You are wrong: what now?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Chronicles, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. Chronicles

    Chronicles New Member

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    Hypothetical: whatever your own beliefs that you hold now, tomorrow a certain new theory comes out, receives universal acceptance, and clearly contradicts everything you believe in.

    Question: do you abandon your beliefs? If so, why? And what will you do instead?

    Reason: I have often see people on forums claim that if there was a way to prove their own religion wrong, then these people would no longer have a reason to to be "good" - to hold themselves in a position of moral/ethical obligation to themselves, to others, or society.

    This I have never understood.

    How would you react, though? Personally, I have never accepted any form of moral absolute, so my own moral/ethical compass I consider entirely personal.
     
  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste brian,


    thank you for the topic.

    this is an interesting question to my mind. it's my contention that Buddhism couldn't be proven wrong... but, for the sake of argument, let's say that i, for whatever reason, no longer held it to be a valid path for me to take. which isn't so much an indication of Buddhism as it is of myself.

    in any event.. should that be the case, i would simply take up my Taoist praxis once more and, barring that, i would try to walk the Red Road or the Pollen Path, which are Native American Shaman traditions.

    it's a hard thing to seriously consider, in my opinion, since folks tend to have a great deal of emotion invested in their belief as well. i think that a person could come to intellecutally understand that their chosen path wasn't sufficient, however, that is a completely different thing to realize it emotionally.
     
  3. Zenda71

    Zenda71 New Member

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    I keep remembering the old saying "If you see Buddha on the road, kill him." I think that Buddhism would remain a valid path regardless of belief because its goal is to see things as they are. New information could be incorporated quite easily, unless you are clinging to the old ideas. Does that make sense?

    But to answer the question (and did you post this over a Christian Forums? Or is it just that everyone has the same essential questions? :D ), I would explore what was available and see which system made the most sense to me depending on the new information.
     
  4. JJM

    JJM New Member

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    Well if a thought came out that contradicted Christianity I wouldn't really care but if it actually proved it Wrong (although I don't know how well that could work) Then I'd say that my life style would change a little bit. Namely a whole lot less being nice to people who are Jerks. And my sexual morals would defiantly change. I don't know it’s kind of hard to say
     
  5. brucegdc

    brucegdc Moderator

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    A theory? Pshaw. Need more than that to change my mind. If I see a major problem with my beliefs (inconsistencies between actions/results), then I'll change - but without proof, you've got to have a DARNED good argument - which is close to proof.

    ... Bruce (who doesn't fit in a pigeonhole physically OR mentally)
     
  6. Silent Wind River

    Silent Wind River New Member

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    For me, it would depend on what the theory actually IS. If it was a theory that I found particularly enlightening, I would probably adapt. If not, however, I would need more than I universal acceptance of a contrary belief to change what I think. Just because something is widely considered to be true does not mean that it is. In fact, in many cases, the opposite is true.
     
  7. littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Creative Thinker

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    "Receives universal acceptance" or "is proven to be true"? There is a difference, I think..

    Would I abandon my belief? If the situation were as you state it - the contradictory theory "receives universal acceptance" - I don't know that I would necessarily feel the need to abandon my belief. I've never been much influenced by the number of people who believe any particular thing. I mean, thousands of people, at the least, truly believe that Elvis lives. (I slightly know someone who does believe that, and it comes very near to a religious faith.) That does not make it true. It would not make it true if billions of people believed it, no matter how strongly or how sincerely they believed it.

    However if the contradictory theory was "proven to be true", I would feel obligated, as a person of reason, to take into consideration the proof and how it relates to what I believe. Then, if that proof truly seemed valid and truly contradicted what I believe, then I would probably have to at least alter, if not abandon, the thing I believe. I mean, just because I believe something does not make it true, either, no matter how strongly and sincerely I believe it or want it to be true.
     
  8. Marsh

    Marsh Disagreeable By Nature

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    I think it's dangerous to accept anything just because everyone else believes it to be true. For centuries we humans as a general group held true the belief that the Earth was flat. When people begin to accept the relative truths of others to be absolute truth, that's when we end up with things like Nazi Germany, and Jonestown.

    I think the biggest problem with this world is that many people never question it, either because they are afraid to, are too lazy, or just don't know how to do it.
     
  9. littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Creative Thinker

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    I think I was trying to say this in my post when I made a differentiation between "receives universal acceptance" and "is proven to be true".

    And I think this was the thing I was trying to get to when I said that I would "take into consideration" something that appeared to be "proven true".

    I've been in a place, in terms of membership in a religious institution, where beleivers are expected to just accept whatever the leadership says, just because they say it. This is one of the biggest reasons I left that group. I think questioning is very important - but then our unofficial family motto for at least three generations has been "Question Authority".

