How do we form a belief? Imagine a table with four legs. The legs each represent evidence which we have gathered or accepted as proof of the belief (the table top.) How do we choose those legs? Why do we choose those them?
Depending on our perceived circumstances and the threats and opportunities contained therein, we develop wants and needs, and our beliefs are chosen to cope with these needs and wants. If a loved one is close to dying, we want to believe there is life after death. If we are suffering, we seek relief. We look for evidence that will support a belief that helps us cope, achieve our goals, avoid problems, punish our enemies, solve challenges. Our motives determine the beliefs we accept. And those beliefs will direct our choices and actions. Ayn rand taught that our philosophy determines our destiny. Well, your philosophy is what you believe.
What about strengthening or weakening that belief? Once we accept a belief, no matter how ridiculous it is, we will seek evidence that supports and is aligned with that belief. We will attack or ignore contradictory evidence. Our Reticular Activating system filters out conflicting evidence for us. We notice things that strengthen our beliefs and ignore, miss, or deny any and all evidence to the contrary. Cult leaders are aware of this and they build in a lot of reinforcement using group dynamics, fear and reward, ego, status, repetition, and reporting to control their people.
The American government uses powerful marketing tools and propaganda to convince millions that her economy is just fine, that her dollar isn’t, in fact, simply counterfeit monopoly money, and that the American Dream is alive and well, while in reality, it lies in an unmarked and well-hidden grave. The attempt to accelerate the decline of the once great America by electing Hilary Clinton, with overt censorship and indoctrination by the leftist controlled US North American media and social media, is shocking.
There is nothing wrong with believing things that help and do not harm, things that are healthy and upbuilding and positive, even if they seem illogical to others, but we have constantly to be aware, as we evolve and mature, of our beliefs and the consequences in our lives and the lives of others of those beliefs.
A good example of destructive beliefs is the guilt-ridden Germans who encouraged hordes of Islamic “refugees” and “migrants” into their great country. These Islamists are breeding like flies and causing a lot of trouble and damage. This is escalating throughout Europe and yet there are North Americans who want to welcome more of these invaders here. Why? They are looking through the lenses of their suicidal beliefs: white guilt, no matter how inappropriate and inaccurate, misunderstood Christianity, socialism, self-righteousness, ego, and the denial of reality.
How can we find and develop a good belief system that will channel our choices and actions in a direction that will earn us happiness, peace of mind, success, and health? Find successful role models, either dead or alive, who emulate the kind of success and coping mechanisms that you would like to enjoy, and follow them, read their writings, learn from them. Read the biographies of truly great people.
Good books to read are The True Believer – Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hofer, and The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics – How Conservatism and Liberalism Evolved Within Humans, by Anonymous Conservative.
Robin Elliott LeverageAdvantage.com