Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What makes a belief acceptable?

(Warning this thought isn't as flushed out as I would like it, I hope I can be granted some latitude, I hope to further refine this through some discussion and repost a revised copy in the future, so let us debate)

I cannot disprove that Heavens gate cult dressed up in Nikes and killed themselves allowing their bodies to transcend time and space into a spaceship that was trailing a comet. They could be on a sweet ship cruising around the universe. It could have happened, but I do not believe that is what happened. I believe that they were mentally disturbed, that their longing to believe and be accepted lead them into a situation where they were taken advantage of for someone elses gain. Why do people dismiss the belief in the space ship they died for, but will fight to the death for the promise of some paradise in the next life? Does that not sound just as obscene? It lacks just as much evidence. They would have me believe that this world is nothing more than an entrance exam into a garden paradise. That life is reduced to checkbox of do you believe yes or no? I hear the argument all of time that God makes life worth living...I think the belief in god diminishes the value life insomuch that a belief in eternal existence lessens the value of a fixed duration of time which is your life...rambling...so....

This led me to the thinking of what constitutes a belief? What makes it ok to believe in something?
Is it ok to believe in something because many other people do? (Heavens gate members outnumbered the apostles and it took a while for that message of Christianity to catch on maybe the next time the comet passes millions will believe in it?) I do not believe that either. I think the apostles sound just as insane as any member of heavens gate cult does. I mean it is not as if anybody in the New Testament is an authoritative figure in science...fishermen tax collectors, no doctors where available? Wait that is probably a good thing since medical practice was quite antiquated...hopefully we have learned in the last 2000 years that health has nothing to do with demon possession. Numbers do influencee belief, the more people believe in something the more acceptablee it is to hold that believe, note that this is not the same thing as the belief being true..and since it is not a measure of something being true the amount of people who believe in something is not a good indication thatI should believe in it.

Mythology,Legend or Ritual?
Should I believe in something because of ancient writing and landmarks or simply because it has, been done for so long? Zeus had his own Mt Zion called Olympus stories of his great works were acted out on stage and told to children. Oracles communicated with him. Followers saw evidence of spats in the heavens with lightening and thunder and then suddenly he feel out of histories favor. Authority in Rome said Christianity was to be the law of the land (Most Religious Leaders and Worshipers would be well advised to study this period. Note the Canonization Process, Formation of the Church, the actual creation of the new testament (since it was written down decades after the death of Christ) the dissolving of divergent Christian sects that all were founded by apostles with radically different beliefs than we hold today)

So is it authority should I believe what someone else says because they are in a position of authority? This is a tricky question I would say yes and no. I would say no if it was forced and non-transparent. I would say yes if that person is an expert and leaves the process open to debate, challenge, explanation...but this would not suppose authority it would suppose proof!

Proof? (Or at least supported conjecture)
This is what should quantify belief (IMO) that there is enough empirical evidence to support a conjecture.


Rocketstar said...


I am saying this sincerely, that is the best blog entry you have created so far.

You have spelled it out simply, perfectly and logically.

Anyone who doesn't see it, just doesn't see it. There is nothing you or I can do to clean thier windshield of life.

Any human that believes that a superior being, one that created the entire universe ( 90% of the human population does not even realize what that means) would give a flying FUCK if you spoke the human, english string of sounds - "God Damn it", should be ashamed of thier lack of existential curiosity.

As you stated, proof, reason, logic, well, they really don't hold a candle to an age long marketing campaign that promises all who believe, obey and give that what is valuable a everlong life of pleasure and happiness.

I mean, who can beat that, sign me up baby!!!


Rocketstar said...

OK, now for the sober response to your great posting.

I forget who said it, but, "As long as humans believe in that which can not be proven, we are all in danger." A book written by humans, qouting people who spoke an entirely different language, hundreds of years ago from when it was written, is not proof.

If God wants us to believe in him so badly that he will send us to hell if we do not, then why does he not make himself known? What is the point? What does our belief in him do for him? Is it a huge ego trip, what is the purpose of our belief?

It is all one big fairy tail that saps the true world consciousness that could actually be putting that power towards a possible true answer.

Sober Rocketstar.

Brian in Mpls said...

Rocketstar....you should start one of these I think you have a unique perspective on the world and we could link-up..