Beliefs are a major impediment to the advancement of our species. They keep us locked in unworkable patterns of behavior and destructive conflicts. The challenge is for us to first learn to be flexible with our beliefs and then seek to abandon them altogether. Holding on to belief keeps us from finding possibly superior alternatives or what some people call "truth." We lose our motivation to progress simply because we believe we are already correct. Why search if you already "know." Therefore, uncertainty can certainly be considered a virtue. Beliefs are dangerous.
I am looking forward to this debate, and I thank my opponent for provoking thought.
For clarification I provide the following definitions:
An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.
My first area of analysis will be the fact that in order to even establish his point, my opponent must use his beliefs. He actually believes that human beings should not use beliefs because they "keep us locked in unworkable patterns of behavior and destructive conflicts". This is a contradiction.
Beliefs are natural, it is impossible to find a human being who does not believe in something, and asking a human being to refrain from using their beliefs would lead to overall failure in society. My opponent claims that by abandoning beliefs society could potentially find superior alternatives, this is highly unlikely. What superior alternative needs to be sought out? The only beliefs that lead to "conflict" are those that are controversial such as:
Just to name a few. But when analyzing these issues, one must ask themselves if any of these issues have a negative impact on society as a whole. For example, if a police officer was an atheist, his belief that there is no God would have NO impact on how he does his job. His beliefs are not holding him back from completing his job more efficiently, he will never have to use them, they are simply just there.
In all honesty, my opponent is making no sense to me at all. Beliefs are not detrimental, and abandoning them would not help anyone. If anything it would impede our development. A superior alternative to having beliefs is non-existent. In order to establish a fact, one must establish a hypothesis and then proceed to test their hypothesis. All facts in today's society are the result of a hypothesis, and that hypothesis was the product of something that someone believed to be true/false. Therefore beliefs a bit more important than you think.
While uncertainty may be a virtue, it is not to be left alone. Uncertainty has potential to lead to downfall. For example, while we are searching for the cure for cancer, we must use our beliefs based on what we already know in order to create a hypothesis in order to attempt to create a cure for cancer, if we abandon our beliefs, the problem will not be fixed.
I would like my opponent to do the following:
- Explain why/how beliefs are dangerous (including which belief is dangerous)
- Provide an alternative to having beliefs
- Justify the need for uncertainty
- Refute my arguments