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rstrats
10-21-2014, 05:09 AM
A number of folks on these boards are saying or at least implying that they can consciously choose to believe things. If you are one of them, perhaps you might help me. I have never been able to consciously choose any of the beliefs that I have and I would like to be able to do that. If you think that you can consciously choose to believe things, I wonder if you might explain how you do it. What do you do at the last moment to instantly change your one state of belief to another? What is it that you do that would allow you to say, "OK, at this moment I have a lack of belief that 'x' exists or is true, but I choose to believe that 'x' exists or is true and now instantly at this new moment I do believe that 'x' exists or is true"?

Maybe you could use something like leprechauns to demonstrate your technique. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a leprechaun is "a fairy peculiar to Ireland, who appeared in the form of an old man of minute stature, wearing a cocked hat and a leather apron" and who hides his gold at the end of the rainbow and if captured has to grant three wishes. So, assuming that you don't already have a belief in them, how about right now, while you are reading this, choose to believe - be convinced without a doubt - that they exist. Now that you believe in leprechauns, my question is, how did you do it? How did you make the instantaneous transition from lack of belief to belief?

Paprika
10-21-2014, 06:01 AM
What do you mean by belief? Is it assent to propositions?

Littlejoe
10-21-2014, 06:06 AM
A conscious choice most often involves research and weighing between two or more choices to decide which one is most likely/probable given the evidence. Occasionally, there may be an epiphany event that pushes someone one way or the other...:nsm:

rstrats
10-21-2014, 06:37 AM
Paprika,

re: "What do you mean by belief?"

For the purpose of this topic I define belief as a conviction, without any doubt, that someone or something does or doesn't exist or that a certain proposition is or isn't true.

rstrats
10-21-2014, 06:42 AM
Littlejoe,

re: "A conscious choice most often involves research and weighing between two or more choices..."

That is correct. In order for something to be considered a choice, there must be at least two things to select from, and each one of the things has to be able to be selected.

Sparko
10-21-2014, 07:26 AM
Well you consider the evidence for and against something, then you decide whether to believe it or not. Everyone does it.

Think of a court of law. You hear evidence for someone being guilty and evidence for them being innocent. Then the jury weighs the evidence to make a decision.

I don't see the problem with making a conscious choice to believe something. Are you saying that you just believe by osmosis or something? You just sit there and all of a sudden you believe it for no apparent reason?

rstrats
10-21-2014, 09:46 AM
Sparko,

re: "I don't see the problem with making a conscious choice to believe something."

Then assuming you don't already have a belief in Leprechauns, you should have no trouble in demonstrating your ability as requested in the OP.

Paprika
10-21-2014, 09:49 AM
?"

For the purpose of this topic I define belief as a conviction, without any doubt, that someone or something does or doesn't exist or that a certain proposition is or isn't true.
Most of my beliefs aren't held with absolute certainty, so I find your conception of 'belief' unrealistic.

Sparko
10-21-2014, 10:09 AM
Sparko,

re: "I don't see the problem with making a conscious choice to believe something."

Then assuming you don't already have a belief in Leprechauns, you should have no trouble in demonstrating your ability as requested in the OP.

If you show me convincing evidence of Leprechauns, I will decide whether to believe in them or not.

Nobody ever claimed to just choose to believe for absofreakingly no reason at all. But when it comes down to it, you have to decide whether to accept the evidence for or against something as true or not and then make a decision to believe in it.

and thanks for ignoring most of my post.

rstrats
10-21-2014, 10:27 AM
Paprika,

re: "Most of my beliefs aren't held with absolute certainty, so I find your conception of 'belief' unrealistic."


So then John 3:16 could be written: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever thinks that there is a chance that He exists, even though they have doubts about it, should not perish but have everlasting life"?

Sparko
10-21-2014, 10:43 AM
Paprika,

re: "Most of my beliefs aren't held with absolute certainty, so I find your conception of 'belief' unrealistic."


So then John 3:16 could be written: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever thinks that there is a chance that He exists, even though they have doubts about it, should not perish but have everlasting life"?

belief is not "thinking there is a chance he exists" - but neither is it certainty. About the only thing you can be certain of is math.

Do you believe George Washington was the first US president? Why?
Do you believe it or just think there was a chance he was?

Paprika
10-21-2014, 10:45 AM
So then John 3:16 could be written: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever thinks that there is a chance that He exists, even though they have doubts about it, should not perish but have everlasting life"?
No, because John 3:16 isn't about belief in the existence of the Son.

Jedidiah
10-21-2014, 01:07 PM
A fascinating question, rstrats. A lot of it probably depends on definition. I am inclined to say that I do not really decide what to believe in most cases. When I am convinced of something, I believe it. You might say that choice comes in with conviction, but if so it is not really a conscious choice for me. It sort of happens at an instant usually, something somewhere in my mind flips like a switch and I now believe.


Well you consider the evidence for and against something, then you decide whether to believe it or not. Everyone does it.

Think of a court of law. You hear evidence for someone being guilty and evidence for them being innocent. Then the jury weighs the evidence to make a decision.

In a court of law things are a bit different. You consider the evidence and must choose one or the other. You may not be absolutely certain so belief here is more a tentative one.

I can only speak from my experience, of course. Most of my life from grade school on the main thrust of my interest was to understand the truth of how the world fit together. I did not choose to believe that the world did fit together in a way that could be understood - I just "knew" that it did from living in it. I started with science, moved on to various different efforts to understand that truth.

When I came to Christ I did not choose to believe, not consciously at any rate. All the pieces fell together at one moment and I realized that I did believe. Once you know that something is true there is no choice to believe. That has already taken place in the process of learning.

My experience and my opinion.

shunyadragon
10-21-2014, 02:56 PM
A conscious choice most often involves research and weighing between two or more choices to decide which one is most likely/probable given the evidence. Occasionally, there may be an epiphany event that pushes someone one way or the other...:nsm:

I believe I have for the most part and I have gone through a process since my late teens make a deliberate effort to evaluate and understand different beliefs and their variations. I had a Martial Arts teacher early that inspired me to question. He was a Buddhist and passed on the concepts impermanence and 'nothing is necessary.

My quest in a way is reflected in my history on Tweb. My interest here is in part wanting to have more insight into 'Why people believe as they do, and what is their justification for their belief system?'

