Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

Use this forum to discuss the July 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Truth Is Beyond Belief!: Some thoughts to make you think about the power of your thoughts…by Jerry Durr
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Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

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This topic is about the July 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Truth Is Beyond Belief!: Some thoughts to make you think about the power of your thoughts…by Jerry Durr


I was amazed at the diversity of beliefs about what, to my thinking, should be the same thing: the story of the source and sustenance of our existence.
(Location 21 - Kindle version)

When speaking objectively, there should be a specific answer for any question. But subjectively we have our own perspectives and beliefs, and we often get into arguments and quarrels upon them. But on the other hand, it supports to maintain the diversity.

What is better; to have many beliefs and argue upon them, or to have just one answer and experience a world without diversity?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

Post by stevie »

Sushan wrote: July 4th, 2022, 2:51 pm What is better; to have many beliefs and argue upon them, or to have just one answer and experience a world without diversity?
Being attracted by a skeptical outlook it appears that having no beliefs at all is best. It is however very much debated whether "no beliefs at all" is possible at all considering the human cognitive apparatus and its biological/psychological necessities and considering the cacophony of opinions what may be considered to count as "belief".
mankind ... must act and reason and believe; though they are not able, by their most diligent enquiry, to satisfy themselves concerning the foundation of these operations, or to remove the objections, which may be raised against them [Hume]
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Sushan wrote: July 4th, 2022, 2:51 pm This topic is about the July 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Truth Is Beyond Belief!: Some thoughts to make you think about the power of your thoughts…by Jerry Durr
This was Reddit's book of the day a few days ago: link.
Reddit review wrote:From the Author:

This book is meant to take you from your normal state of thoughts and worries and fears back to your natural state of peace and perfection, remembering how Adam felt on the day of his creation, and to reflect on your absolute good fortune to be alive.

"Drawing heavily from eastern philosophical thoughts, The Truth Is Beyond Belief! by Jerry Durr guides on how to be in the "NOW," experience pure love, and realize our potential as 'creators' of the world in which we want to live." ~ OBC reviewer
This looks like one of those quasi-religious 'self-help' books that promise miracles if you'll only wear a particular sort of elastic band (available only from the author, at the bargain price of US$499.00) on your left ankle. Am I mistaken?


Sushan wrote: July 4th, 2022, 2:51 pm What is better; to have many beliefs and argue upon them, or to have just one answer and experience a world without diversity?
That all depends. For example, this question you want to answer: does it actually have one answer, or many? Does it have an answer at all? Is the question's only constructive purpose to get us thinking in a particular way, of a particular subject? You talk, as you often do, of objectivity, and (also as usual) you apply 'objective' thinking to a non-objective topic. If anything, this is a spiritual, even religious, topic, where objectivity, even if it was practical and accessible, would offer no help or guidance.

IMO, of course.
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

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stevie wrote: July 5th, 2022, 1:08 am
Sushan wrote: July 4th, 2022, 2:51 pm What is better; to have many beliefs and argue upon them, or to have just one answer and experience a world without diversity?
Being attracted by a skeptical outlook it appears that having no beliefs at all is best. It is however very much debated whether "no beliefs at all" is possible at all considering the human cognitive apparatus and its biological/psychological necessities and considering the cacophony of opinions what may be considered to count as "belief".
I think the issue lies with our minds. Our minds tend to form hypotheses and guesses on its own, and when we think over and over about them they simply become beliefs. And we find it difficult to shed off these beliefs even if they are proven wrong with enough objective evidence.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

Post by Sushan »

Pattern-chaser wrote: July 5th, 2022, 8:23 am
Sushan wrote: July 4th, 2022, 2:51 pm This topic is about the July 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Truth Is Beyond Belief!: Some thoughts to make you think about the power of your thoughts…by Jerry Durr
This was Reddit's book of the day a few days ago: link.
Reddit review wrote:From the Author:

This book is meant to take you from your normal state of thoughts and worries and fears back to your natural state of peace and perfection, remembering how Adam felt on the day of his creation, and to reflect on your absolute good fortune to be alive.

"Drawing heavily from eastern philosophical thoughts, The Truth Is Beyond Belief! by Jerry Durr guides on how to be in the "NOW," experience pure love, and realize our potential as 'creators' of the world in which we want to live." ~ OBC reviewer
This looks like one of those quasi-religious 'self-help' books that promise miracles if you'll only wear a particular sort of elastic band (available only from the author, at the bargain price of US$499.00) on your left ankle. Am I mistaken?


Sushan wrote: July 4th, 2022, 2:51 pm What is better; to have many beliefs and argue upon them, or to have just one answer and experience a world without diversity?
That all depends. For example, this question you want to answer: does it actually have one answer, or many? Does it have an answer at all? Is the question's only constructive purpose to get us thinking in a particular way, of a particular subject? You talk, as you often do, of objectivity, and (also as usual) you apply 'objective' thinking to a non-objective topic. If anything, this is a spiritual, even religious, topic, where objectivity, even if it was practical and accessible, would offer no help or guidance.

