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Thread: The psychology of belief systems

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    The psychology of belief systems

    Why do people believe what they do when there is so much diversity and conflict between different belief systems with everyone devoted to justifying their own belief system with some at the expense of denying all others? Some have very broad and even nebulous inclusive beliefs to include others, and some believe in a literal narrow view of the reality that excludes all other possible beliefs or variations of belief. In the broader context it is a part of the Phenomenology of Religion.

    Based on the evidence I contend that; Considering the diversity and conflict between beliefs, everyone is most likely wrong in one way or another.

    Also; The unfettered open ended search for knowledge and 'truth?' is rarely the quest.

    The first topic is 'The sense of Belonging and reasons to believe.'

    The following is a review of the literature.

    Source: Sense of Belonging: Background Literature



    Sense of Belonging: Background Literature

    The desire for social bonds and connections with others has a long history in psychological research. It has been referred to as the need for affection between people(Murray, 1938), the need for positive regard from others (Rogers, 1951), belongingness (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Goodenow, 1993b; Maslow, 1954), affiliation motivation (McClelland, 1987), and the need for relatedness (Deci & Ryan, 1991; Ryan, 1993; Vallerand, 1997). It has also been defined in a number of ways. For example, Deci and Ryan suggested that the need for relatedness ‘encompasses a person's striving to relate to and care for others, to feel that those others are relating authentically to one's self, and to feel a satisfying and coherent involvement with the social world more generally’ (p. 243). Vallerand suggested that the need for relatedness ‘involves feeling connected (or feeling that one belongs in a social milieu)’ (p. 300). Goodenow proposed that a sense of belonging at school reflects ‘the extent to which students feel personally accepted, respected, included, and supported by others in the school social environment’ (p. 80).

    Baumeister and Leary (1995) suggested that the need to belong is characterised by a need for regular contact and the perception that the interpersonal relationship has stability, affective concern, and is ongoing. In their seminal article on the importance of sense of belonging to wellbeing, they proposed the ‘belongingness hypothesis’, suggesting that “human beings have a pervasive drive to form and maintain at least a minimum quantity of lasting, positive, and significant interpersonal relationships” (p. 497). Failure to have belongingness needs met may lead to feelings of social isolation, alienation, and loneliness. Thus, a sense of belonging can be seen as a precursor to social connectedness. In their detailed analysis of the relevant research, Baumeister and Leary argue that the need for belongingness is more than the need for social contact. It is the need for positive and pleasant social contacts within the context of desired relationships with people other than strangers. That is, the need for belongingness is satisfied by an interpersonal bond marked by “stability, affective concern, and continuation into the foreseeable future” (p. 500). This relational context of interactions with other people is essential for satisfying the need to belong. They also propose that people who are well-enmeshed in social relationships should have less need to seek and form additional bonds than people who are socially deprived. As their need for belonging has been met, and is no longer such a significant drive, they do not express or display the need for belonging as strongly as those for whom this need has not been met. Importantly, however, individuals differ in the strength of their need to belong. As Kelly (2001) points out, some people with lower need to belong may be satisfied by few contacts, while others with greater need to belong may need many such contacts. It is the lack of satisfaction with personal relationships relative to their need to belong that puts the individual at risk of loneliness.

    The need for belonging can contribute to explaining a variety of human behaviour, cognitive, motivational processes, and emotions. For example, individuals explain the reasons of their behaviours in association with the need for belonging. The satisfaction of this need leads to the experience of positive emotions such as happiness and joy, whereas deficiency can cause the experience of negative emotions such as anxiety, jealousy, depression, high level of stress, and loneliness. Many negative behavioural, psychological, and social outcomes, including mental illness, criminal tendency, and social isolation are explained by lack of sense of belonging. Maslow (1968) indicated that beneath most emotional breakdowns lies a need for belongingness, being loved, and respected.

    © Copyright Original Source



    More to follow . . .
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 08-03-2016 at 08:38 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    A common mantra I hear among the believers is; 'I have found . . .'
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    Caught in the Matrix
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Why do people believe what they do when there is so much diversity and conflict between different belief systems with everyone devoted to justifying their own belief system with some at the expense of denying all others? Some have very broad and even nebulous inclusive beliefs to include others, and some believe in a literal narrow view of the reality that excludes all other possible beliefs or variations of belief. In the broader context it is a part of the Phenomenology of Religion.