The philosophical issue deeply involved here is 'What is Will? and is Will Free? My conclusion is 'We have a Will, but it is not necessarily 'Free.' There is a potential of Free Will, but it is illusive. My search in part came about by a satori, or sort of awakening when I realized that considering the diversity of human beliefs, and our fallibility we are most likely wrong about what we believe, and especially the beliefs we hold most dear.

The Vedic wise saying plays a role in this: The elephant is held by a chain when it is young, so that it may be securely held by a string as an adult.

rstrats
10-22-2014, 04:41 AM
Sparko,

re: "If you show me convincing evidence of Leprechauns, I will decide whether to believe in them or not."

If beliefs can be obtained by simply consciously choosing to have them, then evidence is not necessary - prudent in some cases, perhaps, but not necessary. However, even if it were necessary, how would you know when you had the convincing evidence? What would be the staie of your mind with regard to the issue in question at the moment you realized you had the convincing evidence?



re: "Nobody ever claimed to just choose to believe for absofreakingly no reason at all."

But could they? And anyway, in this topic there is a reason - and that reason is to demonstrate one's ability to consciously choose to believe something.



re: "and thanks for ignoring most of my post."

You're welcome. At the time I figured you'd be thankful for my not pointing out your failure to be responsive to my request in the OP.

rstrats
10-22-2014, 04:44 AM
Jedidiah,

re: "When I came to Christ I did not choose to believe, not consciously at any rate. All the pieces fell together at one moment and I realized that I did believe."

You're one of the few people that seems to understand the nature of belief.

rstrats
10-22-2014, 04:51 AM
Paprika,

re: "No, because John 3:16 isn't about belief in the existence of the Son."


What is "...whosoever believeth in him..." about?

Paprika
10-22-2014, 05:05 AM
Paprika,

re: "No, because John 3:16 isn't about belief in the existence of the Son."


What is "...whosoever believeth in him..." about?
I would say it is about Jesus being the Messiah, the Son of God.

rstrats
10-22-2014, 05:37 AM
Paprika,

re: "I would say it is about Jesus being the Messiah, the Son of God."

OK, so then John 3:16 could be written: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever thinks that there is a chance that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God - even though they have doubts about it - should not perish but have everlasting life"?

Paprika
10-22-2014, 05:39 AM
Paprika,

re: "I would say it is about Jesus being the Messiah, the Son of God."

OK, so then John 3:16 could be written: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever thinks that there is a chance that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God - even though they have doubts about it - should not perish but have everlasting life"?
Why should it be written in such a manner?

Sparko
10-22-2014, 06:02 AM
Sparko,

re: "If you show me convincing evidence of Leprechauns, I will decide whether to believe in them or not."

If beliefs can be obtained by simply consciously choosing to have them, then evidence is not necessary - prudent in some cases, perhaps, but not necessary. However, even if it were necessary, how would you know when you had the convincing evidence? What would be the staie of your mind with regard to the issue in question at the moment you realized you had the convincing evidence?

Huh? nobody ever said they simply chose to believe something with no evidence. Everyone will need reasons to believe something. But when you take all of the evidence together, you have to choose whether to believe the evidence or not. Sometimes this is just automatic and happens in an instant, which is what I believe Jed was saying. It just "clicks" - and sometimes you have to sit down and weigh the evidence and decide.


I assume you believe in evolution. Did you just wake up one day and believe in it without any evidence? Or did you read and study the evidence for and against it and decide that the evidence for it was more compelling than the evidence against it, and then chose to believe in evolution?




re: "Nobody ever claimed to just choose to believe for absofreakingly no reason at all."

But could they? And anyway, in this topic there is a reason - and that reason is to demonstrate one's ability to consciously choose to believe something.
Choosing because you believe the evidence is a conscious choice. Other people look at the same evidence and may decide not to believe it. So the evidence doesn't force you to believe.

JohnnyP
10-27-2014, 09:01 PM
Maybe you could use something like leprechauns to demonstrate your technique. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a leprechaun is "a fairy peculiar to Ireland, who appeared in the form of an old man of minute stature, wearing a cocked hat and a leather apron" and who hides his gold at the end of the rainbow and if captured has to grant three wishes. So, assuming that you don't already have a belief in them, how about right now, while you are reading this, choose to believe - be convinced without a doubt - that they exist. Now that you believe in leprechauns, my question is, how did you do it? How did you make the instantaneous transition from lack of belief to belief?

I believe there's a truth behind leprechauns, and genies too, they're similar in granting wishes if you release them. The Quran describes jinn being kind of like demons or angels only with free will, and that King Solomon had them under his control to grant his wishes.

So next question, the real one, can you just choose to believe in angels, demons, God?

Most can probably just decide to believe that there are higher powers in the universe. I don't buy the notion of being helpless to decide against lacking any type of any belief, for the most part.

I think it's a little harder to absolutely believe just by deciding, practice makes perfect. Like regular prayer for example, it may not grant you wishes but may grant you peace with whatever you get, good or bad. That's deciding to act and think in a way that builds faith. Whereas if you're constantly telling yourself and others there is no God, you're deciding to do things that erode belief.

Then I think God can force belief like with the elect, they are gonna believe no matter what. Or He can force disbelief, like hardening Pharaoh's heart.

In other words I don't think it's all a black and white thing.

firstfloor
10-28-2014, 02:44 AM
I think people can hold protected beliefs. They are sincere in their beliefs but they decide to avoid detailed scrutiny of their beliefs in order to avoid damaging them. This strategy is taught by the ideology. Ideas that would damage their beliefs are called evil and it is morally justified to avoid evil ideas. It does not matter that the excluded ideas are empirically evil or not. The ideology typically has a list of evil ideas and concepts which it works against.

JohnnyP
10-28-2014, 03:50 PM
I think people can hold protected beliefs. They are sincere in their beliefs but they decide to avoid detailed scrutiny of their beliefs in order to avoid damaging them. This strategy is taught by the ideology. Ideas that would damage their beliefs are called evil and it is morally justified to avoid evil ideas. It does not matter that the excluded ideas are empirically evil or not. The ideology typically has a list of evil ideas and concepts which it works against.

That's the idea behind casting pearls before swine. It's one thing to debate with others about religion, it's quite another to go up against those dead set on destroying faith. Like the old MySpace Agnostic/Atheist group, it wasn't a place for discussion but more like a lion's den, and I saw a few Christians turn atheists over there. Sometimes it's better to avoid them.

rstrats
10-28-2014, 04:16 PM
Someone new looking in who thinks that they can consciously choose to believe things will be able to demonstrate their ability by doing as requested in the OP.

