Believing in Belief

I am a big fan of believing in stuff. I think belief is necessary to our existence as humans.

We all believe in something. I have a hard time ranking these beliefs in terms of believability or likelihood. I know that we live in a time where reason and science are the dominant perspectives, but there is a belief system at work there too. For all of our cockiness, what we don’t know still drastically outweighs what we do know. Everything is a belief system whether people want to admit it or not.

Belief and Internal Consistency

I also know that it is considered cool to ridicule some belief systems. I have a hard time with this as well because they usually tend to be internally consistent. If the Christian belief system is True then evil and free will and heaven and hell and everything else make perfect sense. If one has a more fundamentalist or evangelical bent, then things like a flat earth, demons, and impending rapture also make sense. If someone is a Buddhist then karma and reincarnation make sense within the internal framework. To a materialist, the Big Bang and evolution make sense.

It’s all internally consistent.

You’ll notice that part of my belief system is that internal consistency is necessary or means something. This may or may not be true.

Belief has Consequences

I get that these beliefs have consequences. Every belief has consequences. A belief that Christians or Muslims or Buddhists or Atheists are wrong also carries consequences, people who hold that belief just see the consequences as acceptable or even useful. I don’t really even find myself asking myself if I agree or disagree with a person’s belief system unless they are imposing it on other people or me, or if they are picking a fight. Most of the time I just see it as the way they process the world.

Belief Structures Reality

The thing is, the fact that anything exists at all is so weird that I can get myself to a place where just about every belief system seems like it could be true. I can see the things that lead people to believe in it and the benefits that come out of it for them. I am not saying that every belief system is true, because many are mutually exclusive, only that I can see how they could each be the “right” one.

Except maybe Scientology.

That one is hard to swallow.

What are the things you believe about the world?

What beliefs do you tend to ridicule?

What beliefs are you using to ridicule other beliefs?