This has to be one of the best elucidations of what is a fairly difficult concept to put into words. I get asked all the time why I “choose” to believe what I believe, as though belief admitted of choice. This brief article sums up exactly why I find such questions both vexing and hilarious.
I’ve heard a fair share of testimonies by Christians who proudly proclaim how they “chose” to believe in Jesus and how much their lives have changed for the better after that decision. I have also faced many proselytization attempts based on the general idea of “choose Christianity or suffer eternal damnation”. These religious zealots present the choice as an easy one: believe in Jesus and enjoy eternal life in heaven, or disbelieve and endure fire and brimstone in hell. Who would be so stupid or defiant as to deliberately choose to get into the bad books of an omnipotent omnipresent being? But the fatal flaw in this is the assumption that we can choose what we believe in the first place.
We must first define what “belief” is. Simply put, believing in something means that your brain perceives that it is true. Can it be a conscious choice?
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