JohnnyP
10-28-2014, 08:07 PM
Someone new looking in who thinks that they can consciously choose to believe things will be able to demonstrate their ability by doing as requested in the OP.

I proved as much as you are going to get with your challenge, there's always going to be a reason and background as to why people decide to believe, I gave the progression from leprechauns to genies to jinn to demons.

If you want an example that's entirely free of knowledge about the given subject, you'll have to find someone who doesn't know what fairies and granting wishes if captured mean. Otherwise you're left with little old Irish men in hats and aprons hiding gold at the end of a rainbow, even skeptics can believe that, it's not a supernatural thing.

2446

rstrats
10-29-2014, 04:30 AM
JohnnyP,

re: "If you want an example that's entirely free of knowledge about the given subject..."

With or without knowledge, doesn't matter. If beliefs can be obtained by simply choosing to have them, then knowledge is not necessary - prudent in certain cases, perhaps - but not necessary. But even if it were necessary, how would you know when you had it? What would be the state of your mind with regard to the issue in question once you realized that you had the knowledge? And remember,in order for a belief to be considered a choice, there have to be at least two options from which to select, and each option has to be able to be selected.

rstrats
10-29-2014, 04:47 AM
Sparko,

re: "Huh? nobody ever said they simply chose to believe something with no evidence."

I never said that anyone did say that.



re: "I assume you believe in evolution."

I do not currently have a belief - a conviction - one way or the other with regard to evolution.

rstrats
10-29-2014, 04:53 AM
Paprika,

re: "Why should it be written in such a manner?"

To be consistent with your comment in post #8: "Most of my beliefs aren't held with absolute certainty, so I find your conception of 'belief' unrealistic."

Sparko
10-29-2014, 05:26 AM
Sparko,

re: "Huh? nobody ever said they simply chose to believe something with no evidence."

I never said that anyone did say that.

You keep telling people to believe in Leprechauns just because they want to with no evidence. I am saying that all beliefs take evidence. Whether you think it is good evidence or not will manifest itself in you making your decision.

You have built a strawman and want people to support it while you burn it down even though "conscious belief by choice" with no evidence was never a claim anyone rational has made.

Paprika
10-29-2014, 05:38 AM
Paprika,

re: "Why should it be written in such a manner?"

To be consistent with your comment in post #8: "Most of my beliefs aren't held with absolute certainty, so I find your conception of 'belief' unrealistic."
And the Gospel of John was written in English?

rstrats
10-29-2014, 06:52 AM
Paprika,

re: "And the Gospel of John was written in English?"


I don't think so. What is your point?

Paprika
10-29-2014, 07:32 AM
Paprika,

re: "And the Gospel of John was written in English?"


I don't think so. What is your point?
Why do you assume that my understanding of 'belief' is commensurate with πιστεύων?

rstrats
10-29-2014, 10:47 AM
Paprika,

re: "Why do you assume that my understanding of 'belief' is commensurate with πιστεύων ?"

So what is your understanding of belief if it is not commensurate with πιστεύων?

Paprika
10-29-2014, 10:56 AM
Paprika,

re: "Why do you assume that my understanding of 'belief' is commensurate with πιστεύων ?"

So what is your understanding of belief if it is not commensurate with πιστεύων?
See post #8 of this thread.

rstrats
10-29-2014, 12:12 PM
Paprika,

re: "See post #8 of this thread."

I don't see in post #8 where you define the word "belief".

Paprika
10-29-2014, 12:17 PM
Paprika,

re: "See post #8 of this thread."

I don't see in post #8 where you define the word "belief".
Indeed, but I never claimed it did. What it has should be sufficient.

Allow me to shed some light: you're trying to perform a reductio ad absurdum on my understanding of belief/believe by assuming that I would translate John 3:16 using "believe". But given that my understanding of "believe" is rather different from yours in at least one key aspect, it is not a wise assumption.

JohnnyP
10-29-2014, 03:16 PM
JohnnyP,

re: "If you want an example that's entirely free of knowledge about the given subject..."

With or without knowledge, doesn't matter. If beliefs can be obtained by simply choosing to have them, then knowledge is not necessary - prudent in certain cases, perhaps - but not necessary. But even if it were necessary, how would you know when you had it? What would be the state of your mind with regard to the issue in question once you realized that you had the knowledge? And remember,in order for a belief to be considered a choice, there have to be at least two options from which to select, and each option has to be able to be selected.

What Sparko said: "conscious belief by choice with no evidence was never a claim anyone rational has made." But maybe this would qualify for you anyway:

You come to a fork in the road with no idea where paths go, no indication that going one way is better than the other, both look exactly the same, you're not trying to go any particular direction, you're just trying to get somewhere.

How do you instantaneously choose to believe that going right is better than left, or vice versa?

I'll do some anticipating that you may come back to say, well a person could have an OCD fetish that you should always start with the right, or is in the habit of starting with the left when reading, or some other unconscious philosophy that the right way is the best way. But what if a person realizes he's doing that and decides to break the pattern by choosing the opposite of what he normally believes to be true?

There's a concept called free won't, where you can consciously choose to go against previous choices that may be based on your subconscious irrational mind. For example:



The brain unconsciously initiates the process of "voluntary" action. Subsequently we become aware of this. On the basis of these results, some researchers concluded that free will is an illusion.
...
We have free will to abort an action. So, we may better think of volitional action in this case not as free will, but as "free won't." We can stop an action initiated by our brain nonconsciously.

-Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-delay/201106/free-wont-it-may-be-all-we-have-or-need)

So I'd propose that choosing a belief is choosing a belief, whether it's that one path is better to take than another, or whether it's better to believe in God or not. That's not to say it's guaranteed to be a belief entirely free of doubt and never questioned. I even question my beliefs that reality is as I know it, where it's possible that we're all just in a Matrix-type computer simulation. But it's still choosing a belief, regardless.

rstrats
11-02-2014, 04:33 AM
Paprika,

re: "...you're trying to perform a reductio ad absurdum on my understanding of belief/believe by assuming that I would translate John 3:16 using 'believe'.


How would you translate "believe" in John 3:16?

rstrats
11-02-2014, 04:41 AM
Deleted.

rstrats
11-02-2014, 04:44 AM
JohnnyP,

re: " How do you instantaneously choose to believe that going right is better than left, or vice versa?"

I don't know. That's why I started this topic.

