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bejjinks

We cannot choose what we believe

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Pavanne wrote:

But to try and conclude from this that there is no choice is not only erroneous, you just can't get there from here.

 

This is what I was referring to in my post. You said that I conclude that there i no choice. If you had read what I wrote, you would have seen that I said we do have a choice. We cannot choose what we believe but we can choose how we handle evidence.

Your messages are failing because you are completely missing the point.

Of course some Balkans chose to look at the evidence and therefore rejected racism. What I'm saying is they didn't one day wake up and say, "I think I'll be a racist today" and then wake up another day and say, "I think I'll stop being a racist today."

First they examined their beliefs. That is a choice. Examining their beliefs led to a change of beliefs.

Hypothetical: Someone chooses to let his dog outside without a leash and this choice leads to his dog being picked up by the pound. That person didn't choose to have his dog picked up by the pound but he did have a choice that led to his dog being picked up by the pound.

What I am saying is we choose to examine evidence and by examining evidence, that leads to a change of belief. We didn't choose the belief but we chose to examine the evidence that led to the change of belief.

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bejjinks wrote:

Pavanne wrote:

But to try and conclude from this that there is no choice is not only erroneous, you just can't get there from here.

 

This is what I was referring to in my post. You said that I conclude that there i no choice. If you had read what I wrote, you would have seen that
I said we do have a choice. We cannot choose what we believe but we can choose how we handle evidence.

Your messages are failing because you are completely missing the point.

Of course some Balkans chose to look at the evidence and therefore rejected racism. What I'm saying is they didn't one day wake up and say, "I think I'll be a racist today" and then wake up another day and say, "I think I'll stop being a racist today."

First they examined their beliefs. That is a choice. Examining their beliefs led to a change of beliefs.

Hypothetical: Someone chooses to let his dog outside without a leash and this choice leads to his dog being picked up by the pound. That person didn't choose to have his dog picked up by the pound but he did have a choice that led to his dog being picked up by the pound.

What I am saying is
we choose to examine evidence and by examining evidence, that leads to a change of belief
. We didn't choose the belief but we chose to examine the evidence that led to the change of belief.

It seems to me that any reasonably intelligent person who chooses to examine evidence that challenges their beliefs has allowed for the possibility that the evidence will be strong enough to make them reconsider. So, people can indeed choose to change their beliefs. Whether they do so without reason, or by purposely exposing themselves to ideas they think might change their mind, makes no difference.

From my vantage point in this discussion, you have either contradicted yourself, or suggested that people are witless.

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bejjinks wrote:

Pavanne wrote:

 

This is what I was referring to in my post. You said that I conclude that there i no choice. If you had read what I wrote, you would have seen that I said we do have a choice.
We cannot choose what we believe
but we can choose how we handle evidence.

Your messages are failing because you are completely missing the point.

Of course some Balkans chose to look at the evidence and therefore rejected racism. What I'm saying is they didn't one day wake up and say, "I think I'll be a racist today" and then wake up another day and say, "I think I'll stop being a racist today."

 

Not to belabor the point, but I responded to your thrice repeated statement—actually four times counting the one I bolded here—'we cannot choose what we believe". I said that we can. It matters not.

You're still preaching. If you'd like to use my examples in a future sermon, please do a little research: the peoples of what is commonly called The Balkans are not really even ethnically diverse, let alone racially (as in being of different 'racial' stock under the current and constantly changing definitions). Their divisions are based on something other than how they look.

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Holy crap! I thought I held the record for long-winded posts, but this beats me by miles.

People are free to believe anything they want.

The Aztecs, for example, believed that the Sun shed its blood to create the Earth and that for the Earth to survive (not be destroyed by the Sun), man must shed his blood in repayment. Because the belief was so intrenched, no one dared to test it. The situation lasted a couple hundred years until Cortez put a bullet in their heads.

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bejjinks wrote:


Celestiall Nightfire wrote:

I agree!  So, you're now an atheist same as me right? 

Because, if you would honestly look at the evidence, without dogma, with bias, without coercion, then you would come to the same beliefs I have. 

 

 

(Do I even need to point out the failure of your logic?)

