Beliefs & Choices: The Nature Of Beliefs

Philippines
March 12, 2007 8:18pm CST
According to Terence Penelhum, there are two general schools of thought when it comes to how beliefs originate: voluntarist and involuntarist. The voluntarists' take says that belief is a matter of will, we have control over what we believe much in the way we have control over our actions. Involuntarists argue that we cannot really choose to just believe anything. According to involuntarism, a belief is not an action and, hence, cannot be attained by command, either by your own or by another' s to you. How and why do we believe things? What causes our beliefs? Do we choose our beliefs?
3 people like this
8 responses
@manong05 (5029)
• Philippines
13 Mar 07
To believe or not to believe in something is a mental exercise, an action of the brain and the will. Two different people may have opposing beliefs regarding a particular issue and this is indicative of the fact that belief is a matter of choice. The person can also change his beliefs when presented with other evidences that supports otherwise and again it is an act of the will.
• United States
23 Mar 07
we all believe in something ... knowingly or unknowingly ...
@kavi112 (232)
• India
13 Mar 07
i suppose you are right about the two classes...actually belief more commonly the involuntarists way.. many believe a thing only because their forefathers did so..i guess in this modern era,, its wise only to believe those things which has a scientific fact and a reason to support it...all humans should believe somethin since all activities we do are based on that belief.. whether we know it or not..
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
13 Mar 07
for me, belief is simply the condensed wisdom passed down to us from the past. We can either choose to accept or reject it, but it is ultimately an individual thing
@nipsu0 (23)
• Finland
13 Mar 07
because we have brains
@mssnow (9493)
• United States
13 Mar 07
I guess I am a voluntarist. I believe we choose every path we make in life. We choose what to believe in, we choose who we meet. Because of our choices in life. I believe in fate but i also believe that we choose our fates. Does that make sense??
• India
13 Mar 07
To belive or nt to belive is what's in control of out mind. Sometimes we choose to belive on somethings as we feel that are good for us or either we do not find other good reasons and there are times when certain things happen that ake you belive in certain other things and you just can't escape. We sometimes belive in ourselvs and sometimes we just can't do it. Its quite confusing actually. But still I chose to belive in myself as I believed in HIM. Take Care May GOD Bless YOU
• Philippines
13 Mar 07
beliefs come our customs or traditions or sayings, i think "choice" is a matter of logical explanation and yet i will research for the definition of BELEIF.
@aries_0325 (3062)
• Philippines
13 Mar 07
Let me put it this way: quite simply, there are 3 levels of thinking... Level 1: thoughts you're aware of and can control (eg, preparing in your mind a post you want to share in a thread). Level 2: thoughts you're aware of but can't control (eg, obsessive-compulsive thinking). Level 3: thoughts you're not even aware of, let alone control (ie, subconscious thinking reflecting a very early childhood experience). Depending upon the subject matter, beliefs can permeat all the way down to Level 3, or not make it past Level 1.