|Posted on December 17, 2015 at 12:20 AM|
The following definition of belief system is from http://www.science20.com/gerhard_adam/science_faith_and_belief_systems-82211
“Belief systems are the stories we tell ourselves to define our personal sense of "reality". Every human being has a belief system that they utilize, and it is through this mechanism that we individually, "make sense" of the world around us.”
I had a thought the other day. It had to do with how belief systems impact us. For my purpose today, I’m going to distinguish between Belief Systems and belief systems. The capitalized version are those with labels… that a great part of the population adheres to … and calls themselves, oh say, Latter Day Saints, or Methodists, or Hindu, or agnostics. A Belief System is a label that defines a way of looking at the world and a whole method of living life.
Those of us who are watching world events play out are aware of a lot of Belief Systems. But we are also aware of a lot of belief systems. These are particular ways of being that are not necessarily defined by a broad Organized group. These belief systems are socially defined groups based on similar personal decisions made by individuals. This could be homeschooling parents or PTA volunteers. This could be those who radically reduce their carbon footprint or people who fund microloans. Plenty engage in these belief systems without any one particular Organization taking on all of those who believe and act.
We each have an amalgamated belief system that is unique to us. It can be made up of both a Belief System with which we are associated (if any, and I recognize that there are those who are not associated with any kind of organized spirituality), and it is made up of our belief system – those social groups we are aligned with that are not always highly organized.
The media is currently about the business of making money by polarizing people in Belief Systems and belief systems. Look at some of the issues around parenting, schooling, health, government, trade, climate, religion, etc. You do not have to look far to see that there are battle lines drawn EVERYWHERE. It is getting to the point where there are few areas that are safe to discuss and certainly it is not always clear which belief systems you can own comfortably.
It is my opinion that rather than hide in groups to build our walls around ourselves and our self-identified beliefs, we ought to be opening up to those who view things differently. This takes a significant amount of trust and requires people to get a hold on their fears and not allow fear itself to take control. I’m not sure we are all capable of this. Ironically, though, I would like to believe it is possible.