Do you think it is possible to choose what you believe?

If you see me set two coins on a table, can you choose to believe I set only one and sincerely believe that was the case? Or, can you merely lie, saying I set only one, but you'd still believe it was two? Do you choose to believe something, or is it a passive result of your observations?

12 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago
    Favourite answer

    No, you're either convinced of the arguments or you're not.

  • Nous
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    The only way primitive religion exists today is through the child abuse of forcing it into very, very young children but thanks to better education and growing intellects so many teens are able to discover the truth, throw off the indoctrination and step into the real world!

    So atheism is not a conscious decision or a belief but a realisation!

  • Pamela
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    What we believe is what we think and we are free to choose our thoughts.

    What we believe is true and false is based on many things- observation, our own interpretations and attitudes, what others tell us and what we decide we want.

    For example- I can choose to believe my coworkers like me because they smile and say Hi or I can choose to believe they have no interest in me because no one sits with me at lunch.

    I can choose to believe a new movie is really good and worth seeing because a friend of mine liked it or I can believe its stupid because the critics didn't like it.

    I can choose to believe God is working on my future and that the timing of the sale of my house, securing a new apartment and new job will all work out or I can choose to believe everything will fall apart and I will be broke and homeless within the year.

    We choose what we believe alright. Glass half empty or half full. There is usually evidence for both. What we believe reveals who we are.

  • yesmar
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    Yes, in some cases where either choice may be valid or hold enough logical evidence, one can choose. Whether aliens exist somewhere in the universe or not is a good example.

    In your example, no.

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  • 2 years ago


  • John S
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    You give a very concrete example which I do not think is a mere matter of 'belief' or 'faith' We have an object way to evaluate such a simple physical claim. -- So we would say that whether there are 1 or 2 coins is a 'matter of fact' -- because we have a means to evaluate the physical situation.

    So you could say.. to a certain degree, your example is NOT a matter of belief, at all.

    Contrast this to or more esoteric or philosophical situation for which there is NOT an objective way to evaluate the physical situation. In more philosophical situations one CAN choose what they believe based upon HOW they evaluate the arguments and whether or not they choose to see the other sides arguments or not.

    Here' s a better analogy:

    Evaluate the following statement:

    "White privilege exists and causes a great # of people harm in this country."

    One can "choose" to believe that this statement is correct or incorrect and there is a lot of debate on this topic right now in society. People have even been known to change their belief regarding this based upon which facts they focus on or become aware of.

    So I would say YES we CAN choose what we believe because most beliefs are based on logic and have reasons behind them. And so... we can evaluate the arguments or reasons and choose which one seems to make the most sense to us.

    There is also ALWAYS a possibility that a person could change their beliefs - at least as long as the person draws breath. Beliefs are not stagnant, one time decisions. They are not cast in stone.

    Our beliefs should always be well grounded and, although we may be biased -- a part of us should always be open to re-evaluating our beliefs and possibly (though often rare) changing our beliefs.

  • 2 years ago

    No, I don't, and you said it very well. Belief is a passive result of your observations, experiences, and factors beyond your control. It is no more chosen than a favorite flavor.

  • 2 years ago

    A juror needs to be convinced by a witness' testimony in order to believe. That belief is a passive choice deriving from observation. Similarly, a theology scholar who find that the scriptures has a strong case of being convincing uses his/her observation of theories. But a simple follower who doesn't have a clue about anything but trusts the observations of others exhibits an active choice as his own observation is inactive.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    always, but it takes responsibility to follow the truth, you know on the search for happiness or freedom and salvation

  • Eli
    Lv 5
    2 years ago

    Yes since we have free will. Atheists choose to believe that life appear on earth without a designer and they base their beliefs on false hypothesis but not the truth.

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