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Human life encompasses several factors that influence how people live. People do not live in emptiness. This makes them have a reference from which they shape up their ways of living. Just like money, faith, knowledge, truth and other factors that influence how we live, belief acts as a critical aspect in our lives. They shape how we think, act, react and respond to certain issues. Belief influences how we perceive life as we live it. This paper explores how our beliefs as human beings affect or determines what we do in our lives.
Different people that include Philosophers, religious people and pagans, all use belief in what they do in their lives. It matters not where a person comes from, the religion he belongs to, the educational background and excellence he has or the wealth one has. Everyone have certain belief systems in their lives. This belief systems influence their thinking. Through this, beliefs affect the behaviour of people.
We see the importance of beliefs in life every day. Some people have described life as a painting, a tapestry and a significant work of art. Life creates a myriad of colour and objects as we encounter situations and people that come leave us.
Beliefs act as frames to our lives. This frame limits and confines what we see, hear and choose to do. Our cultures have belief systems that get into us once we come into the world. As children grow up, the society teaches them certain belief systems, some of which shape up their behaviour. Societal beliefs form the values that people should practice. At the same time, the belief systems form vices that the society prevents people from practising them.
Therefore, the belief systems that the society imposes to individuals, as values or vices shape how people behave. For example, many African communities have belief systems that shape the behaviour of its people. For example, certain societies believe that the sins of the society prevent rainfall and cause poverty, hunger and diseases. Therefore, the people who believe in this belief system live with this notion, in their mind. Whenever they sense a possibility of drought, hunger or disease outbreak, they call for repentance prayers. In their lives, they tend to avoid those sins that could result, in disease outbreak, hunger, poverty and drought. In regard to this, people act according to their beliefs.
Philosophers argue that people act according to the beliefs that they hold within themselves. Philosophers assert that people act and react to situations, with regard to what they believe as true or false. Sometimes they judge their beliefs based on knowledge and evidence about certain issues. To philosophers, evidence contributes, to the knowledge people posses. The knowledge forms a basis of judging, whether a certain issue carries truthful or false information. People form beliefs from truth or false information. They react to issues based on the belief they hold formed from the truth or false aspects rather than from reality (Buchler 10).
Therefore, philosophers argue that people do things, based on their beliefs that come from the truth or lies they know about some things. For example, the belief that one can die from being bitten by a stray dog that has rabies, comes from the fact that evidence shows a person died after a stray dog bit him. Therefore, people will run away or kill a stray dog when they see the dog. This behaviour has an influence from the belief they hold, even if a person did not see the dog. Therefore, in everything they do, philosophers act with a belief obtained from a certain belief.
The influence beliefs have on our action in our daily lives brings itself out in the political ideologies people have. People tend to act on what politicians say. People judge politicians by what they say. If the words they say attract people, they act on the belief that the politician said the truth. For instance, in most cases people tend, to choose politicians that talk eloquently, state feasible development plans they have and the ability to impress people. People believe that because the politicians say they will do something they will do it. This turns right sometime but in other instances talking does not mean acting. Therefore, people find themselves, to have made wrong decisions and impressions about politicians. This happens the same way, to political party affiliations.
Religious organisations and people form a significant group that relies on beliefs in all their undertakings. For example, Christians believe that God exists. They believe that Jesus died for their sins many years ago. They believe that after life on earth, heave and hell exist. The actions and behaviour of a person will lead them to heaven or hell. Christians believe that when a person does good things, to his friends and enemies, lives a righteous life and reads the bible has the opportunity of going to heaven, once life ends on earth. On the other hand, they believe that when a person becomes arrogant, disrespectful, acts against the teaching of the bible, and make people suffer, he or she will go to hell. Therefore, these beliefs determine how Christians live. They try to live a righteous life that stresses the teaching of the bible, with the belief that they will go to heaven. Therefore, the actions of Christians, which include, associating well with peers, respecting the law, avoiding thuggery, praying and reading the bible among other issues have an influence from the belief they hold. Despite, the fact that other religions such as Islam and Hindu may have different values, they operate the same way with Christianity (Forrester 105).
Our association with our friends also relies on the beliefs we have about them. We tend to judge our friends based on the belief we have about them. For instance, our friends may borrow money from us. The possibility of us giving them money and the amount depends on how much we believe them. Normally, it depends with the belief that they say the truth or lie often. Therefore, the belief that they say the truth and we can trust them makes us give them the money they require. If we do not believe that they say the truth then the possibility that we will not give them the money will increase. Our associations with our friend involve the belief we know about them. If we believe that the friends can contribute positively to our lives, the probability that we will accept associating with them increases. However, if we have the belief that the friends will cost us or turn out to become bad influence, the probability that we will avoid them becomes high.
The connection that exists between beliefs and conditioning and how things occur or happen for us gives us the basis to attach a certain meaning to reality. Beliefs forms a situation where everything we do and the meaning we attach to certain aspects and occurrences rely on conditions. We carry beliefs and conditions from the early years in our lives. When we interact with any situation that comes our way, the beliefs we hold and conditions act as primary determinants of the meaning we give the situation. The meaning determines how things and occurrences happen to us. This determines how we as human beings react to different situations. For instance, if we perceive and believe that doing something presents some difficulty on us, it actually becomes difficult because of the mind set we have on that thing or the procedure of doing it.
Belief systems influence how we perceive reality. Many times people see things and identify them based on what they believe. However, when people receive factual information, regarding what they saw the meaning of the reality changes. Beliefs limit our chances of seeing reality. For example, on several occasions one thing seems impossible to one person and possible to the other person. For instance, in school, mathematics seems difficult to some students while it seems easy to others. This happens mostly for boys and girls. Most girls believe that mathematics, engineering and subjects that require physical and practical skills seem easy for boys and difficult for them. However, this may not carry any fact. Some girls have done better than boys, in those subjects. This means that the belief girls have on mathematics and subjects that require practical skills limits the reality. Many people shape their beliefs from the society, from other people, televisions or from stories. These beliefs give people a false reality, and serve to make people believe things do not carry any truth (Hall 26).
Beliefs determine what we do in everyday life. This happens because belief shapes how we perceive things. They shape our choices of things and the people to associate with, the y shape how we respond to certain issues and also shape our ideologies and views we have about certain topics and issues. No one comes in to the world with set beliefs. The environment we live influences how we acquire beliefs. The external environment includes, culture, technology, people and societal belief and taboo systems.