You BELIEVE that "if you would honestly look at the evidence, without dogma, without bias, without coercion, then you would come to the same beliefs I have. "

Don't forget the word believe. It's an important word. If I had neglected to say the word believe than I would have been making a statement and than you would be right to point out the illogic behind my statement. But I wasn't making a statement. I was expressing a belief and with beliefs, you are free to have a different belief.

I was only expressing the belief
to explain why I don't feel the need to be coercive
. I was not stating that you should believe as I do.

Nonsense. 

Here is your whole sentence: "But I will only stand against coercion because I believe that if people would honestly look at the evidence without dogma, without bias, without coercion, than people would come to the same beliefs I have."

The word "believe" only makes your case weaker.

You "believe" that the reason you don't need to be coercive, is that people would come to the same beliefs as you.   You wrote that, and are now trying to backtrack. 

Your whole case is illogical.  If it can apply to anyone and anything, it is meaningless.   So, I can turn your "logic" around and use it to say to you, "But I will only stand against coercion because I believe that if people would honestly look at the evidence without dogma, without bias, without coercion, than people would come to the same beliefs I have."

Yet, you or others would not come to the same beliefs as I, because we each come to our own different conclusions.

Plus, your reason for standing against coercion is a pitifully poor one.  You only stand against coercion because you think that people will end up thinking like you.  I find that an immoral reason.   The reason to stand against coercion is that using coercion is wrong. 

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No, I'm merely pointing out how inneffective coercion is. You can't force someone to change their mind because minds don't change as easily as flipping a coin. So it is a valid point to say that people can choose to "purposely exposing themselves to ideas they think might change their mind". It does not contradict what I said because I was talking about coerced or forced changes of belief.

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What you are doing is taking a single sentence of what I said and treating it as if it was the whole point of what I said. The truth is, you can throw out that sentence completely for all I care, because it has almost nothing to do with my point.

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Arkady Arkright wrote:


16 wrote:

 

looks like you maybe missed the point again. but is ok

 Nope - my point is :

16 wrote:

 

 the nature of religious truths


 What is a 'religious truth' ?  How does it differ from any other 'truth' ? Truth is simply a hypothesis supported by evidence. Anything else is mere supposition - how can there be a serious field of study of such a nebulous thing ?

 

religious truths

the word truths is used as a polite form by scholars and academics and scientists in all kinds of fields. has to do with the search for truth. in the search for truth any untruths discovered are a by-product of the search. some people like to concentrate solely on discovering untruths. is way more tho who prefer not to limit themselves in this way  

+

about the why do people bother with truths/untruths in nebulous fields:

what is truth?

the truth is that which is true

some people have come out with whole other elaborate ways to define truth. but for me personally, Occam's Razor and all that

+

if is physical then we measure it. is how we do it in hard science. hard science is the study of physical things. because stuff is physical then is trivial to proof the truth of them by physical measurement

+

so next step up. how do we determine the truth of a non-physical thing and proof it either way?

can use peano arithmetic and model it and then proof it

1 + 1 = 2. 2 = 1 + 1

the statements are true. why? bc of the axioms and the rules of peano arithmetic as they apply to the symbols 1 and 2 and the operator +. altogether with everything else peano this is a formal system

is other forms of math as well tho. what they have in common with peano is that the axioms and rules are consistently applied so to provide consistent results within the constraints and limitations of a formal system

it can be shown that because mathematics is a formal system then not everything can be proofed within it by its own axioms and rules. can read up on Godel, Markov and others for why this is the case

+

how can we know the truth of a non-physical something that cannot be proofed, either way, by physical measure or by mathematical model?

said another way. how can we measure a thought that falls outside of these formal systems?

+

in school we taught to use logic. logic is a formal system that can be applied to measure thoughts. it has axioms and rules as well. break the rules in constructing an argument and the conclusion is invalid by the rules. dont even matter if the actual conclusion is actual true in itself all by itself. example using arithmetic

3 = true bc 3 = 3

1 = true bc 1 = 1. (1 + 1) = true bc (1 + 1) = (1 + 1)

so here is 2 provably true statements by the rules

where it goes wrong most times is making an invalid logic association between 2 true statements

(true + true) = (true)

is provably false this statement in many cases

(1 + 1) = (3) is not true bc of the rules

can make a semantic argument by some other rules that (1 = true bc 1 = 1) is invalid but that a whole other debate. Occam again.

