

But if you only believe in things through direct experience, you have to be content to live life ignorant of all the knowledge and wisdom imparted by other human beings.

I try to find a balance.



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InvisibleMetasyn
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #952246 - 10/11/02 08:22 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

I believe in my brain's inability to correctly model the universe. Hence, I entertain ideas, but I don't believe in anything. Science, God, etc, they're all different versions of imperfect models. I use whichever one suits me at the time and gives me a little happiness and inspiration.

You do make a lot of good points, many of which I have come to myself. I think more people need to question the nature of their beliefs. You may be able to question what your brain observes, but can you question how your brain reacts to what it observes? A different problem entirely.


Edited by Metasyn (10/11/02 08:26 AM)


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Anonymous

Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #952576 - 10/11/02 10:20 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

5 mushroom thread this is.

I have arrived at my current worldview/belief(ugh I eschew that word)system after many years of training and critical thinking. I have gone over each issue in depth using an interdisciplinary approach until I have arrived where I am. I am ready at any moment to discard all that I hold as true if different data comes in and I am always open to that possibility.

I do not know your age but your mental maturity places you in a senior category, 65+.

Well said, well done, good thoughts.

Cheers,


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OfflineGrowingVines
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #952771 - 10/11/02 11:27 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

indeed, good post.

I really don't know what i belief, but you are right about christians, i used to go to a catholic school and go to church every week when i was a little kid. It never really hit me of why you would believe what they do, unless they are scared of something. I broke away from the church about 6 years ago, i was 12, yes i know i was young. From that time till now i didn't know what to believe, i was in the dark. Just know. and i mean like one week ago i try meditation...I think that is finially my anwser for now...i just want to know my true self and well, i guess meditation is the key for me.

peace out my brothers, for everyone has a bit of insanity in them


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Peace out my brothers, for everyone has a bit of insanity in them


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OfflineChubbSubb
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #952913 - 10/11/02 05:39 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Experience is all there is. Anything is possible. No theory is absolute truth, which leads to endless possibilities and thoughts. Be here now with an open mind for anything. Nice post.

Peace, Trev :tongue:


--------------------
Those who know do not speak.
Those who speak do not know.


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OfflineMajor_Buzz
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #952964 - 10/11/02 06:04 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Okay, let me attempt to take a scientific statement and turn it into a spiritual one.
The essential nature of the universe is energy. This is to say that everything in the universe is comprised foremost of energy. You have the stars that expell heat. Heat is energy. You have lifeforms. As soon as a sperm fetilizes an egg, a tremendous amount of energy is released. This is a different form of energy, a conscious form. Even inorganic materials at their atomic level are composed of energy, since atoms contain a tremendous amount of energy.
The energy of the universe is eternal, since the universe as we perceive it is eternal. When you die, your energy (soul) merges with this universal energy, and hence merges with the eternal. This is as close as we can come to define GOD, since the true nature of the afterlife is unknowable.
Am I making any sense here?


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: Major_Buzz]
    #953321 - 10/11/02 09:20 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Am I making any sense here?

Possibly... but you ARE making a lot of assumptions.


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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Anonymous

Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: Major_Buzz]
    #953362 - 10/11/02 09:42 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Another reason to hate you. I mean, er

GREAT!  Great post! :smile:

Cheers, 


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Anonymous

Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: GrowingVines]
    #953368 - 10/11/02 09:45 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Fact is GrowingVines that most people, and this includes "Christians", walk around using their skull for a butt plug. We often times single out Christians because they are so "in your face". They can't help how they are any more than most people can.

Cheers,


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OfflineMajor_Buzz
just like that

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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: Sclorch]
    #953376 - 10/11/02 09:50 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

What are these assumptions you are refering to?
:confused:


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Offlinepostalboy
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #953409 - 10/11/02 10:16 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Bravo, excellent thoughts.

I believe what I do simply because I have tried for a good portion of my life to find some sort of supernatural existance in life.  From moral religion to Satanism, from sex to drugs, from dream interpretation to meditation to martial arts to astrology to science.  I have searched and been found wanting.  I have no beliefs left except hedonism.  Life in the pursuit of tiny moments of pleasure.