Paprika
11-02-2014, 04:47 AM
Paprika,

re: "...you're trying to perform a reductio ad absurdum on my understanding of belief/believe by assuming that I would translate John 3:16 using 'believe'.


How would you translate "believe" in John 3:16?
I don't propose something authoritative. pistis and related words are (IMO) hard to render concisely in English, but I would go for "has faith" or "has loyalty".

David Hayward
11-03-2014, 01:31 AM
JohnnyP,

re: " How do you instantaneously choose to believe that going right is better than left, or vice versa?"

I don't know. That's why I started this topic.

When I ask the question, "Why?",
I sometimes feel I want to cry:
I seek an answer, but instead I get many
To decide between;
And why is "X" any better than "Y"?

Adrift
11-03-2014, 08:10 AM
I'm always mystified when this conversation comes up, because its been my personal experience that changing one's beliefs is actually quite easy to do. There have been a number of times in my life where I've decided that I will believe or not believe something all things considered equal. So, for instance, when I was younger I used to do roofing with my father, and found that I had a fear of heights. My fear was founded on the premise that if I got too close to the ledge, I would fall off the roof and severely injure myself or die. But I knew from watching other roofers that generally speaking this was not the case, so every day I would roof with my father I would force myself to look over the edge until I conquered my fear. I chose to believe that I would not die rather than that I would.

Here's another example, when I was a teen in the late 80s and early 90s my worldview was extremely confused, especially since I had recently disassociated myself from a cult. I felt I had so many questions that could not be answered, and I hovered between holding onto a belief in the divine, and rejecting it altogether. I was in this state of confusion and frustration for years. In my early 20s I found myself in a situation (in Basic Training) of complete despair and solitude, and then I remembered God, and his forgiveness and his love, and decided that from then on, despite whatever questions I was holding onto, I would make a purposeful choice to place my faith in him. I would stop hovering, and believe in him. And lo and behold, in my studies and walk in my faith, all of the questions I had were slowly yet surely answered, and I found that placing my faith in him was perfectly justified all along.

I know countless people over the years who have chosen their beliefs. Sometimes consciously and sometimes not so consciously. Paul says in Romans that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and I believe that renewing can come about through prayer, meditation, study, and even talking positive things over yourself. I recently read a terrific book by psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwarz called, You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life. Its a fascinating read, and contains plenty of examples of people who were able to successfully change their beliefs for the better.

rstrats
11-03-2014, 11:27 AM
Adrift,

re: "I'm always mystified when this conversation comes up, because its been my personal experience that changing one's beliefs is actually quite easy to do."

So how about demonstrating your ability by doing as requested in the OP?

Adrift
11-03-2014, 12:00 PM
Adrift,

re: "I'm always mystified when this conversation comes up, because its been my personal experience that changing one's beliefs is actually quite easy to do."

So how about demonstrating your ability by doing as requested in the OP?

I simply act upon the belief that I desire. I act as though that belief were true. So, for instance, say I'm about to lose my job because of corporate layoffs. My initial reaction to such news is fear based. I have a sense of frustration, hopelessness, despair, etc. My initial beliefs turn to worry about losing my vehicle, my home, or my ability to feed myself and my family. This fear goes into a loop in my mind where I replay everything I've done to get myself into this situation, and what I could have done differently, and of my eventual fate. These are undesirable thoughts and beliefs. So I stop myself. I lay out all of the facts. I ask myself, "what is the very worst thing that can realistically happen in this situation? Will I or my loved ones die? Will I be thrown into the streets? Will I never find another job again?" And the answer comes back, "no, no, and no". Then I act on that knowledge. I tell myself that I am the head and not the tail, that God will supply all of my needs, and that if worse comes to worse, God will provide a way of relief. When fear begin to encroach upon my mind, and tells me I'm a loser, and that there is no way out, and that I'm trapped, I tell those thoughts to shut up, and then I meditate on the Word, or I spend time in fellowship with other believers who can encourage me, and those wrong headed beliefs quickly depart.

Pick up You Are Not Your Brain, I think it'll offer a lot of insight into how its possible for people to choose what they believe. Its been positively endorsed by people as diverse as the Christian apologist J.P. Moreland, the actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and adjunct professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Stanford University School of Medicine, David Burns.

JohnnyP
11-05-2014, 12:49 PM
JohnnyP,

re: " How do you instantaneously choose to believe that going right is better than left, or vice versa?"

I don't know. That's why I started this topic.

Do you see anything in this example that doesn't meet requirements of your OP?

Jedidiah
11-05-2014, 01:30 PM
Do you see anything in this example that doesn't meet requirements of your OP?

This whole thing is a bit off topic. Not all choices involve belief. If I am at a point where I must choose one of two options with no information I may well have to choose but that choice will not involve belief. Flip a coin does not mean I am going to believe the result, even if I act on it.

JohnnyP
11-05-2014, 01:58 PM
This whole thing is a bit off topic. Not all choices involve belief. If I am at a point where I must choose one of two options with no information I may well have to choose but that choice will not involve belief. Flip a coin does not mean I am going to believe the result, even if I act on it.

Flipping a coin would simply shift belief about deciding which way is best, to belief that it's better to let chance decide. Or you could believe it's better to just sit down and not go anywhere, or turn around and head back. Any conscious choice between options usually comes down to what you believe is the best choice, for whatever reason.

rstrats
11-12-2014, 05:44 AM
JohnnyP,

re: "Do you see anything in this example that doesn't meet requirements of your OP?"


I don't see where you give an example in your post #47.

rstrats
11-12-2014, 05:46 AM
Adrift,

You have a question/request directed to you in post #45.

Adrift
11-12-2014, 06:25 AM
Adrift,

You have a question/request directed to you in post #45.

I answered that question in post #46.

JohnnyP
11-12-2014, 08:41 AM
JohnnyP,

re: "Do you see anything in this example that doesn't meet requirements of your OP?"


I don't see where you give an example in your post #47.

Referring to #38 discussed further in #49.

Jedidiah
11-12-2014, 01:09 PM
Flipping a coin would simply shift belief about deciding which way is best, to belief that it's better to let chance decide. Or you could believe it's better to just sit down and not go anywhere, or turn around and head back. Any conscious choice between options usually comes down to what you believe is the best choice, for whatever reason.

I disagree, but I guess that is okay.

