Lv 4
Rowan asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 10 years ago

Why do people want to beleive in the incredible?

Why would people rather believe in the unbelievable than question it and look for facts?

What do they get out of it?

These are serious questions so please treat them as such.

(I'd give examples but I'm worried that the answers will be about the examples rather than the questions I ask.)

8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Great question. One of the best books I've read related to this general topic is "The Cry For Myth" by Rollo May. It is indeed incredible that human nature seems to require putting in place "an answer" instead of accepting mystery. Part of this may just be that the brain cannot accept too much uncertainty and questioning, for example... walking down the street wondering if the next step will send us crashing down into a cavern, or if a lion will jump out and attack us... so we set things up to be safe and within our knowledge...or something like this. And in the larger picture, as with The Big Bang Theory mythology, it is more comforting somehow to imagine all of reality popping out of a magic seen in nothingness than to accept it as a great mystery and awesome question. The belief in something, no matter how outrageous, seems to be more acceptable, especially if the belief is part of a group or Church or accepted by a mass of others as well. So, it is a very complex question related to the brain and psychology, instinct, and innate needs. Certainty related to a fantasy is preferred over mystery related to a reality of unknowns, or something like this. In other words, being an open, creative, thinking human being is not for everyone.

    Thanks for the question this morning....most refreshing and heart warming for a guy who lives in mystery.

  • 10 years ago

    My views would be quite incredible to a lot of people in my particular culture. And the reason would be that I've always been very calm, very open minded, very self reliant, very positive, very introvert early on, and never necessarily accepted what people told me I must believe. That is, I found things out through my own experience (mostly very much on my own) but also I listened to what other people said and liked any kind of mystery. So rather than things being unbelievable, they were always a possibility instead which I could check, and when people were running away from something frightened, I was going towards it to find out what it was.

    So for instance, when someone at school (who I didn't know had my telephone number) told me about possession by a demon and quite long story about that, I actually listened to what she said and while she talked I looked at what was going on with my own mind, so I knew what to say to her and what to do. So it was never a problem for her after that (about 20 minutes), and essentially that's why I "believe" in things that are incredible, because it's a lot easier to help people when they need it if we understand things that are incredible. And there are a lot of people that believe all kinds of incredible things that can help people who are in those kinds of positions, if the people with those and all kinds of other problems trust their own intuition instead of believing what they are told to believe, which may involve widespread firm rigid beliefs but is often quite incredible if anyone stopped for a moment to think about it.

    So you could say that incredible is in the eye of the beholder, and to me it doesn't what people believe if it's fine for them and not causing problems and if it's not fine for them then they should be able to ask someone how they might deal with that issue, preferably before people who have no understanding do what they want to the people instead. The views can be flexible and all shift around as needed. There would be no point attempting to deal with something that's incredible from a perspective that's not incredible as well. I'm not really that bothered about "facts" in any absolute sense, because just very easy to find as required and I don't need to pretend the "facts" are something different. It wouldn't really be facts that were that important who would be how they were perceived and how they might be perceived differently if that is what's needed or left alone if that's better.

    We read history books at school and they were full of facts, many of which didn't make sense because our side was so wonderful every time and wars and stuff, that if it was true no other country would have wanted any kind of war with us. And when a battle was won it was a great victory over the terrible enemy and when a battle was lost it was valiant effort against a terrible enemy. It wouldn't take much effort to figure out that in the other countries it was probably the other way round. The teachers would say stop daydreaming and sit up and pay attention and stuff, but I would be kind of somewhere else and not just believing it because the book said so. That would be an incredible belief, that there might have been humans on the other side as well as on our side.

  • 10 years ago

    I too wonder why they'd want to believe incredulous, disconnected theories. At present we are told everything began with the Big Bang and that's all there is to it. However, where did the Big Bang come from? Every effect has a cause since that's the relative world we live in.

    If you gave examples I might have more to say otherwise I'm guessing.

    If you are refering to religion and blind belief, well blind belief isn't useful but if it helps a person live a good, responsible life and makes them a better person, then it's serving its purpose and is none of our business. More important is to dwell on our own development into being a kinder, more compassionate, understanding individual who can add to other people's lives in a positive way.

    As for questioning belief and looking for facts, hm, just look at politics! There is a diversity of beliefs and opinions which, to them, are based on facts.

    I suppose it's all relative to the individual. One man's joy and another man's sorrow.

  • Daddy
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    The mind always looks for what ever simplest way there is to answer questions. Sometimes the simplest way is to ignore facts to conveniently make an answer "fit". So it's not the unbelievable quality that attracts people but the simplicity that t may offer in the face of the relative harshness of critical thinking.

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  • 10 years ago

    People think that "the unbelievable" will give their life meaning beyond their sad reality.

  • There are many reasons but they are mainly due to a cherished belief like 'I can MAKE 'X' real by believing in 'X'. Sometimes you CAN but often you can not.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    because you can find truth in the unbelievable just as well as in the facts.

  • 10 years ago

    belief is a whim that cost nothing gained or lost...

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