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The Nature of Belief

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Posted (edited)

I apologize immediately if I could have searched for this myself on this site. I simply did not have the time to be thorough in my search, thus I ask here.

Are there any articles or whatever on this site concerning the effects and ramifications of holding certain beliefs? Am I being too vague? In the United States, for example, prevailing beliefs about the elderly - what it is like to be beyond a particular age or age group - directly affect how they are viewed and treated, and how government policies are shaped in accordance with the personal beliefs of those who implement them.

I occasioned to read an article once on sanity and insanity and the perceptions and belief structures of those lawfully relegated to decide such matters. In it, a clinical researcher posed as a patient in an asylum to experience the system's attitude towards those in its care. Now, it was assumed at the onset that the patients were exactly that, patients in need of psychiatric help or intervention. They obviously were not the doctors and caretakers. Yet, at the end of the researcher's brief sojourn as a patient, he concluded that there was no real valid way to determine who was insane or not at the facility, for all (clinicians and patients) exhibited some degree of either state at any point or another.

Philosophy is a belief system. For as many as there are who can argue well its points and counterpoints, there are more of those who do not give one whit about its relevance or importance. I am looking for detailed material that expound laboriously on the effects of holding on to one philosophical belief system as opposed to any other.

Thank you.

Edited by TheOctarineMage

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Posted

TheOctarineMage you seem to interpret philosophy as a religion, in which belief is fundamental. It is true that many philosophers have been limited by their prejudices. Despite the sober, rigorous & logical method they adhere to, their reasoning is utterly backwards. They, like a religious believer, first hope something to be taken as true, and then go on to prove it. Such philosophers are merely clever "spokesmen for prejudices they christen as truths." --Nietzsche

Such philosophers deserve to be read psychologically. :slap:

However, philosophy should never have anything to do with prejudices, wish fulfillment, or any variant of dogma that's essentially backwards reasoning. :shakehead:

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Posted (edited)

However, philosophy should never have anything to do with prejudices, wish fulfillment, or any variant of dogma that's essentially backwards reasoning. :shakehead:

The operative keyword in that statement is 'should'. Show me the case where this is exactly so and I will gladly follow. How can any philosopher separate his beliefs from his practice of philosophy? There are many on this forum who are as objective as can be, or so they think, but their beliefs bleed through sooner or later. Granted, philosophy is not a religion, but it can eerily resemble one when propagated. I come here because of those who are aware and caring enough to keep the distinction uppermost in their minds. They are interesting. The material is secondhand knowledge and can or cannot be interesting depending on its presentation.

Now, can you suggest any articles on this site to me or not? Put aside your personal indignation, O' Philosopher, and answer the query.

Edited by TheOctarineMage

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Posted

Oh, by the way, The Heretic, I just noticed we both joined this forum on the same day. Somehow I found that humorous.

Look, I'm not here to bash philosophy or anything else. I'm collecting material for a book I was paid to write. Please help me or get out of my way. Thanks.

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Posted

However, philosophy should never have anything to do with prejudices, wish fulfillment, or any variant of dogma that's essentially backwards reasoning. :shakehead:

The operative keyword in that statement is 'should'. Show me the case where this is exactly so and I will gladly follow. How can any philosopher separate his beliefs from his practice of philosophy? There are many on this forum who are as objective as can be, or so they think, but their beliefs bleed through sooner or later. Granted, philosophy is not a religion, but it can eerily resemble one when propagated. I come here because of those who are aware and caring enough to keep the distinction uppermost in their minds. They are interesting. The material is secondhand knowledge and can or cannot be interesting depending on its presentation.

Now, can you suggest any articles on this site to me or not? Put aside your personal indignation, O' Philosopher, and answer the query.

Easy.

Plato. His entire corpus is proof and positive of what a philosopher ought to be like. Now, don't bother trying to wave the flag of platonism because he wrote in dialogues, and many characters held incongurent positions on various subjects. Parmenides in particular is my favorite, just because it offers the all-time best refutation of Platonism Proper. :lol:

Oh, by the way, The Heretic, I just noticed we both joined this forum on the same day. Somehow I found that humorous.

Ditto.

Look, I'm not here to bash philosophy or anything else. I'm collecting material for a book I was paid to write. Please help me or get out of my way. Thanks.

I've heard it all before, and many, many, many times, but knock yourself out. :deal:

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Posted

I am looking for detailed material that expound laboriously on the effects of holding on to one philosophical belief system as opposed to any other.

As you'll appreciate, I feel there's a whole world of material to sift through, TOM, but I also feel you'll be in need of focussing your inquiry, especially in light of that book you are writing.

The first question which springs to mind is what adequate vision of differeing conceptual strands are you looking into which you feel will give rise to some singular philosophical belief system?

Is it an enquiry into the effects of Plato & Aristotle on Christianity? Of Homer or Pythagoras on the creation of a soul? Of visions of transcendental worlds, dichotomies, and categories? Are you going to broaden your field to the world of Buddhism, Emptiness and Tao? Or, again, are you having a gander at a given date, let's say something around the 18th century, and a given project, let's say, British Empiricism. Okay what now? Well let's pick some writers, backgrounding with the magnificent Hobbes, we'll sneak in Locke, then we can do some Voltaire, Johnson, Gibbon, a little Pope & Blake, whip in Rousseau and for our grand finale, delve into the world of Laclos and Hume. What jolly, well-read fellows we must be. But what will we try to uncover here? What belief system? The belief in competition underscored by a base of cooperation? Social contracts? Radical skepticism? Epistemological beliefs? The decline of a singular God and the rise of Nature? The wonder of Blake and Pope as they confront the self in Simth's rising world of nightmare? That power, afterall, is the only value of discourse?

Or again, are you thinking along lines of some kind of 'world-view', or the process of production of meaning through signs and values, or the ideas and beliefs of a dominant social group, or thoughts and beliefs motivated by self-interest, necessary illusions, action-orientated beliefs, the medium through which subjects live out their relations to social structures? One could hardly say, well sure, all of it, for again, as you'll appreciate not all these notions are compatible.

Hope this helps a little...

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