• Ken Edwards
    183
    I might suggest here that "Believe" is a verb and is a frequent activity or an action of human brain cells.

    Warning! The verb "believe" is more than a little bit tricky and I strongly recommend a bit of caution when using it.

    It can all too easily grab hold of the adverb "in" which changes the meaning completely. Instead of "I believe" something to be true, it says I believe IN Love or in Democracy or some such which has a totally different meaning.

    Also its noun form: "Belief" has a completely changed meaning. The noun, "Belief", might be said to be one of the results or one of the outcomes of believing something to be true.

    I hope I am not breaking the rules of this forum by inserting a deeply felt personal note.

    If so I apologise.

    I, personally, "believe in" many noble things including such things as "Love" or "Democracy", etc but, in contrast, I believe nothing whatsoever.

    I, personally hate and despise the action of "believing".

    Believing half truths or carefully concocted lies kills thousands of people here and now every single day.

    Believing carefully concealed lies and partial truths killed millions of people in both world wars.

    Example: "Belgiums are baby killers and should be punished". Once, long ago, those words were believed my millions. Evil words, sinful words. Death words.

    I believe no mans's word, ever. I carefully avoid believing anything at all. Believing something can be extremely dangerous and can frequently be described as evil behavior.

    And also be very careful never to confuse the innocent words: I believe in" with the evil words: "I believe".
  • Banno
    17.4k
    I carefully avoid believing anything at all.Ken Edwards

    Quaint, but wrong. You believe that you were able to put your thoughts together, you believe that you can speak English, you believe that you can type a message on a computer and have it shared across this community. You believe that people would read it and reply. you believe that there are standards for posts on the forums. You believe in good and bad conduct.

    You also believe in clay, that it can be moulded, baked, sold, and that the results can be used to make a life.

    As a human one has no choice but to have and act on one's beliefs. It's not that one believes that is the problem, but what one believes.
  • Wayfarer
    16.1k
    that the results can be used to make a life.Banno

    Only when imbued with the breath of life, and that sure ain't made from clay. ;-)
  • L'éléphant
    735
    You also believe in clay, that it can be moulded, baked, sold,Banno
    But not sold as bread, though.
  • praxis
    5.1k


    Rather, I'm confident that I can put thoughts together, speak English, and type out a message that can be shared online. I also have reasons to think that my messages will be read and responded to. I understand that there are standards for posting on this forum. I can judge good and bad conduct.

    I know about clay and stuff.

    People commonly don't actually believe what they claim to believe, and in those cases, expressing belief can merely be a sign of solidarity with fellow "believers". This is why I endeavor to abandon the term. I don't hate it, and I don't hate "believers", it's just that I'm not a blind follower. I do not follow blindly, if I can help it.
  • Banno
    17.4k
    That's more interesting. Did you parse these into actions on purpose?
  • praxis
    5.1k


    What difference does it make?
  • Banno
    17.4k
    What difference does it make?praxis

    So it wasn't? That's a pity. A missed opportunity, perhaps.

    So isn't it the case that in order for you to be able to act, you must hold certain things to be the case? That there is an English Language for you to express yourself, for example; a keyboard for you to type on; folk to read your messages.

    And isn't holding something to be the case exactly what belief consists in?

    I don't see that you have removed belief so much as simply hidden it.

    You are right in that there is something to be said for our beliefs being evident in our actions more than in our words. Hypocrisy and self-deception are about belief. Our actions sometimes display our beliefs despite our words.

    So a plan to replace beliefs with actions might have had some merit.
  • Tom Storm
    4.3k
    So a plan to replace beliefs with actions might have had some merit.Banno

    It's an intriguing idea for me as a non-philosopher. It has often struck me how people's professed beliefs bear little similarity to their actions (and I don't think I am talking about hypocrisy).
  • praxis
    5.1k
    So isn't it the case that in order for you to be able to act, you must hold certain things to be the case?Banno

    Not at all, much of what I do is subconscious. Also, my dog never declares his beliefs to anyone and yet he seems to manage just fine.

    I act according to my model of the world and the model is being continually updated. You seem to be suggesting that I need to have faith in this model. I don't see why faith is needed because I only have my model and no other.
  • Ken Edwards
    183
    Hi Banno. I love being "Quaint". It appeals to my sense of humor.

    I must repeat that the whole belief mess is tricky as hell.

