<Why do you refer to such beliefs as "pleasant"? Do "I am not good
enough" and "I will never succeed" sound pleasant to you?
David Nye wrote:
<I was referring to statements you made such as:"We don't believe in things because we think that they are "true", we believe in them because they seem useful/helpful, they seem to work, and we have learned to apply the value judgement "truth" to our beliefs."
So at least in that post, it didn't seem that you were referring to
unhelpful beliefs such as "I will never succeed".>
"I will never succeed" etc might not sound very helpful in the light of day, but the reason someone would believe in such beliefs is because at some point they were useful, either because they protected some other more primordial belief, ( about themselves or another, usually a parent ), or because they acted as a refutation of/defence against another, more frightening, one. For instance if someone has learned to believe that their success at something might threaten their parent, or that success has costs that they can not face, then believing that they cannot succeed will "feel" useful.
David Nye <nyeda@...> wrote:
<If I understand you correctly, you are saying that you can make anything "subjectively true" just by choosing to believe in it. Could something then be for you "subjectively true" when it is not "objectively true"? Could you just make something "subjectively
true" just because it pleased you to assume that attitude, even if you really knew deep down that it was objectively false?>
Do you mean that someone might have another belief which contradicted it ... I think that we have a lot like that: "I am not good enough" for example might run at some moments, and "I am brilliant" might run at others depending on our chemical state etc. Each will tend to feel subjectively true whenever they are "running". I suppose the "depth" and therefore relative "force" of each might depend on which one arose "first", as refutation or self-protection or whatever. But believing that I am "not good enough", or that "I will never succeed" etc aren't subject to objective analysis/study anyway.
Or do you mean that someone might have a belief about the world which science has debunked, eg. that the sun orbits the earth ... and that this could be subjectively true at the same time as knowing that it isn't objectively true? I think most people must "categorise" the data so that they are not in conflict.
You'll have to give me an example of the kind of beliefs that you mean, because I am having difficulty imagining a case.
Most of the things which people believe in for which no objective evidence has been found; god, spirits, auras, justice, race, love, etc don't come under the remit of objectivity anyway. What kind of belief do you mean?
I do find it impossible to reconcile my "objective" belief that this table is made of light/energy with my subjective belief that it is solid, but that probably isn't what you are referring to either.
But I can believe in god, and god be subjectively real to me at the same time as believing that god has no objective existence.
I suppose that someone who believes that their child is still alive after they have died might be said to be doing something like you describe ... : believing that might feel useful, for a while at least, because painkilling ... but obviously/probably would cost far more over time than believing in their death. I'm trying to think if I have any beliefs like that.
Like my belief that smoking isn't doing me as much harm as eating sugar would might be seen by some as a "pleasant", ( but dangerous ), delusion. I tell myself stories all the time about me and life, but if they are ( important and/or conscious beliefs ) about objectively measurable things I usually tend to have "objective" arguments to back me/my belief up. I don't know how partial they are. I don't think, for example, that anyone has studied the relative harm of sugar and tobacco! Both are bad; I just believe that it is far more important that I cut sugar, and dairy, out than tobacco, ( like William Dufty did, who wrote "Sugar Blues"! ;) )
Anyone who's read anything about diet, and eats sugar, is telling themselves some sort of story to justify it, but the objective "jury" is still out on what is worse, sugar or tobacco, so there is no "deep down" contradiction ... not unless they say that sugar is actually *good* for them. ... What about people who drive cars? ( I don't ). They believe that it is ok for them to do so, despite the widely available and visible data about how bad for the environment it is. But that is ... what? ... merely a value judgement about their own behaviour, not about the poisonous impact of car fumes etc on the environment.
... What kind of belief were you thinking of?