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The True Purpose Of Beliefs

November 29, 2013

When it comes to beliefs, all along, we have been drinking from the wrong side of the cup.

Beliefs are not meant to be tools for recording reality, they are meant to be for creating it.

Beliefs shape reality more than reality shapes beliefs.

We are not rational, truth-calculating machines. We don’t believe things because they are true, but rather because they provide a psychological payoff. And we act in ways to bring about or reinforce their truth.

  1. …I love this. I can’t get out in words how brilliant this is. Honestly, a magnificent observation. I love good thinking-outside-the-box ideas like this. Thank you!

  2. Reblogged this on Virginia the Viruliferous and commented:
    An absolutely brilliant philosophical observation that I had to share.

  3. This is actually the central thesis to the book The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer. I feel like I should get some royalties from him since I push this wonderful book to whoever I can. lol Perhaps I am not better than a missionary, but at the very least I can’t think of anything deleterious that will happen to you if you don’t read it. lol It seems like you would enjoy it though based on some of your other blogs. Basically though he says that our rationalization function in our brain is not to form beliefs but to reinforce beliefs we already hold. In many ways this is quite troubling, but of course beliefs can be changed, but it requires awareness of our biases and how are brain works and it requires a method of investigation that does not depend on beliefs. I do believe that beliefs initially form though as a way of trying to explain reality, but they are definitely not a recording. I would say rather a misinterpretation of reality. 🙂

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