    I should have mentioned that the word "A Beleif" implies "A Conscious belief. That is a belief that is expressed in words and is an activity of the conscious mind only and not of the vastly more complex subconscious mind which I prefer to call -- the "Overmind".

    It is subtly inaccurate to say "I beiieve I can speak English". The proper thing to say is - "I know I can speak English. The action of "knowing" is an action performed by my entire mind and the knowledge is part of my overmind not just my limited conscious mind.

    Because of your words today this is the first time I have ever thought or said IN WORDS that I speak English. Why should I bother? But I have Known it for decades. I know millians of things that I have never used words to describe. As do you. A dog can "know" thousands of things without useing words. I know I speak English with my entire mind, including, because of you just now, my conscious mind.

    (Word mind, Semantic mind, Conscious mind, The mind that functions only wih words. whatever you want to call it.)

    But I have never used mere words to myself to say so.

    I know I can type on a computer but I have never referred that knowledge, as such, to my conscious mind and I have never said so to myselfi in words. Why should I waste my time.?

    Oops, Banno, you slipped up. You said - "beleive in" twice. You accidently added the "in" in spite of my ernest warnings and thus changed the meaning.

    You said "Believe in good" plus "believe in clay"

    Your word - "Beliefs" refers to something entirely different, God knows to what.

    To which God do I refer to?

    There is but one God and his name is Shiva.

    I told you that that fucking word - "believe" is tricky as hell.
  • Ken Edwards
    183
    Hi Praxis. Bless you, you used the words -- " Confident", "Put thoughts together", "type out messages", "speak (English)", "have reasons to think", "read", "respond to", "understand" and "judge" logically and clearly without once using the evil word - "Believe".

    Thanks.
  • Bird-Up
    83
    It's a shame to consider all the violence that has stemmed from merely using our own language incorrectly. Standing over two graves and saying: "They had a misunderstanding."

    It's a safer practice to not trust anyone on their word (subscribe to a belief that you hear secondhand); but not a practical one. We don't have time to investigate everything, so we have to trust some things in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Save your scrutiny for the most-suspicious claims I guess. That's the best we can do.

    Abstract ideas like "Love" or "Democracy" can't be proven/disproven in the objective world. When we "believe" in abstract ideas, I think we are just endorsing their usefulness as ideas.
  • Banno
    17.4k
    I act according to my model of the world and the model is being continually updated. You seem to be suggesting that I need to have faith in this model. I don't see why faith is needed because I only have my model and no other.praxis

    And how is your "model of the world" different to what you hold to be true? How is it different to what you believe?

    The New Man ceases to have beliefs, replacing them entirely with his "Model of the world"...
  • creativesoul
    10.5k


    You may find this of interest...

    I carefully avoid believing anything at all.Ken Edwards

    This rests upon the dubious presupposition that you have a choice in the matter.

    You do not.

    Have you ever lost something valuable enough to go look for it?
  • creativesoul
    10.5k
    The New Man ceases to have beliefs, replacing them entirely with his "Model of the world"...Banno

    As if this model does not consist entirely of beliefs about the world and/or ourselves.
  • Varde
    304
    Ha, classic Banno. Post very inartistic and quaint, but then to resolve the art, he tosses in a bit of unmeld clay- some illusion...
  • praxis
    5.1k
    And how is your "model of the world" different to what you hold to be true?Banno

    I’m not sure how to answer because I’m not sure what you mean by ‘hold to be true’. What exactly do you mean by that?
  • Ken Edwards
    183
    You are partly right. Much of the time I don't notice that I am beleiving some asshole but much of the time I do notice, since the whole issue is heavy in my mind.
  • Joshs
    3.5k

    Quaint, but wrong. You believe that you were able to put your thoughts together, you believe that you can speak English, you believe that you can type a message on a computer and have it shared across this community.Banno

    I’ll go along with this , as long as ‘belief’ ’ is interchangeable with ‘anticipation’ or ‘expectation’. That way we can include perception in general.
  • creativesoul
    10.5k


    As Banno said... the problem is not that we believe, but rather it is what we believe. So, seems better to examine how we come to believe the things we do, and what sorts of belief are best to have/hold rather than make an attempt to convince ourselves that we ought not believe anyone or anything.

