Are Your Beliefs Logical?

philosophy

My latest book is about to be released shortly. It is a self-improvement book entitled, Are Your Beliefs Logical? based on critical thinking philosophy. In anticipation of the new release, I thought I would ask a few philosophical questions so we might get to know more about those with whom we blog.

Please pick one and respond, but feel free to answer all ten.


1.   If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

2.   What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

3.   Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

4.   If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

5.   To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

6.   Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

7.   What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

8.   Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?

9.   Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?

10. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

 
Please share your thoughts with us.

. . .

Comments

  1. #5 - One of the biggest benefits of my tapping therapy is that it has allowed me to see my life in a very new way. I chose everything that has happened to me. All of that bad stuff that happened was merely a consequence of my choice(s). Could I have forseen that my choices would result in stress to the point that I have a chronic migraine? No. Did I know that I was making a bad choice? Yes. Owning your choices is important. It makes you realize that you were not a victim of circumstance. Victims of circumstance have no control over their what is going on. Ergo, if you were a victim of circumstance ONCE, it could happen again. And you would be like this leaf in the wind (not in a good way). Accepting you made deliberate choices that led to negative consequences restores control. Now that I know better, I can choose better in the future. So, we always choose. Do we always see every consequence of our choice. Now, but we have the power to choose again. In fact, choosing is the greatest power we have.

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    1. Robin: Understood. #5 - When I was young, I lived in an extremely controlled environment. I resolved to take control of my own life, and I did. I certainly could not predict all the happenings in my life, but I learned to make my own choices. Sometimes, I do not choose as well as I could have. However, I make far more good choices than poor ones. The result is a lifetime feeling of control over my own destiny. Not looking back is huge!

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  2. #7, then again, u have too many to choose from! . What I do differently than most, is (and u know the answer) is think logically... The older I have gotten, I have figured out that flying off the handle over an incident does no one, especially me any good... If I know the reason for what has happened, then I find comfort and validation... When I was younger, I could get emotional over something stressful and I noticed how it ate me up and took control of me.. The feeling is NOT good... I've learned that we do not have control over others, nor do we have control over situations.. We do have some control over what we do... and even then, if things don't quite go our way, I sum it up that there is a reason for that... I've also noticed that when people see, read or hear things, they automatically assume without looking at the situation without being emotional... Don't ask me how I think the way I do, I can't answer that...I just know since childhood my grandmother would always ask my opinion on things... Strange? or just chosen to be a validation for my grandma?

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    1. KBF: You also know I believe logic gives us strength. #7 - One thing I do differently from the rest of the world is infuse logic into my wild side. We see people run into problems everyday because they choose to do things most of us think are just plain stupid. Jumping off cliffs in a flying suit or surfing in a hurricane is simply asinine. Thrill seekers rarely use the logic necessary to remain strong in the face of adversity. Later, they have regrets.

      In my life, I have done many wild things. The wilderness trips I have taken were frequently fraught with danger. However, behind the scenes, I always had an ace in the hole or a Plan B. It is one thing to travel hundreds of miles into the wilderness for a thrill. It is another to notify rangers, have the best equipment, anticipate problems, allow for trying circumstances, and take an abundance of training courses in advance of such a trip. Like a good boy scout, I was always prepared. I am never the crazy guy who walks through bear country wearing a pork chop suit.

      I am a rated chess player and used to compete regularly. Now, I use those logical skills to quickly weigh virtually every action I take to be sure I have considered the logic of my intentions. I always look for the man behind the curtain. I never hesitate, but I don't throw caution to the wind. I do much more than look before I leap, yet I am always in motion. I coexist very well with Nature.

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  3. #1 Money. I've always put a dollar value on my life. I've fought this tendency all my life, but in the end it has always won out. So I worked at jobs I didn't like because I needed the money to survive and give my family the best lives possible. I could write a long essay or book on this subject. Maybe I will someday.

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    1. Richard: Let me preface my remarks by saying that doing the best you can for your family should be at the top of the list. In my humble opinion, the problem develops when we equate doing our best for them with money. #1 - I learned long ago that people do not want money. They want what the perceive they can acquire with money. To answer my own question, I don't do anything I don't like, and I do everything I like.

