BELIEFS ARE NOT FREE CHOICES!
Srchng4Truth: I kind of agree with this to an extent if what is meant by it is that most of the time you can't choose to believe something you don't.
wheelgirl: I think children are limited in their choices, especially when it comes to religious beliefs. Children are quite indoctrinated when it comes to religion and what they're taught from their parents and adults and it is easily adapted into their lifestyle.
However, when they are old enough to think for themselves, that's when they're able to exercise their own choices to either pursue or not. But i agree with what search said earlier.. "the statement needs to be clarified/explained."
wheelgirl: good point.. even evolution is a belief. Those who do not necessarily believe in God/ god or gods, they would believe in something.
Srchng4Truth: I believe that babies don't have beliefs. They don't even realize they are separate from the universe around them.
There is something in Buddhism called empty bowl where you are supposed to give up all your beliefs to find truth.
So I think it is possible to not have beliefs though the vast majority of humans do.
I'm not sure how much choice we actually have in our beliefs. For example, we can't in most cases will ourself to believe something that we don't. Try to choose the belief that the sky is polka dotted. This would be a very difficult belief to choose unless you actually believed it.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't think in most cases that we choose our beliefs in that we can select any belief and just choose to follow it. I think it is more true that our beliefs are generally determined and in most cases we have to go along with them. There are cases where we choose not to accept what we really believe for one reason or another. We sort of choose to believe a lie, to deceive ourselves for some reason, but I am not sure even here how much choice we have. Most often when we do this, it is out of some psychological "necessity".
Srchng4Truth: You said what I am thinking. We BELIEVE we have freewill and choose things, but perhaps this is only an illusion?
Srchng4Truth: My understanding of some Buddhism is not that you stop thinking, but that you stop placing desires on things so that you can see reality.
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