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25 May, 2007

To what extent, I wonder, do our existential beliefs really determine the ways we live our lives?

For example, if we believe that there is another (even a better) life after this one, does it affect the things we do?

From reports in the press, it seems that some fundamentalist Christians who think the Bible is literal true, are happy to promote conflict in the Middle East, seeing  it as a prerequisite for the (‘prophesied’) Last Days. Here, they’re being consistent.

For an example of inconsistency, it’s a matter of fact that many Belgians send their children to Catholic schools, not because they believe all Catholic doctrine, but because the schools are said to offer a higher standard of education.

How does this work, this human ability to chose whether or not to be consistent with one’s beliefs?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 25 May, 2007 2:39 pm

    I had a lot to learn when I was just a sperm. Some existentialists might argue that belief systems are a response to the freedom of existence. The anxiety of existence of a few posts back could be deadened by following systematic patterns of living and thought. The stress and anxiety of constantly making possibly life threatening decisions is thus avoided. I definitely and deliberately choose belief systems which support the things that I want to achieve and the way I want to feel. I also try to avoid undesirable side effects of these decisions, which has led to criticism of hypocrisy from some that I pick and choose from various beliefs and don’t ascribe to a particular dogma. Their problem. I intend to keep learning while at least doing minimal harm to myself, others, or my current conditions of existence. Grace and Peace.

  2. 28 May, 2007 5:17 pm

    Thanks. Not sure how adopting systematic patterns of living and thought could quell all existential angst, though. What if that angst stems from a search for (or a suspicion that there is no) external meaning?
    But keeping on learning seems a good plan.

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