+

ok so now more tl;dr about theology and why is important. theology is important. not the religions themselves

this whole thread is about what OP assert. am just in here (same like in the other thread other day) to see if is any formal basis for his assertion. seems not so far

+

but anyways. consider logic applied to this:

axiom/rule 1: there is a God

axiom/rule 2: the Bible is the Word of God

assert: we cannot choose what we believe

using these axiom/rule alone then can proof the assertion to be false

+

axiom/rule 1: there is a God

axiom/rule 2: the Bible is not the Word of God (so is irrelevant to what we do know about what God knows. we know nothing)

leaving only axiom/rule 1

assert: we cannot choose what we believe

the axiom/rule 1 is a invalid association to any conclusion, right or wrong, we might draw from this assertion. is invalid bc we now have no way of knowing what God knows

maybe in the absence of the Word he somehow tells us directly. in this case tho is still invalid unless we add a new axiom/rule

axiom/rule 1: there is a God

axiom/rule 2: i have a direct phone to God that no one else can see or listen in on

assert: we cannot choose what we believe

God told me so on this phone

+

final one

axiom/rule 1: there is no God

axiom/rule 2: the Bible is not the Word of God

assert: we cannot choose what we believe

is now no theological basis for the assertion at all

however we can proof the assertion in this final case, either way, by other axiom/rule

+

quite a few people jump straight to the final one and totally dismiss anything else automatically. is ok that they do this

i personal like to think about these kinds of things and try to figure them out

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Yes, as a matter of fact I did read you post. I was tempted to write tl;dr but it wasn't true. And you took advantage of more than one logical fallacy in your arguments.

First you appealed to an authority, yourself, that brainwashing could not be the reason for so many believers.

Then you drew a false conclusion that because it wasn't brainwashing or deception that there must be something to it, some evidence.

From there you took a leap and pronounced that we cannot choose what we believe, we have this evidence which forces us to believe something. That is the logical fallacy called false cause, presuming that a real or perceived relationship between things means that one is the cause of the other.

From there you went on to argue that if one examines the evidence properly one cannot help but conclude as you did that there is a deity you call God and that it's real. That's called begging the question. And that is why I say to you - nice try.

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16 wrote:


Arkady Arkright wrote:


16 wrote:

 

 the nature of religious truths


 What is a 'religious truth' ?  How does it differ from any other 'truth' ? Truth is simply a hypothesis supported by evidence. Anything else is mere supposition - how can there be a serious field of study of such a nebulous thing ?

 

religious truths

the word truths is used as a polite form by scholars and academics and scientists in all kinds of fields. has to do with the search for truth. in the search for truth any untruths discovered are a by-product of the search. some people like to concentrate solely on discovering untruths. is way more tho who prefer not to limit themselves in this way  

axiom/rule 1: there is a God

axiom/rule 2: the Bible is the Word of God
axiom/rule 1: there is a God

axiom/rule 2: the Bible is not the Word of God (so is irrelevant to what we do know about what God knows. we know nothing)
axiom/rule 1: there is a God

axiom/rule 2: i have a direct phone to God that no one else can see or listen in on


Axiom: A proposition assumed to be true {my bold} ref: (http://thesaurus.yourdictionary.com)

And that's where the whole religion thing fails - there is no logical reason to assume any of these axioms is correct, it's all a matter of opinion (and indoctrination). 

 


16 wrote:

personal like to think about these kinds of things and try to figure them out

 

Me too.

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Arkady Arkright wrote:


16 wrote:


Arkady Arkright wrote:


16 wrote:

 

 the nature of religious truths


 What is a 'religious truth' ?  How does it differ from any other 'truth' ? Truth is simply a hypothesis supported by evidence. Anything else is mere supposition - how can there be a serious field of study of such a nebulous thing ?