IMO, of course.
As a whole, I do not see any help from this self-help book. But I found bits from it that are worthy of discussion.

Yes, I often speak about objectivity, and I prefer that. But if everything was defined objectively there is no chance for a subject called philosophy. Philosophy is all about perception and arguing upon them. Ancient philosophers did not prove anything scientifically, but the one who could argue better won. So, the occurrence of many things is the fuel for our discussions.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

Post by stevie »

Sushan wrote: July 14th, 2022, 9:52 pm
stevie wrote: July 5th, 2022, 1:08 am
Sushan wrote: July 4th, 2022, 2:51 pm What is better; to have many beliefs and argue upon them, or to have just one answer and experience a world without diversity?
Being attracted by a skeptical outlook it appears that having no beliefs at all is best. It is however very much debated whether "no beliefs at all" is possible at all considering the human cognitive apparatus and its biological/psychological necessities and considering the cacophony of opinions what may be considered to count as "belief".
I think the issue lies with our minds. Our minds tend to form hypotheses and guesses on its own, and when we think over and over about them they simply become beliefs. And we find it difficult to shed off these beliefs even if they are proven wrong with enough objective evidence.
To me it does not appear that beliefs are a necessary result of self-conditiong through repeatedly thinking certain thoughts because even though thoughts may rearise due to being repeatedly thought I do not necessarily believe my thoughts to be or represent truth or reality.
mankind ... must act and reason and believe; though they are not able, by their most diligent enquiry, to satisfy themselves concerning the foundation of these operations, or to remove the objections, which may be raised against them [Hume]
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Sushan wrote: July 14th, 2022, 9:57 pm Yes, I often speak about objectivity, and I prefer that. But if everything was defined objectively there is no chance for a subject called philosophy.
If everything was defined "objectively", wouldn't that imply, or require, us to be omniscient? [This assumes we would know all those definitions, but if we didn't, their existence would be pointless and irrelevant.] In such a situation, philosophy — and any/all knowledge-based disciplines — would be unnecessary, yes?


Sushan wrote: July 14th, 2022, 9:57 pm Philosophy is all about perception and arguing upon them. Ancient philosophers did not prove anything scientifically, but the one who could argue better won. So, the occurrence of many things is the fuel for our discussions.
I think philosophy is more than you describe, but it's such a wide-ranging discipline that even describing it is non-trivial, so let's pass on.

Scientists have never proven anything "scientifically". Science and the scientific method are inductive procedures, so they do little more than guess, and then test those guesses. Scientific "facts" are not facts at all, but only much-tested guesses.

As for he-who-argues-better-wins, this is called 'debate', I think. And it does not contribute to argument, if the aim of argument is the discovery of knowledge and/or truth.
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

Post by LuckyR »

The metaphysical belongs in the realm of belief and therefore contains a subjective element. Thus various folks will have various beliefs by definition. One single belief is the goal of organized religion. But as we all know, even if everyone subscribed to organized religion, there are numerous religions. So no, not possible.
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

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The best chance of survival that organism have, is to adapt to the environment. If this involves taking on as many viewpoints and arguments as realistically as is possible, then so be it.

Eventually we will learn the limitations of the universe and make sort of partial omniscient judgements. The information won't be complete, but the knowledge of the universal limitation will be.
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

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stevie wrote: July 14th, 2022, 11:42 pm
Sushan wrote: July 14th, 2022, 9:52 pm
stevie wrote: July 5th, 2022, 1:08 am
Sushan wrote: July 4th, 2022, 2:51 pm What is better; to have many beliefs and argue upon them, or to have just one answer and experience a world without diversity?
Being attracted by a skeptical outlook it appears that having no beliefs at all is best. It is however very much debated whether "no beliefs at all" is possible at all considering the human cognitive apparatus and its biological/psychological necessities and considering the cacophony of opinions what may be considered to count as "belief".
I think the issue lies with our minds. Our minds tend to form hypotheses and guesses on its own, and when we think over and over about them they simply become beliefs. And we find it difficult to shed off these beliefs even if they are proven wrong with enough objective evidence.
To me it does not appear that beliefs are a necessary result of self-conditiong through repeatedly thinking certain thoughts because even though thoughts may rearise due to being repeatedly thought I do not necessarily believe my thoughts to be or represent truth or reality.
It is good if we can hold fair ideas about our own thoughts. But when they re-arise and we think upon them, eventually they become more familiar to us, and we build resistance against different ideas, unknowingly to ourselves. When such a phenomena ooccurs in a group of people, such ththoughts can become beliefs, and with the necessary fuel they can last for eons.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: July 15th, 2022, 8:06 am
Sushan wrote: July 14th, 2022, 9:57 pm Yes, I often speak about objectivity, and I prefer that. But if everything was defined objectively there is no chance for a subject called philosophy.
If everything was defined "objectively", wouldn't that imply, or require, us to be omniscient? [This assumes we would know all those definitions, but if we didn't, their existence would be pointless and irrelevant.] In such a situation, philosophy — and any/all knowledge-based disciplines — would be unnecessary, yes?


