Facts Vs. Beliefs.

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Forums -> General Info -> Facts Vs. Beliefs.

Facts Vs. Beliefs.
Post # 1
There are quite a few people in this site who think that because they believe something everyone should believe it, no one should disagree or question it, and that their belief is a fact in the world.

When you question, or simply point out that what they have stated is an opinion, or a belief, and not necessarily true they automatically assume you are bullying them and get incredibly defensive!

Anyone who does do that needs to grow up and accept that just because you may believe that anything is possible, stepping off a ten story building believing you can fly will not be enough to stop you crashing to the ground!

The Oxford Dictionary defines the term belief as,

"An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof"

"Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion"

By proof, it does not mean subjective proof i.e. your own experience. It means objective, infallible proof.

A firmly held opinion does not equal a fact. It means everything you state about a belief is your own opinion, you should state before any post, or any reply- "in my opinion, or, in my tradition....."

You should not state beliefs as facts as they are not. Not everyone is a Wiccan, not everybody believes in the three-fold law, to say it is a fact that it exists is an erroneous statement, and you will most likely be called out on it.

It is not bullying, it is pointing out that diversity must be encouraged and the allowance of other points of view must be encouraged.

The definition of a fact-

"A thing that is known or proved to be true:"

I.e., gravity will cause you to fall stepping off a 10 story building regardless of how much you believe you will fly.

When stating beliefs and opinions clearly state they are your beliefs and opinions and are therefore not true, in the sense that they cannot be generalised to every other person.

You may think they are true to yourself, but they are not necessarily true to everyone else.

You cannot argue with scientific, objective data. I am not saying the lack of proof for life after death is enough to dismiss it, however, the proof of people who have come back, or past life memories, are not objective. They are subjective and could be brought on by imagination, the sub-conscious mind, and in the case of people being resucitated, random neurons firing in the brain.

Analyse everything with a balanced brain. Do not be close minded, but do not leave your mind so open that you fall into the depths of fantasy and become a deluded individual.

Above all, realise everyone is different and has their own thoughts and opinions and that it is good to be diverse. If someone challenges your beliefs it is a good thing- it rejustifies to yourself why you wish to believe them, and can also alter your beliefs for the better, by learning and incorporating new thought and opinions into your practice.
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Re: Facts Vs. Beliefs.
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 2
As usual, a sensible post. By the way, last October I was "brought back" after I flat-lined for some minutes.I didn't see any afterlife! In fact I didn't see anything at all!
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Re: Facts Vs. Beliefs.
Post # 3
I know two people also to have experienced nothing upon dying and being brought back. I also know another to have experienced a beautiful vision.....

Again divine intervention, or neurons firing?

I actually dont concern myself with questions I have no way of answering. If I die and go to a heaven of sorts, great. If I die and I am no more, then I won't care.
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Re: Facts Vs. Beliefs.
Post # 4
Nice post.
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Re: Facts Vs. Beliefs.
Post # 5
I think that if you ask a question and you get a reply that does not resonate with you that the person receiving the information should just be grateful for having a response and leave it at that... just wait for the next reply to come. We are members of a magical website so talking about facts is just weird... instead we can talk about things that has worked for us. Many times I read posts asking for help on spells for non common situations, and replies comes pour down of that is impossible! Hmmm, I am certain that the person asking gets enough "that is impossible" comments from his friends and family... I am sure he/she is not hoping to get the same answer. There is so much out there that we do not understand, see or feel... I read somewhere that fairies are no real... hmmm How can you say that? Even I scientist could tell you that with so many dimensions, portals, vortex out there that what we are calling fairies might be creatures from any of these places. Then again, if my left brain jumps at the conclusion that fairies are impossible, what am I doing in a Magical forum... where all is possible... if you let it be possible. and yes, all this comment is my belief of course and not based in any facts, none at all :)

Life is just great, embrace it.

