Political Ideologies, Religion

Where are you on the Great Bell Curve of Belief?

bellcurveofbeliefAs you rightly point out, you can’t answer the question, “Where are you on the Great Bell Curve of Belief?” without a specific belief to consider. You may be “YES!” on global warming, “YES?” on the Big Bang theory, “I.N.O.” (In Name Only) on political affiliation, “NO?” on Did Mossad do 911?, and “NO!” on Big Gubmint.’

My contention is that for a specific belief, you and I will fall somewhere on that line, and the great mass of mankind will occupy that bulge in the middle. Does that seem obvious? If so, why is all our news and our discourse couched in either-or terms? Why is it a Liberal-Conservative battle? Why is it a Sunni-Shia conflict? Do we honestly think all Sunnis are sitting on the hot red YES! for everything Sunni and all Shias are sitting on the hot red NO!

Do they think we are stupid? A scarier question: ARE we stupid?

Let’s look at belief in God.

NO!-I am absolutely certain no such being exists and it is my goal to eradicate theism. NO?-I’m pretty sure there is no God but I don’t want to argue about it. I.N.O.-I was raised Methodist. YES?-I think there must be a God and I think God is good. YES!-God defines who I am both now and for eternity. He is the answer. 

Please bear in mind that almost everyone falls in the bulgy blue range on the Great Bell Curve of Belief. Obviously the two extremes, the hot believers, are going to argue heatedly. The cool blue believers are going to wonder why we can’t just all get along on this issue. This will vary from one belief to another, but everyone has some Ultimate Value they feel pretty hot about. 

The red hot believers are apt to say they don’t believe, they KNOW. How do they know? How do any of us know? Are we able to know a thing so surely that we know the guy on the other end of the spectrum is not only stupid, but evil and must be eliminated? An awful lot of human beings have been eliminated for that very reason, so it is an important question, even a life and death question.

Do we know through our senses? What we see, hear, smell and touch? Partly, but can our senses be wrong? Of course, they can. Do we know because an authority or expert has told us? Partly, but can an authority or expert be wrong? Of course, they can.

Do we know because we remember some fact? Partly, but can our memory be wrong? Of course, it can. At this point, some folks with a low tolerance for ambiguity are getting vertigo from peering over the Abyss of Uncertainty. Step back, take a deep breath, and relax.

My book, available on Amazon

My book, available on Amazon

Sensory information, authorities and our memories can be wrong, but they can also be right and often are right or we never would have survived babyhood. A radically skeptical toddler would refuse to eat-sure it looks like food and mom says it is food, but how do I know it’s not poison?

A radically gullible toddler would eat everything he could get his hands on and do himself in. Toddlers tend to be pretty gullible and uncritically open to new experiences, such as drinking a whole bottle of cough syrup. That’s why they need you, parents!

Bottom line, we believe thousands of things, some hotly, most in between. We believe these things because we choose to, not because they are infallibly “true.” And that is fine, that is the best we can hope for and it keeps us alive.

Je’s Axiom #2: We cannot KNOW perfectly, so it is reasonable to chose what to believe based on probabilities as we see them.

This being the case, just a little more humility is appropriate when it comes to dogmatic belligerence on any subject, yes?

Je’s Axiom #2: We cannot KNOW perfectly, so it is reasonable to chose what to believe based on probabilities as we see them.

 

 

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About Je' Czaja

Je' is a writer, artist, and stand up philosopher. She founded and directed two non-profit organizations for disadvantaged children and their families, served as a missionary for three years and is the author of several books. https://www.smashwords.com/interview/jeczaja Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00IU4RWKE

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