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As Long as We Remember...

March 31, 2014

Beliefs That Separate and Beliefs That Affirm

Steven R. Berryman

A belief system keeps us whole, and contains much of who we are and where we are as a human being. This changes over time, and as they congeal through the dynamic maturation process, we tend to both self-identify, and clutch onto them even more. For better or for worse.


Belief systems are formed at the earliest age, and are the way we cope with complex issues, in order to fit them neatly into our box of assumptions. Being more open or more closed-minded about alterations to beliefs does define the true intellectual, or dynamic thinker. Scholars and science fiction authors alike seem to fit this group.


Politics and the two-party system conduct warfare along these lines, each seeking the high ground, or attachment to one core belief or another.  Conversely, disassociation or alienation from a specific item of belief makes a great polarizer.


Hypocrisy within belief can be very entertaining.


For example, “I believe in the right to free speech,” except when said speech becomes too powerful and effective (talk-radio)…or when what you say offends my belief system – then expect an effort to squelch, or modify via the “compliant media”...or through the court system.


Or…“I believe in the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, and I believe in The Constitution,” except for the part about guns. Guns kill people, you know.


Here are some good political belief systems:


“I believe that education should be fair for all.” This has become the calling card of those who seek equal outcomes from varying human beings in our school systems. We redraw questions on tests so that different groups don’t miss answers via cultural interpretations. Political correctness reigns in this arena!


“I believe in one person one vote.” But this boils down to any degree of recognizing the importance of verifying the individual voter as valid, regardless of the belief position. The result is opposite.


Then there is God.


Here is one of the best: “I believe in God.” Guess which party approves this message, and which one seeks to ostracize based upon this position? One of the most fundamental human needs is to be attached to a higher being, regardless of brand. The right wing of the political spectrum is more likely to self-identify with organized religion; the left almost makes it a mockery.


The science of science also gets totally lost in belief systems.


What at times has been a form of religion in the past, organized science, has become politicized in this age, as opposed to the great period of pure science as in the University of Göttingen in the ’20s and ’30s heyday of physics. Today we practice “science by popularity.”


Where in true science, there is but one truth, and we vigorously seek it out? Now the belief system of one party consists of science by popularity.


The best example is “88 percent (or more) of all scientists believe in Global Climate Change theory.” Read that like “Four out of five doctors…”


On this issue there are two good sides, and there is no real affirmation of the belief either way. The sheer complexity of the issue makes it impossible to discern with finality.


If one believes the world is a single living organism, for instance, should the Earth in its totality be smart enough to regularly control its own temperature? A simple toot from a volcano could at once change all gas content around the globe and kill off all humans at once, either directly through anoxia, or by long-term global winter impact.


Not saying we should not honor Mother Earth, and live clean, but truly we are puny.


But more importantly, a preponderance of scientists proves nothing. Down through the ages, 99 percent of all scientists knew that the sun orbited the Earth. Knew it!


How about: “I believe that all life is sacred.” Argue this one with death penalty proponents or opponents. Then ask them about their opinion on birth control, choice, right to life, or how does that contraception really work?


Belief can be a tricky thing, as fairly evaluated!


To keep your belief system in place, keep chanting “the truth is the truth.” This will help.


And where do belief systems begin and end? Your belief system stops where my nose begins…


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