Is it possible to 'choose' your own beliefs?

by nicolaou 17 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • james_woods

    Then you are a good honest guy, Nicolau -

    However, I think there a good number not quite so honest. I also think that are grey scales to belief, and also the weird quality of self-delusion.

    Example, certain ones who hold on to invisible coming 1914 as if it were the holy grail in the face of absolute evidence to the contrary. Many that I have known are more than smart enough to figure it out, but "choose" to "believe" it anyway.

    Do they really "believe"? How can we ever know? They say they do and they act out upon it. In that case they are "choosing" their belief in a sense. They say that if you keep lying to yourself long enough you can eventually come to think you really "believe" it...kind of like a nonbeliever con-man who becomes a TV evangalist for the money.

    But, I see your point, and there is nothing nutty about it the way you explained it.


  • dmouse
    Good to see dmouse back - where's you been?

    Oh, I've been around. But I 'choose' not to post as much as I used to!

  • poppers

    So much of what we believe has been conditioned into us by others - parents, schools, religion and so on. To go contrary to that conditioning is difficult, especially in regard to religion. For an interesting and enlightening adventure, see what happens when all beliefs are discarded, even the belief that you are a separate and distinct individual. The belief in "self" is the core belief that must be challenged if you want to find unconditional peace.

  • nicolaou
    For an interesting and enlightening adventure, see what happens when all beliefs are discarded, even the belief that you are a separate and distinct individual

    I can't do that. Oh I can suspend belief for a good sci-fi movie or an interesting debate but I cannot discard beliefs by making a choice. I know that I am inter-connected with so many people through relationships both real and virtual and yet I AM a separate and distinct individual!

    I am Nicolaou.

  • itsallgoodnow

    there are choices. to accept and reject experiences and information, and how to interpret them. all of that leads to a choice in beliefs... for some.

  • cognizant dissident
    cognizant dissident

    As children, our experiences are very limited and often controlled or manipulated by others. The amount and types of information we are exposed to can also be controlled by our parents and teachers. So, perhaps, as very young children, we do not consciously choose our beliefs but adopt the ones of those who surround us. As teenagers, we are exposed to more and more situations where beliefs are held which are disparate to those we have already been exposed to. If a child is told one thing by a teacher, and another thing by its parents, it might then make a choice as to who it will believe. The choice could be influenced by logic and reasoning power, but also by fear, trust, love and loyalty. It is still a choice. We continue to make choices such as these for our whole lives.

    Some choose to obey the elder's and never read an apostate website or enroll in a university course. Others choose to pick up a book such as Crisis of Conscience or a book on evolution. Does that automatically mean that they will believe what those books are telling them? Two people may read the same book, one will choose to reject what he has read and another accept it. Two householders may hear the exact same JW sermon by the exact same person. One will believe what they say is the "truth", another scoff at their "drivel".

    In conclusion, I will say that people very much "choose" their beliefs and it is not always because of superior arguments, evidence, or reasoning powers. Our choices are very much afftected by other things, such as personal experieces and our own perceptions of them, temperament, value we place on group acceptance and hundreds of othe factors.


  • nicolaou

    Bumped in response to BabaYaga's topic . . . . . . . . and I miss Ian.

  • BabaYaga
    Nicolaou said: Bumped in response to BabaYaga's topic . . . . . . . . and I miss Ian.

    Thank you and much agreed, Nic... I didn't realize this was an old thread at first and nearly burst into tears to see Dansk's post.

    Much love to you wherever you are.


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