How compatible are belief and reason?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wynn, May 21, 2009.

  1. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    How compatible are belief and reason?



    Please discuss.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,558
    Please can you define "belief" and "reason" for the purposes of this thread, so that there is no disagreement. If you do define them, it would make sense to edit your OP with such so that there is no confusion.
    Cheers.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    33,264
    There is no reason to believe but there is a belief to reason.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. ili Registered Member

    Messages:
    66
    Belief and reason are both aspects of the mind. However, reason leads to verifiable truth whereas belief is acceptance of conclusions that can be either true or false.
     
  8. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,072
    What verifiable truth? Verifiable by who? Let's make a few things clear here.

    1. Knowledge is a state in which a subject (observer) possesses awareness of truth about an object (observed matter).

    2. Belief is a subjective conclusion by the observer that he possesses awareness of truth about an object (observed matter).

    3. Reason is a form of justification. Reason is not something that leads to 'verifiable' truth. When you make the statement 'verifiable truth', all you are doing is implying that something is true simply because some observer concluded it to be so. Because that is what 'verification' is. Verification is only relative to whoever is doing the veirfying. One observer believes X is true. Another observer checks out the 'evidence', and agrees with the first observer. Thus, X is true simply because one observer approves of the justification of the other observer? Therefore, both observers possess awareness of truth about the matter? Of course not. Relative to them, their conclusion is correct, and they possess knowledge. However, this doesn't mean that X is true simply because they concluded it to be so.

    Reason/verification/evidence/proof and any form of jutification is not universal. They are relative to the observer who approves of them. Justification does not 'necessarily' lead to knowledge. Justification leads to a conclusion by a subject(oberver) about an object (observed). More specifically a belief which is a subjective conclusion by the observer that he possesses awareness of truth about an object (observed matter).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2009
  9. wise acre Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    726
    (I'll take a guess that by reason you mean a kind of mental process not reason as something like cause.)

    Reason can be useful for problem solving. Justifying beliefs is a problem. Reason can be useful for this. 'There it makes sense, whew.'

    I think, on occasion, reason may even be causal. IOW one works one's way to a belief - it must have been my brother-in-law who took the keys - via reason - here the process of elimination, perhaps.

    These beliefs tend not to be fundamental, but details within a paradigm or set of beliefs one already has.

    Very, very rarely can reason, I think, lead to fundamental belief shifts.

    All of which hints at compatibility. Reason needs to know its place - it is support, generally, and not fundamental. It has a job. And it can be incompatible if it, or its user, wants it to dominate.

    This incompatibility may not be noticed by the user.
     
  10. swarm Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,207
    Reason is a process.
    Belief is a stance.
     
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    Are a process and a stance incompatible?
    Or if they are compatible, in what way are they compatible?


    - - -


    We say sometimes: 'Show me, and I will believe'. How would you explain such a use of the word belief/believe?
     
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    As I am sure you are aware, both terms are rather loaded. Hence the many issues of their in/compatibility and the ensuing dicussions.

    Now get your mind to work and find some situations where belief and reason are compatible, and some where they are not.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  13. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    Generally, this is what I mean, yes. I find it interesting though that the word has these two meanings.


    Okay.


    Okay.


    What about values? Are they beliefs or are they part of reason?
    On the grounds of what does reason operate? Beliefs, values, ...?


    How do you think fundamental belief shifts come about?
    How could a person deliberately produce a shift in her beliefs? (E.g. a neurotic might, in a calm moment, realize that many of her beliefs are no good and that it would be beneficial to do something about them.)


    Like when the process becomes more important to the person than the result?


    Can you list some examples of that?
     
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,558
    Sorry - what follows might be a bit messy - just thought-dumping...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!




    Belief is the bridging of a gap in reason where no evidence exists, to arrive at a claim of truth.

    [This is different to bridging the gap with an assumption, which leads to a conditional claim of truth (e.g. assuming X, Y seems to hold true etc)].

    Compatibility arises only in situations where reason can also not negate the belief.

    Incompatibility can arise where the bridge/belief in X is counter to the reasoning used on Y. X and Y might be part of the same belief-system.

    E.g. you believe in God because the Bible says so, but not in angels - because there's no evidence for them etc.


    And of course reason itself is subjective, based on personal experience, knowledge etc. If reason changes due to additional info, for example, this may invalidate a belief, making it incompatible.
     
  15. wise acre Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    726
    Yes. I did a little etymological look at the word and I can't say it fully helped. Reason may also have come from a latin word meannig to question. Hence you started the thread reasonably.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Ratio is in there also, hence to count.

