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Thursday, February 18, 2010


Beliefs are collections of thoughts or ideas which we hold to be true. All beliefes are learned, mostly in childhood. Most of our beliefs come from our elders. Nothing we believe (as apposed to know) is ever certain.

Beliefs are transitory in nature. Millions have died for beliefs that most of us no longer accept, for example:

People were once tortured and killed for challenging the conventional belief that the world was flat.

The Romans believed it was perfectly acceptable to watch their fellow humans being torn apart by wild animals as a form of entertainment.

In South and Central America, it was once believed that gods looked favourably on sacrifices which could include tearing out the hearts of live human beings.

In Europe in the Middle Ages, it was considered God's will to burn and drown women who showed signs of heightened intuition.

In the so-called 'Age of Reason' (the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries), white Europeans thought it right and proper to buy and sell their African brothers and transport them as cargo thousands of miles into slavery.

Only two generation ago in God-fearing American and South Africa, people were deprived of their human right simply because they had darker skin. The churches justified this intellectually, and anyone who protested could be imprisoned.

Having adopted a belief, we take it for granted. We make the 'facts' fit the belief and ignore any evidence that doesnt support it. Thats why unquestioned beliefs are shaky foundations for living, prompting the philosopher Bertrand Russell to write, 'I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.'

Peace out.


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