Are beliefs true?

Are beliefs true?

Because you believe something does it make it true? There was a time when educated people believed the world was flat, ships could not be made of metal, and the earth was the center of the solar system.

The answer to “Are beliefs true?” seems obvious, yet is a very deep question. How you answer depends on your view of the truth. If for you the truth is something that exists objectively out there, apart from you: real, describable and unchanging, then you’ll say a belief may or may not be true.

But what if the truth is not something that exists apart from you, but rather is part of you, and is affected by your attention to it, like an Escher drawing, then the answer is yes.

 Beliefs are always true—for the people who hold them.

The interesting thing to note is that people live their lives according to what they believe true.  They always have and always will.  As long as everyone believes ships can only be made from wood, no one tries to build ships out of anything else, which reinforces the belief.

So the interesting question may not be, “Are my beliefs true?” But rather,

  1. Are my beliefs creative or destructive?
  2. Do my beliefs open up possibilities for me, or limit me?
  3.  Do my beliefs bring me closer to others or separate me?
  4. Do my beliefs cause me to stay open to exploring or do they close me?”

OK, those were four questions. But I trust you’ll find them a far more productive path of inquiry than whether what you believe is “true” or not.

Any thoughts? Contributions/acknowledgments welcome.