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How much of what you believe came from someone else?

 
 
Treya
 
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 04:24 pm
I have a question I've been thinking about lately. The title of this thread. For years I went to church. I was engrossed in it. I rarely go to church anymore. I still believe in God. I still love Him. However, once I became separated from the "institution" of the church I began to see things a lot differently and realized that a lot of what I believed was merely because the guy standing behind the pulpit said it was true. I had never actually researched any of it on my own. So I'd like to throw this out there. How much of what you believe came from someone else? A book, a preacher, a teacher, a friend? How much of what you believe came from actually looking at things and making your own decision about it?
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 04:31 pm
Hi heph,

When you use the word "believe" are you referring to faith based belief or.......? Can you define your terms please:

1) To accept as true or real: Do you believe the news stories?
2) To credit with veracity: I believe you.
3) To expect or suppose; think: I believe they will arrive shortly.
4) To have firm faith, especially religious faith.
5) To have faith, confidence, or trust: I believe in your ability to solve the problem.
6) To have confidence in the truth or value of something: We believe in free speech.
7) To have an opinion; think: They have already left, I believe.
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 04:35 pm
I mean what I perceive(d) to be the truth.
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 04:41 pm
My perception of things that I believe are true come from the sources and/or senses and/or internalized critical thinking that I consider most reliable. Does that help?
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 05:02 pm
Let me give an example of what I am talking about:

Through-out the years I was very involved in the church I was taught that the "church" is the covering of God for the believers. I was taught that to go outside of that "covering" was foolish because if we left it God was no longer obligated to "protect" us. So we were putting ourselves open to the attacks of satan. When I decided to leave the church, it was not an easy decision for me because of some of the things I believed. At the first thought of leaving I was immediately filled with fear because of what I had been taught.

After being separated for awhile I began to realize, "Hey, I'm still alive. I still have everything I had while I was going to church. Where is this attack from satan that I have been expecting?" (not that I wanted anything like that, mind you) So I began to search the bible to find out where it talked about the "church" being the "covering" of God for believers. My search came up empty. I found no where that it ever states in the bible anything referring to the church and covering in the same statement. So I began to question why it was I had believed this for so long. I realized. It was because I had so much faith in the person behind the pulpit that I never thought to question what he proposed to be the truth. I never thought to research it myself. So with out even realizing it I was living in fear of something that isn't true.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 05:07 pm
I had a great time in college, but the guidance on how to think critically and the instruction on why it is important to think critically are probably the biggest benefits I got from it. There are very few things I accept without question, from any source.
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Chumly
 
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Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 05:20 pm
I rarely, if ever, have so much faith in anything that I believe it 100% regardless of who says it, or what the source is.

I call it being healthy.

I have a whole series of different "filters" to help me decide what things are more likely to be true and what things are less likely to be true. I also go by the premise that the more extraordinary the claim the more extraordinary must be the proof.

This quote may be apt even if the initial intent was not meant to apply to how to decide what to believe:

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" Thomas Jefferson

Do you want to know more about these "filters"?
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 05:27 pm
Yes, I would like to know more about these filters. Smile
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 05:29 pm
I would have to see good accurate statistical documentation that people who left the church became "Satan-ized".
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 05:35 pm
LOL Good point. However, I must then ask how do we know that those who are doing the statistics are giving us accurate information?
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Doktor S
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 05:35 pm
I'm thoroughly 'Satanized' and I've never set foot in a church...

Anyway, as for the original question ;How much of what you believe came from actually looking at things and making your own decision about it? , I would have to say 'most of it'
But breaking free of programming is a never ending process. There are SO many things we take as 'givens' that really aren't, once examined.
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 05:41 pm
Good point Dok. I don't believe that church is the only source of programming within this world. But I do believe it is a big source for many. Can I ask what sort of sources of programming you have had to break free from?
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 05:44 pm
Excellent question. I've determined on my own that belief in religion is an accident of birth. In other words, if one is born in the US, it's a good chance you will be brought up as a christian like your family, since the majority in the US are christians. If you happend to be born in China or Japan, it's more than likely you would have become a buddhist, shinto, taoist, or confucianist - just like your parents and siblings.

