Is your belief your own?

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A question that has always perturbed me ever since I was a little kid was how a person decided to believe in a particular religion or in God, for that matter. Was it simply because one was born into a said family? Okay. But then how did the family decide? Was a family’s religion and/or belief in God yet another heirloom passed down generations? But how can one’s belief be passed down generations? Wouldn’t it then be belief in someone else’s belief and not in the actual belief which was to be believed in? One’s belief or disbelief in something or someone is extremely personal, something that cannot possibly be forced onto someone- for even if an attempt to force a belief was made, it couldn’t and wouldn’t lead to ‘belief’ in all its essence. Doesn’t this bring into perspective how people perceive ‘believing’ in our society? The process of even beginning to believe essentially involves viewing the subject from your own perspective, having your doubts about every single thing that relates to it, questioning your own conclusions and eliminating all that seems senseless. And ‘senseless’ is exactly where the entire idea of believing becomes relative and personal. How can someone else decide what makes sense to you and what doesn’t? It goes right along the lines of what you like or don’t, what makes you feel good and what doesn’t, what makes some part of your mind tell you that this is what makes it feel comfortable and at home or completely out of place. And how can someone else possibly decide that for someone? Would you let someone decide the flavour of ice cream you like? And something as abstract as belief in God is umpteen times more intricate a call to make.

It is not uncommon to see people lose their belief in the existence of God after the loss of a loved one or a catastrophe. It is also not uncommon to hear people become atheists or change their religious beliefs for some said reason. And all of these people are usually looked upon as inconstant or fickle-minded. But, why really? Who said that one’s views on a subject are supposed to be never-changing? By these measures, evolution of any kind would have been impossible altogether. And, the very fact that people reflect on their views on an issue is evidence of a thought process. And the existence of a thought process is a good thing. On the other hand, there are people who follow rules and endlessly pursue enterprises even if it doesn’t make sense with the sole aim of continuing what has been happening which amounts to not having to think.  And that, in my opinion, is the problem of the world today. We have forgotten to think. One must be able to reason to oneself why he does what he does, one must be able to live up to his own standards and not those of others and setting your own standards requires investigation of what’s sensible and uninfluenced thinking. Isn’t that what true freedom is? To be free from the shackles of reasonless ideas and consistent in only and only one thing: your own unhindered, unprejudiced thinking.

It is but obvious that a person or a child will have his mind and views bent a little towards what his family or his company believes in. But, at some point it is incumbent that he starts to think for himself and when he does start- he needs to start from scratch. Right from the TV show he likes to watch to right about everything which essentially involves his belief in God and the religion he feels is right for him. For unless one explores all that a certain belief might entail- one can’t possibly believe in the true sense, one can’t feel the force of the belief lift you up making you feel light headed and at peace with yourself at your discovery of what you deem as sensible, as meaningful, as true. Without independent investigation of the truth, all one has is empty claims to which your soul feels no call, no beckoning. And when you believe, you feel yourself drawn to the idea to an extent that you just know it is your own, to an extent that you know you are home.

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2 thoughts on “Is your belief your own?

  1. My english is not so good that is why i did not understand all thing what you have written about. But the part, that I understood , showed me that you really can be a good philosopher

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  2. Very interesting article, gives food for thought. I fully agree with you. I think that people need to believe in what they want to believe. Otherwise faith could be called a barrier that prevents a person to think. I began to think for myself two years ago, when I started to lose faith because of the death of a close person to me… But I’m still trying not to lose my faith in goodness and in God.

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