    There's a whole lot of bullshit, falsehood, and truth being disseminated in society, and not all for the same reasons...
  • Ken Edwards
    183
    I was refering to the verb beleiving which has nothing what so ever to do with "Beliefs"

    But, since you bring it up I think that beliefs can be either expressed in words or felt subconsciously so in the case of the latter I got beliefs up the ass. I got millions. I got beliefs I aint even used yet. I even have beliefs about you, Banno, so watch your ass.
  • Ken Edwards
    183
    Well yes and know. How do you ike that as a straight answer?

    You say - There's a whole lot of bullshit, falsehood, and truth being disseminated in society, and not all for the same reasons.

    Alas, yes. And not just a lot. And not "by society". By pros, by experts. There are thousands of pros out there who spend millions of hours a day and millions of dollars a day trying to concoct clever, attention grabbing, truthful sounding lies or half lies that you and I and even Banno can be tricked into beleiving and then they get money out of us or power over us or maybe just enjoy fucking us over. They are good at it, they are pros.

    There is no way I could have the time or the ability to examen the thousands of such dangerous falshoods that are aimed my way.

    So I say 'I don't beleive anyone at all nor any words. Nothing - NADA!.

    Of course I might make an exception in your case, creativesoul.
  • Ken Edwards
    183

    You say, Bird-up --
    "Abstract ideas like "Love" or "Democracy" can't be proven/disproven in the objective world. When we "believe" in abstract ideas, I think we are just endorsing their usefulness as ideas."

    I agree.
  • praxis
    5.1k
    As Banno said... the problem is not that we believe, but rather it is what we believe. So, seems better to examine how we come to believe the things we do, and what sorts of belief are best to have/hold rather than make an attempt to convince ourselves that we ought not believe anyone or anything.creativesoul

    If I accept or trust or think or estimate or conclude or predict that you're telling the truth does that mean that I believe (hold to be true) you're telling the truth? A definition of believe includes the sense of 'feeling sure of'. Does that refer to intuition, the feeling that you're telling the truth but not an assessment based on reason? If that's the case then I could simply say that, that I feel like or intuit that you're telling the truth. It seems the only other way to 'feel sure of' is to hold you as a truth-teller or to have faith in you, to trust you implicitly. I imagine there could be circumstances where I would be forced to trust someone because it's not possible to verify their veracity, but that could be against my will and wouldn't be really 'feeling' or 'holding' their claims.
  • Jamal
    4.5k
    I'm puzzled by this phenomenon. Every so often people arrive here and start complaining about the evils of belief. What's going on? Is this a thing, some kind of movement, perhaps related to new atheism?

    I agree with Banno. Also it's clear that the OP's complaint is with believing wrong or evil things, and that swearing off belief as such is going too far, not to mention impossible. Be careful about what you believe, and never think yourself infallible, and try only to believe true things rather than things that make you feel good--that seems like a more useful response to the evils that have been committed on the basis of certain beliefs. Or criticize faith, unquestioning belief, etc.
  • Ken Edwards
    183
    Intuitional reasoning is every bit as powerful as Conscious reasoning. Frequently more powerful, vastly more so.

    And, in fact, the intuition is used very much more frequently than is Word based reasoning.

    The rest of your reasoning is extremely reasonable, highly rational, very convincing.

    Perhaps the trouble is me. Perhaps I have an irrational complex.

    But consider my life
    .
    In word war 2, right after the surrender, my battalion was put to guarding some of the millions of Nazi prisoners of war that were floating around Europe. Many of those Germans spoke English and I had extensive conversation with them.

    It was horrifying. They assured me repeatedly that ordinary, every day Germans had firmly believed everything that Adolf Hitler had told them to believe.

    Mad stuff, insane stuff. To the effect that fully justified them waging war and killing millions of people.

    They had firmly Believed that it was morally wrong for them Not to kill.

    Sitting there in Germany amid the ruins listening to these horrors I became an enemy of believing, not only rational believing but any believing.

    The successful instilling of beliefs such as these frequently is used as a war weapon similar to a bayonet or a canon.

    Believing half truths or carefully concocted lies kills thousands of people here and now every single day.

    The recent school murderers killed children because they believed that it was right. They beleived things that they were taught to believe. They, themselves, said so.

    The successful instilling of beliefs such as these is frequently used as a war weapon similar to a bayonet or a canon.
  • praxis
    5.1k


    Wow, that’s heavy, and I thought Trump supporters were a bad enough exemplar to justify the condemnation of belief.
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