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Thread: Is belief a choice?

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    Is belief a choice?

    I saw this headline:

    Chaffetz: Florida school shooting survivors 'need a belief in God and Jesus Christ'


    If you don't believe God exists, how can you just decide to believe he does?

    Or is it a "fake it till you make it" thing?
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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    There is no empirical way to measure belief. That makes the distinction extraordinarily difficult.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    There is no empirical way to measure belief. That makes the distinction extraordinarily difficult.
    I was wondering if there are people who can just decide to believe something. Can people's brains do that? Because mine doesn't.
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    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueneck View Post
    I saw this headline:

    Chaffetz: Florida school shooting survivors 'need a belief in God and Jesus Christ'


    If you don't believe God exists, how can you just decide to believe he does?

    Or is it a "fake it till you make it" thing?
    I once decided to like flavored seltzer instead of sugary soda. It was pretty painful at first, but eventually my taste changed. Maybe it's like that? Just force yourself to swallow it until eventually you like it better.

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    Veteran Member Devil505's Avatar
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    If you believe your security blanket will protect you from harm do you really need any other protection?
    The GOP says no. (Healthcare for example)
    Last edited by Devil505; 1st March 2018 at 06:43 AM.
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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    I once decided to like flavored seltzer instead of sugary soda. It was pretty painful at first, but eventually my taste changed. Maybe it's like that? Just force yourself to swallow it until eventually you like it better.
    You didn't "decide to like" flavored seltzer. You decided to acclimate yourself to the taste. Slight difference.

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    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    You didn't "decide to like" flavored seltzer. You decided to acclimate yourself to the taste. Slight difference.
    Well I made the decision that I consumed too much sugar, and that I would have to learn to like seltzer. And I did.

    Obviously there is a difference between that and deciding to believe in religion, but that's why I said "maybe it's like that?"
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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueneck View Post
    I saw this headline:

    Chaffetz: Florida school shooting survivors 'need a belief in God and Jesus Christ'


    If you don't believe God exists, how can you just decide to believe he does?

    Or is it a "fake it till you make it" thing?
    Fucking fascist dickhead needs a good few weeks in the proper environments.

    As a prisoner in a maximum security prison.

    As a homeless man in, say, D.C. or Chicago.

    As an infantryman in the U.S. Army in Syria.

    His brand of tragedy whoring is especially revolting to me.
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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    Well I made the decision that I consumed too much sugar, and decided that I would have to learn to like seltzer. And I did. Obviously there is a difference between that and deciding to believe in religion, but that's why I said "maybe it's like that?"
    My issues of "Freethought Today"* frequently feature essays from those who have given up on their religion, explaining how and why they made their decision. So on the surface, it appears to be possible.



    * The newsletter of the Freedom from Religion Foundation

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Remember Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? I think most human adults have a "spiritual" side. The urge to come up with the meaning of life, decide what you think is moral and immoral, etc.

    And unless you live under a rock on a deserted island, this also involves considering the religious beliefs you are hectored to adopt.

    In the West, that's most likely some form of Christianity.

    So, asking seems normal. What you ask and how you ask seems like a choice.

    But belief? In the Christian versions of religion? Can you choose to actually believe that?

    I don't think so. But you can choose to pretend you do.
    Thanks from Blueneck

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