Some say, “everyone believes in something,” but, really, that phrase should be changed. There’s a hole in us, and we fill it. We have to fill it. If it’s left empty, we run mad trying to fill it. So I say, “you have to believe in something.” This goes both ways. It’s a warning and a truth combined. If you don’t choose, discipline, focus, and refine your beliefs yourself… your instincts will do it for you. And, sadly, instincts exist for a reason, but not to determine our beliefs.
What happens if you let instinct guide your beliefs? Well, you have the instincts of a high-functioning animal. You have to become self absorbed, because that’s the only instinctive “right” our body’s have. Avoid danger, obtain food, obtain pleasurable sensation, etc. It will also focus for the most part on physical aspects, and what parts of your mind and soul you are consciously aware of will become secondary, but still part of your beliefs.
So, I believe that “belief” is less noble than we try to make it out. As with most things in our world, context is everything. What do you specifically believe? Why? Who does it help? Especially that third question; if your answer is always “myself”, then it’s logical… but not noble.
What do I specifically believe? I believe in G’d, the Judeo-Christian one, and I believe He’s worthy of it. Why? If I don’t believe in something outside myself, I become supremely selfish and destructive to those around me, and whenever I examine other belief system deities, I simply don’t find enough there to latch onto. Who does it help? Everyone around me and myself. This belief pushes me to be a better person and to respect myself. It offers a balance to my life that I would throw away immediately on my own.
Yes, of course, there are more to the specifics of my beliefs, but they aren’t the point right now. You, Reader, believe a whole universe of things; many may make my beliefs laughable or support them, but that, also, is not the point right now.
The point is that I, a person in the labeled box of Roman Catholic, am reaching out, sincerely, and saying: Believe whatever you wish, but please acknowledge the danger of believing in it.
Many people use my beliefs to justify all manner of harmful things, and my belief system’s core tenant is “love.” Imagine what you can justify in other contexts?
There will come a time where “belief” itself is vilified. It’s a natural extension of the cultural tensions we see right now. However, we have to believe in something. So when that time comes, I believe we will be facing something close to a new dark age, but of a secular format. Why do I believe that? I see more and more individuals with a boiling anger toward belief “systems” around me. Who does it help? …No one.