Beliefs can destroy you and end your quest to become yourself. Indeed, beliefs are one of the major causes of death for transsexuals. Here is what you need to know to protect yourself from yourself.
- THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BELIEF AND FACT
To believe in something is not the same as knowing something.
Intrinsic to the concept of belief is implication that there is an opposite to belief, disbelief. Not everyone will believe something is true, but all sane and rational people will acknowledge an observable fact.
I can claim that I believe that it will rain at 3:00 AM, six years from today, and someone may agree with me and believe the same thing. If I hold a rock, and drop it, all who are present will acknowledge that a rock had been dropped...unless they are just choosing to be childish, whimsical, or are a philosophy major.
The difference between the matter of the rock and the matter of the rain, is the difference between an observable fact, and a thought accepted as a fact. One is present, provable, undeniable and concrete, the other, howsoever fervently believed, is not. The rain could come, my belief about it could be true enough, but there is no observable proof. There is nothing to point to, nothing to show, nothing to touch, nothing to smell, nothing to be experienced by the senses of myself or others.
The only way belief can be experienced is in the mind. Facts can be experienced both in the mind and by the senses...and what is more, unlike a mental hallucination, the sensory experience can be shared with others.
It is a common error of human beings to allow belief, to allow a mental construct accepted on faith, to become so important, so obsessive, that it is taken as the same thing as fact. Indeed, there are many emotional reasons why a person might be driven to do this, but it still remains that any belief is purely mental whatever it's origin, and the mind can be mistaken.
This means that all beliefs have as part of them an implied doubt. Facts cannot be doubted, they are observably real.
When belief is assumed to be fact, when this mistake is made by a mind clouded by a motivation to assume belief as fact, that belief is considered beyond doubt, just as is a fact.
Beliefs beyond doubt are inherently dangerous. They are dangerous because they are often acted upon as though they were facts, and the inherent weakness of this is that a belief is not a fact.
Beliefs can be, and often are, wrong.
Children in our culture often believe in Santa Claus, in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. To them, with their simple minds, these beliefs are facts. This is because very young children may not have developed sufficiently to discriminate between belief and fact.
But even adults can fall prey to such immature thinking, because they are afraid, because they are disturbed, because they are mentally ill, because they are filled with excitement, or a whole host of reasons. Hallucinations can occur that seem so real that they convince the brain that it has experienced observable fact. Such events add false certainty to beliefs.
Understanding always that beliefs are not facts, is the fundamental component of sanity. Confusing the two inevitably leads to catastrophe.
If I believe that by rubbing a hunk of quartz I will gain the Power of Absolute Indestructibility, and I act on this belief as though it were a fact, I will quickly die under the metal onslaught of the first train I attempt to block. My belief might be true, but I have no proof. Acting as though I did have proof would lead to my destruction.
When any belief is accepted as fact, catastrophe is inevitable.
- TOOLS FOR SORTING FACTS AND BELIEFS
We are constantly bombarded by ideas, facts and beliefs in a muddled, often confusing mess. To make matters worse, we all must accept the experiences of others as facts simply to survive. There are so many facts now that for any individual to test even a fraction of them would be the work of a lifetime. There would be no time to live, if we had to prove even a portion of the collected facts of humanity.
In order to be able to cope with life, we have to have facts to make decisions on. But mixed into these facts that we learn... and take on faith are real... are also many examples of nonsense and arbitrary belief, promoted as fact, by fanatical individuals. Fanatics are driven to promote their beliefs because of the conflict that occurs for them whenever their beliefs are challenged. To stop the feeling of conflict, the fanatic becomes compelled to convince everyone that their belief is fact, or, failing that, to destroy those who threaten the belief.
Fanaticism is a dangerous mental illness.
There is then a primary question to the individual, how to separate fact from belief, when so much of our knowledge is taken essentially on faith, on the assumption that we are being told factual things?
There are some quick and simplistic tools that you can use to analyze information in order to roughly guess whether the information is fact, or truth.
When faced with new information I suggest applying this simple mental test to determine if the information is a fact, or a belief.
