Belief and Understanding

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Burning ghost
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Belief and Understanding

Post by Burning ghost » March 10th, 2018, 3:07 am

Anselm said I must believe so that I can understand and this was countered by Abelard:

"no one can believe something which he has not first understood."

What are your thoughts about "belief" and "understanding." How are these terms related and how can we structure out view of the world by them?

My view is that they are both correct for different reasons. I must take on something as understood in order to believe something else in relation to it, and I must believe in something "other" in order to come to an understanding of it.

For me it is more about expanding and feeling out the field of questioning rather than hitting upon too definitive an idea of "pure knowledge" (whatever that means.)
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ProgrammingGodJordan
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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by ProgrammingGodJordan » March 11th, 2018, 12:42 am

Belief is a nonsensical paradigm that generally facilitates that one ignores evidence, as per definition and research.

Burning ghost
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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by Burning ghost » March 11th, 2018, 9:08 am

ProgrammingGodJordan wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 12:42 am
Belief is a nonsensical paradigm that generally facilitates that one ignores evidence, as per definition and research.
The OP was set out to frame the question of what comes first? Does knowledge come before belief, or belief before knowledge?

It seems to me that belief makes one want to understand, and that understanding makes one want to believe. What both seem to do is create a fluctuating state of healthy skepticism if managed with care.

I cannot honestly think of anything put into words that holds unremitting "truth". I can create a set of rules and insist upon a truth within a set abstract scope though - and these have proven deadly useful in scientific pursuits.
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Pano
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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by Pano » March 11th, 2018, 3:32 pm

Belief is the same as understanding.Understanding is the same as belief.The same is the same as not the same,not the same is the same as the same.What i just wrote is factually not provable,currently unacceptable by the average human beings mind,and irritating to each and every reader.
From my point of view,Language is just a construct as are beliefs, as are understandings.If I were to re-seek a grasping of my own mental structure then i must most confidently say that it takes much more than separation of 2 different words which I would give different attributes and conceptual structure.

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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by Burning ghost » March 12th, 2018, 12:43 am

Pano -

I get your point. The rule of the excluded middle is the issue I guess, and it is a convenience set up for logical discourse rather than the oblique everyday parse we spit out as if understanding every element and possible ordering.

If we go too far in either "direction" we end up with absurdity or despair. We seem to "register" meaning by appealing to contrasts as if they are distinctions with set boundaries. We don't waste time saying things like "The four legged, put things on, flat quadrilateral surface that has height," because "table" suits our purpose better and makes communication less of a chore, albeit less rich than the raw practical underdstanding of the phenomenon in direct conscious focus.

So I would say Language, Belief and Understanding are all part of the simplification of experience in order to better (meaning more efficiently) express and exchange information and continue with the task of "not dying just yet." Otherwise we'd likely spend our very short lives communicating the complexity of one singular phenomenon (such as "a table") and progressively spiral into deeper and deeper confabulations. Ginve that we generally have to eat, sleep and drink, we have to take some leave from such single minded focus.

For the above reason it may just be that "meaningless distraction" is precisely what stops our wandering appeal for "truth" by fabricating convenient narratives and pulling our focus away from the bottomless complexity and ungraspable contemplations of infinity, space and time - where items like "happiness" and "love" are given the façade of "complexity" where they are merely distractions for the utter despairing chaos of merely trying to express what a "table" with unending steams of words and thoughts which lead us to merely build concept upon concept upon concept.

It can be extremely irritating to the reader, and equally frustrating to the writer because they know they are limited and have to believe, to some degree, that other people know what they are trying to express even know they know full well that what they produce always falls short - we can only take "understanding" as a gist giving not some eidetic expression.

Simplicity exists due to complexity, the simpliest item has validity under the umbrella of endless complexity only - as it must.
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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by Eduk » March 12th, 2018, 3:00 pm

Lovely post Burning Ghost.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by Namelesss » March 12th, 2018, 9:09 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 3:07 am
What are your thoughts about "belief" and "understanding." How are these terms related and how can we structure out view of the world by them?
"Belief" - A 'belief' is a pathologically symptomatic infection of 'thought/ego'.
'Beliefs' are caught and spread, like viruses/parasites/malware.

'Understanding' is a 'feeling' (feelings are thoughts) that we experience, at times, like all feelings (if we are healthy).
Like all feelings, the feelings of 'understanding' pass.
We experience a thought, and a feeling (understanding), and there you go.

Beliefs and understanding both exist in thought/ego, but are not related otherwise (see;definitions), and certainly not 'causally'.

Anselm and Abelard were both in error.

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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by Vivek7 » March 23rd, 2018, 11:14 am

Belief is something we do blindly without having anything or logic and evidence to support it. Understanding is born of search and inquiry and that is why I support understanding not belief. Belief is an irrational and understanding comes through careful study and observation.