    Based on the evidence I contend that; Considering the diversity and conflict between beliefs, everyone is most likely wrong in one way or another.

    Also; The unfettered open ended search for knowledge and 'truth?' is rarely the quest.

    The first topic is 'The sense of Belonging and reasons to believe.'

    The following is a review of the literature.

    Source: Sense of Belonging: Background Literature



    Sense of Belonging: Background Literature

    The desire for social bonds and connections with others has a long history in psychological research. It has been referred to as the need for affection between people(Murray, 1938), the need for positive regard from others (Rogers, 1951), belongingness (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Goodenow, 1993b; Maslow, 1954), affiliation motivation (McClelland, 1987), and the need for relatedness (Deci & Ryan, 1991; Ryan, 1993; Vallerand, 1997). It has also been defined in a number of ways. For example, Deci and Ryan suggested that the need for relatedness ‘encompasses a person's striving to relate to and care for others, to feel that those others are relating authentically to one's self, and to feel a satisfying and coherent involvement with the social world more generally’ (p. 243). Vallerand suggested that the need for relatedness ‘involves feeling connected (or feeling that one belongs in a social milieu)’ (p. 300). Goodenow proposed that a sense of belonging at school reflects ‘the extent to which students feel personally accepted, respected, included, and supported by others in the school social environment’ (p. 80).

    Baumeister and Leary (1995) suggested that the need to belong is characterised by a need for regular contact and the perception that the interpersonal relationship has stability, affective concern, and is ongoing. In their seminal article on the importance of sense of belonging to wellbeing, they proposed the ‘belongingness hypothesis’, suggesting that “human beings have a pervasive drive to form and maintain at least a minimum quantity of lasting, positive, and significant interpersonal relationships” (p. 497). Failure to have belongingness needs met may lead to feelings of social isolation, alienation, and loneliness. Thus, a sense of belonging can be seen as a precursor to social connectedness. In their detailed analysis of the relevant research, Baumeister and Leary argue that the need for belongingness is more than the need for social contact. It is the need for positive and pleasant social contacts within the context of desired relationships with people other than strangers. That is, the need for belongingness is satisfied by an interpersonal bond marked by “stability, affective concern, and continuation into the foreseeable future” (p. 500). This relational context of interactions with other people is essential for satisfying the need to belong. They also propose that people who are well-enmeshed in social relationships should have less need to seek and form additional bonds than people who are socially deprived. As their need for belonging has been met, and is no longer such a significant drive, they do not express or display the need for belonging as strongly as those for whom this need has not been met. Importantly, however, individuals differ in the strength of their need to belong. As Kelly (2001) points out, some people with lower need to belong may be satisfied by few contacts, while others with greater need to belong may need many such contacts. It is the lack of satisfaction with personal relationships relative to their need to belong that puts the individual at risk of loneliness.

    The need for belonging can contribute to explaining a variety of human behaviour, cognitive, motivational processes, and emotions. For example, individuals explain the reasons of their behaviours in association with the need for belonging. The satisfaction of this need leads to the experience of positive emotions such as happiness and joy, whereas deficiency can cause the experience of negative emotions such as anxiety, jealousy, depression, high level of stress, and loneliness. Many negative behavioural, psychological, and social outcomes, including mental illness, criminal tendency, and social isolation are explained by lack of sense of belonging. Maslow (1968) indicated that beneath most emotional breakdowns lies a need for belongingness, being loved, and respected.

    © Copyright Original Source



    More to follow . . .
    Mostly because beliefs are firmly ingrained at an early age. Its very difficult to rid oneself of powerfully impressed beliefs.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Mostly because beliefs are firmly ingrained at an early age. Its very difficult to rid oneself of powerfully impressed beliefs.
    The baby elephant held by chains can restrained by a thread as an adult.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  5. Amen JimL amen'd this post.
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    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Based on the evidence I contend that; Considering the diversity and conflict between beliefs, everyone is most likely wrong in one way or another.
    This is the likely probability, in that, where you have many conflicting claims the very odds are against choosing one right set.

