This is my first thread. I just want to see what peoples thoughts are on this single question.
Where to thoughts/beliefs come from?

from God.

All things ‘come from’ the Source!

‘Thought’ can certainly be described as a waste material, of varying toxicity, excreted by a functioning brain.

‘Belief’ is what appears where there is a lack of ‘critical thought’.
(and vice versa)
‘Belief’ and ‘critical thought’ are inversely proportional; the more of one, the less of the other.

The thoughts that I have, my reasoning mind, that eventually governs my actions are a waste material? I don’t know about waste material, possibly a function/product of a functioning brain.

Also a belief can and, I believe, sometimes is based on critical thought. Take the belief that the earth was round before 500 C.E, based on critical thought. A belief is defined as an opinion/conviction. It doesn’t mean that that belief can not be based on critical thought.

I lumped beliefs and thoughts together because I thought them different enough as a product of the brain but close enough to the point where they may still have the same source.

My question back to you is, how does “God” put those thoughts into your head? And also if your thoughts come from God then that is a big hit towards free will which is required for the belief in God right?

Interesting question. I suppose it depends on what kind of thoughts you’re talking about. Take huunger for example, how do we come to realize we’re hungry? Do we simply act in an automatic response to go get food or do we have to first realize our hunger? How do we realize such things, is realization only something which occurs in the brain i.e. a thought, a response of the body lacking sustenance; if so if the communication broke down between feeling hunger and realzing hunger would we simply starve, or are our thoughts a product of all our organs and not just the brain?

There is direct experience of ‘reality’, and then there is ‘thinking’ about it (one step removed).
Your ‘thoughts’ happen, as do your ‘actions’. Neither ‘governs’ the other but by ‘appearance’. Benjamin Libet’s famous experiment demonstrates clearly that the ‘brain’ initiates ‘action’ prior to the conscious ‘decision’ to act!
Life happens whether you think and plan or yell and scream. You will find this to be true as the years and your ‘efforts’ pass… (or not).
Life even happens (most beautifully and elegantly, as I (and many others) have found) in a total absence of ‘thought’ (meditational state).
‘Free-will’ is an egoic fantasy, a vanity (the ‘sin’, if you swing that way, of ‘pride’).

My point exactly! *__-
‘Critical thought’ is an ever ongoing process of examining the ever different world as presented to perception.
‘Belief’ is a ‘conclusion’ (usually emotionally/egoically b(i)ased), that you know the ‘truth’ of something (egoic vanity), to one extent or another, and is, therefore, an ‘end’ to the ongoing process of critical thought as unnecessary now that you ‘know the truth’ (end of enquiry).
Evidence demonstrates the inverse proportionality of the two.

I have to agree with you that a belief is a conclusion. But a belief is a conclusion of critical thoughts, it is the product of critical thought. Every philosophical theory is essentially a belief, someones product of their critical thought.

Right, and to ‘conclude’ a naturally ongoing process seems a bit… ‘devolutional’.

‘Critical thought’ (philosophy) only produces ‘tentative’, ‘conditional’ and ‘temporally located’ ‘products/results’. The ‘product/temporal result’ is more like a rest stop, until a ‘critical update’ rolls along, which will be ignored and denied in the face of a ‘belief’.

Nope, a tentative theory (and all theories are tentative) is not the same thing as a ‘belief’.
One doesn’t ordinarily have ‘tentative beliefs’; that would be oxymoronic. The ‘deeper/stronger’ the belief, the less ability to think critically.
Just follow some of the religious conversations on this site to find a plethora of examples.
Just notice human history where ‘beliefs’ are concerned; the holocaust summing up 2,000 years of Xtian persecution of the Jews, the inquisition, the crusades, muslim expansion by the sword, racism, sexism, killing and dying for beliefs is not uncommon, like ‘freedom’, God, etc… History is replete with evidence. People don’t kill, commit attrocities and die for ‘tentative theories’. No ‘ego’ involved there (considerably less, anyway).

From context, which they in turn create.

I think your mixing up the terms belief and faith. I believe that God doesn’t exist, that is the end product of my critical thought. Others would say that they still have faith that god exists even without the proper evidence. What you are talking about is faith, which is an unwavering belief. Wiki defined belief as: Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth of or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.[1][2] For example, the word “faith” can refer to a religion itself or to religion in general. As with “trust”, faith involves a concept of future events or outcomes, and is also used for a belief characteristically held without proof. A belief can still be subject to change with the proper evidence, faith can not.

interesting point, i hadnt thought of this really before. if faith is not based upon material or experiential evidence, then on what grounds would it ever be re-evaluated? i.e., faith-based convictions seem to be evidence-independent (such as the belief in God, for which there is no material or experiential grounds)… these sorts of convictions are usually generated by early or social conditioning, and held onto due to the emotional association and investment we have in the conviction itself, having “believed” in it before we were actually capable of truly evaluating it (i.e. before we “grew up” or gained the ability to abstract cognitively and objectively outside of a particular paradigm).

it seems that evidence can DESTROY or UNDERMINE faith-based convictions, such as “wow, i used to believe in this loving personal God figure, but now i see he isnt anywhere to be found, and the world is a pretty crappy place and it seems all nature and reality can be explained scientifically… i guess i dont believe in God after all”-- or, perhaps evidence can CONFIRM a faith-based belief we have, such as “i have always had this long-held belief that this food must taste bad, even though ive never had it; and i tried it today for the first time, and it WAS bad! i was right!”; in this case, however, the conviction in question “food x tastes bad” ceases to be based on faith and instead becomes JUSTIFIED based on experience. so even in cases such as this, faith is undermined by evidence.

I think that, for all intents and purposes, that the two are interchangeable. They both seem the same ‘spectrum’…

And that is what I am talking about.
You perceive a uniquely different universe every moment of your life!
What you do not perceive in one moment, you might well perceive/conceive in the next! To ‘attach’ to the ‘truths’ of one moment (form beliefs) can well prevent you from perceiving the truths of another moment; Now! (and Here! The only ‘place’ you can be!) and Now! and Now! and Now!

At one extreme of the continuum, perhaps, but not at the other or the multitude between.
‘Faith’ is on the same bell-shaped curve as ‘belief’, “O Ye of little faith!” - Xtian Book of the Dead
The observed symptoms suggest that ‘belief’ and ‘faith’ are interchangeably similar.

“The weeds of religion, all, sprout from the dung-hill of ‘beliefaith’.” - Arthur Finster
Despite the obvious bias in the Perspective, the point remains clear; people with similar ‘beliefaiths’ (henceforth, in the name of simplicity and clarity, i will simply write ‘beliefs’, I tried…) tend to attract into groups called religions; nonrational societies.

“I have faith that my perceptions, right Now! are real.”
“I believe that I’m going (‘future’) to hell!”

So untrue! Generally. (I will use ‘belief’ to speak to both) Belief is emotional, nonrational; logical argument, as you suggest, will only effect the weakest beliefs, those who have not had the time to ‘ripen’. And 'believers in the oddest things consider their ‘evidence’ ‘proper’! Inherent thing about Perspectives, they are all unique and can see the ‘evidence’ differently. I doubt that there can be found more than the statistically possible one or two minds on this site that were convinced, by the presentation of ‘logic’, or simply youPerspective, to abandon their beliefs. Notice the emotionally laden term commonly used regarding the … ending?.. of beliefs. Non-rational.
Many claim that they have lost their ‘faith’, so it is not ‘unwavering’. You can, of course, argue that they do not know what they are talking about. The evidence is (as I interpret it) that they are interchangeable.
I see no need for the ‘distinction’, considering the evidence.
‘Belief’ does tend to twist and stretch definitions to form an emotionally and ‘intellectually’ acceptable 'justification/ rationalization/ ‘evidence’.
Whatever the Perspective, though, all are ‘real’, all 'exist, all ‘reality’, a feature of the complete Reality/Universe.


In theory I can’t really argue with the view you are expressing here, because, well, every word, strings of words and sentences can only be limited abstractions of what we sense in the moment.

But in practise we, as human beings, want to order and measure things. Can we really move from moment to moment without forming some more solid higher abstractions, that are necessarily false, but give us some direction anyhow? And if we could live like this, is it even preferable? We want to make things intelligible, is there another way that doesn’t use some form of fixed points that are the basis for comparison? Doesn’t truth originated from untruth :smiley:?

Wouldn’t we still be living a hunter-gatherer life now if it weren’t for faith and beliefs?

I’m playing devils advocate here, and maybe I don’t understand your position fully… I’d like to hear your views on this.

Words are as ‘real’, as ‘existent’, as integral to the Universe as pizza and Venus!