Am I an atheist?  Most likely.  An agnostic?  Maybe.  I am still in a state of confusion as to my true beliefs.  I do know that of all the religions in the world, none of them seem true to me.  When I read these religions or ways of thinking I am merely reminded of what utter nonsense most of it is.  I think that all of these religious ways of life, including drugs, sex, alcohol, money, power, religion, etc are all simply self denial of the one great truth. 
  You do not matter.  You are merely a collection of atoms and energy.  No matter how many drugs, how much money, how many sex partners, how much you tithe to your god, how positive your karma, one day you will die and cease to exist.  And this scares the shit out of everybody, including me.  The one thing that most religions hold in common is the central fact of some sort of everlasting life. 
  Death is the ultimate finality.  From it there is no reasoning, no escape, no redemption.  Just *click* and you light dims forever.  All you accomplished in this world is gone.  This is the truth I see everyday of my life.  Does it depress me?  Yes.  Do I wish I could be ignorant of this and live knowing that when I die, I pass on and go home to a god who loves me?  Yes.  Can I?  No, unfortunatly I cannot.  I am stuck with the mind and thoughts that I have.

  This does not mean that I am not happy sometimes.  I play with my dog and I smile at his antics.  I enjoy reading and watching films.  I like sex and drugs and music.  But to me they are all part of just trying to enjoy what little time I have left of what Leary calls "gravity-bound meat reality." 
 
  This is actually more than I wanted to write but It is the final layer of the onion.  I have removed the masks and shown my self.  This is my world.  I will post this whether I think I should or not.  Think of it and me as you will.  sorry for the abrupt change in mood here.  :frown:   

 


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"You people voted for Hubert Humphrey, and you killed Jesus." F and L in L.V.


Edited by postalboy (10/11/02 10:21 PM)


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OfflineGrowingVines
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #953494 - 10/11/02 11:15 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Wasn't trying to put all Christians down, i just have had a bad experiance with most in my state. I can't lie some of my best friends are Christians and they are really nice and cool and understanding and openminded. I mean the one thing i will never for get.....my 2nd to last day of High School March 5 to be exact. I just finished taking one of my finial exams and i was just sitting in the window looking out just dreaming of what life will hold after High School. When the teacher came up to me with 2 other students. They basically cornered me in and started preaching about jesus and that i was going to hell if i didn't believe in god. In my mind i was like "what ever, leave me the fuck alone" but i couldn't tell the teacher this cause, well my teachers are dicks and well they would have not let me graduate. But as i listened to them i just kept geting angerier and angerier. Finally I literally had to push them away from me after the bell rung to get out of there. But that was just one of the times people tried to fuck with my head...that is the most of the noice to the grind stone christians i am around.

peace out my brother, for everyone has a bit of insanity in them


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Peace out my brothers, for everyone has a bit of insanity in them


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: GrowingVines]
    #953535 - 10/11/02 11:27 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Most Christians I've encountered are more enamoured with dogma, faith and worship than trying to live in a Christ like manner. They talk a good game, they believe the stories and they go to church (religiously) but they do not examine the full consequences of their behavior and attiitudes beyond what is immediately in front of them. Their Christianity is in the very least, myopic but I'm more inclined to label it hypocritical.


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: Evolving]
    #953708 - 10/12/02 12:11 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Heh... I think Christ was the only "true" Christian....

~All you otha hataz are just imitataz~  :grin: 


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:heartpump: { { { ṧ◎ηḯ¢ αʟ¢ℌ℮мƴ } } } :heartpump:


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OfflineCalen
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #953784 - 10/12/02 12:38 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

I'll compress it to simplicity on beliefs with negative afflictions: when you're right (believed to be), you want to be right all the time because it is a matter of control. The illusion of control of the self-righteous is in all of us. The depressed, the sick, the rich, the poor.

I remember this author said that the only purpose of self-hate is to generate hate. The more we align with it, the more power we give it. We serve it because hate never serves us. That goes the same for beliefs. I'll toss any one of them out if each do not *serve* me. For I will not hand my power over to a mere belief ,and let it do the *thinking* for me is a way to put it.

Kudos to you. you'fe found a kernel of wisdom. As for ah the mystical side of mine, I'll keep you mind for the occasion when that time comes.. I can't explain it in words, I must allow you to ind it like I did.

edit: dag keyboard



Edited by Calen (10/12/02 12:44 AM)


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: Adamist]
    #954416 - 10/12/02 04:29 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Heh... I think Christ was the only "true" Christian....

What about Kierkegaard?


