- Beliefs are like electronic parts.
- Each belief can serve several functions depending on relationships.
(e.g., a capacitor can serve as a filter, blocking DC or it can damp changes in voltage.)
- Beliefs have relationships to other beliefs and to the outside world (people, activities etc).
- Using the same beliefs, we get get very different outputs, depending on connections.
(e.g., imagine a radio and Geiger counter made from similar parts)
- Using very different beliefs, we can get very similar output/functions. (e.g., a video tape player vs a dvd player)
- This is how I view beliefs whether those beliefs are the web of beliefs in an atheist or a theist.
- I care about the output.
- I care about the relationships and connections
- I care about the particular belief only secondary to output and relationships, and even then, more in an academic way.
- As I wrote earlier, beliefs are always linked with emotions, so they play hugely in the mix too.
Thus, I do not buy into the reductionist model of dissecting each belief and figuring out its individual, unconnected truth value as being meaningful in evaluating a person. The object is greater than the sum of its parts, because those parts are in relationship. This view must be common and have a name — can someone help me name it? I just thought of the analogy tonight. Before I was using the analogy of beliefs as clothing. But I like this one better (for now ! smile).
Notes: Here are some related posts on beliefs: