Why do you think? Why do you believe? What's the motivation?

Although there can be many different perspectives, philosophy is more or less about thinking/questioning, to me.

Why do you think?
What is propelling you to think?
How can you be satisfied in your thinking activity?

If you are not into thinking, but rather in believing or following religion (or a school of thought), why do you believe/follow?
What’s the motivation?
What is your satisfaction in doing so.

I think our mental activity, both thinking and believing, can be boiled down to the seeking of certitude/certainty. Moreover seeking absolute certainty.
In other words, I think these are motivated/propelled by the uncertainty or the fear of it, in search of the doubtless state.

Do you recognize the fear or anxiety of uncertainty behind your thought/beliefs?

I don’t believe in certainty for myself, although I do believe that fear of uncertainty may propel others into claims of certainty i.e. religion, etc. I seek to be confidant with uncertainty.

On thinking:

How does one not think? That is part-and-parcel with the human condition. As for what propels me, and presumably others: curiosity. It is fun!

On believing:

I am just one man, with a very limited perspective and a finite amount of time available. It would be hybris in the extreme to suppose that, by myself, I could re-create anything that would be even worth considering. Furthermore, since we are all encumbered, we come to the table with many beliefs built-in anyway. We can recognize those and accept and/or reject them as the evidence warrants it. It is considerably more efficient. Furthermore, it is considerably more exciting. Starting from the beginning, the best you can do is re-tread over things people have mulled over thousands of times. But jumping to a later spot, you can actually do something novel.

On certainty:

You seem rather hung-up on this whole certainty issue. Is it possible that there is a bit of projection going on here? Most people don’t bother with certainty, in my anecdotal experience anyway.

I think that there is definitely an element of fear and anxiety that propels thinking and investigation - but it’s also, as Xunzian said, just plain fun - where the two overlap, exactly, i’m not sure - there’s a certain type of intellectual / existential searching that is more anxiety-inspired and there’s a certain type that’s just more like a game of pick up basketball - Obviously, the type that goes on here tends to be the latter, but then again, the line between the two is not always a definite one - i think some of us definitely play around with philosophy and have fun doing it but are, at root, still a little driven to some degree by a subtle desperation (if that’s the word, i not trying to romanticize anything…) - We’re not all Soren Keirkegaards or anything but there is definitely a fear that underlies the desire to know . . . maybe part of the fun is just the temporary alleviation of that fear that comes from intellectual discovery - but, then again, i don’t want to portray it as an entirely negative process, because i think some of the rewards of philosophy exist of their own account independent of any existential solace it may provide - sometimes, philosophy is just cool.

A. I don’t, or, as little as possible
B. I don’t.
C. All of the above.

We are mules, and our lives are long but finite paths, like a journey down a long road.

We cannot stop from traversing this journey.

We are like mules tied to a wagon. We cannot run to far ahead, we have limtis, and if we stop we will be dragged through the mud.

We must run at the same pace as the wagon. Our ancestors might have not liked this journey but as evolution has taken place it turned out that trotting along with life is very pleasurable indeed, so it’s not that bad. Almost an incentive to trot pridefully wouldn’t you say?

The process of belief comes down through evolution from a time when man had little or no real knowledge and therefore based his thoughts on belief, which is his basic form of thinking today.
It is not based upon knowledge or understanding or reality.
Science is an attempt to find reality, but again comes through “a mind” that basically believes.
What motivates my thinking ? God and the desire to find how to think with reality.

Well, I don’t think that I “think” very often

and when I do, it’s just something that happens.

I think that in the end, the bubble is complete, and we have lift off.
As we arise from the depths, we contemplate what the meaning of it was.
Upon enlightenment, we burst to the surface. And there is no more, id-wise.

In the mean time, it becomes critical to remain aware of what we have read,
for we may read it an infinite amount of times over again
in the life reviews we proceed through,
once the bubble has been formed.

Or maybe we’re a drop.
I dunno.
:smiley:

In practice, how do you try to be confident with uncertainty?

I don’t think, all the time. I stop thinking, intentionally and unintentionally.
I don;t think during deep sleep, although I often think (and learn a lot) in my dreams.

Then, what’s behind “fun”?
What happens if you can’t have fun?

I think we have the fear for boredom. I mean, when things are too easy, too fixed, we go for a little dose of uncertainty and entertain ourselves.
But I think it’s fun as long as it’s a little and manageable dose, and it has the end — the end marked by some kind of “certainty.”
Even puzzle and quiz wouldn’t be fun (for many people) if there is no ending to he little uncertainty.

I think your act og evaluating the evidence is based of the desire for the certainty.
And the efficiency seems to be that of having more certainty with less energy.
Also, I guess seeking something novel is nothing other than the act of seeking new certainty.
So, I think many of your thoughts are indeed based on the desire for more and new certainty.

When I’m interested, I stay on the subject till the interest is gone. :slight_smile:

And again, isn’t your question demanding for the certainty?

I’d say many of our thought/statement are oriented for certainty.
I think it’s relatively important to know how we think, if we want to understand and avoid/correct common mistakes.

I think we have a circuit for “fear” and “fun”.
But I think the “fun” can be boiled down to fear, too.

We can (well, many of us) have fun only when there isn’t much fear.
We can (again, many of us) have fun only when the amount/quality of uncertainty is within acceptable limit (for the given person).
Many of us can have fun only when we know we can obtain certainty (I mean answer) within acceptable (for the person) delay.
Even is the “fun” thinking, it’s oriented toward certainty, and it may well mean underlying fear for the uncertainty.

D. N.A.

I’ll let a horse trotting, pridefully if so preferred, with the wagon, and I’ll take a nap on it. :slight_smile:

Reality doesn’t require thinking. Other than some intelligent being, much of existence deal with “reality” of many kinds without thinking.
Mostly, they turn around something else, and/or turn around itself, like a silly crazy merry go around.
I mean, from particles to galaxy, things go around like a bored dog chasing own tail. :slight_smile:
And so is unorganized thought of ours.

Yeah. I know. You didn’t have to say it.

Are you talking about your experiences, or just guessing?

Do you want to know?

Well now you are just positing a series of contradictory elements!

“Enjoyment is insufficient as a first cause, but certainty is!”

Huh? Why?

“Fear and fun are twin aspects of the same thing. We balance our desire for certainty using them!”

Well, now it isn’t a desire for certainty at all! Now it is a desire for certainty and uncertainty! So how can we reduce everything down to a desire for certainty unless the desire for also implies a desire from.

do you remember that this is a public forum? :unamused:

Maybe the appetite for certainty is a trap the mind falls into to reassure itself of certain actions and beliefs etc. Confidence in uncertainty would simply be the acknowledgment that what I believe to be true isn’t necessarily true, and that there may be ulterior motives for me believing it is true i.e. fear of uncertainty. And the better I get at understanding this trap the better I can cut through other people’s bullshit. People talk allot of bullshit, I’m almost certain of that :smiley:.