VonNoble

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Everything posted by VonNoble

  1. This just arrived in my email... We do not get to choose what we understand (or believe.) Much like the old joke; someone can explain it to you but not understand it for you. We get to invest in improving our understanding with time and effort. We get to search in order to remove doubt. But lack of understanding (or belief) is not a matter of choice. An added thought to the topic currently under review. von
  2. Exactly, I have tried many times. You captured it nicely. Thanks for articulating it so well for me. von
  3. I can see that (slowly the light is coming on).....but it is a new realm of thinking of me. I am thankful to have additional help ....as I learn a new level of processing. I guess old dogs can learn new tricks. I am finding I have to look at levels beyond my normal processing in forming decisions in this area. It like every other skill - requires practice. von
  4. Dan56, thank you for your response. I have been thinking about your posting and appreciate you made it. As you can imagine (choose to imagine) - my life would be FAR more peaceful if I were to give in and support my sister's contention that my nephew is instantly a decent human being. If addiction is a choice (taking the drugs might be a choice but the reaction to them is very much NOT much of a conscious decision - it is a biologic chemical reaction as I understand it) - he cannot choose the level of "high" for this dose of an illicit drug. He is completely out of his mind when higher than a kite and not rational. Once the addiction gets far enough out of control - the court is not even sure if he is rational enough to know right from wrong. I believe you totally get where I am at on this one. We might just be talking past one another regarding the process I think I am in with this....I want to give the kid a chance - everyone has tried lots of times. I want to believe it will be different. Self preservation kicks in and it doesn't feel right. I am not choosing that feeling. I want to choose to ease my sister's pain. I want to say comforting things. I want to believe the little screw up finally changed. But I don't. I can say I do. I can say all the right things. I nod when the experts beat up on me and tell me I am a stubborn old fool. I even agree that I am stubborn old fool. I hear & understand the reasons. However, there is not choice to be made by me....i instinctually have no reason to engage in this. My gut is screaming this is a bad idea I am going with my gut till time allows for an informed decision. My only choice is to wait on a decision. I am just processing the new info (intake with no output so far.) Indecision is a decision not wait. I don't know enough. That is different than choosing to believe or choosing not to believe. It is a solid - neutral. I choose neutral if you want to define a choice in this. If that is so - then I am not choosing to NOT believe. I am also not choosing to believe. The actual position I am in is not knowing. (different than not caring) (different than stubborn) (different than inept)....etc. Maybe I am afraid of the next round of trouble for everyone I love if we trust this kid Maybe fear is driving me (not reason.) . If it is fear - I am not choosing fear I am recognizing fear is running amok in me I am powerless (temporarily) to control the fear.) And once afraid of something it causes a reaction...but not decisions...maybe. Anger is another feeling - I USUALLY can control. I can make as many choices as possible to limit the impact. But in the case of justifiable homicide - the court says there are moments when we don't choose - we just respond. So I am still working through the idea of instinctive responses being a choice. If I happen upon a burning building with someone about to jump out a window.... or see a child being pulled into a car against their will. I might well respond to render aid without making a conscious choice. I know that I am so very limited (physically) in what I can do. I do not process the belief I can help...I impulsively move forward as a conditioned response. I am not choosing it....If I process it - I realized I am pretty useless these days even though I want that not to be the case. When someone jumps on a hand grenade they do not necessarily believe they are going to die - they just respond in the blink of an eye. The ones that live.... tell us it was not a choice - they just found themselves in motion.....no recognition of a decision to do or not do - it was an action in motion before the brain engaged. Which incidentally science supports. There is evidence that we actually are in motion often without fully finishing our decisions. Therefore an impulse can direct us before we decide. I am working on it still....the jury is out on this one for a bit longer. According to you I am choosing not to believe you. If that is so - then (joking here) - I would contend you are choosing not to accept my point of view. You can - but you find it wanting and wrong. Even if you think that - you have a choice and can control that line of thinking. You can change that gut reaction... and you can choose to believe I am right. Joking aside..... I readily admit I don't know and I am trying to figure it out. I would like to choose me as right. I simply do not have enough evidence to make that decision. Yet. So for now I am not idle or lost. I am pondering and weighing and analyzing. No decision is not the same as no direction or no reason in play. I am working on it. I don't know if I am right or wrong. Until I know - I don't believe I am right. I also do not believe you are wrong. I don't know. No value judgement on either of us. You might be right. I might be wrong. Vice versa. No belief possible yet. Not a choice not to believe. Just a recognition it is a work in progress. Much like my nephew. No reason to believe him. No reason to choose he will or he won't make it. No conclusion possible this early. So no belief. Hope - yes. But I am not opening my checkbook. THAT is a choice. Belief is not. Maybe. Again thanks for your input von
  5. Ah.... glad I threw that out... I was texting with teammate in my Philosophy class. I see the points you raised. Good ones. Thx (very much) von
  6. I thought it was just heard the following... Belief is not a choice; it remains an unfulfilled promise. The “not chosen” are not at fault for the selection process... I thought it was interesting. von
  7. I never did. I choose to agree with you. Thx again, von
  8. After a couple of days of playing with this...and getting some egghead friends to join in the attempt... it has certainly opened some pithy and interesting new chatter. Again I say.... brilliant. Thx von