Sushan wrote: July 14th, 2022, 9:57 pm Philosophy is all about perception and arguing upon them. Ancient philosophers did not prove anything scientifically, but the one who could argue better won. So, the occurrence of many things is the fuel for our discussions.
I think philosophy is more than you describe, but it's such a wide-ranging discipline that even describing it is non-trivial, so let's pass on.

Scientists have never proven anything "scientifically". Science and the scientific method are inductive procedures, so they do little more than guess, and then test those guesses. Scientific "facts" are not facts at all, but only much-tested guesses.

As for he-who-argues-better-wins, this is called 'debate', I think. And it does not contribute to argument, if the aim of argument is the discovery of knowledge and/or truth.
No one can know everything. So we can never be objective about each and everything. And, yes, knowledge can break down many disciplines that we have today.

Arguments can lead towards discovering truth. But they can lead people towards believing in false things just because the liar was good in debating. This was quite common when philosophy had a higher position than science.

I agree. Scientists do not know everything. But it is no more only testing guesses or trial and error. But these things will last (and need to last) as they have played (and will play) a big role in human evolution.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

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LuckyR wrote: July 15th, 2022, 10:53 am The metaphysical belongs in the realm of belief and therefore contains a subjective element. Thus various folks will have various beliefs by definition. One single belief is the goal of organized religion. But as we all know, even if everyone subscribed to organized religion, there are numerous religions. So no, not possible.
Yes. And in addition, within no time any religion develops sub groups, and we see this in every major religion in the world. So, we are unable to agree upon even an organized belief. Despite everything the religion says the followers tend to develop their own thoughts and beliefs, diversifying even the organized, single minded beliefs. Everything is subjective ay the end of the day.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

Post by Sushan »

mrdim wrote: July 19th, 2022, 1:05 pm The best chance of survival that organism have, is to adapt to the environment. If this involves taking on as many viewpoints and arguments as realistically as is possible, then so be it.

Eventually we will learn the limitations of the universe and make sort of partial omniscient judgements. The information won't be complete, but the knowledge of the universal limitation will be.
Knowledge os good. But when we know more, we doubt more, and we question more. And this cycle never ends. The day when we learn about the limitations of the universe, I am uncertain whether such a day will ever occur. Universe is limitless. So is our knowledge. So are our questions. And so are our answers.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

Post by stevie »

Sushan wrote: July 24th, 2022, 2:33 pm
stevie wrote: July 14th, 2022, 11:42 pm
Sushan wrote: July 14th, 2022, 9:52 pm
stevie wrote: July 5th, 2022, 1:08 am

Being attracted by a skeptical outlook it appears that having no beliefs at all is best. It is however very much debated whether "no beliefs at all" is possible at all considering the human cognitive apparatus and its biological/psychological necessities and considering the cacophony of opinions what may be considered to count as "belief".
I think the issue lies with our minds. Our minds tend to form hypotheses and guesses on its own, and when we think over and over about them they simply become beliefs. And we find it difficult to shed off these beliefs even if they are proven wrong with enough objective evidence.
To me it does not appear that beliefs are a necessary result of self-conditiong through repeatedly thinking certain thoughts because even though thoughts may rearise due to being repeatedly thought I do not necessarily believe my thoughts to be or represent truth or reality.
It is good if we can hold fair ideas about our own thoughts. But when they re-arise and we think upon them, eventually they become more familiar to us, and we build resistance against different ideas, unknowingly to ourselves. When such a phenomena ooccurs in a group of people, such ththoughts can become beliefs, and with the necessary fuel they can last for eons.
That appears rather speculative. Also, the meaning of "resistance against ideas" isn't clear: it may cover "actively fighthing against" and/or "being upset about" or merely "not being mentally affected by [i.e. being equanimous towards]".
It appears natural to accept some ideas but to ignore other ideas because it appears natural to build up a conceptual framing for expressing one's experiences. To me it seems that I would not even be able to verbally express myself without a conceptual framing. However the point here is "belief" and thus the point is whether one necessarily needs to believe the ideas one accepts to be or represent truth or reality which I have negated above.
mankind ... must act and reason and believe; though they are not able, by their most diligent enquiry, to satisfy themselves concerning the foundation of these operations, or to remove the objections, which may be raised against them [Hume]
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Re: Beliefs regarding common things, should there be many, or should there be only one?

Post by LuckyR »

Sushan wrote: July 24th, 2022, 2:42 pm
LuckyR wrote: July 15th, 2022, 10:53 am The metaphysical belongs in the realm of belief and therefore contains a subjective element. Thus various folks will have various beliefs by definition. One single belief is the goal of organized religion. But as we all know, even if everyone subscribed to organized religion, there are numerous religions. So no, not possible.
Yes. And in addition, within no time any religion develops sub groups, and we see this in every major religion in the world. So, we are unable to agree upon even an organized belief. Despite everything the religion says the followers tend to develop their own thoughts and beliefs, diversifying even the organized, single minded beliefs. Everything is subjective ay the end of the day.
Everything metaphysical definitely contains an element of subjectivity. The perception of everything is subjective, that is different from everything is subjective.
"As usual... it depends."
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