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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs      Home login  
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 Super_Eve
Joined: 10/23/2008
Msg: 1
Sacrificing Cherished BeliefsPage 1 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
There are few things nobler, than the pursuit of truth. This preoccupation has seduced the greatest of minds, thinkers, inventors, etc.

And I wonder about these giants...did they ever face this dilemma...

When pursuing the truth, should one be willing and prepared, to sacrifice their most cherished beliefs, in order for the obtainment of such?

Would you?

And what cherished beliefs would you be willing to sacrifice in the face of such truth?

Can a cherished belief constitute as a truth, based upon interpretive personal experience?

It is a very subtle, but for me, profoundly provocative question...

Let's discuss...
 kornbluth
Joined: 12/25/2006
Msg: 2
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Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 3:33:03 AM

And I wonder about these giants...did they ever face this dilemma

Anyone who ever discovered an unpopular truth has been in a dilemma, such as whether to keep quiet or be executed.


When pursuing the truth, should one be willing and prepared, to sacrifice their most cherished beliefs, in order for the obtainment of such?

Depends on whether one wants truth or approbation.


Would you?

If I didn't, I might still believe in Santa Claus.


And what cherished beliefs would you be willing to sacrifice in the face of such truth?

You don't have a choice, other than withdrawal or solipsism.


Can a cherished belief constitute as a truth, based upon interpretive personal experience?

Of course, but that's relative. When you're asleep, a dream is a real as anything.
 curiousaboutu77
Joined: 12/28/2007
Msg: 3
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Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 3:37:37 AM
I think the major problem is that people don't look for the truth and just go with what they believe and don't care how much evidence there is to the contrary. I guess a lot of peoples thoughts on the truth is more to do with faith and not enough critical thinking.

I tend to think that this is because a lot of peoples values and how they see the world affects what they see as truth and if some new information doesn't agree with there values, it tends to get ignored.

It takes plenty of guts to sacrifice your beliefs but i tend to evolve over time in regards to the truth and tend to digest things and there implications a while but there is no doubt that my thoughts now are very different to what they used to be.

It is like a cumulative affect where things happen in our lives and we think about things and change what we see as truth rather then something that happens in spurts or in stages.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 4
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Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 5:54:50 AM

There are few things nobler, than the pursuit of truth. This preoccupation has seduced the greatest of minds, thinkers, inventors, etc.

And I wonder about these giants...did they ever face this dilemma...
Thinkers who might be called "giants of history" definitely struggled with sacrificing cherished beliefs. Dropping the notion of absolute measurement must have been a very bitter pill for Einstein to swallow. Yet he and Eddington managed to accept Relativity.

When pursuing the truth, should one be willing and prepared, to sacrifice their most cherished beliefs, in order for the obtainment of such?
If you don't, what happens? You can only find those truths that agree with your most cherished beliefs. You severely limit your ability to find ruth?

Would you?
I have. Many times.

And what cherished beliefs would you be willing to sacrifice in the face of such truth?
Considering that I've had to give up on a lot of my "cherished" beliefs, like that problems in my life were not caused by me at all, and that I am somehow superior to others, I doubt there is much that I would not give up.

Can a cherished belief constitute as a truth, based upon interpretive personal experience?
It is true, assuming the context of one's own personal experience. But assuming the wider truths of the world, it is only true if one's interpretation of one's personal experiences is consistent with the way the world works in general.
 BBQ Spider
Joined: 11/9/2009
Msg: 5
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 6:50:16 AM
I've sacrificed cherished beliefs time and again, when they proved unfounded, surely everyone has. ?? Not fun but it has to be done.

I was raised fundamentalist and I remember where I was standing the exact moment I realized I didn't believe... I felt this smothery panic, like Earth was caving in on itself below me, as I hung helplessly, suspended in outer space, without a suit, with nothing and nobody there to support me.
 indefatigabilis
Joined: 11/10/2009
Msg: 6
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 8:28:38 AM
The only belief that would be hard to sacrifice would be the belief I have in the truth being worth all other beliefs. I never started out with beliefs, because when I first dabbled in them it was out of curiosity about beliefs. I tried some on for size so I could experience what it was like to pretend that earnestly. The problem I found with believing is that only through an act of outright lying could it ever be more than supposing, assuming, or pretending. Lying to myself has never been possible, and not for lack of trying, because no matter how well I might tell the lie, I already know it is one, and that spoils the effect, making it impossible to believe. I can hope for something, act like it is a foregone conclusion, ignore the risk it might not be true, or take it for granted, but belief itself is beyond my ability, except as I mistake knowing as believing, and think I know something which I really can't. Does that count? I will let go of any idea as soon as a better one comes along, and sometimes even before. To not know about something is one of the better ways to wonder about it, which helps greatly in pondering it, which is a step towards understanding it, that if done right can lead to laughing at what you came up with to explain it. The knowledge I seek and keep is for either amusement or application, but need not be true beyond my use for it, and so the truth is relative and modest to begin with, and belief is an approximation for when confusion and ignorance would somehow be unwanted, although I can't think of such a time, except maybe when driving through fog on a slick road miles from the nearest bastion of absolute authority. If I want to sacrifice something I cherish, for truth or any other cause, I will make a little bunny out of lint, and bond with it, and then sorrowfully cycle it through the washing machine in the pocket of my shirt, and moan and wail but finally adjust to the new reality for which it was offered.
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 7
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 9:10:38 AM