JohnnyP
11-12-2014, 04:26 PM
What part do you disagree with? Even if our first instinct is fight or flight, we have a choice to think about it first. That's what separates us from animals. We have the ability to negotiate options according to what we believe works best. We can choose to believe it's better to flee to fake out the enemy, then turn back and strike when he's let down his guard.

Jedidiah
11-12-2014, 05:45 PM
What part do you disagree with?

I simply do not agree that where you are put in a spot where you have no choice but to do one of two things belief has any part. I do not believe that one choice is better, but I gotta do one.

JohnnyP
11-13-2014, 01:10 PM
I'd equate reason to belief, we have the ability to reason and at least come up to a guess as to which choice may be better. When we don't have clear evidence then we may go with a gut feeling, or decide to against that if we question ourselves. Of course we may just react with animal instinct to choose one or the other but I don't think it has to necessarily be that way. As humans we don't have to fight or flight, we can stop to negotiate a truce or plead for mercy. When there are only two choices seemingly available, we can often create more options due to intellect and belief that we don't need to settle for one or the other.

rstrats
11-13-2014, 06:22 PM
JohnnyP,

re: " When there are only two choices seemingly available..."


When it comes to engendering a belief with regard to a specific issue, there are actually 3 options from which to select.

37818
12-21-2014, 09:23 AM
Both yes and no. All conscious choice has a non-conscious component. That dose not mean we do not or cannot make what we call conscious choice.

rstrats
01-28-2015, 07:19 AM
37818,

re: "That dose not mean we do not or cannot make what we call conscious choice."

And that is all that I am asking for.

whag
02-05-2015, 09:01 PM
Huh? nobody ever said they simply chose to believe something with no evidence. Everyone will need reasons to believe something. But when you take all of the evidence together, you have to choose whether to believe the evidence or not. Sometimes this is just automatic and happens in an instant, which is what I believe Jed was saying. It just "clicks" - and sometimes you have to sit down and weigh the evidence and decide.


I assume you believe in evolution. Did you just wake up one day and believe in it without any evidence? Or did you read and study the evidence for and against it and decide that the evidence for it was more compelling than the evidence against it, and then chose to believe in evolution?




Choosing because you believe the evidence is a conscious choice. Other people look at the same evidence and may decide not to believe it. So the evidence doesn't force you to believe.

That's not belief but consilient facts coming together to form a plausible explanation for the development of life. If religion is just consilient confirmation based on evidence, in what way is it belief?

LeaC
02-06-2015, 12:39 AM
That's not belief but consilient facts coming together to form a plausible explanation for the development of life. If religion is just consilient confirmation based on evidence, in what way is it belief?

In the way that belief is trust in the evidence. Facts without interpretation are meaningless, and the same facts do not necessarily lead to the same interpretation. You may not LIKE that observation, and certainly I agree that some interpretations are more valid than others, but having a string of facts does not equal an explanation for them. We chose which explanations are valid, and defend them accordingly- a belief.

On religion, there are many people who offered different interpretations of evidence I gave about the existence of God. Those alternate interpretations ranged from ignorant rants from teenagers to thoughtful, intelligent critiques. Some of them, I didn't have a *better* answer to(at the time), because the conclusion seemed ambiguous. Yet, I chose to believe, based on evidence that, while not 100% absolutely certain, was convincing enough. Once that choice was made, and in the absence of any convincing, contradictory evidence, I see no reason to choose otherwise.

But I hear this argument often from non-believers who claim that facts are absolute and lead to one clear conclusion without argument, and I remain a skeptic on that issue. After all, I teach and love mathematical theory, but there *are* ambiguities in math- so what hope does the rest of the world have? Do you really believe that facts are sufficient or inherent in the universe without human interpretation? If so, who put them there(I know, it's a trick question...)?

rstrats
05-13-2015, 05:27 PM
Perhaps someone new looking in who thinks they can consciously choose to believe things will be able to demonstrate their ability as requested in the OP.

Adrift
05-13-2015, 06:14 PM
Perhaps someone new looking in who thinks they can consciously choose to believe things will be able to demonstrate their ability as requested in the OP.

What sort of demonstration are you expecting, and what sort of proof would you accept? I've already explained some pages back that I have the ability to change my beliefs. But unless you can offer a good reason why one ought to demonstrate this ability, doing so as some sort of freak show for your personal gratification seems bizarre. What would the person doing the changing of beliefs gain from the exercise? Just to prove to you that it can be done?

rstrats
05-14-2015, 05:13 AM
Adrift,
re: "What sort of demonstration are you expecting..."

Simply what is requested in the OP.


re: "...what sort of proof would you accept?"

Your word that you now believe - are convinced - that leprechauns are real and exist. You say you are a Christian so I would assume that you wouldn't want to lie about your belief.

Adrift
05-14-2015, 07:43 AM
Adrift,
re: "What sort of demonstration are you expecting..."

Simply what is requested in the OP.

I already granted the request in your OP. I offered you a couple demonstrations of actual change in belief in my personal life in post #44.


re: "...what sort of proof would you accept?"

Your word that you now believe - are convinced - that leprechauns are real and exist. You say you are a Christian so I would assume that you wouldn't want to lie about your belief.

Why are you stuck on leprechauns? What benefit would it be to a person who has the ability to consciously change their beliefs (and I believe everyone has this ability, whether they realize it or not) to believe in leprechauns? People who recognize that they have the ability to consciously change their beliefs do so because they think it will benefit them in some way. I see no benefit in believing in leprechauns.

Scrawly
05-14-2015, 03:55 PM
I'm always mystified when this conversation comes up, because its been my personal experience that changing one's beliefs is actually quite easy to do. There have been a number of times in my life where I've decided that I will believe or not believe something all things considered equal. So, for instance, when I was younger I used to do roofing with my father, and found that I had a fear of heights. My fear was founded on the premise that if I got too close to the ledge, I would fall off the roof and severely injure myself or die. But I knew from watching other roofers that generally speaking this was not the case, so every day I would roof with my father I would force myself to look over the edge until I conquered my fear. I chose to believe that I would not die rather than that I would.

Here's another example, when I was a teen in the late 80s and early 90s my worldview was extremely confused, especially since I had recently disassociated myself from a cult. I felt I had so many questions that could not be answered, and I hovered between holding onto a belief in the divine, and rejecting it altogether. I was in this state of confusion and frustration for years. In my early 20s I found myself in a situation (in Basic Training) of complete despair and solitude, and then I remembered God, and his forgiveness and his love, and decided that from then on, despite whatever questions I was holding onto, I would make a purposeful choice to place my faith in him. I would stop hovering, and believe in him. And lo and behold, in my studies and walk in my faith, all of the questions I had were slowly yet surely answered, and I found that placing my faith in him was perfectly justified all along.

