Monday, February 9, 2015

Belief and Behavior

It is generally accepted that one should bring one's behavior in line with their beliefs. This, as I understand it, is what integrity is really all about. It is not exactly hypocritical to believe one way and act another, but there seems something dishonest about it.

It seems to me that the opposite is also true. One should, sometimes, bring one's belief in line with their behavior. This conviction is foundational, I think, to my belief SYSTEM. I find it terribly painful to live in contradiction, to believe one way and behave another. Yet their are some behaviors that I am literally incapable of changing, and living a full human life. I cannot stop engaging in humor. I mean I can, but not for long. I'd probably be soon dead. I cannot stop playing in life. I cannot stop acting like what I do matters. Part of the reason I believe in God is my desire to live as a whole person, to have my beliefs and my behaviors match up.

It makes no sense to act like what I do matters and at the same time say I don't believe in God. My belief in God is not prior to me acting like what I do matters. It is rather foundational to the behavior, it is just a part of acting in that manner. And acting thusly, I believe in kind.

Charles Pierce once said one should never doubt in one's philosophy what one sincerely believes in one's heart. This makes good sense to me. Hume spoke about not believing in causation but still playing pool. I think he literally said he believed in causation only so long as he played pool, but stopped believing in it when he did philosophy. I cannot abide this. It is not a way of life that is amenable to anyone. The entire point of rationality is supposed to be to avoid believing crazy things. But what could be more insane than this bifurcation of reality?

I am who I am. I do what I do. And I believe accordingly. How anyone could begrudge me this, I can hardly imagine.

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