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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Anonymous

Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: Calen]
    #954419 - 10/12/02 04:31 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Well thank you all for playing. I'm glad this got your mind in gear and thinking. I hope I have turned at least a few of you on to some possible self-delusion you were involved with like I found myself caught up in.

I guess the underlying, concise point I never got to was that a lot of people who think they are open minded just because they have views that aren't mainstream or because whatever, are some of the most closed minded people of all. And it all seems to come back to people not being willing to really entertain the thought of anything that contradicts their beliefs because if their belief was wrong they would perceive things as worse for them. Believing in 2012 or God or karma does not mean you are open minded. Being open minded means you will fully entertain any idea and try to evaluate it.

Seems like pretty much everyone caught my drift anyway.

Mr Mushrooms, hehe, I'm 21 and am really surprised how mature you think I am. Trust me, I make up for it in other areas, like last week I got reprimanded for telling Swami to stick a spatula up his ass. And the dirty sanchez thing. But yeah, I'll try to behave myself haha.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #954673 - 10/12/02 08:45 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

a lot of people who think they are open minded just because they have views that aren't mainstream or because whatever, are some of the most closed minded people of all.

Bingo! Hole in one! They are "open" to every possibility (indeed their minds are so open that facts and common sense seem to fall right out of their craniums whenever they tilt their heads) except those they consider "mainstream".

I see this "open-mindedness" exhibited fairly frequently by regular posters to the Political Discussion forum, as well -- people just can't seem to grasp the possibility of others partaking of entheogens who are not Marxist, or Anarchist, or at the very least Leftist. Many people in this forum (S&P) have the same attitude -- "Dude, how can you take mushrooms and still be an atheist? I don't believe you've ever munched a mushie in yer life!"

pinky



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OfflineAdamist
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #954856 - 10/12/02 01:08 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

I look at most of these things (2012, nibiru, etc) as good ideas; this doesn't mean I believe in them. I think there is a good possibility for some of these ideas to be true, and I keep them in mind only because of my own experiences, which resonate well with such theories...

I like the points you bring up though, as I do admit there  are things that lie closer to beliefs to me, only because of my many personal experiences revolving around these things, such as the existence of "alien" life communicating with the human species... although I do keep in mind that they could be aspects of my own consciousness, or maybe they are not aliens at all but ourselves in the future, etc....
The line between beliefs and ideas can get thin, but I try and keep as much things in the ideas category as I can.  :smile:   


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:heartpump: { { { ṧ◎ηḯ¢ αʟ¢ℌ℮мƴ } } } :heartpump:


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OfflineAmber_Glow
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: postalboy]
    #955152 - 10/12/02 03:50 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Postalboy, I too share basically your exact beliefs.

I think a scientific and logical approach to reality, life, and the universe is the baseline of truth.

Any religion or creative theory is either complete bullshit, or simply too weak for me to accept.

I think this board brings out alot of possibilities, that albeit fun to think about, are as meaningless as our own lives.

Although I do think there is definitely more truth out there that no science or religion has yet proven or discovered, and I certainly encourage investigating new ideas and possibilities.  But as far as I can see, these truths will not be revealed in my lifetime.

Isn't life depressing? :tongue: 


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OfflineGrowingVines
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: Amber_Glow]
    #955158 - 10/12/02 03:54 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

indeed, life is depressing, but we got to try and suck it up and atleast try and learn something in this life time. Become wise and that is good enough. =)


peace out my brothers, for everyone has a bit of insanity in them.


--------------------
Peace out my brothers, for everyone has a bit of insanity in them


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OfflineCalen
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #955437 - 10/12/02 06:31 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

I guess the underlying, concise point I never got to was that a lot of people who think they are open minded just because they have views that aren't mainstream or because whatever, are some of the most closed minded people of all. And it all seems to come back to people not being willing to really entertain the thought of anything that contradicts their beliefs because if their belief was wrong they would perceive things as worse for them. Believing in 2012 or God or karma does not mean you are open minded. Being open minded means you will fully entertain any idea and try to evaluate it.


I've jostled with the supoosed 'wise' and 'enlightened' over the net. The exchanges were short. The truth behind all their words was very revealing. And what you say about those "people" are just like the ones I met. People, who I gave the benefit of the doubt, who eventually turned out no better than they claimed to be.

In retrospect, those people I met was a former reflection of me.