    Also; The unfettered open ended search for knowledge and 'truth?' is rarely the quest.
    I agree with this too.

    The first topic is 'The sense of Belonging and reasons to believe.'
    This one aspect along explains much about what and why many of us believe as we do.

    Factors such as common language. Is at the base of culture.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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    tWebber James Cusick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Why do people believe what they do when there is so much diversity and conflict between different belief systems with everyone devoted to justifying their own belief system with some at the expense of denying all others? Some have very broad and even nebulous inclusive beliefs to include others, and some believe in a literal narrow view of the reality that excludes all other possible beliefs or variations of belief. In the broader context it is a part of the Phenomenology of Religion.

    Based on the evidence I contend that; Considering the diversity and conflict between beliefs, everyone is most likely wrong in one way or another.

    Also; The unfettered open ended search for knowledge and 'truth?' is rarely the quest.

    The first topic is 'The sense of Belonging and reasons to believe.'

    The following is a review of the literature.

    [cite=Sense of Belonging: Background Literature]

    Sense of Belonging: Background Literature

    The desire for social bonds and connections with others has a long history in psychological research. It has been referred to as the need for affection between people(Murray, 1938), the need for positive regard from others (Rogers, 1951), belongingness (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Goodenow, 1993b; Maslow, 1954), affiliation motivation (McClelland, 1987), and the need for relatedness (Deci & Ryan, 1991; Ryan, 1993; Vallerand, 1997). . . .
    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    A common mantra I hear among the believers is; 'I have found . . .'
    The animal desire to be in a group is an overwhelming addiction which stunts a person's growth and prevents maturity.

    Different groups being different religion or different politics is just the mentality of a pack of animals.

    Truly healthy people must accept and embrace our individuality separate from any other person or group.

    As in = Be in the world but not a part of the world, John 17:14-18, so yes be in the group but not a part of the group.

    Having diversity and conflict are irrelevant (and probably beneficial), while each person having their own personal belief system is the important relevance.

    The saying of = A personal relationship with God means that = personal = as in being just one-n-one, just the one person and God.

    When we have a church or religion or group then that is NOT a personal relationship, that is a group relationship which suppresses the individual(s).

    In psychology and in religion then the person is to start thinking as an individual and start being a singular personal pronoun as in = I am, I believe, my faith, my religion, this is mine, this is for me myself, etc etc etc.

    Just saying the words correctly is not enough, as it needs to be internal conviction by one self and their Maker.

    In psychology each person must break from their parents, and breaking the parental bonds makes maturity and adulthood, but many (if not most) people transfer their parental dependence onto groups, as like the religion or political party or social function becomes their substitute parent and they fail to mature mentally or spiritually.

    There is a cool though misunderstood story from the Bible where Moses asked God for God's name, and God became puzzled as no one had ever spoken to God in this way and no one had ever asked God for its name, and so God replied by saying = I am that I am, Exodus 3:13-14, and that was not a name, as that was God's description of itself as like saying = I exist that I am an entity.

    Then later God told Moses to call Him as Yahweh (Jehovah in KJV) and that name means Father as in Father-God. Exodus 6:3

    My point being is that God said = I am, because that was the healthy self identity as a singular personal affirmation.

    For a person to become healthy mentally and spiritually then we must start thinking and acting and being singular individuals separate from any group even if we might be in the group(s), by being in the world but not a part of the world.

    Every person being wrong is just not the criteria, because the point of rebirth or maturity is in becoming a singular entity as like a God one self, because that gives birth to the sons and daughters of God.

    When anyone preaches to me then more than being right or wrong - I always search for them to say those marvelous individual words = I have found ...

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    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Cusick View Post
    The animal desire to be in a group is an overwhelming addiction which stunts a person's growth and prevents maturity.

    Different groups being different religion or different politics is just the mentality of a pack of animals.

    Truly healthy people must accept and embrace our individuality separate from any other person or group.
    Give me some reason to believe these things beyond a simple assertion.

