So, you’ve decided to join (insert worthy cause or religion here) but your not sure if you really understand everything just the right way. A friend finally tips the scale with some wise words—”what the hell, just give it a try and see what’s up—you’ve got nothing to lose”. So you employ the time tested wisdom of the ages, deciding on hormones and a hunch.
This is the very scientific technique most humans use to abandon using the scientific method of inquiry. This is how my parents joined the John Birch society back in the 60’s. It was a perfect fit as all their fears were realized by highlighting everything the group opposed, as central to the doctrine.
“Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all the unifying agents. Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil.”—Eric Hoffer,
It is important now and then to scrutinize your own beliefs to make sure you are fearing the right things, but how to be objective in this process requires two things. First, find out what the opposition says and vehemently disagree with it. Second, convince yourself these are your beliefs that simply mirror the group—or is it the other way around? Now you forget (a pinch of doubt stirred, can go a long way, trust it)
Can anyone for one moment be the Buddha, unbelieve for a time and be the observer? Hardly likely, but the key to clarity is unbelief, so what to do? Employing the scientific method to belief (the problem) is a difficult task. For one, you have already decided the outcome by belief, skewing the interpretation of data. No, if you want to know what you believe, we must ask someone who doesn’t believe it.
“To continuously evaluate whether a being is good requires moral judgment, which requires moral autonomy, therefore it is not possible to continuously evaluate if a being is good while also worshipping it. Therefore, worshipping necessarily requires abandoning one’s moral responsibility, which is immoral“—James Rachel
Surpassing belief, which is simply withholding judgement until the outcomes of those beliefs are scrutinized by a third party (falsification) is the first step to liberation. Unless you’ve scrutinized your beliefs with the scientific method, an opposing view and an outcome based analysis, your beliefs are merely cans of hot air—in fact they are not even yours, or you, but the views of the group that through osmosis has hijacked your mind by a meme you’d swear was your own—until it isn’t.
To identify the real you, we must step away from belief mode—and like magic you will see the things you believed and fought for were not you at all. So distance a moment and relax—letting hormones make your decisions in haste adds a whole extra layer of insanity to conformity.
Surpassing belief mode and it’s limitations is likely the greatest challenge ever facing humanity. The appeal to belief in faith as a virtue appears to be the root problem of all problems.