Will

Why should I feel confident in any of my beliefs, given that educated people often disagree with respect to major issues? (Daoist perspective)

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27 minutes ago, Fa Xin said:

Keep thinking of this :D

 

master-what-is-the-secret-to-happiness-n

 

Huh,  in my memory's version the student agreed with the master instead, seems like I missed reading the 3rd line :blink:

"the secret is not to argue with idiots" - master

"yes, you are right" - student

lol  

 

Edited by King Jade
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1 hour ago, King Jade said:

 

Huh,  in my memory's version the student agreed with the master instead, seems like I missed reading the 3rd line :blink:

"the secret is not to argue with idiots" - master

"yes, you are right" - student

lol  

 

 

Lol That'd be a good one too. Seems these memes change often

Edited by Fa Xin

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On 15-4-2019 at 3:32 AM, Will said:

I guess one interesting point (bordering on a paradox) is this: Most of the reasons I gave for feeling insecure in whether my beliefs are correct can equally well be applied to conclude that I can't be sure any beliefs are incorrect, either. So it goes both ways. 

 

Or whether the beliefs and criticism of (relevant) others are even worth bothering about....

 

When you start doubting you have to go all the way, and then your doubt will destroy itself because the necessities of daily life will force you to return to some form of common sense (that is to relative truth). However if the later doesn't happen you will truly become an idiot, and perhaps even a dangerous one if you take the fundamentalist way out.

Edited by wandelaar
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Another thought crossed my mind this morning ...

 

In looking at beliefs, I think we over-emphasize our rational content and under-estimate our emotional content. We like to think that we can arrive at a rational position based on logic ... and "believe" in it. But much of what we experience in life ... and how we react to various situations ... is recorded in and driven by our emotional content, if you will. So, that we often behave in ways contrary to what our rational self might suggest. There is probably a better explanation of this that has been elucidated in the various psychological disciplines.

 

I think this is why a real understanding of Daoism ... or any other ism or practice ... requires a physical component. So that experience informs rational understanding producing stronger combined position for belief.

 

Just a thought.

 

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1 hour ago, OldDog said:

Just a thought.

 

Your not alone, your not a secondhand entity.

 

"If you do not follow somebody you feel very lonely. Be lonely then. Why are you frightened of being alone?

 

Because you are faced with yourself as you are and you find that you are empty, dull, stupid, ugly, guilty and anxious - a petty, shoddy, secondhand entity.

 

Face the fact; look at it, do not run away from it.

 

The moment you run away fear begins."

 

http://jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/freedom-from-the-known/1968-00-00-jiddu-krishnamurti-freedom-from-the-known-chapter-1

Edited by windwalker
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On 4/13/2019 at 7:57 PM, Will said:

Does anyone here, drawing on personal experience and most importantly Daoist principles, have any potential insights/ways to think about this dilemma? 

 

It seems you using being  "daosit" 

As some type of fixed way trying to find how  somebody who is "daosit"  reacts, to follow.

 

One might start by understanding, why they consider it a dilemma.

 

 

"The Tao that can be told of is not the eternal Tao; The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth; The Named is the mother of all things."

 

 

 

 

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“Someone discusses and I also discuss;

someone speaks and I also speak. How can I know that their discussion is true and my discussion is not true?

Or that my discussion is true and their discussion is not true?

How can I know that their speech is false and my speech is not false?

Or that my speech is false and their speech is not false?”

 

“One knows what is true and what is not true, what is false and what is not false, only when one looks at all this by maintaining oneself in “not discussing the Tao” and “not speaking on the Tao.” Could I make discriminations about this?”

 

Liu Yi Ming

 

 

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I think you've landed yourself in the wonderful realm of Thinking For Yourself.

 

Unfortunately, politics is black and white. Either you bat for one set of principles or another, and it's very easy to be drawn into rhetorical devices used by the educated/politicians/media to end up in a certain camp.

 

Just like your Taoism, your political views will get looked down upon by serious conservatives and liberals alike.

 

It's not worth the energy getting too caught up in, imo.

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On 4/14/2019 at 9:32 PM, Will said:

I guess one interesting point (bordering on a paradox) is this: Most of the reasons I gave for feeling insecure in whether my beliefs are correct can equally well be applied to conclude that I can't be sure any beliefs are incorrect, either. So it goes both ways. 

 

Yes, so you asked; "Why should I feel confident in any of my beliefs?"