    Human beings are social beings and to try to arbitrarily eliminate that will not lead to health. On the contrary it leads to separation and confusion.



    Quote Originally Posted by James Cusick View Post
    As in = Be in the world but not a part of the world, John 17:14-18, so yes be in the group but not a part of the group.

    Having diversity and conflict are irrelevant (and probably beneficial), while each person having their own personal belief system is the important relevance.

    The saying of = A personal relationship with God means that = personal = as in being just one-n-one, just the one person and God.

    When we have a church or religion or group then that is NOT a personal relationship, that is a group relationship which suppresses the individual(s).
    Suppressing the individual is not necessarily bad. If what I see as truth is really truth it will only be strengthened when I see different approaches. Being part of a group does not in any way require that you become something you were not before. I have never belonged to a church that I agreed with 100%. That does not reduce the value of the mass of agreement we share.

    Quote Originally Posted by James Cusick View Post
    In psychology and in religion then the person is to start thinking as an individual and start being a singular personal pronoun as in = I am, I believe, my faith, my religion, this is mine, this is for me myself, etc etc etc.
    I disagree with this. It seems to be simply making an idol of self.

    Quote Originally Posted by James Cusick View Post
    Just saying the words correctly is not enough, as it needs to be internal conviction by one self and their Maker.
    If you believe something it is an internal conviction. But simply because it is a strong belief does not make it true. You can be strongly convinced of something that you are simply wrong about. You must have some objective truth to make it valid. What you are saying here reads a lot like the “burning in the bosom.”

    Quote Originally Posted by James Cusick View Post
    In psychology each person must break from their parents, and breaking the parental bonds makes maturity and adulthood, but many (if not most) people transfer their parental dependence onto groups, as like the religion or political party or social function becomes their substitute parent and they fail to mature mentally or spiritually.

    There is a cool though misunderstood story from the Bible where Moses asked God for God's name, and God became puzzled as no one had ever spoken to God in this way and no one had ever asked God for its name, and so God replied by saying = I am that I am, Exodus 3:13-14, and that was not a name, as that was God's description of itself as like saying = I exist that I am an entity.

    Then later God told Moses to call Him as Yahweh (Jehovah in KJV) and that name means Father as in Father-God. Exodus 6:3

    My point being is that God said = I am, because that was the healthy self identity as a singular personal affirmation.

    For a person to become healthy mentally and spiritually then we must start thinking and acting and being singular individuals separate from any group even if we might be in the group(s), by being in the world but not a part of the world.

    Every person being wrong is just not the criteria, because the point of rebirth or maturity is in becoming a singular entity as like a God one self, because that gives birth to the sons and daughters of God.

    When anyone preaches to me then more than being right or wrong - I always search for them to say those marvelous individual words = I have found ...
    You are correct in suggesting that becoming a healthy adult one involves a change in the parental bonds. But, that does not mean that making that change is what makes us healthy adults. Rather as we become healthy adults we will naturally alter the relationship to our parents.

    As far as the 'misunderstood story” from the Bible is concerned it seems that the main misunderstanding is on your part. Yahweh and Jehovah come from the Tetragrammaton YHWH which is what the “I am that I am” comes from. While I am inclined to agree that this is not really a name, but the claim to be the only God.

    The name given in Exodus 6:3 is El Shaddai which is normally translated God Almighty, though apparently there is some question as to the meaning of Shaddai.

    I am inclined to agree more with what shunnya implies with the “I have founnd . . .' quote. It is more of the idolization of self. This is more pathological than healthy . . . more “burning in the bosom” type stuff.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

  9. Amen Carrikature amen'd this post.
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    tWebber James Cusick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah View Post
    Give me some reason to believe these things beyond a simple assertion.

    Human beings are social beings and to try to arbitrarily eliminate that will not lead to health. On the contrary it leads to separation and confusion.
    If you need some proof that running in a pack is an animal characteristic, then I am uncertain how assert that to you.

    Your profile says that you are a Christian = so Jesus referred to people as sheep, and I do not see being a sheep as a compliment - of course being a sheep was clearly asserted by Jesus to be better than being a dog or a swine.

    Be in the world but no part of the world - does mean that yes we are in many groups but the group is not to dominate us.

