Is it possible to make decisions without some kind of belief system?



Normally when we talk about belief, we mean religious beliefs. But even the criticizers of religions have some kind of belief system. They base all their decisions on the premise of logic. Thats why I used the word belief system to include all kind of beliefs. It got me thinking about whether the human mind needs some kind of belief system to effectively function.

I was hoping to invite thoughts from people who study minds on this. I view belief(s) as some kind of axis around which mind functions. Without this axis, we might seem like crazy people unable to function properly in society. So I think its not fair to criticize others belief systems even though it may seem total rubbish to you.

What are your thoughts on this?


Posted 2019-11-15T18:13:26.940

Reputation: 39

Question was closed 2019-11-16T00:32:44.863

I do hope that spelling mistake wasn't deliberate... – Mozibur Ullah – 2019-11-15T18:14:59.533

Can you elaborate? – TinTop – 2019-11-15T18:21:33.357

You may be interested in the field of Philosophical Anthropology where they look basically at what man is capable of and what he is like, what are his needs, and what are his limits. In other worlds, we should know something about this Man who philosophizes and who we philosophize about. Very interesting subject, but I don’t think there is much work in it now, I may be wrong. – Gordon – 2019-11-15T23:05:10.783

I think there may be votes to close because you don’t offer much context to your question, but in my opinion you basic question is good. – Gordon – 2019-11-15T23:06:15.453

This book is just an example. There are other viewpoints. You may want to read over the first chapter.

– Gordon – 2019-11-15T23:16:43.893

I think you need to detail what you mean be belief system; in the most pedantic sense of the word, it's pretty much impossible (outside of perhaps non-trivial mental issues) for a person to not have a belief system on some kind. I believe applying controlled pressure to the ground through my feet will propel me forward. I believe it referred to as "walking" in English, and believe there is a language called "English", etc... In a more nuanced sense, I can decide to have chocolate for dessert without believing it is the best dessert. – Uueerdo – 2019-11-15T23:27:20.997

1Some kind of belief system is necessary. The decisionmaker is continually evaluating risk and opportunity, and some structure must be available to allow that process to happen. – Mark Andrews – 2019-11-15T23:31:14.960

You may find useful this quote of GK Chesterton : «When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.» IOW God as object-logic is belief, as meta-logic a detergent for scrubbing spurious beliefs – Rusi-packing-up – 2019-11-16T04:13:12.413

Now when I think more about it, i doubt whether this necessity was the reason for the evolution of relegions. The mind needs to be convinced in a belief if it has to accept it. As there was a lot of unexplainable things in the early human societies, it became necessary to attribute all this unknowns to a super being which may have later evolved as God.I assume all primitive societies may have some form of this super being. – TinTop – 2019-11-16T05:15:21.903

Sigh! I invoked a Christian form(at) because it's cogent, succinct. Not because it is necessary or sufficient. The ratio of the area under the triangle Jerusalem-Mecca-Bethlehem to the area of the earth is about 0.01% And inferring religion=God-belief by induction from the Abrahamics is wrong by that factor (approx) – Rusi-packing-up – 2019-11-16T05:25:19.667

Spelling punctuation regularized. Hopefully meanings intact and untouched. You can roll back or continue editing. – Rusi-packing-up – 2019-11-16T06:24:14.913

See also this answer to an akin question.

– Rusi-packing-up – 2019-11-16T06:27:00.997

The lack of a belief system is itself a belief system. It's impossible to divorce yourself from your presuppositions, therefore maintaining a "neutral" ground by which you make decisions simply can't be done. – Isaiah Trotter – 2019-11-15T18:37:44.147

I don't quite understand the last line of your post: you basically say that it is not 'fair' to criticize other people's belief systems because your own belief system on which you base your criticism may be just as wrong. That feels like an inconsistency ad hominem fallacy. Of course I am allowed to criticize anyone's belief system. And everyone is allowed to criticize my belief system. Just because we can all have a bad belief system does not mean that we shouldn't try to criticize each other's system. In fact, I would say we should, exactly because we want to find a good belief system – Bram28 – 2019-11-16T13:14:13.030

The vast majority of life continaually makes decisions without any belief system. Most don't consciously "think" in order to make decisions. For the most part, their brains receive signals indicating different suggestions (e.g. "food: eat it", "fire: run away", "memory of pain: back off") and whichever demand is strongest forces the "decision". Humans have an extra process, the ability to consciously examine those inputs and consciously decide to act other than naturally. The factors we use to justify those decisions are what we call belief, religion, character, morality, personality, etc. – Ray Butterworth – 2019-11-16T13:52:16.913

Ok, In most cases people are born into a belief system. They dont chose it. In your point of view, probably they are believing something foolish(.. and maybe you are right also..)But it is essential for them to survive.That was what I was trying to convey.As long as their beliefs dont hurt you, you should refrain from criticizing them.Otherwise it will be like criticizing a handicapped person.Also even the criticizers need a belief system which also maybe flawed.That was my other point. PS:Iam not a native English speaker.So excuse me if there are spelling and grammatical errors. – TinTop – 2019-11-16T13:55:02.543



Like Isaiah Trotter said:

It's impossible to divorce yourself from your presuppositions, the lack of a belief system is itself a belief system.

But I disagree with him in maintaining a neutral ground, I expect some people can keep neutral ground. Having a Dialectic mentality keeps me Neutral, real philosophers are Neutral.

We should distinguish between Science and Humanities. Of course Science mostly away from Bias, mostly neutral. But Humanities like arts, philosophies, social sciences, etc, sometims depends on opinions and tastes.

With Humanities, real Philosophers, real thinkers can't fall in bias, using Dialectic they can easily correct their Ideas.


Posted 2019-11-15T18:13:26.940

Reputation: 413