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December 30, 2012

falling-head-backBelief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.[1]

Our common-sense understanding of belief may not be entirely correct, but it is close enough to make some useful predictions – This view argues that we will eventually reject the idea of belief as we use it now, but that there may be a correlation between what we take to be a belief when someone says “I believe many clouds are white and puffy” and how a future theory of psychology will explain this behavior “I believe many clouds are orbital entropic dark matter particle contrails…”  . Most notably, philosopher Stephen Stich has argued for this particular understanding of belief.

We tend to internalize the beliefs of the people around us during childhood. Albert Einstein is often quoted as having said that “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” Political beliefs depend most strongly on the political beliefs most common in the community where we live.[6] Most individuals believe the religion they were taught in childhood.[7]

Physical trauma, especially to the head, can radically alter a person’s beliefs.[10]

I fell 25 feet in our barn when I was a kid, luckily my head broke my fall.  From then on I believed entropic gravity, although weakly interacting, was a very powerful force in my world…


Copyright 2012 Stewart D. Simonson All Rights Reserved

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

From → Geophysics

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