The only belief that would be hard to sacrifice would be the belief I have in the truth being worth all other beliefs

That is the Truth, inde! I'm not quite with you on the dust bunny thing, though.

I don't think I have any "cherished beliefs", but then again I have an active imagination. But I guess if someone came along and said "We are all robots", and had the facts to back it up, that would put me in quite a tizzy. I am confident that I would be able to handle the truth.
 indefatigabilis
Joined: 11/10/2009
Msg: 8
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 3:21:43 PM
Science doesn't have beliefs in that sense. The truths in science are limited to exist only within a specific framework. A basic personal religious belief is a pretense of absolute certainty based in a fantasy. Science makes statements about what works. It is pragmatic. It describes as true only that which is derived from a narrowly defined process of verification. Personal belief is whatever you say it is, for any reason you might have. It's not subject to rules and serves an entirely different purpose. There are no cherished scientific beliefs.
 Super_Eve
Joined: 10/23/2008
Msg: 9
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 9:06:00 PM
Thank you all, for input. I am really enjoying these posts, and as always, they are very thought provoking...


And what cherished beliefs would you be willing to sacrifice in the face of such truth?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You don't have a choice, other than withdrawal or solipsism.


I completely fail to see, where these are the only options.


It takes plenty of guts to sacrifice your beliefs but I tend to evolve over time in regards to the truth and tend to digest things and there implications a while but there is no doubt that my thoughts now are very different to what they used to be.


Beautifully put...


Does somebody want the truth or not ?


Exactly.



But assuming the wider truths of the world, it is only true if one's interpretation of one's personal experiences is consistent with the way the world works in general.


Totally agree...


I was raised fundamentalist and I remember where I was standing the exact moment I realized I didn't believe...


I remember being thirteen, sitting in biology class, and realizing that aliens did not come down and speed up the evolutionary process of the apes, that my parents opinions were just that-----> opinions. Up until then, I thought it was the "truth", and that everyone thought this way, and that was what was meant by mythology, including Christianity. That moment freed me, to think for myself, and to so easily accept what was handed to me by outside sources, unless experiential proof was provided. Experiential proof mostly consisting of independent study. Philosophy, the science of the body, Jung, and...chemistry.


I felt this smothery panic, like Earth was caving in on itself below me, as I hung helplessly, suspended in outer space, without a suit, with nothing and nobody there to support me.


I had this same reaction too, (and still do at times) when I realized that there was no rational belief consistent with, consciousness beyond death. For years I was under the assumption, and hubris truth be known, that of course our consciousness extended beyond death.

Thank you, Scurvy.


If I want to sacrifice something I cherish, for truth or any other cause, I will make a little bunny out of lint, and bond with it, and then sorrowfully cycle it through the washing machine in the pocket of my shirt, and moan and wail but finally adjust to the new reality for which it was offered.

This sounds like a better idea, than the one I had to sacrifice goats on the altar of truth, in the literal sense, of course...

Ellipses...I cherish the truth in the ellipses...


Surely it is a joy to recognize the error of a falsely held belief. In the process, learning something new and providing a new viewpoint from which to evaluate the beliefs you still hold true. I constantly strive to question my beliefs and view things from a different perspective.


I totally agree with this. Yet...



>How can you possibly give up cherished beliefs if you cannot accept that they may in need of overhaul?


Here is the thing. It is my opinion, that there are beliefs and then there are cherished beliefs, ones that I hold close to my heart. There are maybe, at most three of them. Cherished beliefs, it has been my experience, are tied to emotional convictions based upon transcendental experiences. If these are easily sacrificed, then they simply could not be all that cherished...

