Thursday, October 7, 2010

Poll: am I the only one that thinks people choose what they believe and want to hold them responsible for it?

So often I've found that when I complain about someone doing something that is motivated by their own belief system's morals (and or their own religion's morals), I have people telling me that it's their religion's fault, or it's their parents fault, or it's whatever thing they've been taught's fault.


I agree that these things have a profound impact on one's belief system and worldview, however, at what point do they get to own their beliefs?  There must be some point that a person can and must take responsibility for their beliefs and actions based on those beliefs.  I have yet to meet two people that have *exactly in every detail* the same set of beliefs.  This may be too hard to really have empirical evidence for, but I want to know what other people's experiences have been.  I generally think that if any two people can disagree about a moral or a belief, especially if that disagreement is within the context of a shared religion then people have the freedom to evaluate and choose their own beliefs.

If this is true, then it's the individual, not necessarily the entity that indoctrinated them, that must be held accountable for their own actions and their own beliefs.  Am I alone in this?


I'd go as far as to say that a lot of people may hold many beliefs to be self evident and proven true by various means and thus claim that one has no choice in believing in gravity or the sunrise, and I'd probably say that anyone can choose not to believe in even those things, but I'm mostly concerned with the easier moral and religious beliefs as stated above.


I say hold the individual not the system responsible.  Is this wrong or unfair of me?  If so, how do we do otherwise?