Some Beliefs Are Better Than Others
Everything begins with belief. What we believe is the most powerful option of all. Norman Cousins
People make decisions and take actions based on their beliefs. This is now a generally well-accepted fact. It means that beliefs become behavior. This blog is emphasizing and describing how I believe beliefs matter. To matter means to be of significance or important. Human behavior is a significant factor in determining the future of humanity and the planet. I don’t want to debate what matters most in the future of the world, but argue that human beliefs are extremely significant and important in determining the direction the world is heading.
It seems obvious that some beliefs are better than others in promoting a positive future for all of humanity and all of the planet. All is the key concept. Some beliefs promote a better future for some people and for some of the planet. Better beliefs are beliefs that have better behavioral consequences — for everyone and for the whole planet.
Better beliefs are also beliefs that are tentative, provisional — not absolute, dogmatic. In today’s rapidly changing world, where new discoveries increase what we know and make obsolete what we once new, open-mindedness is essential. A closed mind cannot change with the changing times. What is also well known about beliefs is that people are often not aware of what they believe. Bringing beliefs to awareness of course has been one purpose of my Process of Illumination.
One’s collection of beliefs about life and the universe is the definition of worldview, the overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world. Every individual’s worldview is important to every other individual, because individual worldviews have potential consequences for all humans and the earth.
The future is not predictable, but it is persuadable. This is what makes beliefs the most powerful option of all. Decision making consists of options and outcomes. We have the option of deciding what we believe. Choosing the option of better beliefs for everyone and the planet is not everyone’s choice. Throughout history individuals, groups, organizations and even religions have chosen beliefs that are better for them, but not for others. I wonder if this will ever change.
I am aware that I cannot offer a strategy for changing well-established, dogmatic, exclusive beliefs. But making it clear and common knowledge that beliefs matter, and why they matter, is the first step. Even this first step will be difficult to achieve.
What happens to people in other countries matters to the welfare of our nation and our citizens. Samantha Power, in US Diplomacy: Realism and Reality, 2016