Great post, Quiet.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 10
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 9:54:29 PM

When pursuing the truth, should one be willing and prepared, to sacrifice their most cherished beliefs, in order for the obtainment of such?

Many have the curiosity to seek truth, but there are precious few with the courage to actually face it, especially when there are so many enticing and convenient lies vying for our attention. The earnest seeker will not be dissuaded, because it is a given that even the most cherished of beliefs may have to fall under the weight of evidence.

Would you?

It was relatively easy for me. I didn't start out seeking truth, only beauty. It turns out that the two are inseparable.

And what cherished beliefs would you be willing to sacrifice in the face of such truth?

It really wouldn't matter; there is nothing I cherish more than the truth, so there is no sacrifice.

Can a cherished belief constitute as a truth, based upon interpretive personal experience?

I would say that's what makes it a belief to be cherished, but no matter how cherished a belief, it ought always stand ready to fall.
 Super_Eve
Joined: 10/23/2008
Msg: 11
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 10:14:47 PM
@ Dukky




I would say that's what makes it a belief to be cherished, but no matter how cherished a belief, it ought always stand ready to fall.


You would be willing to forego, your conclusion surrounding the banking system and their control over our current economic situation? You would be willing to sacrifice that? That perhaps, it might be proven "good", for the legitimacy and the longevity, and become increasingly beneficial for society, given time, due to fluctuating ideology concerning economics, and the application of such?

Cherished beliefs are just that...cherished. When confronted with an incongruency, then they must not be quite so cherished, when confronted with an inconsistency.

 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 12
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Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 10:25:46 PM
there are many assumed truths.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 13
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 10:34:41 PM

You would be willing to forego, your conclusion surrounding the banking system and their control over our current economic situation? You would be willing to sacrifice that? That perhaps, it might be proven "good", for the legitimacy and the longevity, and become increasingly beneficial for society, given time, due to fluctuating ideology concerning economics, and the application of such?

I'd not only be willing, I'd be overjoyed to find that I'm wrong!
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 14
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 10:57:18 PM


When pursuing the truth, should one be willing and prepared, to sacrifice their most cherished beliefs, in order for the obtainment of such?

Would you?


Been there, done that. I was a rabid Christian until I realized that it's all a load of horse pucky. If you're not willing to sacrifice cherised personal beliefs then you're not really searching for the truth.
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 15
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Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/25/2009 11:23:22 PM
I try very hard to not throw the baby out with the bath water, but you do have to get rid of all the dirty bath water though.
 Super_Eve
Joined: 10/23/2008
Msg: 16
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/26/2009 1:15:28 AM

If you're not willing to sacrifice cherished personal beliefs then you're not really searching for the truth.


I left out the second part in my above statement. If you're not willing to sacrifice cherished personal beliefs then you're not really searching for the truth. When confronted with an incongruency, then they must not be quite so cherished, when confronted with an inconsistency, if they are so easily relinquished.

There are intellectual beliefs, and then there are cherished beliefs.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 17
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/26/2009 1:46:54 AM

There are intellectual beliefs, and then there are cherished beliefs.

In that regard, I suppose my most cherished belief was that there must be some form of afterlife. Like anyone, I like to think that one day "we'll meet again" with all the loved ones who died before. It is not easy to think that death might be absolute and final, yet I eventually came to the conclusion that it was, finding the evidence for an afterlife insufficient to support the belief. As painful as it was, I had to let go of the delusion.

I should mention that after I did so, my appreciation of life improved immediately and I became a happier man. Once I accepted the most likely truth, I could see the beauty in it.
 indefatigabilis
Joined: 11/10/2009
Msg: 18
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/26/2009 7:43:19 AM
The thing is, when you aren't believing in made up truths, or lies, and you aren't abusing language to create rationalizations as a poser of truths, where you''re left is not knowing, having no idea, being clueless, ignorant, at sea, and wrong. In some circles that is bad stuff. You don't get to know better, be smart, be wise, or, most important of all, be right. Imagine a world in which every time you spoke, you were wrong. Every assertion you made was false. Every time you came to a conclusion, it was a failure that resulted from misguided assumptions and faulty thinking. When you are ready to abandon the truth entirely as fraudulent perversion of ideas, only then can you escape the clutches of cherished beliefs. The question was about trading away a belief to gain a truth. Once you had the truth, would you trade it away to gain a cup of rice for a starving child?
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 19
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/26/2009 8:46:20 AM

Once you had the truth, would you trade it away to gain a cup of rice for a starving child?

