BELIEF’: JUST A CHOICE!

Belief: a Psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true

“I believe for every drop of rain that falls,

a flower grows...”

 

Part of the lyrics from a 1953 hit song sung by Frankie Laine, shown above. That use of ‘believe’ is not meant to be taken as a serious expression of truth - most rain falls on the seventy one per cent of this planet that is ocean; no flowers will grow there!

 

The Bachelors had a hit with the same song in 1964; they are shown below:

You and I are free to choose which ‘proposition or premise’ we ‘hold to be true’ and which determines our ‘psychological state’.

 

People choosing to believe something does not make it true.

 

And there’s the problem: ‘belief’ and ‘believe’ can be used indiscriminately. The same word can be used whether you are referring to fairies or pharaohs, mermaids or mercury, fact or fantasy. You may even be using it in a different sense from me, which adds to the confusion. We have to clarify whether we are talking about a belief that is a literal truth or just something the speaker has a predilection for. So I would like to propose a new word: ‘trulief’ to mean ‘a fact that has been accepted by a majority of appropriate experts as supported by convincing evidence’. In other words, information that does not depend on your whim or mine for its designation as true. We would still be able to use ‘believe’ for less solid information but at least real facts would be getting proper recognition. Or, just substitute ‘believe’ with ‘choose’!

 

IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER WHAT WE CHOOSE TO BELIEVE

 

All the Believers (Choosers) in the early Roman Catholic church couldn’t alter the real truth that the Earth orbits the Sun. ‘The earth is flat’ and ‘The sun goes round the earth’ are two examples (there are many more) of beliefs that were once alive in every man’s head but are now dead. Beliefs die. But, real facts supported by evidence have been, and will be, true throughout all time; no human Believers required! Evidence survives.

 

Belief or evidence: which do you think is more important?

 

The worst aspect of the word ‘Believer’ occurs when it is preceded by the word ‘fundamentalist’. Then we can be sure we’re dealing with an uncompromising extremist who may kill others to please his ‘god’.

DOUBTING THOMAS

 

Early Christians were obviously aware of doubters so they cleverly pre-empted them by including the story of Thomas in the Bible. Their message is, ‘You are not special or experiencing anything novel, the Disciple Thomas doubted long ago - see what happened to him!’

The story of how a doubter was recovered by ‘the faith’ indicates the path they expect you to follow.

 

Are you just a follower?

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Some people choose to believe this did not happen!

Belief ” is such a charlatan of a word.

 

It comes to us all puffed up with self importance and ought to be taken down a peg or two.

 

Belief is just a choice.

 

I have a friend who has a PhD in Zoology; his mother argued with him over whether they had just seen a rat or a mouse. He said, “Mother, you’d rather believe a blind beggar than me!” She chose not to believe her son who is an expert!

 

Did you know almost 3 million Americans believe they have been abducted by aliens?

Can you choose to have gravity? No! It’s a real phenomenon!

Click here for worksheet on this page

 

 

Click to hear versions:

Frankie Laine

The Bachelors

Elvis Presley

 

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