Difference Between Belief And Believe – Every year on February 15, on an isolated island in the middle of the South Pacific, members of the Tanna Army worship the god by holding military-style parades. They wear red, white, and blue, paint the USA on their chests, and march with bamboo “rifles.” American flag waving. Patriotic songs are sung.
Because on this island in the Vanuatu archipelago, god is an American soldier. And his name is John Frum.
Difference Between Belief And Believe
Exactly how this religion began is not yet fully known. According to some accounts, John Frum first appeared in Tanna around 1930, in full American military regalia, promising them that if they would recover their traditions and customs, he would return and bring them riches and goods.
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The Melanesians, living on the isolated islands for two thousand years, had developed unique traditions, customs and beliefs. After Europeans “discovered” the islands, the British and French claimed them as colonies. Christian missionaries quickly followed. Although the Tannese were mistreated, disrespected and overworked, they tried to preserve their culture and traditions.
Then, during the battle against Japan in World War II, the US military implemented an island hopping strategy. Once a base was built and enough cargo was brought in, they moved on to the next island. And because the focus was mostly on smaller and less guarded islands, previously isolated populations were exposed to the “magic” that is modern technology. Airplanes. Arms. Medicine. Factory clothes. Canned foods, such as Spam.
After the war ended, John Frum (probably John From America) left. But hopefully with enough celebrations, prayers and symbolic offerings, he will return and bring more goods with him.
This belief system may sound strange to you. I first heard it when I visited Vanuatu after noticing makeshift runways and ‘airplanes’ made out of grass, and I’ll fully admit to the involuntary head tilt.
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But consider how Chief Isaac Wan responded when asked why, 60 years after John promised to come back with a load, fans still believe him.
“You Christians have waited 2,000 years for Jesus to return to earth and you have not given up hope.”
We believe we are following evidence to conclude. In reality, we arrive at our beliefs in irrational ways, and then work backwards to find evidence to rationalize the belief.
We like to think that we are rational and that our beliefs are the result of evidence following to a logical conclusion.
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Evaluating evidence takes time and energy, and our brains are lazy. It is easier to believe what we hear than to question it.
Humans are curious by nature. If you’ve spent much time around a young child, you’ve surely heard them ask, “But why?” Very. And our curiosity leads us to search for explanations.
These members of an uncontacted tribe in Brazil’s Acre state are probably trying to figure out what’s flying in the sky
: Our brain is constantly trying to make order in a chaotic world, to connect the dots in a way that makes sense.
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For example, you stay up all night throwing up. What made you sick? The Taco Bell you had for dinner?
Or you are alone at home at night and you hear a sound… Was it the cat? A burglar? A GHOST?
Or imagine you’re hiking in the woods and you hear a sound. Is it the wind? Or is it a mountain lion? Your life is on the line!
If you assume it’s a predator, but it’s just the wind rustling through the trees, you’re alive. Paranoid, but alive. But if it’s actually a predator and you assume it’s just the wind, you’re dead. Basically, it’s adaptive to see patterns, even when none exist.
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One type of pattern we excel at is face recognition, as it is adaptive to be able to recognize friend from foe. But we also “see” faces everywhere, like Jesus on a fish stick
: Our brains are looking for more than order. They seek meaning and purpose. Our belief in purposeful forces probably evolved along with pattern recognition… like the predator in the woods that you assume is going to kill you.
For example, the child who asks “why?” often assumes there is a reason or purpose. Why are there lakes? So we can swim in them! Why do birds exist? To sing us beautiful songs!
We see this in adults as well. For example, a hurricane was a punishment from God. Or wearing your lucky socks will help you win the game. Or if you pray that your computer doesn’t just lose all your work, you’ll save your paper.
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Belief in the supernatural is likely to be due to agency, or the tendency to believe that invisible purposive agents control the world. Because the natural world is complex and beyond our control, we see the work of ghosts and demons and gods and witches. But not everything has a purpose or supernatural cause. Sometimes things just happen.
We are inundated with information all day, every day. It would just be too exhausting to question every single thing. Therefore, as a rule, we do not, but rely on a variety of shortcuts to determine what is true.
: Many of our most fundamental beliefs, such as about religion and politics, are formed before we have a chance to question them.
The more a belief aligns with our current worldview, the more likely we are to accept it as true:
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This tendency to seek out and favor information that supports what we already believe, or confirmation bias, is what makes us susceptible to falling for “fake news.” Before the 2016 election, “fake news” stories like the Pope endorsing Donald Trump for president and Hillary Clinton running a pedophile ring in the basement of a pizzeria were widely shared and embraced by many who fell victim to their own. prejudices.
Have you heard that Napoleon was short? Well, it wasn’t. About five feet six inches, he was of average height for a man at the time. But the myth is so pervasive in our culture that it lives on. It takes more energy to challenge a claim than to accept it, so our lazy brains often take the shortcut and assume it’s true.
: The more a claim is repeated, the easier it is for our brains to process, regardless of its truth. Let it be the repetition to demystify the misinformation!
Back to fake news. Due to a combination of personal choices in friends and news sources and algorithms designed to keep us engaged, we can become trapped in echo chambers where information repeats itself. It’s important to remember that just because we see a headline or claim multiple times, it doesn’t mean it’s true.
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Before humans developed language, our senses were the primary way we learned about the world around us. As children, we see and hear before we can communicate. And our senses are relatively reliable. Hopefully, our senses of sight and sound warn us of the car speeding toward us, and our senses of smell and taste warn us not to eat the rotten food that might make us sick.
Many of us believe that our personal experiences are the best way to know something. For example, jurors assume that eyewitness testimony is the best kind of evidence. Many believe that homeopathy is effective because they have tried it and it worked for them. And people may believe in ghosts because they have seen it.
The problem is that our perceptions are not as accurate as we think they are. Our perceptions are subjective interpretations of reality and are influenced by our past experiences, expectations, emotions and biases.
There is literally nothing in homeopathy that causes a biological response. It’s a placebo. But the placebo effect, which makes you feel better because of expectations, is real.
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And as for ghosts: I once stayed a night in a “haunted” castle on the Rhine River in Germany. I’m not necessarily one to believe in ghosts, but I was definitely up all night.
What was that sound? Was that cold wind I felt? What was that in the corner of my eye?
The point is that our beliefs and expectations affect how we perceive reality. We guess seeing is believing. But really, believing is seeing.
Humans are social animals. Our ancestors depended on each other for safety, and collectively we can know more than any of us can independently. Thus, trust was – and is – necessary for survival. Our personal experiences can only take us so far. Trusting others and their experiences gives us a shortcut to what we should accept as true.
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We believe in authority: As children, our very survival depends on our parents and other trusted family members. Why should they listen? “Because I said!”
For example, parents tell children not to play with knives and not to eat dog poop, so it’s clearly adaptive to listen to adults. Most people also believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy for the same reason.
: “Tribes” are any group with common interests or identities, from ethnicity, politics, religion, race/ethnicity and countless others. Our clans are often a source of pride and to boost our self-esteem we boost our group status. We want our tribe to “win”. “Truth”, therefore, depends on whether the
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