Why do we believe in things we cannot prove?

Blog number two please read, comment and rate using the stars at the bottom :)

Everyone has a belief in the world. Whether its religion the paranormal or even just the way we believe the world is round and gravity is what keeps us grounded. But have you ever sought for this information yourself or had a first hand experience in it? If yes then good, it’s always good to believe in something. I have faith in things that aren’t proven but why? I have no evidence, no scientific proof or experience but I have the human right to have faith in anything as do us all. I’m not a religious individual but I like to think there is some form of ‘life’ after death and that were not the only beings in the universe and no I’m not crazy. I did use the phrase ‘like to think’ because I know it can’t be proven until, in my own opinion, I see it for myself or it’s plastered across the news.  I also believe in science and that I need to question everything, test it, research it and analyse it.

The majority of the time I listen to the authority figures in my life and I think most of us do. I trusted the people who taught me at school and when I was a child I trusted my mum because I was naïve about the world. At certain times in your life you have to put your trust in people but now were expected to question everything and become critical thinkers, although children often ask why to everything but they usually believe the answers they hear straight away. In psychology we use the scientific method of knowledge and were encouraged to. It’s a mix of being rational and using the empirical method. We’ve all touched something hot and learnt not to do it again so the next time we see something hot we would know don’t touch! This follows the behaviourist’s beliefs that all behaviour is learnt. We also need to consider our intuition, ‘that gut feeling’, maybe its already engrained in us via evolution not to touch fire, but intuition alone can not provide scientific evidence.  The rational method doesn’t deal with that first hand experience however when discovering new things we can compare them to what we already know or believe is true. The scientific method is probably most significant in psychology when making discoveries. However I think it’s important to also consider our intuition, authority figures and use the method of tenacity because it’s where we get our new ideas from. We should listen to authority because you can learn from others but also question them using our intuition if we feel something is wrong.

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5 thoughts on “Why do we believe in things we cannot prove?

  1. I found your theory concerning evolution interesting; that has engrained in us not to touch fire but we must prove for ourselves. Maybe our ‘gut feelings’ are all products of evolution; instinctual prompts to protect us until we have the autonomy and resources to test them for ourselves. However if this was the case then why do we trust or put our faith in other humans? As throughout history whole nations right down to individuals have been hurt or let down by other humans; so the evolutionary perspective would surely argue that we should have more reluctance when the question of whether to trust somebody arises.Which of course provides evidence that our beliefs must come from another source, as you explain in your concluding sentence; we must acknowledge authority figures and our own intuitions yet we have free will and the ability to communicate and th eresources to learn for ourselves.
    I found this a really refreshing blog to read :).

  2. One could even argue that having ‘faith’ has some sort of evolutionary value, possible emotional well being. People often find comfort in faith in the past this may have be vitally important, people that didn’t have faith possibly could have been driven to insanity and as a result their genes weren’t past on. That is a huge assumption that can’t be tested, but emotional well being of religious and non-religious people could be tested. To refer to your question why do we believe in things we can not prove? In terms of religion it could be down to perception, it’s like the checkerboard optical illusion (http://www.popularscience.co.uk/features/feat16.htm) you see what logically makes sense to you, you could stretch that to religious people see God working because logically it makes sense to them and they see what they want to or it could really be God. As you say we can’t prove it but it could have cognitive benefits for the individual.

  3. Faith to some people is a vital aspect of their life whether its religion or not for example psychological beliefs e.g sense of self also act as a support system to some people just like religion by providing support e.g providing people with a better moral and assisting people through difficult times e.g death. This may explain why people believe in things that cannot be proven as it helps people through life and it can be viewed as a form of imitation from like you said the behaviourist approach as you are copying an authortivie figure.

  4. Now this is a very interesting one :) i myself am a keen believer in the after life, although i have no proof or actual physical evidence of this actually existing, i believe it to be true. For example the prospect of ghosts scares some people this may be why they choose to not believe and completely dismiss the idea, however some find it comforting to know that there is life after death. I think beliefs bring people comfort and reasoning which is a good thing :)

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