I know countless people over the years who have chosen their beliefs. Sometimes consciously and sometimes not so consciously. Paul says in Romans that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and I believe that renewing can come about through prayer, meditation, study, and even talking positive things over yourself. I recently read a terrific book by psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwarz called, You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life. Its a fascinating read, and contains plenty of examples of people who were able to successfully change their beliefs for the better.

Thanks for the book recommendation, or in my case reminder, as I meant to pick that up but forgot all about it with my hectic work schedule and all.

rstrats
05-15-2015, 05:03 AM
Adrift,
re: "Why are you stuck on leprechauns?"

I merely suggested them because I thought that you probably didn't already have a belief in them.


re: ". I see no benefit in believing in leprechauns."

But can you, even though you see no a benifit to it? Or are you saying that a new belief can only be engendered when you see some benifit to having the belief? - i.e., that it can't be done simply as an exercise in demonstrating your ability?

Sparko
05-15-2015, 05:41 AM
Adrift,
re: "Why are you stuck on leprechauns?"

I merely suggested them because I thought that you probably didn't already have a belief in them.


re: ". I see no benefit in believing in leprechauns."

But can you, even though you see no a benifit to it? Or are you saying that a new belief can only be engendered when you see some benifit to having the belief? - i.e., that it can't be done simply as an exercise in demonstrating your ability?

People have already told you that changing beliefs is not just a random decision, but a decision based on evidence. You don't just say "Gee today I am going to believe in Leprechauns" and believe. But I am sure that you have chosen to believe things based on evidence presented to you. You looked at the evidence, decided it was trustworthy, and then chose to believe it. Your leprechaun test is just pure silliness. But I am willing to bet if you saw a little green man and followed him to a pot of gold, you would probably believe in them, huh?

Adrift
05-15-2015, 05:45 AM
Adrift,
re: "Why are you stuck on leprechauns?"

I merely suggested them because I thought that you probably didn't already have a belief in them.

But I already gave you examples of beliefs that I changed. What was wrong with them?



re: ". I see no benefit in believing in leprechauns."

But can you, even though you see no a benifit to it?

Accepting a belief in leprechauns would be delusional, and the reason why it's delusional is because, all things being equal, there's nothing to justify the belief, and there's no impetus in accepting the belief. Now, I've seen people hold delusional beliefs, so I know it's possible, but I hope that I'm not so gullible (though that too may be a delusion).


Or are you saying that a new belief can only be engendered when you see some benifit to having the belief? - i.e., that it can't be done simply as an exercise in demonstrating your ability?

Accepting beliefs as some sort of magic trick seems inherently harmful. Can it be done? I think so, but I'm not about to do it, especially not for some stranger on the internet. I choose my beliefs based on their overall positive benefits on my life. And I choose to choose beliefs that I feel can be justified in some way. Take belief in God for instance. You're probably familiar with Pascal's Wager. Often it's presented something like this: If God exists, then you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by believing in him. But if God doesn't exists then you've lost nothing. One of the things that a lot of people don't know about the wager, though, is that this assumes that the justification for belief relies on all things being equal. That is, it's only applicable to those who are stuck at a stage where they could justly believe or disbelieve in God either way. The wager is not for the person who finds the arguments for God overwhelmingly less compelling than not.

When I got over my fear of heights, I was justified in changing my beliefs because I knew that most people who worked on roofs did not die. The chances of me falling off the roof and dieing was relatively low, and so when I made the decision to stop being afraid, that justification on top of the benefit of doing work without fear, factored into my change of mind.

I imagine that if I knew the context of those who told you that belief is a conscious choice, that the ones who are saying that are thinking of belief much in the same way that I am. They're not thinking of a person who can start believing in leprechauns on the fly. They're thinking of free will decisions to step out in faith, and to accept beliefs that are justified and beneficial.

Again, I highly recommend you reading the book You Are Not Your Brain. It's filled with people who changed their beliefs, and changed them for the better. I think it'll really help you understand this whole subject in another way, and maybe show you that you too are able to change your beliefs.

Sparko
05-15-2015, 06:09 AM
The very fact that rstats is on tweb debating his viewpoints shows that he believes that people can choose to change their beliefs. He is trying to get them to do that with every argument he makes on any subject on this site.

37818
05-15-2015, 07:07 PM
Not all beliefs are by choice. Truth is not a choice. We may choose to believe a genuine truth, not yet knowing that it is a truth which once correctly understood cannot be denied. Truth is independent of our belief in it. Truth is the sole reason we believe anything, or at least should be. Yet, some of us, may yet believe things to be true which are not true. And not know it.

rstrats
05-27-2015, 04:38 AM
Sparko,
re: "The very fact that rstats is on tweb debating his viewpoints shows that he believes that people can choose to change their beliefs."

With regard to your above referenced statement I would agree if the wording were changed to: "The very fact that rstrats is on tweb debating his viewpoints seems to show that he accepts the possibility that people's beliefs can/may change when presented with certain ideas about an issue."



re: "He is trying to get them to do that with every argument he makes on any subject on this site."


Isn't that pretty much what most folks are trying to do -either overtly or covertly - when "discussing" differing opinions?

Sparko
05-28-2015, 07:20 AM
Sparko,
re: "The very fact that rstats is on tweb debating his viewpoints shows that he believes that people can choose to change their beliefs."

With regard to your above referenced statement I would agree if the wording were changed to: "The very fact that rstrats is on tweb debating his viewpoints seems to show that he accepts the possibility that people's beliefs can/may change when presented with certain ideas about an issue."



re: "He is trying to get them to do that with every argument he makes on any subject on this site."


Isn't that pretty much what most folks are trying to do -either overtly or covertly - when "discussing" differing opinions?

Yes, and it works. People change their minds and beliefs. And it is a conscious choice. It is not a random choice either, but based on evidence (the "discussion" in this example)

You don't just wake up and say "Today I think I will choose to belief rstats" for no reason. So your "test" of telling someone to just arbitrarily decide to believe in leprechauns is a strawman.

rstrats
06-01-2015, 04:17 AM
Sparko,
re: "...it is a conscious choice...based on evidence..."