 

religious truths

the word truths is used as a polite form by scholars and academics and scientists in all kinds of fields. has to do with the search for truth. in the search for truth any untruths discovered are a by-product of the search. some people like to concentrate solely on discovering untruths. is way more tho who prefer not to limit themselves in this way  

axiom/rule 1: there is a God

axiom/rule 2: the Bible is the Word of God
axiom/rule 1: there is a God

axiom/rule 2: the Bible is not the Word of God (so is irrelevant to what we do know about what God knows. we know nothing)
axiom/rule 1: there is a God

axiom/rule 2: i have a direct phone to God that no one else can see or listen in on


Axiom: A proposition
assumed
to be true {my bold}
ref: (

And that's where the whole religion thing fails - there is no logical reason to assume any of these axioms is correct, it's all a matter of opinion (and indoctrination). 

 

16 wrote:

personal like to think about these kinds of things and try to figure them out

 

Me too.


 

try the Oxford dictionary

+

noun

a statement or proposition which is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true:

 - the axiom that sport builds character

 - chiefly Mathematics a statement or proposition on which an abstractly defined structure is based.

+

you mixing up your axioms and your assertions

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16 wrote:

try the Oxford dictionary

+

noun

a statement or proposition which is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true:

 - the axiom that sport builds character

 - chiefly Mathematics a statement or proposition on which an abstractly defined structure is based.

+

you mixing up your axioms and your assertions

You pick your dictionary, I'll pick mine...

 

If I don't believe your axiom to be true, then to me it isn't an axiom,  merely an assertion.

 

 

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bejjinks wrote:


Deja Letov wrote:

I think I understand what you meant when you say it, but as Celestiall stated, her argument is valid is well. But here is the only problem I see with this thought. As a Christian, you don't have to use any coercion type tactics to try and sway people into believing what you believe because you have the bible to do it for you. It's a main reason why people who are debating religion always quote the bible. The bible is one of the biggest methods of coercion known to man. It uses fear and punishment to coerce and has since it's inception.  It's probably the single biggest reason why religion has survived as long as it has.

 

It depends on how you use the Bible. I admit that some people use the Bible in a coercive way but that doesn't make the Bible coercive. People can  and do use sticks in a coercive way. Should we ban all sticks because of how they can be used?

Those that use the Bible in a coercive manner are often people who pick and choose certain verses and take those verses out of context. They are fond of certain passages that they can use to prove their biased view. They frequently search the Bible looking for passages that support what they already believe blinding themselves to any scriptural passage that they disagree with. They are as bad in the way they handle scripture as they are in the way they handle evidence.


Well first, who said anything about banning anything? Yes sticks can be coercive I suppose if you used in a coercive manner. but that stick in it's general form is not coercive. If you look at a stick is it coercive? If you break it open and investigate what's inside is it coercive? Of course not.  The bible is coercive wether you choose to use it that way or not, simply by its content.

But it was coercive for a reason. The bible was written almost a century after jesus was supposed to have died, not by God, but by man. It was a form of social control at the time.  Society needed order and needed to be controlled and what better way to do so than with the threat of eternal damnation? Also keep in mind, the bible has been rewritten by man countless times to appease our needs and desires as times have changed. Look at the old testament for example...if you lived by that book, you would be deprived of BACON! Who wants that? You would also be wearing some pretty shabby single fabric clothing too. Man wanted change so all of a sudden a new book comes out and says "oh by the way, God says it's ok now, so go on with your bad selves". uhm no...we just wanted to eat bacon damn it! To be honest, I think during those times, it was probably a good thing the bible was used for this purpose and it was as coercieve as it was. People were downright horrible to eachother and felt no consequences for their actions. Unfortunately, it became so believed that it's carried it's way forward. But I think if you watch the world around you, the reason religious debate has become such a hot topic lately is because people are starting to reconsider, think for themselves, not be afraid of what happens when we die and maybe start seeing things for what the reality of it is rather than a story told by someone.

