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New page : OnBeliefs

Quora Answer : Is believing a choice?

May 21, 2014

You have to ask over what time-scale.

Immediate belief probably isn't. It's how your brain reacts to being told something.

But if for some reason you decide you WANT to believe something, even if you don't, you can probably get yourself into that state of mind over time. This happens all the time in education or learning a skill. You may not believe that certain aspects of the craft, such as certain kinds of self discipline in it, are really important. Over time, as you practice the skill, you'll realize that they are.

Or you join a political party because you agree with them on X. But you don't really understand why they seem to be obsessed with Y. Later on though, talking to the other members and listening to them explaining why Y is important, you start to understand and believe why Y is part of it.

One strand of human thinking, from Pascal's Wager, to various ideas in Nietzsche, to the "fake it 'til you make it" school of entrepreneurial advice, is based on the insight that we can, to an extent, become what we pretend (or practice) to be.

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