2. Is there a way I can demonstrate it reliably, even if I choose not to?
3. Is this information that can be put to practical use by someone?
4. Does this agree well with what I already know to be fact?
5. Do I trust the motives of the information source?
Each NO Answer counts as 0%
Total the results and SUBTRACT 10%
This is your PROBABILITY OF FACTUALITY. Care to roll the dice?
Notice that the highest possible score is 90%. It is impossible to score 100%. Comprehend this. In order for a mind to remain sane, to avoid fanaticism, to remain capable of growth, there must be room for doubt.
Here then are some of the very most dangerous beliefs, why they are just beliefs and not facts, and why they can kill you.
Morality is derived from religion, unlike ethics.
There is no proof of the existence of any religion. That is why religions are called FAITHS. Religion is taken on faith, because it is impossible to prove: indeed some religions require absence of proof, in order to validate the importance of faith itself. Regardless of the religion, no matter what it may be, there is no way to put a soul in a jar and measure it, or to dissect god on a table. Devoid of proof, religions are beliefs. This means that any rules or laws or morality are not based on fact. Such things are arbitrary.
Why this can kill you:
Accepting the belief that it is spiritually evil to be anything, automatically implies that to be good you must stop being it. If you cannot stop being it, you become intolerable. Intolerable things are, in most religions, to be destroyed. Believing this will make you hate yourself, and others, enough even to kill yourself, or other people like yourself. Many, many transsexual and homosexual people are killed, and have been killed, by this belief.
"Truth" is a mental definition. Truth cannot be pointed at, touched, or put in a jar. Truth is a concept, not an actual thing. Truth can be based on emotions, as in 'Emotional Truth', or even on best guesses. All truth is is an emotional measure of the veracity of information. Truth does not even automatically imply facts.
Why this can kill you:
'Absolute Truth' suggests that in some fashion the basic, emotional, faulty nature of 'truth' can be transcended to the point that it becomes unquestionable fact. This is problematic for several reasons. All facts can be questioned, and must be capable of being proved to remain facts. There can be no such thing as an unquestionable fact.
Absolute truth exists to silence any debate, to quell any curiosity, to censor any opposition. Fanaticism is based on absolute truth, and fanaticism kills people. Absolute truth makes acting on beliefs imperative. When belief is acted on without question, disaster will eventually follow.
Transsexuality is a medical condition. It is just like being born with any deformity, or congenital defect. To say someone is inferior requires a definition of just what is meant by that inferiority. Certainly a blind person is inferior to a sighted person in being able to see, but this is just a statement of comparison based on capability. Transsexuals are statistically blessed by superior capabilities to the average population.
the word 'good' is a relative term, which has no basis in fact. What is 'good' to one person may be 'bad' to another.
Why this can kill you:
Self loathing can lead to suicide or self destructive behavior of many types. To imagine yourself as innately inferior, flawed, and less savory than other people leads to self hatred. Self hatred can kill you.
On what is this based? Nothing. What is the definition of "better" in this belief? All medical evidence points to the contrary. This is pure emotion, pure fear, pure self doubt or even loathing. Transsexualism is a medical condition. Failure to treat this condition can lead to self destruction and often does.
Why this can kill you:
Failure to treat this condition can lead to self destruction and often does.
The beliefs that you hold, if unquestioned, can control your life, destroy your own happiness and the happiness of others, and lead to your own end.
Only by keeping a flexible mind, devoid of any absolutes whatsoever, mindful that all information is questionable, and by remaining aware of the difference between belief and fact, can any person hope to function in a sane and rational manner.
To the transsexual, this rejection of any absolute truth becomes vital. We exist in a world often controlled by arbitrary belief, and many of those beliefs are destructive and filled with mindless hate. To survive, the transsexual must learn to question all assumptions.
It is important to remember that you alone own your own mind, and it is your responsibility to determine what information you act on. You must take responsibility for your own collection of facts and beliefs, and it is to your advantage to reject beliefs, however appealing or ingrained, that would lead to your own misery or destruction.