Why do people believe what they believe?
Upbringing? Seeking objective truth? Subjective truth? Coercion? Brainwashing? Gut feeling? Presented with overwhelming evidence? Unquestionable authority? Why?
Lot’s of avenues to formation of belief.
But could responsibility play an integral part? Could a person’s need for vindication help form his beliefs?
There may be comfort in believing that you are not responsible for the shit you have done. Or will do. But to achieve that comfort, you need a plausible belief system – a world view that is not so obviously born out of your need for vindication. It needs to be pervasive enough to solve both that need for comfort and possibly other situations in life.
Come God, come Allah, aliens, guiding spirits, science or philosophical determinism.
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. — Romans 10:9-11
But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. — Colossians 1:22
Allah’s will is always done. — Al-Ahzab, 37
Every man has his own destiny; the only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it leads him. — Henry Miller
Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper. — Albert Einstein
The initial configuration of the universe may have been chosen by God, or it may itself have been determined by the laws of science. In either case, it would seem that everything in the universe would then be determined by evolution according to the laws of science, so it is difficult to see how we can be masters of our fate. — Stephen Hawking
Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws. — Charles Darwin
Destiny is a good thing to accept when it’s going your way. When it isn’t, don’t call it destiny; call it injustice, treachery, or simple bad luck. — Joseph Heller
Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him. — Groucho Marx
One may chose to believe in God, Allah or the Great Spirit to explain one’s actions or more easily escape responsibility. Or one may elect fate or destiny, astrology or unseen influences to shirk it. Or one may want to put one’s trust in determinism or in quantum mechanical randomness to escape any notion of responsibility altogether.
May the need for vindication play a not insignificant role in what the person choses to believe?