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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by Burning ghost » March 24th, 2018, 3:08 am

Vivek7 wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 11:14 am
Belief is something we do blindly without having anything or logic and evidence to support it. Understanding is born of search and inquiry and that is why I support understanding not belief. Belief is an irrational and understanding comes through careful study and observation.
I would argue that being "rational" is also done blindly. That is why some people are said to act without emotion or feeling - cold hearted and such. We'd all probably allow many people to die to save a loved one. Is this "rational"? I would say it was in terms of genetics, but ethically if one were to allow your family and offspring to die for the sake of other people it could hardly be considered either emotionally sound or "rational" right?
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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by Atreyu » March 26th, 2018, 9:06 pm

It should be obvious that "believing" is not something that an modern educated person should normally do. We're supposed to figure things out, and if we cannot ascertain the truth about something, then we should know the value of our opinions (i.e. not "believe", not act as if our opinions are any more than just that - opinions).

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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by Burning ghost » March 26th, 2018, 9:22 pm

Atreyu wrote:
March 26th, 2018, 9:06 pm
It should be obvious that "believing" is not something that an modern educated person should normally do. We're supposed to figure things out, and if we cannot ascertain the truth about something, then we should know the value of our opinions (i.e. not "believe", not act as if our opinions are any more than just that - opinions).
Wouldn't it be correct to say that in order to "figure something out" we'd have to believe in it in the first place. Or do we come to the world with some understanding already and from that build up ideas and beliefs?

I don't think it helps to cut things up into Kantian definitions for this thread. They are merely convenient markers not rigid definitions. A belief is simply a very weak opinion.
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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by Atreyu » March 27th, 2018, 9:22 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
March 26th, 2018, 9:22 pm
Wouldn't it be correct to say that in order to "figure something out" we'd have to believe in it in the first place. Or do we come to the world with some understanding already and from that build up ideas and beliefs?

I don't think it helps to cut things up into Kantian definitions for this thread. They are merely convenient markers not rigid definitions. A belief is simply a very weak opinion.
I'm not exactly sure what you're driving at in the first part of your post.

As far as the 2nd part is concerned, "belief" can be defined in two ways.

1) An opinion, which one knows is merely an opinion. In this case, one openly admits that one doesn't know, but one is merely venturing one's opinion. For example, I can say "I believe the Patriots will win the Superbowl next year", and when I say it I can be perfectly well aware that I may be wrong, and in fact the Patriots might not even make it to the Superbowl.

2) A lie. This is when someone states their belief as if they know it, as if it were a fact, when clearly it is not. For example, I can say "I believe the Patriots will win the Superbowl next year", and in my mind I can act as if it's a given. They will win. This can easily be seen by many 'believers', who say "I believe in God", and then clearly act as if they know it, as if it were a fact for them, when clearly something like 'God' cannot be a fact for anyone.

To continue with the "I believe in God" example, one can make this statement as an agnostic, meaning that they are asserting their opinion, but they know that they don't know it, and that nobody else can know it either. In this case, "believing" is not an error, as it is with someone who acts as if they know. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion as long as one is fully aware that it is merely an opinion.

When people act as if their beliefs are facts, as if they know, then really all they're doing is lying, both to themselves and others...

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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by Burning ghost » March 28th, 2018, 5:51 am

As an example ... when you were born and learned to speak, did you know the Earth orbited the Sun or even that the Sun was a sphere? I am guessing not. At some point I am saying you were told something and you, by way of trust, took up the doctrine espoused without serious questioning. In this sense many assumptions of knowledge from childhood were based on belief in what people told you, not direct evidence or enquiry.

Of course later on we come to voice our doubts and only then form more "solid" understanding. To me it seems we believe until something shake up our view of the world and forces us into either blind denial or curiosity.

That is what I meant and that is what I was asking about. Clear enough?
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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by LuckyR » March 31st, 2018, 2:00 am

To communicate effectively on this thread the difference between believing something and believing in something, should be parsed.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Belief and Understanding

Post by Vivek7 » March 31st, 2018, 7:00 am

If we take all our irrational and unproved beliefs from the repertoire and repository of our knowledge or understanding of the world we are living in our knowledge size will be reduced to a pretty small one. Most of our acquired knowledge is based on what we have heard or read about. Many of them are myths-based. And we are in society, mostly in tribal or illiterate societies are told lies and they carry on and even they become educated it is hard to erase such thoughts and beliefs from their minds. But when the child hailing from such society is taught or guided properly he can understand the truth or if not he becomes indoctrinated into falsities throughout his life and that will be detrimental to the society he lives in as well.

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