    I have always looked for a group that I could fit into and still I search and I have tried many but found none, and even this forum is a type of group and I am in it but I am not really a part of it.

    Maybe - just maybe - you are a part of this group or of some other group - and I do not know - but I deal with you as an individual whether you claim a group or not.

    Whenever I enter into any social group whether it is a large group or just two people then it always puts pressure onto me to compromise my values and virtues, and that is why I always find myself separated and divided from the rest of humanity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah View Post
    Suppressing the individual is not necessarily bad.
    Amen to that.

    All of humanity is suppressed to various degrees because of our sins and our rebellions, and thank God for that suppression.

    To become truly healthy then each person must find their own way out of the suppressed-crowd and become the individual that God wants us to become.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah View Post
    If what I see as truth is really truth it will only be strengthened when I see different approaches. Being part of a group does not in any way require that you become something you were not before. I have never belonged to a church that I agreed with 100%. That does not reduce the value of the mass of agreement we share.
    I agree with this in many ways, that every group or relationship pushes us farther and closer to God, but it is never enough.

    We have to take steps, as go from one group then another group until at last we get enough momentum to stand alone.

    Jesus declared = For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. KJV, Matthew 5:20

    Our own righteousness must exceed the Priest and Pastors and Ministers or else we are still lacking and missing the mark.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by James Cusick
    In psychology and in religion then the person is to start thinking as an individual and start being a singular personal pronoun as in = I am, I believe, my faith, my religion, this is mine, this is for me myself, etc etc etc.
    I disagree with this. It seems to be simply making an idol of self.
    Making a God of thy self - yes - but not an idol.

    An idol must be outside of our-self.

    Now if you followed me or I followed you then that would be making an idol of each other, but not an idol when done to our self.

    If one truly follows the scriptures correctly then we turn our self into a God = an mature adult child of God is thereby a God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah View Post
    If you believe something it is an internal conviction. But simply because it is a strong belief does not make it true. You can be strongly convinced of something that you are simply wrong about. You must have some objective truth to make it valid. What you are saying here reads a lot like the “burning in the bosom.”
    People require truth and we will fight about truth, but God already has the truth and God is trying to raise children into adults.

    As such it does not matter so much about accuracy or being dead wrong, because God wants the person as an individual and being wrong is not truly a sin, while the true goal is to do the will of God.

    God loves His enemies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah View Post
    You are correct in suggesting that becoming a healthy adult one involves a change in the parental bonds. But, that does not mean that making that change is what makes us healthy adults. Rather as we become healthy adults we will naturally alter the relationship to our parents.
    I agree with this.

    Changing our behavior and breaking old bonds and becoming an adult is all just the beginning as there is so much more to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah View Post
    I am inclined to agree more with what shunnya implies with the “I have founnd . . .' quote. It is more of the idolization of self. This is more pathological than healthy . . . more “burning in the bosom” type stuff.
    It is not idolizing thy self - it is making thy self into a God = a mature child of God is thereby a God.

    Being a sheep is not a compliment, but it is better than being a dog.

    The “burning in the bosom” is fine by me - why would you view “burning in the bosom” as a negative?

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    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Cusick View Post
    If you need some proof that running in a pack is an animal characteristic, then I am uncertain how assert that to you.
    Let's go with the obvious: not all animals are pack animals. Look at tigers and bears, for example.
    I'm not here anymore.

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    tWebber James Cusick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrikature View Post
    Let's go with the obvious: not all animals are pack animals. Look at tigers and bears, for example.
    I can not comprehend you making a comment like that.

    The point is not that all animals act the same.

    The point was about the social actions of human beings who bunch together in groups like a pack, as like a pack (or flock) of sheep.

    If we were to keep using the animal analogy for belief systems, then I would view the predatory people to be as tigers and bears.

    It would not be healthy of a person to leave their social group and become a lone predator.

    My point is that psychology and religion when done correctly will lead each person into becoming an independent individual separate from the pack.

    There are lots of simpleton arguments around about humans being animals as like eating meat or homosex or survival of the fittest and evolution have all used the claim of humans being animals.

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