Of course. What good is truth without justice?
 xlr8ingmargo
Joined: 7/28/2009
Msg: 20
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/26/2009 10:21:58 AM
Would I sacrifice my cherished beliefs for the truth? Life is full of compromise and sometimes the harsh reality of that truth really does set us free. I still enjoy that old poem.
 ea┬«ly
Joined: 11/7/2006
Msg: 21
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/26/2009 11:29:26 AM
I was listening to a CBC radio interview with Tom Waits on Christmas morning on the drive back home, he's always a great source for simple but profound statements. As soon as I heard him say it, I thought of this thread.

"People shouldn't use the word 'truth', ...unless they put an 'S' at the end of it".

I find that I can challenge my own intellectual beliefs when I'm speaking with others who have open minds (in the true sense, not 'credulous'), who are also good at communicating {like the OP}. As for 'cherished' beliefs, ...I'm not sure I have any that qualify as 'cherished', I'll have to think about this.
 loverofwisdom
Joined: 1/24/2004
Msg: 22
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/26/2009 11:52:54 AM
I'm not sure any of my beliefs are cherished. I do have many beliefs - half of them are false and the other half I don't agree with. I tend to think I have more "sympathies" with various ideas (and I'm often sympathetic to conflicting views!)
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 23
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Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/26/2009 4:23:54 PM
RE Msg: 29 by exogenist:
I think beliefs come with meaning and a reason. Truth doesn't necessarily carry meaning. I think it should be important to consider this. Since it doesn't matter if it is true that I love A or I believe I love A. What is important is the meaning or reason/motivation behind I love A, whether it is belief or not. As such sacrificing a cherished belief in my mind is nothing more than giving up a meaning or reason that cannot stand and replacing it with a meaning that does. As such for any apparent truth there may be different meanings to be gathered or thrown away.

Such as God. It is not whether "it" exists but the meaning it carries for those who believe in a form of God.
That is a profound view, that was and is held by many who spent much time dwelling on the subject of G-d. In my POV, it's a more enlightened view, because belief in G-d then becomes synonymous with living with what G-d would want. If G-d exists, then G-d caused nature, and human morality, and thus being in tune with both becomes G-d's Will. So belief in G-d becomes synonymous with living in tune with nature, and in tune with human morality.

That can be seen, when we can rise above labels and specific limitations, to the point where we can let go of our most cherished assumptions about life, and just look for the most practically effective of views, like the "win-win".
 ZenBeth
Joined: 2/23/2009
Msg: 24
Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/26/2009 7:18:55 PM
I don't give up real truth. Truth to me is something I can see feel and actually know from experience. As an example I gave up the belief if Easter bunny, Santa clause, tooth fairy etc when I grew out of childhood. Its why we never taught these ideas as 'truth' to our son. I pretty much live by the adage 'To thine own self be true'. Therefore if I see someone who is hungry I don't 'trust' that the government or someone else will see them and feed them. So I give them some hot soup and sandwich and cookies. And a container of milk. If I pass someone who is stuck on the road I don't assume someone else has called for help for them, so I pull over up always and call the CHP.

This year we heard a lot of hype about the H1N1 flu shots and how everyone needed one and that so many people would die. But I knew that somewhere around 30k died every year from the regular flu, and I figured since the government didn't have all the vaccines needed that perhaps it wasn't as serious as they said, since one would assume if it was the sky is falling mess they said, that they would be working 24/7 to make sure vaccines were there for all who wanted them. Remember after Katrina and how many people were shocked at how awful the government reacted? Having been in earthquakes, fires and floods here in the west I know better than to EVER assume the government will help anyone. Hell they cannot even provide good military gear for the men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While I am open and honest I do not fully trust people unless they have proven they can be trusted. Comes from working search and rescue here in the California Sierras both summer and winter.Thus I don't suffer fools lightly.

~Beth~
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 25
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Sacrificing Cherished Beliefs
Posted: 12/26/2009 7:57:48 PM
RE Msg: 31 by ZenBeth:
Remember after Katrina and how many people were shocked at how awful the government reacted?
You have an excellent point here, ZenBeth. Government action is often inconistent with the needs of the people. So when the government says that Swine Flu is dangerous, you have to consider if what they are saying is accurate. As it turns out, the levels of infection and deaths due to Swine Flu, are no worse than any normal case of flu, maybe even less than a normal bout of flu.

Comes from working search and rescue here in the California Sierras both summer and winter.
You are worthy of the highest praise for this activity. I've got the highest admiration for anyone who works to save others, and particularly in such a difficult and dangerous job.
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