      Many years ago, I left a high-paying profession to write and teach. I discovered that I could earn a decent living doing what I am passionate about, as opposed to doing something I hate for more money.

      About 15 years ago, my wife and I were asked by neighbors if we wanted to plan a trip to Milan, Italy. The men played poker every Friday night and their plan was to cut money out of each pot as a fund for the trip. The women were doing something similar. About a year later, when it came time to book the trip, everyone started to back out. It seems the airfare for the time everyone could travel was too expensive ($2400 per person). In the end, only my wife and I were left, and we had been excited for a year about going to a place we had never been. However, that was a lot of money.

      But it is not about money. Instead, we drove from New Hampshire to Boston, hopped a plane to Shannon, Ireland for $300 each, rented a car, drove to Dublin, and booked Ryan Air to Milan for $18.00 each. We stayed in little B&Bs, got a great deal on the car, saw Ireland as a bonus, and spent less than $2400 for everything. Instead of 5 days in Milan plus meals and lodging, we did a week in Ireland and 4 days in Milan for less than half the original airfare.

      I frequently ask my college students to play a little mind game. "Suppose you had an unlimited money tree and all the time in the world to spend, what would you do? I rarely get answers that go beyond expensive cars, trips to exotic places, or indecision. Most often, everything they suggest they could have without the money. It does put things into perspective.

      The Ancient Chinese had a saying: "Life unfolds on a great sheet called time, and once gone, it is gone forever." I believe life is what happens in between what most people focus on. You have a lot of time left.

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  4. #1 - This a very good question and one I have thought about often lately JJ. Why when life is so short do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

    I think the answer to this, for me anyhow, is multifaceted. I believe for me it's been in my conditioning in the way I was raised & also circumstance.
    I am the way I am because of the way I was raised. I do what I do out of responsibility & duty. Sometimes this is in conflict with what "I" want but my mother raised me not to think selfishly and her mother raised her that way and so on and so on. So this coupled with an inborn ability to empathise and care for others has seen me putting the needs of others before my own. Then there is 'circumstance', meaning that not everyone is born or raised with the same privileges. This is another thing my beautiful. wise mother taught me. She would say that having the best of everything & always getting what you want does not always teach a person appreciation. She taught me gratitude is the most important virtue of them all and that jealousy and greed are the cancer of humanity. I am grateful everyday that my mother raised me this way and I wouldn't change it for the world because now when I step outside and look around, I know how to truly appreciate life and the real beauty of this world. So when I do get onto that big jet plane to live my dream and set off to lands I've never seen, I will embrace the experience with every fibre of my being. I may have had to wait longer than most but with waiting comes anticipation and great appreciation.

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    1. Katherine: Your mom's words of wisdom, to wit, "having the best of everything & always getting what you want does not always teach a person appreciation" are right on the money (excuse the pun). As I mentioned to Richard above, "I believe life is what happens in between what most people focus on."

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  5. #1. Life isn't short. It's only short IN RETROSPECT. At 72, I did a lot of things I didn't like AND a lot of things I did--hated all the supposedly essential social events we went to; loved all the times I skipped school and went to the theater.

    Whatever choices one makes, there are rewards, losses and sacrifices. Life's a crap-shoot full of riches and trade-offs. Regrets are a waste of time. Now is what counts. Yours truly, Mrs. Spock. :-)).

    Each question is an essay question requiring retrospection. I gave that up.

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    1. Linda: I wonder why people do those social events they hate. I don't. People do get upset, but I don't. When I was young and not in control of my own life, I was compelled to wear a jacket and tie. Today, I would not accept the Nobel Prize for Literature if I had to wear a tie to the acceptance ceremony.

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  6. # 2. Eliminate poverty and misery.

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    1. Fanático_Um: That is a noble cause. #2 - I would eliminate ignorance with education for all. That should help eliminate poverty and misery.

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  7. SInce I'm about to turn 40, I'll answer # 4 and say, I'd be plotting my round the world trip right now with the fam--and I'd say see ya to the cyber world. I'd also be writing some letters to my kids since I'd miss so much of their lives.
    Great thought provoking questions!!