You shouldn't. But that is not to say that you dismiss them. The confidence leads to problems, not the belief. I have worked with schizophrenics, and it are the one who are confident in their beliefs (hallucinations) that have the most problems and suffer the most.

 

Stay with the uncertainty, reach out to others and have your beliefs challenged. I know it much be strange for you in the area you have been trained, but you have picked a practice that is antithetical to your profession.

 

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2 hours ago, Song of the Dao said:

Stay with the uncertainty, reach out to others and have your beliefs challenged

 

Pretty good advice.

 

Skepticism is healthy. Always testing your beliefs in the real world. Trust but verify.

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On 4/13/2019 at 10:57 PM, Will said:

Does anyone here, drawing on personal experience and most importantly Daoist principles, have any potential insights/ways to think about this dilemma? 

 

And you might want to read this chapter of Chuang Tzu:
http://nothingistic.org/library/chuangtzu/chuang03.html

 

Quote

Tsze-yû said, 'The notes of Earth then are simply those which come from its myriad apertures; and the notes of Man may just be compared to those which (are brought from the tubes of) bamboo;-- allow me to ask about the notes of Heaven.' Tsze-khî replied, 'When (the wind) blows, (the sounds from) the myriad apertures are different, and (its cessation) makes them stop of themselves. Both of these things arise from (the wind and the apertures) themselves:-- should there be any other agency that excites them?'

 

You see, most people think they are the ones talking, but it might just be the wind blowing over the open holes of our mouths! That is, the source of our opinions does not come from us, but rather from the winds of culture and history.

 

And it contains this often mis-interpreted section, which I will highlight the most important part.

 

Quote

'Formerly, I, Kwang Kâu, dreamt that I was a butterfly, a butterfly flying about, feeling that it was enjoying itself. I did not know that it was Kâu. Suddenly I awoke, and was myself again, the veritable Kâu. I did not know whether it had formerly been Kâu dreaming that he was a butterfly, or it was now a butterfly dreaming that it was Kâu. But between Kâu and a butterfly there must be a difference. This is a case of what is called the Transformation of Things.'

 

His insight was not his uncertainty of being a butterfly or a Kau, it was his ability to see the transformation.

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I believe that everything - I assertively think - about facts is invincibly true. 
There are also things which I hold my adjudication in abeyance about, and these things I consider with doubt. 
And there are those things which I consider to be opinion, and these are, variable but unassailable ,conclusions. 

The problematic parts are the things which I consider invincibly true, since they imbue one with hubris , arrogance , self-righteousness etc;  
However ! 
these are still the most settled and complimentary items which help assure me , that I am indeed aligned with the facts of the world , that I have a knowledge base , that my experiences have empowered me , and supports the rigidness of my ego. 

Being well supported in the rigidness of our ego , is highly adaptive for answering the most pivotal existential question that exists. "What do I do now?". 

The other rigid support is our opinions about things, we can say with little doubt , that we like or dislike particular things , want or do not want certain things, and these opinions also support our egoic opinions about ourselves. 
As in , the statement .."I like mangoes."

Again ,, this  ego support is highly adaptive for answering the most pivotal existential question that exists. "What do I do now?".

So  I am a mango liking being, and I know I should actively purchase mangoes , so I can enjoy them , (and they are a useful source  of Vitamin A ) in accord with the facts of my situation.  

We now have connected several aspects of mind , 
our ego rigidity , aligns with the universe -internal and external , helps us make decisions , 
and pisses off everybody who differs. :) 

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2 hours ago, Stosh said:

I believe that everything - I assertively think - about facts is invincibly true.


You might wake up one day and not want to eat any mangoes. There are times you do not like mangoes, like when you eat too many. Or you might die and then will you like mangoes? The "truth" that you like mangoes is as transformational as turning from Kau to a Butterfly and back again.

 

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12 minutes ago, Song of the Dao said:


You might wake up one day and not want to eat any mangoes. There are times you do not like mangoes, like when you eat too many. Or you might die and then will you like mangoes? The "truth" that you like mangoes is as transformational as turning from Kau to a Butterfly and back again.

 

Sort of true, ,, but , me liking mangoes, is present tense or some such grammatical thing , and someday else , is future, and I have never had too many , that is supposition. 

(A single point in time is never changing, because change requires either a past or future to be meaningful , at the same time the present exists.)

Good try though ! I like where you were going with that.  :) 

Edited by Stosh

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5 minutes ago, Stosh said:

Sort of true, ,, but , me liking mangoes, is present tense or some such grammatical thing , and someday else , is future, and I have never had too many , that is supposition. 