 

If you take away even the issue of debating if a God event exists or not, let's just look at the bible as a book by itself. Why would it be called something to control the masses with (coercion)? Well, take a look at any religion...every religion in fact. All religions are defined by humans. It is a known fact, that the bible was written by humans and its laws or rules were enforced by people who held leadership positions of religious power (Catholic church is famous for this). These powerful people who held these positions wanted to keep their powerful positions, so what better way to do that then to call these texts "sacred" and "the word of God". Nobody in that time would dispute it and live to tell about it. This is the perfect way to retain power and maintain social control of the people. And if you read the bible, you will see towards the beginning there is a whole lot of human interaction where God is present. This is a great way to "prove" he was there and in the stories. But the further you get into the bible, the more isolated God becomes in the stories, until he completely disappears all together. How does this tie into social control and coercion? Well, as the stories unfold, we are presented with the reason why he has disappeared, but due to the stories, we see he was once there...wasn't he? By removing all access to God in human form, nobody can any longer demand proof. This important part of the story alone is why the belief in him is as strong as it is and why religion has survived as long as it has...which has nothing to do with brainwashing by the way. It's simply unanswerable if you believe the bible to be true. Think about it...if it was never written that we couldn't have access to God in human form, people would be questioning it quite a bit more, since he's not made an appearance since way back in the day. And even sneakier in the bible, let's not forget that it states that basically anyone who challenges the bible should not be trusted or believed. Voila! Social contol.

Keeping in mind that coercion is "the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force." Other words used for coercion - browbeating, bullying, duress, force, intimidation, threatening, pressure. Knowing that, the bible is full of coercion right there in the pages. Christians don't have to quote it, don't have to read it, don't have to shove the bible down someone's throat, it's all there in black and white. If you'd like specific examples I can certainly list them, but since so many here seem to be knowledgeable in the bible I'm sure you can figure out stories such as God burdens women with great difficulty in childbirth and the slave-like submission to their husbands; and men with eternal toil and labor until the day that he dies and of course lets not forget the HUGE amount of power he has by punishing our children for the sins of their parents down to the 3rd and 4th generation! That is a huge amount of punishment and fear and is a definite sign of coercion. And have you also noticed that the bible is really big on making sure that humans are put in their place and at no time are meant to think they can be strong physically or mentally? It's said throughout the bible that one should always find their strength in God and to look to God when weak or in need. Talk about co-dependent behavior. The goal in the bible is to retain as much power over the people as possible and goes so far as to demand complete acceptance of the word of God and the bible, in fact you aren't technically even spposed to discuss other possibilies (which makes this thread all the more interesting to me), the bible preaches instead that you should simply have spiritual conviction and faith instead of having any sort of independent thought.

 

 

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bejjinks wrote:

Pavanne wrote:

But to try and conclude from this that there is no choice is not only erroneous, you just can't get there from here.

 

This is what I was referring to in my post. You said that I conclude that there i no choice. If you had read what I wrote, you would have seen that I said we do have a choice. We cannot choose what we believe but we can choose how we handle evidence.

Your messages are failing because you are completely missing the point.

Of course some Balkans chose to look at the evidence and therefore rejected racism. What I'm saying is they didn't one day wake up and say, "I think I'll be a racist today" and then wake up another day and say, "I think I'll stop being a racist today."

First they examined their beliefs. That is a choice. Examining their beliefs led to a change of beliefs.

Hypothetical: Someone chooses to let his dog outside without a leash and this choice leads to his dog being picked up by the pound. That person didn't choose to have his dog picked up by the pound but he did have a choice that led to his dog being picked up by the pound.

What I am saying is we choose to examine evidence and by examining evidence, that leads to a change of belief. We didn't choose the belief but we chose to examine the evidence that led to the change of belief.

This seems very contradictory. You say "We cannot choose what we believe but we can choose how we handle evidence." To me that is the same thing as choosing what we believe. Why wouldn't we be able to chosoe what to believe? I think this is more opinion based than anything and while it may be true for you, don't assume to make that decision for everyone because it simply isn't true.

 

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bejjinks wrote:

No, I'm merely pointing out how inneffective coercion is. You can't force someone to change their mind because minds don't change as easily as flipping a coin. So it is a valid point to say that people can choose to "purposely exposing themselves to ideas they think might change their mind". It does not contradict what I said because I was talking about coerced or forced changes of belief.

Totally wrong. Again, your posting opinions not fact. There are a great many people who would disagree and have studies, research and experience to back it  up. Coercion is HIGHLY effective. And you can influence someone to change their mind by strong methods of coercion. Heck, the term coercion is used in courts all the time as a defence against something. it's also used in torture. And as I've mention...in the bible. :)

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Everyone is wrong but me..believe me when i say this..now get back to work!! \o/

bunch'a slackers!! :P

 

now you have to face mah Wrath of angry babies!!