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    1. Pk: That's a pretty deep response that says quite a bit. Obviously, there is a closeness with your children, which is so important in life. #4 - Since I'm older than 40, it is difficult for me to answer, However, I always resolved not to put those things off. I watched my father put off much of his life until he "retired." When the time came, he never got to fulfill many of his life dreams. That motivated me to live while I was younger, and I still do! I also wrote for my children, and I still do!

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  8. I don't know or care if my beliefs are logical. My true in depth beliefs don't come from outside sources, so they don't have to make sense. I guess this means that I believe that people are born with what they truly believe in buried deep inside, sourced from their God, the path they are meant to follow, and the gifts they are meant to share with the world. I suppose that also means that all those years I spent trying to change others were wasted. Oh well, not wasted completely as I learned a very valuable lesson about people only being able to change themselves, and never others! So I guess that's an answer for #2, though I do admit- that could be a double edged sword. Only good for things like saving people from harming themselves from serious issues like drugs, etc. But then what do any of us know about what is truly best for someone else??
    So I would like to answer #'s 5 & 7: As to #5- I control far more than I ever did before by being positive and allowing myself to hope for anything being possible. This is way better than I ever did when I was busy making sure nothing worse could ever happen than had already occurred in a feeble life spent trying to save myself or others from impending doom. I learned to just take chances no matter what. I'll never be able to save anyone else, but I just might have some amazing adventures since I'm not trying to avoid the bad stuff anymore. Embracing that bad stuff happens and yes, it sucks, gives me way more room to hope for and fulfill lots more good stuff along the way. By controlling how I react, I get way more overall control of how positive life can be, no matter what the situation. I do acknowledge that being trained to operate in a certain way all your life is difficult to overcome, but certainly not impossible.
    And finally, as for #7- The one thing that does get to me time and time again is the fact that when I say I am going to do something, be somewhere, etc. then I do it- 99.9% of the time. I am just not OK with not following through with something I have said I will do, especially when it is for something I have agreed to for someone else. I simply do not understand why people so often just blow off what they have agreed to and act as if it is no big deal. I absolutely wish that this was not so. I wish that everyone would think about what they say and not agree to things unless they really mean to do it. I really wish that there were people I could count on as much as I know others can count on me. It is exasperating and costs me a fair amount in how much trust I am able to place in other people. Always being the most trustworthy person in the room can get to be a fairly lonely place.
    Interesting questions, JJ. I had to think long and hard before I could conjure up some answers for you!

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    1. Jasmine: Your answers are terrific, and I expected all but the first two sentences: "I don't know or care if my beliefs are logical. My true in depth beliefs don't come from outside sources, so they don't have to make sense."

      As for the second sentence, your beliefs do not come from outside, which is why you ARE logical.

      As for the first sentence, I'm not sure that is true. For example:

      Logical - I work very hard so I can have the best for me and my family.
      Illogical - You work very hard and I don't work at all, so if I take half of what you have, we will be equal.

      You cannot make me believe you don't care. The subtitle of my upcoming book is "THINK for a Better Life," and you do!

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  9. #1>
    I think most people do things they don't like out of perceived necessity. And I think most people confuse their own goals with the goals that they were conditioned to have and it takes quite a bit of time to sort it all out. On top of that we are fed "you can be anything you want to be" and yet most people are not willing to take the consequence of being anything they want to be.
    For example I have friends who are artists and musicians who feel entitled to public funding. While I admire their dedication to their art and I support public art projects I do not feel that it is my job to support every artist out there. So they have the choice "do what they love" or find something that covers their rent. Or figure out how to do both. There is someone else in my circle right now who laments loud and long her lack of children, but she isn't willing to give up her lifestyle to accommodate a child either. In her case, she simply won't own up to what she wants. So I think there is an issue of identifying what "I want more." For the example of social requirements: do you want the networking or status or whatever that goes with making an appearance more than you want to avoid the bother? For many people the networking, or status, or just showing up because it is expected does outweigh the not being bothered. And so they choose to go.
    Me personally: In a perfect world I would spend a good part of my day outside walking, and a good part of my day reading, and some time painting, and some time working the dog. But more than all of that I wanted kids. And that means I spend a good part of my day around cleaning and laundry and running them around and cooking for them. I don't love the chores that go with kids but I love the kids and so I do things I don't want to do. It is the consequence of what I want 'more.' My husband hates trade shows but it has proven time and time again to be advantageous to his business to attend. He wants to own a business and grow it and hopes to offer the kids the opportunity to higher education with little debt. Knowing what he wants 'more' he attends the trade show.

