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Choosing our Beliefs

August 5, 2010

An article that’s a starting point for some interesting thoughts: Can we choose what we believe?

The capacity to make free choices is not something we either have entirely or not at all. Rather, choices become freer the more they are the result of our own capacity to reflect on and assess facts and arguments. Beliefs based on ignorance or whim are thus less freely chosen than those held in full knowledge and on reflection. So to take one of the biggest belief choices of all, we do not choose to believe in God or not, but we can choose how much we attend to inconvenient facts, distorting self-motivations, and the rationality of arguments. In that sense, we are responsible for what we freely believe.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicky permalink
    August 6, 2010 7:48 AM

    I like this line:

    “…we do not choose to believe in God or not, but we can choose how much we attend to inconvenient facts, distorting self-motivations, and the rationality of arguments”

    This is exactly how I came to be an atheist. I didn’t choose to not believe in God. I chose to look at the facts more closely & from there came to a personal conclusion that a god couldn’t exist.

  2. August 6, 2010 9:46 AM

    I always find it strange when Christian friends say that I “chose not to believe in God”. It’s not a concious choice, it’s just obvious when you don’t come at it with your mind already made up!

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