Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Beliefs

Dostoyevsky warned us that those who reject religion "will end by drenching the earth in blood." But hasn't history shown that blood letting has occurred mostly as a result of religions or other belief-systems, not from the people who reject them.

Beliefs create more social problems than they solve. The most dangerous beliefs are those that are elevated to faith. Faith is belief without evidence and this can lead to mysticism and so-called divine intervention. People have slaughtered each other in wars and conflicts over thousands of centuries and still kill each other over faith in their religions. Political ideologies, and philosophies are just as dangerous because they are also part of a belief system. Hitler had his own belief system and didn't need faith in anything other than his own 'will to power" in order to slaughter millions of Jews

Most scientists, politicians, philosophers, and even atheists support the notion that some forms of belief provide a valuable means to establish "truth" as long as it contains the backing of data and facts. But isn't belief a 'belief' because it cannot be backed up by pure facts and empirical data. If we know something for a fact, it will just become common knowledge instead of something you need to believe in or not.

Does rational thinking require us to adhere to beliefs at all? Do we require any attachment to a belief of any kind to have a satisfied life? Can't we just act on data, theories, and facts without resorting to the ownership of belief?

The truth is that all we have is the empirical knowledge we gain through our senses. We can only believe what we see, hear, smell, taste and touch. Anything other than that is likely to be bullshit and one that you can't even smell.

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