  9. We can disagree. Choosing to act or not act might be a reflex or an instinct or an actual decision. It is sometimes a tangible choice. Sometimes an emotional quagmire. Some times a primordial answer ... distilled and hardwired into our psyche so much so we do not fully understand it. I want to believe my loser nephew. I want to have faith in him. According to your thinking I can just choose to believe him. He says he has changed. My sister tells me I just do not understand the kid....I am wrong about him...I do not know him like she does The Johnny-come-lately experts give testament to all the reasons my instinctive response should be overcome. They have statistics and proof I simply am wrong in feeling as I do. At times not making a decision is the right one. Not every situation require action. Not does every question needs (or has) a definite answer. Sometimes we just don’t know. We all learn to live with uncertainty. No choice can trump a bad choice. standing up and admitting you do not know...takes as much courage as those who sit pretend. (I know you truly believe..just to make sure I was not referring to you).... but I do know more than a few pretend to believe ....than will admit it publicly. Some of them clergy. They act without faith. They act without belief. Having faith is not a matter of choice to me. But I certainly can accept you see the other side of that. von
  10. Gotta admire her conviction and courage! Thx for sharing the recollection. von
  11. Interesting. One time when I was a small child...we were in a restaurant when two men came in and indicated they had weapons (never seen)(presumed to be handguns) in their jacket pockets. Our family was sitting in a curved booth at the far end of the restaurant with mom on one end of the very large booth & dad on the other. It was rare for us to get to eat anywhere but home - so 1) we were on our best behavior 2) we were so engrossed if the big platter of French fries (another rare treat) that none of us kids even knew what was happening till it was over. We were NOT traumatized...we never missed a French fry While the incident was in progress the woman in the next booth leaned over and told my mom to “ put her diamond ring in her shoe” to avoid having to give it to the thieves presumed to want such thing in a minute or two. There was no robbery. The would-be theived got spooked and ran out without getting anything and everyone went back to eating. We kids never stopped When told to hide her diamond my mother had replied. “No.” After the fact the lady next to us walked around the table to question my mom....and mom explained....1) look at this table....I invest in the future...look at this herd of kids-there is no money for diamonds 2) if I did have a diamond I would have given it freely to them Mom’s reasoning is they might well be desperate ( we always had enough...JUST BARELY enough...sometimes we were hungry but never got long)... and material things should never matter enough to cause harm (she was big on letting go of things always) ....and lastly she said allowing a person to wear the label of “thief” would follow not just this person but the next three generations to follow...so no ring is worth that ripple. I have nothing to add other than my mom was rather unique with her teachable moments. von
  12. THANK YOU....very helpful to me and I am rowing in the boat with you on much of this....von
  13. Please elaborate....you have strength over those who don’t get it... Does compassion for them factor into your world view? von
  14. I am not sure it can be characterized that way. it is true and I agree we assess everything around as friend or foe.... useful or not.... but those things are more survival based decisions. Those choices keep us from drinking poison or playing with fire. Those are more experienced based. With faith we are not dealing with a tangible. There is not a measurable cause-effect (fire = burn) (poison drinking = death)...... so the conclusions are less certain. The reason applied far less straightforward. Making a choice to believe without evidence is asking g someone to believe without knowing. You allow that that is NOT really a choice for some. So here we can agree it is not a choice. It is a “holding” position. Allowing 1) they do not know 2) they are continuing to explore 3) allowing new information could move the needle 4) until new information is available.....it is not a choice Hmmmm....undecided does not seem to be “lost” in my view. That has a value judgement. How does actively searching for new information and being fully engaged equality with being idle or stagnated? Help me to understand. von
  15. I enjoyed your very well organized response. I am continuing to sort through it .... it is helpful. von
  16. BRILLIANT! I actually did this experiment. I got a couple of other people to try it as well. EXCELLENT thought experiment. Thank you you for this. von
  17. Thank you for all of this. As a follow up.... in this morning’s newspaper there was a lengthy editorial noting .....that thinking about belief, by definition ....isn’t belief. He continued that “faith” is also not belief. Faith...in his view was the result of emotionally driven need ( psyching ones to articulate a belief based impart or in whole by rationalization).....and should not be linked to belief. The writer was a career military man. I would be interested in your opinion of that editorial. I am still trying to sort out his assertions in my mind. Thx. von
  18. ONE SIDE.... holds FAITH is a choice. If you want it you can have it..... just choose it. (a secondary group in that camp holds that all you have to do is pray or ask and you shall receive ...after all that is a WELL KNOWN quote from the Bible...knock and the door will be opened...) - therefore if you do not have faith it is a choice. THE OTHER SIDE....does not see - that there is a choice. it is an ongoing process. You don't choose.....you accept that life shaped you and this is who and where you are....today (a secondary......Hundreds of groups claiming they and they alone represent God. ) Each pointing to others and claiming we...we are right ...not them...not those over there - they got it wrong ...... if there is a choice - it is impossible to choose between them...... To the world at large - there is no noticeable difference in the behavior of a faith-filled person of integrity... from a non-believer..... Is faith a choice? Is lack of faith simply a byproduct of life's journey...it is an unintended (not chosen) landing spot? Is faith or lack of it - a choice (if it is a choice) that matters to humanity in practical terms of survival? Can we accept that persons of faith choose that path to find peace? Can we accept that persons of no faith arrive at peace too ? von (adjust the content so you are able to join in - you can take the puzzle pieces and make them work for you)
  19. ...that reminded me about two different hospice facilities run by Catholics that were exceptionally places... Is St. Jude Hospital a Catholic place? (I dunno it sounds like it....) von
  20. I have no fear of hell. Not knowing thst God exists .....denies me dreaming about heaven’s rewards and eliminates hell’s damnation. So pressure off there. So being good to avoid burning is not necessary. I choose good because my life is easier that way. von