    I still feel the urge to make a core/periphery distinction. I do not know if this is useful or even for sure if I believe it. But it seems at first to me that core beliefs and values come before reason, then reason works out details: 'if reduction of suffering is a good, barring other factors, then I should help the lady who has fallen down.' I think, with some hesitation, that reason can approach core values, but I would think almost always in conjunction with experiences AND also with some preexisting tension between possibly contradictory core values or between the core believer/value haver and the values.

    I think there are several ways. One can have powerful experiences that do not fit with ones current core beliefs. It can also be a straw that broke the camel's back sort of thing, cumulative preparation, then crash. I think one can also at least consciously take on new beliefs to avoid pain or to get pleasure. Reason may play all sorts of roles in this transition.

    If you are consciously trying to change beliefs you are not unified in those beliefs. You have doubts about them, suffer them, think it might be good or feel it might be good/smart/correct not to continue having them. Reason can play a role, but emotions are the great motivators.

    Actually getting at the way the belief works in the body and emotions - rather than trying not to notice this - can often change them.

    Exploration of processes, counterexamples, experiences that might disconfirm or build up other beliefs can also affect change.

    Which means that they have a core belief about a lifestyle and one not based on reason, by the way.

    In a sense I took that issue on in my objective self-relation thread.

    One example:
    If you want to claim that your beliefs are all based on reason, you will end up either having to lie or not notice things in/about yourself.
     
  16. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,072
    Evidence is just as much subjective as you claim reason to be. "Evidence" is only material that is accepted by an individual observer. If that individual does not accept it, he will not consider it evidence. Thus, your statement, "where no evidence exists" is implying that evidence is not subject to the observer's approval. The phrase "without approval of any evidence".

    Another misconception is that the matters being discussed here require multiple observers. However, everything regarding knowledge is relevant only to a single observer.
    What is that observer's position?
    How did that observer arrive at that position?
    Do I agree with that observer's position?
    Do I approve of that observer's justification as valid?

    IOW, the observer does not need to produce any proof to other observers in order to posess knowledge. The observer doesn't even need to fully understand his own justification/reasoning to possess knowledge.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2009
  17. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,072
    Any particular belief an individual has is based on that individual's current scope of belief. An individual's scope of belief is everything that individual believes to be true. Anything outside of that scope of belief is unknown or inconclusive to the individal. Thus, when a person makes the statement "I don't know", he is basically stating "it exists outside of my scope of belief". When that person makes the statement "I know", he is refering to something within his scope of belief. An individual cannot base a particular belief on something outside of his scope of belief.

    This simply means that no matter what statement a person makes, "to my personal understanding" is always implied within that statement. "To my understanding" simply means "within my scope of belief". This applies to all statement anybody makes:
    "X is true" = "To my personal understanding, X is true."
    It is a fact that X is true" = "To my personal understanding, it is a fact that X is true."

    Values are not part of reasoning, they exists within an individual's scope of belief. All individual reasoning is based on their personal scope of belief. This is why we can often say that one's values are influencing his reasoning. That is because one's reasoning is wholly under the influence of his scope of belief. One's scope of belief is the foundational basis of one's reasoning.


    This is a great question. It is impossible for anybody to choose what they believe. A belief is simply an involuntary conclusion about a matter. An individual has a belief when he is compelled to a conclusion on the matter. For example, if one has the belief that X is true, it is because one has been compelled to that belief.

    Despite this, I wouldn't say that it is impossible for a person to completely convince themselves to believe something that they currently do not believe. If you want to convince yourself that a flying spaghetti monster is in your closet, I wouldn't say it's impossible. Good luck trying though.
     
  18. scifes In withdrawal. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,573
    reason is specific for a certain process..

    many incontinence reasons make up a conscious belief..
     
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    What role do you think like-minded people whom a person closely associates with play in this approach of focusing on the body and emotions?
     
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    An assumption, if it is about something that is important enough to the person, is likely to turn into belief, no?


    Also, I suspect that people who have big egos tend not to make assumptions - they tend only to make 'statements about facts'.
     
  21. wise acre Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    726
    first reaction....
    they can make it less terrifying to notice certain things.
    they can make the strength and apparent irrationality of the emotions less terrifying.
    they suggest possible sources...
     
  22. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,036
    They walk hand in hand.
     
  23. Bishadi Banned Banned

    Messages:
    2,745

    that stance, is a sound process before accepting a belief
     

Share This Page