 

let this be a warning  to FEAR!!! for i shall resort to harsher means..  like Angry old ladies next time if you do not seek the rightious path which i have laid out for THEE !! \o/

 

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You certainly can choose what you believe in.   Throughout the history of mankind, people have lived under the dominance of Christianity, Islam, National Socialism, Socialism, Communism and on and on and on.  Even with empirical proof that none of these systems succeed without the enslavement of mind and body, there are those who continue to believe.

Some convert and accept  the systems they are forced to live under.   Some because they have weak minds and are successfully indoctrinated into those beliefs.  Some present a belief, though they aren't true adherents.  They espouse a belief simply to survive.

Yet despite coercion, torture and the threat of death, there are always those who resist the beliefs of those who surround and control their very existence.   Call it intelligence, force of will or the human spirit, some people refuse to knuckle under regardless of the pressures place upon them.   

You always have a choice in what you believe or don't believe.  What you do with that choice in up to you.

 

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Arkady Arkright wrote:


16 wrote:

try the Oxford dictionary

+

noun

a statement or proposition which is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true:

 - the axiom that sport builds character

 - chiefly Mathematics a statement or proposition on which an abstractly defined structure is based.

+

you mixing up your axioms and your assertions

You pick your dictionary, I'll pick mine...

 

If I don't believe your axiom to be true, then to me it isn't an axiom,  merely an assertion.

 

 

is not my dictionary. is the Oxford dictionary. the one that formalised the english language and the meaning of english words into the standard form as we know them today. if you disagree with the Oxford dictionary then you can take it up with the editors and scholars who maintain it

+

they arent my axioms either btw. i just used then to proof OPs assertion

can you proof your assertion that these are not axioms but assertions as you claim? if your assertion is true then you will be able to proof it by the rule of construction. every assertion that is an actual assertion can be proofed in this way. if you cannot proof it then it is not an assertion. its nothing and therefore irrelevant. in formal debate anyways

edit: can try the easy one first:

assertion: there is no God

 

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16 wrote:

edit: can try the easy one first:

assertion: there is no God

 

 

There's no way we can have an intelligent discussion on that topic without determining what sort if God there may be or not be. The word "God" can be applied to everything from old-guy-on-a-cloud who created the Universe as a sort of craft project to something like the Hindu Brahman, which is a sort of creative force so huge and incomprehensible that according to some schools it can't even be THOUGH about by our little minds - as soon as you think you're thinking about Brahman, you're actually thinking about a sort of fake or decaffeinated shadow of Brahman because we can't handle the whole thing.

It's like talking about a "door" - that sounds like an easy concept at first, but what's the nature of a door? Is the big thing on your garage a door? Very different than the one you first thought of, probably. How about a cat door? Or Ray Manzarek?

Any religion can be shot down if take the teachings literally. Metaphorically? Harder to take down. And if you look at a lot of religions when you get past a literal interpretation of the words a lot of them seem to be reaching toward something that sounds pretty similar.

 

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It looks like there is a misunderstanding about what "choose what we believe" means.

 

I'm agnostic, and I would love to believe in God, but I just can't, the idea of the existence of God doesn't make sense to me.

If I could choose, I would believe in God, believing in an afterlife and knowing we go somewhere after we die is much more attractive to me, but like I said, I can't believe in it.

My logic makes me unable to believe in what I want to believe in, and I think that's what the OP meant, we cannot choose what we believe in, just like we don't choose what our favourite color is, or what food or music we prefer, etc.

In the case of religion, it can only change through self-convincing ourselves by reading others opinions and arguments, and not just because we want it.

I think it's just the way we are and the way our brains acknowlege and understand the different informations or 'evidences' coming from all sides. We don't choose our tastes and appreciations of things deep inside of ourselves.

Now, if what you believe in is exactly what you want to believe in, of course you will have the illusion that you chose what you believe in, but I don't think it's that simple.

 

While I don't share the OP's beliefs, I think this is what he meant. Or maybe I'm just an unlucky person with the inability to choose...

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