If beliefs can be engendered by simply choosing to have them, then evidence is not necessary. But even if it were necessary, how would you know when you had it?



re: "...your 'test' of telling [asking] someone to just arbitrarily decide to believe in leprechauns is a strawman."

A strawman for what?

Sparko
06-01-2015, 06:14 AM
Sparko,
re: "...it is a conscious choice...based on evidence..."

If beliefs can be engendered by simply choosing to have them, then evidence is not necessary. But even if it were necessary, how would you know when you had it?

But nobody has argued for belief without evidence. That is why your thread and OP is a strawman. You come up with something nobody has argued for, then dare them to prove it. It is ridiculous.

rstrats
06-01-2015, 06:33 AM
Sparko,
re: "But nobody has argued for belief without evidence."

So I ask again; how do you know when you have evidence? And once you realize that you have evidence, what is the state of your mind at that moment with regard to the truth about the issue in question?

Sparko
06-01-2015, 06:53 AM
Sparko,
re: "But nobody has argued for belief without evidence."

So I ask again; how do you know when you have evidence? And once you realize that you have evidence, what is the state of your mind at that moment with regard to the truth about the issue in question?
How do you know YOU have evidence for something? :duh:

mossrose
06-01-2015, 07:37 AM
How do you know YOU have evidence for something? :duh:

Because a famous Canadian PM once said,

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/jeanchreti145285.html


"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven."

rstrats
06-01-2015, 08:05 AM
Sparko,
re: "How do you know YOU have evidence for something?"

Hey, I asked you first.

rstrats
06-01-2015, 08:10 AM
mossrose,
re: "A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven."

And once you have a proven proof, then what with regard to the issue in question?

mossrose
06-01-2015, 08:13 AM
mossrose,
re: "A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven."

And once you have a proven proof, then what with regard to the issue in question?

Don't know. Haven't even read this whole thread. Just quoting a stupid man.

By the way, if you would like to quote someone in your post, just click on "reply with quote" on their post and it will automatically open up a box with their post in quotes for you.

Sparko
06-01-2015, 08:15 AM
Sparko,
re: "How do you know YOU have evidence for something?"

Hey, I asked you first.

Do you understand what evidence is? It is information that leads you to believe in something.

Evidence can be good or bad. That is why we have some people who believe in UFOs or Leprechauns. Personally I don't find the evidence for either to be convincing. Therefore I can't "just choose" to believe in them for no reason at all.

rstrats
06-03-2015, 04:21 AM
Sparko,
re: "... I don't find the evidence for...[leprechauns]... to be convincing."


So you're implying that the way that you would know that you had evidence for the existence of leprechauns is if the evidence convinced you of their existence?

Sparko
06-11-2015, 12:23 PM
Sparko,
re: "... I don't find the evidence for...[leprechauns]... to be convincing."


So you're implying that the way that you would know that you had evidence for the existence of leprechauns is if the evidence convinced you of their existence?

Even with evidence I would have to decide whether to accept it or not. So belief is a choice. I have seen evidence of UFO's but I don't believe in Aliens flying around our planet in saucers. The chances of some alien race finding us in this galaxy is very small. And their technology would have to be incredible to make it here through interstellar space, so why can't they disguise their craft better and stop them from crashing all the time?

Sparko
06-11-2015, 12:26 PM
Maybe a better example is politics. Democrats and Republicans each have various reasons why you should believe them and join with their side. And both parties have done things that are good, and bad. So it comes down to your choice of who you want to follow. You don't just wake up one day and say "OK I am going to be a democrat today, since I was republican yesterday"

rstrats
07-01-2015, 05:08 AM
Sparko,
re: "Even with evidence I would have to decide whether to accept it or not."


I maintain that if beliefs can be engendered by simply choosing to have them, then evidence is not necessary. However, you say that you need evidence in order to consciously choose to believe things. So I ask again, how would you know when you had evidence?

rstrats
07-01-2015, 05:13 AM
Sparko,
re: "You don't just wake up one day and say 'OK I am going to be a democrat today, since I was republican yesterday'".

It has to work that way. You can't be a democrat and a republican at the same time. There has to be an instant when your one designation changes from the one to the other.

Sparko
07-01-2015, 05:42 AM
Sparko,
re: "Even with evidence I would have to decide whether to accept it or not."


I maintain that if beliefs can be engendered by simply choosing to have them, then evidence is not necessary. However, you say that you need evidence in order to consciously choose to believe things. So I ask again, how would you know when you had evidence?

First, you keep saying "simply choosing to have them" - but the problem is, is that it is your strawman version. Nobody makes that claim but you. Nobody says they simply choose to believe in something without evidence. That you keep ignoring this and repeating your strawman argument shows that you really don't care about facts, you just want to win some argument, and to do that you make up claims that nobody makes.


Sparko,
re: "You don't just wake up one day and say 'OK I am going to be a democrat today, since I was republican yesterday'".

It has to work that way. You can't be a democrat and a republican at the same time. There has to be an instant when your one designation changes from the one to the other.
Yes and it requires evidence to consider. The thing with evidence is, you can trust it or not.

If you ever sat in a jury and listened to witness testimony, that is evidence. Both sides will present such evidence. But it is up to the jury to weigh the evidence of both sides and then choose which one to believe. The evidence doesn't force you to make a specific choice, that choice is still yours to make using your own free will.

Now stop repeating yourself.

rstrats
07-02-2015, 05:00 AM
Sparko,

I suggested the use of leprechauns for you to demonstrate your ability to consciously choose to believe things. What evidence would you need in order for you to do that?

Sparko
07-02-2015, 05:46 AM
Sparko,

I suggested the use of leprechauns for you to demonstrate your ability to consciously choose to believe things. What evidence would you need in order for you to do that?

I give up. You have consciously chosen to believe in your strawman version and nothing will convince you otherwise. I am tired of repeating myself only to see you ignore me and make the same idiotic claim over and over.

Unsubscribing.

Rushing Jaws
07-23-2015, 04:46 AM
A number of folks on these boards are saying or at least implying that they can consciously choose to believe things. If you are one of them, perhaps you might help me. I have never been able to consciously choose any of the beliefs that I have and I would like to be able to do that. If you think that you can consciously choose to believe things, I wonder if you might explain how you do it. What do you do at the last moment to instantly change your one state of belief to another? What is it that you do that would allow you to say, "OK, at this moment I have a lack of belief that 'x' exists or is true, but I choose to believe that 'x' exists or is true and now instantly at this new moment I do believe that 'x' exists or is true"?

