Sunday, August 10, 2008

Belief and Knowledge

How many of our ideas are based upon belief, rather than knowledge? That may seem like a strange question, but consider this. When we say that we are going to go to a store by driving down a certain street, we don't just believe we will get there, we know we will get there.

Yet, when people say that they believe that life after death works like this or that, what they are expressing is an opinion based on someone else's opinion, not their own knowledge.

How many people have held a belief that people of some other race or ethnic group are a certain way, but then changed their minds after meeting people of that race or ethnic group? That is one of the meanings behind the expression that travel broadens a person.

Look at how people's actions are influenced by a belief in concepts such as sin? What if a person did not believe in sin? Would that mean that no one would act decently toward other people? No.
Not every religion or spiritual path believes in sin.

But we know that when someone steals from us that we feel bad, so we know that is not a good thing to do from experience. If we do not like it when it happens to us, our knowledge would tells us that it is not good to do it to someone else.

Different religions have different beliefs about God. How do we know which one is right? We do not know. We just choose to believe one story or another.

How would our lives be different if we did not believe anything, and just acted on what we know that works?

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