Why Do You Believe What You Believe?
Seems easy enough, right? Most of us think it is easy to convey the reasons why we believe what we do, because in our minds, it all makes sense. Even the most articulate person can struggle to elucidate further, beyond dogma, why they believe what they believe. It goes beyond mere conviction or the alignment of gut and brain.
Why then, DO you believe what you believe?
This is not limited to faith and religious beliefs, but rather scientific findings, political inclinations and other philosophies also. It is far easier to place one’s trust in something that is tangible, or that can be “proven” via the findings of a scientific formula, or a “show and tell” scenario.
Particularly as pertains to religious faith, if you ask 100 people, 80 of them could not possibly give you an answer anymore profound than “well, that’s how I was raised” or “everyone else in my family supports that, so do I” and other stances such as “I dunno, I just DO”. I am not a divider of persons, nor am I attacker of others who do not share the faith that I ascribe to. I respect those who do not profess Christ and I demand the same respect in return, or we do not commiserate on any level.
Try it sometime, without becoming adversarial and combative — ask about 10-15 people why they believe what they believe — with regards to the categories that I mentioned above, it’s a pretty hilarious (albeit small sample sized) case study.
People say, “Two things I don’t like to talk about with friends is religion and politics.” I can understand that, because most people are more careful about “rocking the boat” or causing potential dissension and a rift between themselves and friends. Never one to shy away from discussing anything with anyone (respectfully, without worry of losing out on their friendship or association), I personally have no restraint in this area. However, I know that I am in the minority.
I’ve seen people bicker and argue about politics and no longer be cordial — or even friends at all. The same with religion. They are touchy subjects for a reason — and sociologists and psychologists would agree about the rationale therein:THESE ARE CORE VALUES.
Core values are what drive people. Core values influence our thinking, actions and shape our daily interactions with people. Ever come across people who can manage to infuse politics into the discussion about any and EVERYTHING? It is annoying to say the least (personally speaking), but this further underlines the fact that supports that which is central to a person will emanate from their core the most frequently.
If your religious faith is central to you, the formulae is the same. Some people are religious zealots. Others are very much driven by their faith, but refuse to proselytize (either out of respect, or political correctness). There are also those who are loyal to their faith, and have no problem sharing it — just not to the point of pushing it onto others.
Again, I revisit the question: Why Do You Believe What You Believe?
Besides knowing why (please share), how does it shape what you do daily in your interactions with others?