Mr Mushrooms, hehe, I'm 21 and am really surprised how mature you think I am. Trust me, I make up for it in other areas, like last week I got reprimanded for telling Swami to stick a spatula up his ass. And the dirty sanchez thing. But yeah, I'll try to behave myself haha.

I see you have a flaming tongue. like mine.


Edited by Calen (10/12/02 06:34 PM)


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OfflineZahid
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #955463 - 10/12/02 06:44 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Why do I believe in what I believe? After several months of deep thought concerning the life of this world I came to several conclusions:

1) From observing the world around me, I concluded that the universe didn't just 'happen' - I decided God did in fact exist.

2) From observing the world around me, I concluded that it was illogical for a Creator to allow humans to exist without any direct guidance.

3) The fact that you can either disbelieve or believe always bewildered me.

4) People can literally repent to God

We all have logic and reason, it depends how you use it.


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Anonymous

Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: Evolving]
    #955472 - 10/12/02 06:52 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

I thought there were a lot of good points made in this thread but I really resonated with yours on the sub-topic of Christianity:

Most Christians I've encountered are more enamoured with dogma, faith and worship than trying to live in a Christ like manner. They talk a good game, they believe the stories and they go to church (religiously) but they do not examine the full consequences of their behavior and attiitudes beyond what is immediately in front of them. Their Christianity is in the very least, myopic but I'm more inclined to label it hypocritical.

I totally agree. But then again I see the same thing with most people, sheep of different color.

Cheers,


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Offlinemaranite
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: ]
    #955749 - 10/12/02 10:03 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Brilliant posting with some good responses so far!

I've spent some time studying beliefs - and would offer the this:

Beliefs are to our minds what software is to a computer.
That is - beliefs are what our minds use to interpret and organize that "data" that comes in through our senses. In essence, basic beliefs are "reality filters" without which we cannot function in the world. This helps explain why some people who have incorporated the indoctrinations of an organized religion will get defensive and even aggresive when their beliefs are challenged... because the subsoncious mind "knows" that a belief system to function correctly; It doesn't care whether the belief system is valid because belief systems are conditioned into us, so as long as the mind can function with the belief system it has, it will cling to it defiantly.

Spritual beliefs are the "higher" blocks in our belief systems - they both depend on AND reinforce other, more basic beliefs about the world around us. But rest assured, everyone has spiritual beliefs - by saying "I'm an atheist", you're really revealing that the belief system you have in-place states "I BELEIVE that there is no God". It's still a belief - which is why atheists and christians (or pick you favourite sect) will argue endlessly, with atheists insisting that it's not their beliefs that are at fault 'cause they don't have any. Wrong! You can't argue (or even make a statement) without a belief to back it up. We all have 'em folks... Just some of us are more "open minded" about replacing our higher beliefs instead of clinging to what we've been told by the church.

I'm reading a book called "How to break out of prison" that describes how these belief systems are instilled into us from childhood, and how to idnetify beliefs that may be holding you back and interfering with your life. A book well worth picking up!

"He who seeks to be learned in the ways or truth and knowledge is ship-wrecked by the laughter of the Gods."


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OfflineGrowingVines
Slowly Changinginto a Tree
Registered: 08/22/02
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: maranite]
    #955764 - 10/12/02 10:18 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

agreed. So we are basically computers =) i think my software has a virus.


peace out my brothers, for everyone has a bit of insanity in them


--------------------
Peace out my brothers, for everyone has a bit of insanity in them


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Offlinejohnnyfive
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Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 886
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Re: The nature of self-serving beliefs [Re: GrowingVines]
    #956095 - 10/13/02 02:12 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

I believe that EVERYONE is supposed to be confused about god, that sets the premise to find god. We enthogen users are TRUE CHRISTIANS, we don't listen to the bull shit, that a cofused society puts in our heads. For the bible says in the end, CHRIST WILL BE FOUND IN YOU(all in the bible i read this ALOT). We enthogen users are searching for god in self. Its why in the future we will be ENEMYS OF THE STATE (shit more like the world).

I believe that the subject of god is SUPPOSED to be confusing, and for all people to be cofused. But out of the confusing chaos, in the end, will all sit back and tear for god was with us through the darkest of the ages the whole time, and always will be!

Is anyone feelin me? Or at the age of 20 did i crack my noodle?


--------------------
And the gameshow host rings the buzzer (brrnnntt) oh and now you get a face full of face!


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