Lunch Break: Beliefs

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I’m going to try to post more often on here. I think this time, though, instead of trying to crank out some overly-philosophical, 1000-word essay every night, I’m going to keep it simple. I’m going to shoot for regularity (good spot for a poop joke), over quantity.

To this end, I thought I would do a little lunch break brain-dump every day. Just take ten minutes and let it rip (good spot for a fart joke… probably a poop joke too). There will likely be a lot of random thoughts, and even some complete gibberish, but ghasd oijlksf ioljd.

This is a good outlet, tool, exercise… all that shit. I want to keep using it. so here goes:

I’ve been thinking about how belief plays into almost everything. And I think it influences all of us, even the most logical/scientific die-hards. Even if we exercise some level of rational, skeptical analysis of the events in our lives, we still form impressions – beliefs – about how the world works and what kinds of things in the world are important.

This isn’t really a bad thing, and truthfully, what else do we have to go on? I know my experiences are singular to me; I know the conclusions drawn from those experiences won’t be valued by everyone. But those are the only experiences I have had, so I can’t help but give some deference to my own conclusions. And it works well enough. These kinds of experience-derived conclusions help us keep ourselves alive, maintain decently healthy relationships, and do our jobs.

This really comes to a head when the beliefs themselves are discussed. It’s very hard to let go of these impressions of the world. When something has been ingrained in your mind from a young age, either directly by guardians and respected elders or through subjective experience, it’s very difficult to stop believing it. It’s hard to even consider it may only be the partial truth.

This can seriously impair human interaction. I try to catch myself voicing something that is ultimately a personal belief, and just loosen up about it. I’ll tell myself I don’t really know if what I believe is true, and that makes it easier to deal with people. It’s a bold strategy, try it out some time.

However, I also wonder if these beliefs are necessary for living and doing things. If you have beliefs about what is good and right, even if those beliefs are arbitrary and somewhat baseless, don’t they set a standard for action? Don’t they outline an abstract goal toward which your entire life should point? Are beliefs prerequisites for purpose?

What are your thoughts?