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Re: Facts Vs. Beliefs.
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 6
All we try to do,just as Hadit does, is to point out that facts are facts, and beliefs are beliefs.We should never mistake the one for the other! This site not only deals in magic; it deals in various religions. And witchcraft. Religions are beliefs; witchcraft is very real! Sometimes the two go together, as in Wicca. Do Wiccans believe in magic? Yes, but not all Wiccans cast spells! So there is a mixture of belief and fact.And that can "scramble" your brain if you do not learn to distinguish fact from fiction!
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Re: Facts Vs. Beliefs.
Post # 7
Well said, Brysing. I, as a Christan who believes in magick, appreciate a community where we can all meet on common ground. And it's true: we can't be so adamant about beliefs that we attack and harass people for not believing the same as another. I get offended when I read comments claiming something to be impossible and just can't happen, when I know from experience that many seemingly farfetched things are VERY possible when dealing in the super natural and even with the natural energies in and around us. The creator (who I call God) gave us all the ability to use these energies to do amazing things. It's , to me, absolutely ridiculous for one know-it-all to try and define the limits of what can be accomplished. That can be more damaging than helpful to people's faith, especially when the thing they only believe now may later turn out to be a helpful fact that the naysayers haven't learned yet.
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Re: Facts Vs. Beliefs.
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 8
Truth be told, any attempt to explain, describe, or teach magic is rooted in belief. I've been writing a great deal lately, and I've touched upon this very subject. No matter what confirmation or evidence we experience that seems to verify the existence of what we are exploring, whether personal or with others, very little of it can be described as fact.

At best, the facts can be described as the psychological impact resulting from what we believe to have occurred. At least in terms of science and verifiable proof.

This, however, leads down a slippery slope that has always frustrated me. Because so little of magic is verifiable many believe that other myths, ideas, and concepts that have not been verified must also have a grain of truth. Thus the over-indulgence and extremity in the belief of fictitious creatures and monsters borne of primitive explanation and evolved through more modern works of fiction. It also gives way to the idea that anything is possible through magic, simply because it has not yet been proven to be false. Obviously, this couples and transforms the concept of magic and the concept of belief into something where beliefs are put forth as hardcore facts.

Admittedly, I am guilty of this myself too frequently, most often simply for the sake of expediency; it grows laborious to put disclaimers upon every discussion upon a site discussing the concept of magic.

All of that being said, there is a hard truth that need be considered while contemplating magic, or any such theoretical endeavor. And that is that it is entirely unscientific, and nonintellectual to assert that something is true just because it has not yet been proven to be untrue. And this, perhaps, is where I have encountered the most resistance and where the site as a whole encounters the greatest volume of assertion of "facts," and bullying.

What do I mean by this?

We often hear variations of: "Vampires might exist because they haven't there is no real proof that they don't," "(Insert kinesis concept) is real because there is no proof that it isn't," and so on, and so forth. And while these are the extreme, obvious circumstances, assertions of this nature are commonly put forth about energy working, spell casting, the chakras, and any number of more mainstream ideals as well. While we can easily dismiss the extremity as, well, idiocy, it is within the mainstream concepts where we find hotly contested debate, and outright bullying.

These mainstream concepts are in vogue on the site. The "basics" are accepted, and I have even written about them for no better reason than to make it easier on myself when someone new is asking for direction. Discussion of religion has become something that is strictly frowned upon, resulting in individuals being muted outright. And when these mainstream concepts are debated in an intelligent fashion, there are many on this site full of youths who are quick to form a mob behind whichever ringleader becomes evident, bash with their verbal cudgels, and otherwise attempt to silence reasoned discussion that strays the norm.

Yet, young or old, new practitioner or seasoned veteran, we must all make efforts to remember that any magical practice we partake in, any evident facts that we teach, are not remotely verifiable, scientific facts. So when intelligent, reasoned debate occurs, we should not discourage it for deviating from accepted magical ideology, but encourage it as it will help the predominately young members of the site grow in their practice and perhaps teach the those of us that have been around the block a thing or two, too.

Or else, really, we are no better than the folks claiming vampires are real because they haven't been proven to be false.

Thank you for this post. Thank you for reminding me that there is always room to grow within this exploration of magical philosophy.
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Re: Facts Vs. Beliefs.
By: / Novice
Post # 9
I am marking this as favorite, and replying so it shows in my history. Very good. We have talked about this, and the problems that have come up because of it. Thank you for posting this. BB
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Re: Facts Vs. Beliefs.
Post # 10
AwakeTooLong, that was well written. I agree with it and have heard the theory of things can neither be proven nor dis-proven. I find issues over the vamp and werewolf divisions though. People come wanting to follow the path, but they only know the TV aspects of it and don't understand there are real paths with real human people that chose to practice them.
Just my thought. Grate post though.
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