Maybe you could use something like leprechauns to demonstrate your technique. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a leprechaun is "a fairy peculiar to Ireland, who appeared in the form of an old man of minute stature, wearing a cocked hat and a leather apron" and who hides his gold at the end of the rainbow and if captured has to grant three wishes. So, assuming that you don't already have a belief in them, how about right now, while you are reading this, choose to believe - be convinced without a doubt - that they exist. Now that you believe in leprechauns, my question is, how did you do it? How did you make the instantaneous transition from lack of belief to belief?## Without wanting to sound like an Evangelical giving a testimony, I had a choice whether to decide to become Catholic or not. I was under no pressure to decide to change, or to stay Evangelical, but I had to make a choice whether to change, or not. So I did choose. Making the choice led (in due course) to gaining understanding of what being Catholic is like - to put things in a familiar slogan, faith precedes understanding; one does not understand, then believe.

The problem with illustration by leprechauns, is that even if they exist, belief in their existence is not the same sort of belief as adhesion to Christ is. To believe in the reality of Asimov's Invisible Dragon in the Garage, Russell's Teapot, or Flew's Invisible Gardener, is not Christian belief. It may be Deism, but Christianity - especially in its catholic forms - is not Deism. To enter Catholicism is to enter something infinitely satisfying at every level, in full colour, that is meant to affect everything. To think of it as "only" adhesion of the intellect to a set of propositions, is miserably inadequate. So to use belief in leprechauns as a model for Christian belief in God, is gravely misleading and inadequate. Having faith is like swimming - one can't appreciate it by talking about it; sooner or later, one must do it, to find out what having it is like. The experience is so intimately personal, that it cannot be had by proxy. One must either have it - or decide against having it. We may be done with God - that is no reason to think that God is done with us.

Leprechauns do not illuminate the universe of created being, whether existing or yet to be. Christ does. There is nothing whatever that He does not illuminate, for all things exist because of Him, for Him, and through Him, whether the furthest galaxies or the slightest particles. Christ is validated by Himself - imitations of Him, and rivals for the place that is His alone, are credible only until He is compared with them. Unlike leprechauns, He is immanent in creation, yet He transcends it, because it is in Him that all creation (including leprechauns and notions about them) consists.

What you don't mention, crucially, is that faith in Christ is a gift. It is not possible to will oneself to have faith. It must come from God, not from man, for only something that is above created nature - IOW, super-natural - is adequate to enable creatures who are flawed, deficient, ignorant and sinful to enjoy and desire God. We cannot convert ourselves, or even desire to be converted, unless the grace of God comes to us and transforms us into people who can have faith in God. Faith is of its very nature God-given, God-centred, Christ-glorifying. Reason is far too weak and thin and poor and feeble and lame and blind to be able to do what the gift of faith is meant to do in us. Reason is fine for a great many things - the things that belong to the natural order, rather than to the super-natural AKA Divine order. Only the theological virtues and graces of faith, hope and charity are robust enough for a Divine thing like the creature's union with Christ.

Hope that helps.

rstrats
08-10-2015, 04:15 AM
Rushing Jaws,
re: "Hope that helps."

Thanks, but I'm afraid that it doesn't. I was hoping that someone who thinks that they can consciously choose to believe things would be able to demonstrate their stated ability in real time. I suggested leprechauns because I thought that they probably wouldn't already have a belief in them. If beliefs can be engendered by simply choosing to have them, then the issue in question shouldn't make any difference.

Sparko
08-10-2015, 05:16 AM
Rushing Jaws,
re: "Hope that helps."

Thanks, but I'm afraid that it doesn't. I was hoping that someone who thinks that they can consciously choose to believe things would be able to demonstrate their stated ability in real time. I suggested leprechauns because I thought that they probably wouldn't already have a belief in them. If beliefs can be engendered by simply choosing to have them, then the issue in question shouldn't make any difference.Why do you persist in burning strawmen? You have been told over and over that nobody just "chooses" to believe something out of thin air, yet you continue to make the same argument and demand that someone demonstrate they do it.

You are being completely dishonest in this matter.

rstrats
09-18-2015, 11:26 AM
Sparko,
re: "Why do you persist in burning strawmen?"

I don't know what that means.



re: "You have been told over and over that nobody just 'chooses' to believe something out of thin air..."

Thin air or thick air shouldn't make any difference. If beliefs can be obtained by consciously choosing to have them, then evidence (thick air?) is not necessary - prudent in certain cases, perhaps, but not necessary.



re: " You are being completely dishonest in this matter."

These forums are rife with people saying that they choose to believe this or that (below are some examples). Now in order for something to be considered a choice, there has to be at least 2 things from which to choose and each one of the things has to be able to be chosen. In the case of leprechauns, there are 3 things from which to choose: a belief that they exist, a belief that they don't exist, or a lack of belief either way. In the case of leprechauns I am simply asking that the first one be chosen. How is this being dishonest?

Some comments that Ive seen on various message boards are:

"While one can choose to believe whichever side of the argument he or she likes best..."

"...in this case I choose to believe in the FDA approved technology..."

"I choose to believe God wants all of us to be happy."

"I choose to believe that Harry's got some great news to deliver regarding the joint deal between..."

"I choose to believe that God is still in control of this universe..."

"I choose to believe the other one (Kirsten Storms) wouldn't have played it like that..."

"...and I choose to believe the engineers."

"I choose to believe the facts as opposed to the capitalized ,third person, self..."

"I choose to believe the second based on zero evidence."

"Until then, I choose to believe this publication is good news."

"I choose to believe they are on the verge of success. Only time will tell."

"I don't have to prove to you or anyone else what I choose to believe."

"I choose to believe Norfolk Southern, If you choose to believe John Petersen, that is your choice..."

...I choose to believe that you are a very poor thinker....

"I CHOOSE to believe that the bed I am sitting on is going to support me."

" I CHOOSE to believe that my car will take me to work."

"I CHOOSE to believe that you are a real person."

"I CHOOSE to believe that there are words on the pages of my books."

"I CHOOSE to believe that I will have a job tomorrow."

Sparko
09-18-2015, 11:34 AM
:doh:

rstrats
09-18-2015, 11:43 AM
I see that you are slapping yourself on your forehead indicating that you see where you went wrong.

Sparko
09-18-2015, 01:02 PM
I see that you are slapping yourself on your forehead indicating that you see where you went wrong.yeah, that's it. :duh:

I told you I already explained that you are just burning straw.