    And, Marsh, I believe that fear is the biggest reason why people don't question the way things are - or the way they are told things are. They fear appearing to be different. They fear disapproval. They fear consequences. But most of all they fear finding out that what they have always believed is not completely accurate. For some reason, most people seem to be afraid to be wrong. Laziness may play into it as well. But I honestly believe that we are all hardwired to question. It's just that so many cultures and so many religions and so many governments train the questioning right out of people by using fear and punishment, just the way people used to be - and probably in some places still are - trained out of being left-handed.
     
  10. DrChaos

    DrChaos New Member

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    If there was just "universal acceptance" I would probably hold my beliefs, but if there was some solid fact that proved my beliefs wrong, then I might change. Of course, when everyone accepts something universally and you don't, you tend to get persecuted. I don't really know what I'd do to tell the truth.
     
  11. samabudhi

    samabudhi New Member

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  12. Blue Heron

    Blue Heron Gaurds the Gate

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    You said, "theory." Well, that means it isn't any more proven or unproven than anything else.

    No, I don't change my spirituality or beliefs.

    I have on more than one occassion found myself sitting in a room with a bunch of people who were wrong!
     
  13. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    What I find interesting is how protective people are of their beliefs.

    I don't know about anyone else here, but mine are in a constant state of development. What I believed yesterday may not be the same as I believe tomorrow. I will not hold onto my ideas rigidly because I know they must change as I learn more about the world.

    Continuing knowledge and experience continues to shape and change ideas - more than once I have totally changed my world outlook: athiest, agnostic, theist* - yet never have I stopped and decided that because my outlook has changed, that therefore I should abandon all personal morality and become a "lesser" person.



    * Which, of course, is nothing compared to members such as Bill Keith's movement from Fundamental Christian to Wiccan Priest. :)
     
  14. littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Creative Thinker

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    I quite agree, Brian, that this protectiveness of beliefs is interesting. As I said in my initial post, I am fine with the fact that I might be wrong about the things I believe. And, especially at this time in my life, I'm not exactly sure what I believe, especially in the religious/spiritual arena. While I do believe in the concept of deity, my feelings on how deity works and how it is configured are very much in flux right now.

    Something that I started to write in my first post in this thread, and then decided not to because I wasn't sure that it was what was being asked, is that I haven't ever seen a very substantial link between religious/spiritual beliefs and moral/ethical behavior. I hold the ethical and moral positions that I do not because I am afraid that God or Somebody will punish me if I don't behave myself, but because I have observed that most of the time people will treat me the way I treat them (isn't that the Golden Rule?). Since I prefer to be treated with fairness and gentleness and courtesy, I try to treat others that way. (Not that I have always been successful at this:eek:; but I do continue to try.) I have felt this way both during times when I have been active in religious organizations as well as when, like presently, I do not participate in any sort of organized religious activity.
     
  15. Archangel

    Archangel New Member

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    True about how people protect their beliefs...even defensive about them. Because people are generally afraid of change I suppose.

    Personally, I am not a believer - I either know something is true or I do not. By keeping an open mind, I can grow and any new "evidence" which might come in will only change some smaller points of view and not my entire perspective.
     
  16. okieinexile

    okieinexile New Member

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    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test everything. Hold on to the good.
     
  17. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Pursuit of happiness

    If a person is not happy with his religious beliefs, then he should look around and change to others that can make him happy. If he can't find any, then he should make his own religious beliefs and observances. After all every extant religion today has been established by men like you and me.

    Or give up all religious beliefs and live without any. See if you can be happy then.

    What about morality? You are talking about religious morality; for there is morality that is not founded upon any religious beliefs. Ask atheists or people who are by their declaration non-religious and even anti-religious. They also claim to be observant of moral principles. Know any atheists without any morality whatsoever?

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  18. Zazen

    Zazen New Member

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    perceptions

    most spiritual traditions in the east emphasise basing nothing on faith alone, only learning from direct experience, that is the key to spiritual enlightenment

    because you have to be concious of your spiritual cultivation, like most things if your not focused on the goal ahead then you will easily loose sight, and constantly be subject to new ideas and different concepts, and your perceptions will change as well

    in buddhism we aim to be free of perceptions, to transcend dualistic reality

    amitabha
     
  19. ISFP

    ISFP New Member

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    my own beliefs change or are shaken so often, i can't imagine feeling terribly bad about this situation.

    however, should one belief especially dear and meaningful to me be disproved theoretically, i think the purpose and joy that said belief brings me would be enough for me to hold on to it. after all, i don't hold that belief for the scientist or the philosopher. i hold them for myself and the reality i reflect on.
     
  20. louis

    louis New Member

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    wrong?

     

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