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    1. CailinMarie: That is one of the many gripes I have with our education system. They tell our kids "you can be anything you want to be," but leave out the rest. That is why at the top of this blog you find, "I Believe Successful People Do What Unsuccessful People Are Unwilling To Do!"

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  10. #10. I wouldn't be as self conscious in a bathing suit, and I'd be more inclined to say exactly what was on my mind in most situations. As I get older, I fear that the latter will happen whether I want it to or not. These are all great questions. My younger son has taken an interest in philosophy which is wonderful in some ways, though it makes it even more difficult for us to leave the house on time. Best of luck with your new book JJ!

    Julie

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    1. Julie: We all feel that way as we get older. I have turned it into "I want to be the best I can be at my age." As for your son, I used my studies in philosophy as a stepping stone to a great career and a happy life. Everyone told me, "What are you going to do with that?" I showed them. It led to further studies, and several terrific and related careers, such as writing, teaching, and professional business opportunities. On the other hand, I do drive people crazy, and I don't believe in time (which is an arbitrary creation of man used to measure stress). Best to you and yours!

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  11. #6 These two are not mutually exclusive. I want to do the right things, and do them right!

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    1. Jennifer: I tend to agree. I try to do the right things right, and worry about neither.

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  12. HI JJ - # 4 .. I'm pushing up the daisies and making sure they get to live long and happy lives ... with plenty of manure and nourishment, love from small children picking them, making daisy chains ... and growing into beautiful or handsome mature flowers ..

    If only we knew when our time is up - we might plan better ... but we never taken others' advice - so our time comes when it does and those really want to do fun things will have gone ..

    Interesting post .. and Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary: I agree with all your beautiful thoughts, except that I always try to do those fun things so I can fertilize the future without regrets.

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  13. 1. I do the best I can, beginning with what is important first. 2. that we respect each other and are kind. 3. For the most part I am, but I have much more yet to do. 4. Drop all frivolous things, spend even more times with loved ones and nature. 5. Mostly all, but there are some events in my life that forced me to do things, I would not have otherwise done. 6. Often times I spend more time making sure I get it right, then I really need to. Doing what's right, comes easy. 7. I give people the benefit of the doubt, and am often too gullible. 8. Yes, there are more than I should. 9. I don't believe that it's just religions supporting love that cause so many wars, so I'm hard pressed to answer this one. 10. I really can't think of anything. Okay, I answered all 10 as best as I could, and I do hope it helps you!

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    1. Karen: It does help me know you better. I am surprised at #8, but most people probably feel the same as you.

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  14. I do all the things I love right now. Each moment is precious.
    I get paid to do what I love doing.
    I also love writing and I do it with passion. I enjoy my journey and it has been enlightening to me.
    Have a great weekend.
    I like those questions.

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    1. Julia: Love your answers! I feel the same way.

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  15. 1. Life doesn't SEEM so short until you get closer to the end than the beginning. To a child, life moves slowly by and growing older takes such a long time. By the time you grow old enough to realize all that you've lost, how little is left, and all the time that you've wasted it has become a habit to waste time, to live as if you've got forever. Lifelong habits can be stubbornly resistant to breaking. And so many of the things we do that we don't like are necessary in order to have the things that we do like, the things that make are ever shortening lives comfortable. Most people don't really live their lives so much as strive to be comfortable in them.

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    1. Memphis Steve: "Lifelong habits can be stubbornly resistant to breaking." Very true.

      "Most people don't really live their lives so much as strive to be comfortable in them." Very, very true.

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Other Works by JJ Botta

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