What makes people change their beliefs?

India
February 5, 2007 10:09am CST
This is more of a general discussion. Belief is not only religion. It can be belief about any subject, person, or event. What are the reason due to which people change their belief? What can lead to this psychological change? Giving examples, discuss claims and counter claims about why and how do people change their beliefs. Have you ever changed your belief? If yes then explain why. What made you change? Desire? Fear? Incident? Give description.
1 response
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
5 Feb 07
I think a lot of times when people change their beliefs it is because of personal experience or processing new information. It can also be because of fear. For example, my grandmother spent much of her life believing that it's wrong to be gay. My father, who is gay, spent a large part of his life in the closet, largely because of this belief of his mother's. After he came out, she wanted very little to do with him for a long time. Then, a few years ago, he had a stroke. It kind of woke her up. First she started to be kind to him because she realized that she had almost lost her only child, and she was afraid of that. But as time went on and she got to know his partner, she started to also realize that there was nothing about the relationship between my father and his partner that was harmful to anyone. In fact, most of the problems he had were because of being afraid of her not accepting him for so long, and trying to hide his sexuality. Thus, through her personal experience in becoming close to someone who was gay, she changed her belief. I've changed my beliefs about a few things over the course of my life. Usually it was because I had positive experiences later on in my life that made my worldview more positive than it had been before. I used to automatically be afraid of Christians because someone who abused me as a child used his religion as an excuse for doing so. As I met more and more people who were Christian who didn't behave in the same way, I came to learn that being a specific religion didn't make people cruel, or mean that they would use their beliefs as an excuse to hurt others. As my experience of the world widened, my beliefs changed.
• India
5 Feb 07
Very good. Nicely stated. Good examples. Could you describe something more which is not directly related to your life. What make people IN GENERAL change their beliefs? you have given a very good answer and i would want you to answer again but in general.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
8 Feb 07
Sorry if I was a little more specific than you intended. Overall I think if people change their beliefs it's usually because their worldview is widening. You start out in life with what you are taughts, and then you go on to have experiences of your own, as well as contact with others. So of course beliefs change over time because people learn, grow, and change. For example: I have a son who is less than a year old. He doesn't go out much, so he probably thinks the world is really small. He doesn't really know many people, so he probably thinks there aren't a lot of people in the world. New things tend to be scary to him, and everything seems HUGE. When he is bigger, he will learn that it's a large world, in an even larger universe. He will learn that there are many people in the world, most of whom are different from him in a lot of ways. And he will learn which things he needs to be afraid of, and which he doesn't. You could apply the same principle to religious beliefs, political views, etc. Anything one can believe about the world will change as that person experiences new things, meets new people, and learns to see the world in different ways.