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The Tide of Belief

B-E-L-I-E-F

Six letters that make the world go round.  After all, the framework of your day revolves around what you believe.  Your car is sound, your food is free of disease, your spouse loves you, your boss will pay you.  Disbelief yields indecision and paranoia.  Therefore, belief is necessary in order for a society to progress.

Yet on what do we base these many tenets?  Only proofs of what occurred the day or moment before.  Your spouse who said “I  love you”.  Your boss who has paid you your wage before.  Your car that worked fine yesterday.  Your lettuce that didn’t make you sick last meal.  Past experience yields the present framework.

People laugh at beliefs, but we all have them for everything we do. And belief is simply an additional layer to what has been seen or observed.

If…..then……

But there are different beliefs aren’t there?  And some are accepted, so much so that not to believe is “paranoid or crazy”.  While others are not, so much so that to believe is “paranoid or crazy”.

A current accepted belief is that electricity is good.  Those who do not think this, such as the Amish, are considered weird at best.  But the Amish will laugh when, cozy and warm, they bask in their unchanged quality of life and watch the rest of us fight for our basic needs when our reliance on electricity leaves us in the dust.  Which can very easily happen if the “Big One” (solar storm) knocks out our huge transformers, leaving us in the dark and cold for weeks or months.  Our reliance on something other than ourselves to care for our basic needs is a belief that leaves us vulnerable.

A current accepted belief is that GMO foods are a new wave in technology and pharmaceutical based medications are the only medical intervention to be used by an enlightened society. People who believe that GMO foods are harmful and essential oils have antibacterial properties are just kooky.  But the evidence–and tide–are turning on these two beliefs.

In its’ essence, belief is technically a calculated gamble.  Economics calls it Game Theory.  Using what you know to predict what will be.  Game Theory has lots of nifty formulas, complicated mathematical algorithms and if-then statements, but in a nutshell, it is nothing more than a fancy fortune-teller.

Of course, don’t tell my brother that. He has a doctorate in Game Theory Economics, and bristles up like a well-worn potato brush when I make fun of it.

Game Theory

“Conspiracy theorists” are laughed at because they don’t see the “then” in the “now”.  They see the “now” in the “now”, and if they can’t logically connect it back to the “then”, well,in their mind that is the basis for a problem.  Their belief is suspended.  But should we laugh at people who have connected a dot and questioned it?  For is that not the tenet of science?

Observation equals hypothesis.

Hypothesis plus research equals theory.

For me, I say no, because 9 times out of 10 the conspiracy theorists have been right or have pointed us in a direction to question.  Conspiracy theorists are powerful observers of our world, and as such you should at least go–hmmmm.

I for one am just like the rest of us.  I live my day full of beliefs about my world.  I live my day full of beliefs about life and the reasons for it.   But I am not proud enough to discredit others, or laugh at people who choose not to follow the “rule of the day”.  I choose not to follow the rule of the day, for it certainly is not popular to be a Christian.  But real courage is living up to those beliefs, even when the tide of belief is against you.

Food for thought:

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. – Rene’ Descartes

Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith, it is an element of faith. – Paul Tillich

Man is manifestly not the measure of all things. This universe is shot through with mystery. The very fact of its being, and of our own, is a mystery absolute, and the only miracle worthy of the name. – Sam Harris

Pictures:

sharonkoconnor.wordpress.com

solarweek.org

hogwartsprofessor.com

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6 comments on “The Tide of Belief

  1. Extremely interesting and well presented Lori. The only place I had a question is with GMO foods. Are you saying there is now proof they are good? Though I suppose it’s quite possibly just the tactics of the manufacturer that brings the product into question.
    I’m sending you weekend Hugs. xxxx

    • David: I think I did not write it well. The first sentence blaming people for being “kooky” for doubting GMO foods was to be an offset of the second–that this doubt is getting support from research. Im certainly one of the doubters of GMO foods, and I use essential oils quite freely!

  2. I remember the Woody Allen film “Sleeper,” where in the future the doctors ordered cigarettes and porter house steak for illness. Woody’s character says, “It is unbelievable that back then they used to think these were harmful.” Nice post.

  3. Fantastic piece Lori. The whole philosophical discussion around beliefs is so fascinating. The question for me about beliefs is that even though we brought up to believe in certain things the magic of growing is our ability to question those beliefs and thereby come to conclusions where we either accept them or discover new beliefs. This last point does open up some cans of worms as discarding a belief we have long held to be true as it often will put us at odds with those around us who consider us a radical for our stance despite our the logic we now see in what we believe. But that I think is what life should be, constantly questioning and being aware of the world we live in.
    Great post!

  4. Another fantastic post, Lori. Thanks for sharing and stimulating our thoughts.

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