If you were to have been born in South America, it's a good chance you'll believe in the catholic doctrines.

Not many change into other religions or become agnostic or atheist after having grown up with one religion or another.

Considering all this, after having been a buddhist and a christian - following our mother's beliefs, I have become an atheist. All my siblings are still christians - married to christians, and their children all follow the christian religion.

I wonder what would have happened if our mother converted to muslim/islam?
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Treya
 
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Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 05:54 pm
You could very well be right about this CI. But what about those who are converted to a particular religion after having known none? I never knew anything about religion growing up except that on christmas eve and easter we had to go to this place (the church) and sit for what seemed like forever, and listen to some guy talk. I hated it. I was converted to christianity when I was 19 because I saw something real in God that I had never seen before in my life.
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 05:54 pm
Right you are, now you are on the right path because maybe they do not know what they are doing, or they have an agenda that biases them.

My wife is religious and so she often asks me the same sort of things you ask here, how can I really know.

Another decent place to start is to "define your terms". That is why I keep grabbing stuff from the dictionary and pooping it into the threads, because we must have common ground to communicate.

I truly respect your efforts to think for yourself and come to your own conclusions. If you spend enough time with thoughtful intelligent people who do not have an agenda and are not overtly dogmatic you will learn to think for yourself and not play follow the leader.

Reading is a great way to expand the old brain. Choose well respected authors again who are not overtly dogmatic and who do not have an agenda. Explain what you said earlier to an open minded librarian.

You do not have to agree with another person and in fact it is more fun if you do not, but you need to be able to demonstrate your point to the best of your ability and this takes time and practice but it's worth it.

There are a lot of smart people on this site that you can test you skills on. It will go even better if you choose some of the books the librarian suggests. Me I am a die hard Isaac Asimov fan and he has written a wonderful book on the bible called "Asimov's Guide to the Bible" but I like his Science books and his Science fiction books the best. Also try this book Isaac Asimov's "Science, Numbers & I".
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Doktor S
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 05:58 pm
Quote:

Can I ask what sort of sources of programming you have had to break free from?

It is literally everywhere. Religion is one factor, but the media in general is worse. Advertising, television, MTV culture, McCulture....
Society tells us what to wear, what not to wear, what parts of the body are 'obscene', how we should look, act, think, what we should believe.
I have never been 'programmed' as per a religious sense, but by being raised in a society I have been heavily subject to it's influence. This molds the mind into patterns, patterns mimicked by everyone else.
I endeavor to closely examine these patterns and work to discard the ones that I cannot justify.
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 06:00 pm
Quote:
I endeavor to closely examine these patterns and work to discard the ones that I cannot justify.


I think we're on the same page with this Dok!

I hate to do this but I have to go for now. I'll be back a little later to catch up if you all continue on with this. Thanks guys. Smile
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 06:04 pm
To argue with someone constructively, you cannot simply say you read it somewhere, or that the Bible tells you.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 06:08 pm
If we look at human history, no matter what part of the world, most believed in some form of god or gods. It seems to be a inherent need of humans to want something that's bigger than ourselves. The promise of an afterlife and the fear of hell are good motivations for most humans that must have something more than what is obvious as a time-limited lifespan on earth.

As an atheist, I have no such illusion; when I die, I'm gone forever. Make the best one is able while we are alive on this planet. Some of us are fortunate to have been born or immigrated to a place like the US where opportunity and living conditions are better than most. Knock on wood.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 06:15 pm
c.i.wrote-

Quote:
Excellent question. I've determined on my own that belief in religion is an accident of birth. In other words, if one is born in the US, it's a good chance you will be brought up as a christian like your family, since the majority in the US are christians. If you happend to be born in China or Japan, it's more than likely you would have become a buddhist, shinto, taoist, or confucianist - just like your parents and siblings.


And if you had been born in Bootle there's a good chance you would be a football hooligan and beer monster.

Why do you always go for the mystical option c.i.?
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