Some do. I think that you would have a difficult time trying to support such a hasty generalization.
I, for instance do not go about attempting to ‘order’ or ‘measure things’. At times I need to perform measurements, but that is strictly pragmatic and occassionally. I also must confess that at other times, occassionally, i ‘order things’, like a pizza, or the dinner fixins. But I do not see this as relevent. It is not a deep inherent human necessity and far from proving your point.

No, we cannot. It really does appear that way, though, from some Perspectives.

That would be strictly a matter of Perspective. It is only from a particular Perspective that there can be anything seen as ‘false’ or ‘true’. ‘Eye of the beholder’ thing…

You presume that you direct your life. That is youPerspective. I do not so assume. I see ‘free-will/choice’ as an egoic fantasy, a ‘belief’.

I see ‘fixed points’ for comparison as a clumsy way of saying context. There are no ‘fixed (referrence) points’, or all ‘(referrence) points’ are ‘fixed’, depending on Perspective.

Not necessarily, it depends on perspective. All moments/percepts are synchronous, Here! Now! Your question implies linear, sequentiality which is only a particular Perspective. The Universe is ‘larger’ than our particular view of linearity, much less any particular order of moments. Perspective.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t try to second-guess what is because there are no options. What is, is! The entire structure of the Universe is all so interrelated (one!) that in any moment/percept, for the tiniest thing to ‘be different’, the entire Universe would have to, likewise, change. Such is the egoPerspective, to be the ‘chooser’ and the ‘doer’, the ‘god’ of your world!
I see ‘faith/belief’ to be too closely associated with all the horrors that man bestows upon himself his fellow man and his environment (blissfully ignorant to the fact that we and our environment are one)!
I have no beliefs, I use critical thought. The two are in an inverse proportional ratio. The more of one in a person’s mind, the less of the other.
People kill and die and commit any atrocity to keep his strongly held beliefs alive and reproducing.
From a particular Perspective, ‘beliefs’ exhibit virus-like symptoms.

It has also been well said that; “the passion of a belief is inversely proportional to the evidence in its favour!”

An interesting read can be found here; Belief IS the enemy

I do not see ‘belief’ in terms of judgement, such as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but as ‘is’, existing part of the Universe.
There are many Perspectives on the subject. Mine is that due to the structure of beliefs, I find it unwise to attempt logical/rational discussion on the subject of their deeply held irrational beliefs. It gets ugly. Evidence is all over the religious forums.
Not good, not bad, I just happen to not have any beliefs. (and, no, I do not believe that! I observe that, Now!)

As to your question, ‘faith and beliefs’ are, in my opinion, devolutionary. They have kept a great portion of our individual and personal ‘psyche’, still, ‘hunters and gatherers’, still grunting and scratching by the fire. Look around you, man! Look at the state of mankind with the fruits of their ‘beliefs’.
I’m unimpressed.

out of words…

Okay. Does did relate to what i’ve said?

What about most do? All abstraction is generalisation. And it’s really not that important to make my point. I suffices that this is an option that can be considered.

What do you mean, that there are literally only isolated moments?

Okay, talking to you is going to be difficult :smiley:. I used false loosely to alluded to the fact that all is perspective and that any belief can’t really be taken as something absolute or even as having implication outside it’s specific context, but is’t taken that way anyway, hence false. Maybe it’s not the right word, but do you see what i’m getting at?

I don’t necessarily assume I direct my life, I’m just saying a belief can give a certain direction. The belief in ‘free will’ and the 'belief in a determined non-free will, will probably give you other directions in life. I’m not saying these beliefs are chosen per se. Let’s not get into this debate.

Could you elaborate on this? It’s hard see what you mean, context is very general. Do you randomly act only on context without any preconcieved notions?

This perspective is certainly alien to me. But yes, I don’t necessarily mean absolute or ultimate thruth, perspective truth, or utility truths is good enough for me to consider the option if it’s all we have. The universe may be larger, but we are still only human.

I don’t necessarily disagree with you are saying, I know it can get ugly. But at the same time I think we wouldn’t be here if there never were any beliefs or faith. And I know it’s all hypothetical if, if… but that part of the point, you can’t really phantom a world without faith or beliefs. I don’t readily accept it need be a matter of all or nothing. I’m exploring the upside of holding beliefs and the implications of having no beliefs, for human beings.

I’m not sure. You seem to be singling out words, for some reason, as somehos of special import in existence and I am saying that I see no such ‘differentiation’. Perhaps I completely misunderstand what you are saying?