(A single point in time is never changing, because change requires either a past or future to be meaningful , at the same time the present exists.)

Good try though ! I like where you were going with that.  :) 

 

You liking magoes when you are not eating them is a delusion. You might eat a mango tomorrow and hate it. For all I know you could have been eating apples all this time!

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Just now, Song of the Dao said:

 

You liking mangoes when you are not eating them is a delusion. You might eat a mango tomorrow and hate it. For all I know you could have been eating apples all this time!

True, to the point of being a little spooky, I have been eating apples this week, but, not continuously all week , and so ,me liking apples more than mangoes, would still fall under the same delusion-ary boundary that you consider would apply to the mango eating.

Tomorrow , again,  is still a time in the future which hasn't occurred yet ( so it cannot really exist now. )

:) 

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On 4/14/2019 at 6:27 AM, escott said:

Everyone has a bias, regardless of how learned they are. We are the sum of our experiences, or rather how we internalized those experiences. Our brains take shortcuts in reasoning based on those internalized thought pathways. It's the only way we can function, our physical minds are limited in this way.

 

 

Ergo the theory of relativity...

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On 4/13/2019 at 7:57 PM, Will said:

It's pretty much impossible to go through life without holding at least some beliefs about topics like politics (or, even more often in my case, legal debates). These are situations where a lot of people disagree, however. And many of the people who disagree are all highly educated and are hard to dismiss as ill-informed or stupid. I'm not talking about random friends here; I'm talking about law professors, political philosophers, newspaper columnists, etc. Professor X might argue that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted in one manner, while Professor Y might argue that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted in another manner. Maybe I find X's argument more convincing, but on the other hand Professor Y is clearly very smart... Sometimes I simply escape this dilemma by concluding that Professor Y must not have researched the topic as fully as I have, or something like that. But still, there's doubt in the back of my mind: Do I really believe my own excuses for rejecting Professor Y's view?

Make no mistake: I am a very careful person, and I won't take a view on an issue until I've researched it thoroughly. But even then, I inevitably question: How can it be that my view is valid if some very smart people take the contrary position? This line of thinking can quickly lead me towards truth relativism/nihilism and a lack of confidence in my own beliefs or arguments. 

 

Furthermore, even when I agree with certain commentators or philosophers on one matter, I often disagree with them on another -- which again leads me to question why my view differs from theirs. To put the point differently: So far as I know, there is no one -- not one person -- who holds political beliefs that are categorically identical to mine. I take little bits from various sources, but don't mirror any one source completely. That means that my beliefs are unique, which can cause me great stress as I realize my lack of humility in choosing to act on my own individual beliefs. If my view seems correct to me, how can it be that no one has ever come to the exact same conclusions as I am? Surely if I'm actually so clearly correct then lots of people would have held virtually identical belief systems in the past ... but they didn't, at least not entirely. 

 

Does anyone here, drawing on personal experience and most importantly Daoist principles, have any potential insights/ways to think about this dilemma? 

 

Hi Will,

 

Your intelligent presence is so welcome on this site.  This strange website has some very interesting dynamics to it.

 

Many on this website are very familiar with the Daodejing, or Tao Te Ching, depending on the bookstore.  To truly see life through the eyes of a Daoist (and will explain input which will probably feel counterintuitive to everything you've ever learned), it would be the best if you were familiar with this wonderful text.  Online are many translations - my personal favorite is Lin Yutang, but many who aren't previously familiar with the DDC like Stephen Mitchell's translation.

 

I think that what you'll find on this website is  a bit of a quest for self-identity, or self-realization.   Buddhists are a strong presence here as well. There are many folks here who do aren't Daoists in particular, but have metaphysics in our souls and find our conversations tilted toward the answers of life's most fundamental questions. Many crossroads find themselves here, with the basic Truths of all the world paths meeting in the desire to know the essence, the I Am of it all.  It's sort of transcendent, really.

 

You make a good point about separate views.  And isn't it crazy how we can never possibly see things the exact same way, seeing as we were born and raised in different circumstances?  With different genetics? 

 

Different filters completely. 

 

Nice meeting you.

 

Manitou

 

Edited by manitou
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10 minutes ago, Will said:

@manitou, good advice. I've read the Zhuangzhi (Mair translation) but not the Tao Te Ching yet. Need to get around to that.

 

 

The Chuang tzu and its modern philosophical commentaries are more relevant to your problem, but of course the Tao Te Ching has its own merits

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