I can hang with ‘many’… *__-

Not ‘isolated’ as all is one in Consciousness, but ‘distinct’ Perspectives. One ‘percept’, a ‘snapshot’ of your perceived world, a tapestry. There is Consciousness/Mind. There is Conscious Perspective of Mind (us). All is monism, but due to the limitations of Perspective we each are synchronous snapshots of Mind = the Universe perceived. One 'snapshot is a (Planck) moment, one percept. Every moment/percept/Perspective is unique. Not ‘isolated’, unique. And synchronously existing, for a moment, Now!

Ain’t that the truth!

One can say (from a very limited Perspective) that nothing has ‘implications’ outside the immediate ‘hood’, but I see one Universe that would be subsequently different if the eyelash of a gnat were to suddenly disappear.

Understood. Perspective…

As one moment does not ‘turn into’ another, I really can’t hang with a life ‘direction’ and us ‘influencing’ it (no choice, no options).
How about ‘beliefs’ are found in certain contexts. As is everything else. A ‘belief’ can add a certain ‘flavor’ to a life, I guess, perhaps a certain texture? I wouldn’t know from experience. And I would.
I can’t go the ‘causation’ route. One finds ‘believers’ in education around libraries and schools and universities; context.

Very general, Universal, ultimately.
Context defines, moment a moment, everything. Context changes per Perspective percept/every moment. Every moment is it’s own unique context; is a ‘fixed’ point of referrence/ context within itself. The context of this moment does not define the world of this moment, yet is an inherent feature of the Universe, as are all Perspectives/moments.

Quite often. Mu-shin, “no-mind”. Meditational state. Zen. Chop wood, carry water…

We are the Universe, “context”, by definition. You, I, anything can only be fully defined/described by including the context of what is being defined. A painting is not the wall on which it hangs; painting, no painting, no duck… And ultimately, the complete context of anything in existence would be the entire Universe. So, by very definition, there is no real difference between us and the perceived Universe.
Perceiver and perceived are one.

We are not here because we were there. Nothing leads to where we are except in appearances; memory, etc…
Nevertheless, it’s all idle speculation as there is no options to what is.
We can never be anywhere but Here! Now!
Remember the gnat’s eyelash? The entire Universe would have to be restructured to accomodate the addition or deletion of the smallest belief.

Nasty things. We can teach our children to ‘think’ for themselves to their capability rather then encourage them to ‘believe’, but parents infected with beliefs naturally propagate them in the easy and fertile ground of their innocent children.
Beliefs add a rather colorful touch to existence, in my opinion, but it’s mostly in tones of red.

There are many apparently powerful positive uses of ‘belief’ in the furthering of one’s selfish ego. Adding ‘belief’ to a flagging egoic ‘self image’ can be just the nitrous boost to grow some fruit.
Magic works well with the power of focused ‘belief’.
One can plant beliefs in others that serve one’s evil will for world domination…

I’m just mentioning words and language because they are tools of thought. They have implications for thought and beliefs that a cheeseburger doesn’t have. It’s not that important for this discussion.

I knew this was going to be difficult :smiley:. It may, or may no be, humans inferring direction, time from the way we experience things. I thought everybody thought this way, I certainly can’t think otherwise, but apparently you can?

If there’s no arrow of time, no direction and no moment influencing another, no choice, causation goes out of the window too. Then I suppose beliefs would be useless indeed.

This is just to alien to me, i don’t know what to say then. Let me try this, do you abstract things from experience, and accumulate knowledge that is relevant for other moments? Is learning even possible in your perspective?

Maybe you’re right, and maybe not, I have no way of verifying this. How do you know?

And even if it’s right, as humans we do tend to inject an arrow of time and some causation in our experience. That need not be a bad thing.

Sounds nice. I can’t say I have the luxury to live like this at the moment.

Yes, maybe, but we don’t and can’t experience the whole universe. So, are you saying any more limited perspective and any attempt at making it intelligible is useless, because it falls short of the whole? This seems a radical position to take.

Maybe western and other civilizations are build at least partly with blood, should we allways try to avoid all bloodshed at the cost of all else?

I’m specifically looking for the use of beliefs in making the world intelligible to man. It may play a central role.

‘Beliefs’ and ‘critical thought’ are diametrically opposed, the more of one, the less of the other.
‘Beliefs’ do not make anything ‘intelligible’, they make it egoically comfortable, with more ‘knowing’ and less ‘thinking’; a ‘supportive’ of ‘self’ image.