Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Allegory of the Cave" Question #1

What is something that you now believe to be true that you had a difficult time accepting? Why did you have a hard time believing it in the first place? What justifications were used that helped you turn the corner? And now that you accept it, how would you properly justify it to someone else? Please use ToK language and develop your answers.

81 comments:

Nathan Beta said...

I believe in my religion. i am a convert to mormonism, so i was once a different person. i used to believe in nothing, but then i started going to church. at first, i had a hard time accepting that all the miracles in the bible were actually true, because science cannot explain them. i am very science oriented, and like proof. i justified the beliefs of my church because i could not prove them wrong, and by faith. it feels right to me, intuitively. as i read more, the works actually began to make sense. i would justify my beliefs to another by asking them to read the testaments, and to find their own answer. faith is not attained by descriptive knowledge. you have to use your intuition.

Amelia A. said...

I have now realized that people don't miraculously get better after coming out of a coma. In the movies, they always show the moment where the comatose patients dramatically open their eyes and whisper, "where am I?" In reality it's nothing like this, and I know this through experience. I had a difficult time accepting this truth: my best friend of 13 years was in a coma for two months. I kept expecting her to wake up any day so that things could go back to the way that they were; this is what I had been led to be believe. When she finally did come out of the coma, it was a slow painstaking process. She didn't speak for weeks, and didn't recognize me for at least a month. Finally, memories began to come back and she regained her use of speech. I was hopeful again that soon everything would be back to the way it was. But I've learned that it probably won't ever get there. She has permanent brain damage, and will probably suffer all her life the reprecussions of her coma.

Noah P said...

So far there have not been any durastic beliefs that I have changed my mind on. I have not come to accept any new knowledge that opposed anything that I had previously known.

Noah P said...
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CJ said...

I always used to believe in our system of government until I realized how other countries do their party system. As November nears and the election draws to a close people are going to have to choose between either republican or democrat candidates (yes, there are independents but they generally receive like, 1 percent of the votes). I did not really care until I realized that this year I get to vote and when I considered both of the nominees, I realized I liked neither and actually found that I agreed more with the independents, but because of our skewed party system there is virtually no hope in any independents winning. Other countries like Belgium have numerous parties which run from far right to far left and everything in between. When I learned this I realized that America's system made no logical sense, why make people choose between only two parties? Another justification I had was when Sr. Solie gave his presentation on Belgium at last year's International Day so I also had an authority confirm this belief that America's system was skewed. Though, if I had to justify this to anyone else, I think logic would suffice because it really doesn't make any sense, at least to me.

Lauren P said...
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Liz I. said...

to be honest, this TOK class is a little difficult for me to accept, mainly because it has not been covered in any of my previous classes in my academic career. part of thie reason i have had some trouble believing it is because it is differend from anything i have ever been taught or considered before. all the justifications behind what we have been taught in this class make sense (and we were given a list of them). i now accept the ideals behind this class, however i do not completely understand everything that's going on yet

Tess Santangelo said...
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Selina Lujan said...

Every member of my immediate and extended family is very religious and believes strongly in the catholic religion. In the Catholic religion homosexuality is not accepted. So when a couple of my family members told us that they were homosexual,it was really hard to accept. Knowing that they believed in God and the Catholic religion it took me a while to understand how this could be true. I have come to realize that even though homosexuality is wrong under my religion it is their life, what they believe, and what makes them feel comfortable. There may be a lot of different justifications for why homosexuality is wrong, but I believe it all comes down to the person and how they feel. Homosexuality is a choice and I believe we all have the freedom to make choices. Sometimes it's just best not to define a person based off of their sexual preference, but for who they are as a person.

Pfiester said...

One example of knowledge that I have struggled accepting in my IB psychology course last year, was that no animals except humans have language. As an animal lover I always believed that most creatures had more intelligence than humans tended to give them credit for. I liked to believe that elephants and dogs and what not communicated with each other in complex ways that have yet to be detected. However after overwhelmed by logical justifications that it simply isn't reality, I accepted that animals don't truly have language. It was difficult because I've had close connection with pets and other animals in the past and I wanted to believe that I had been able to communicate with them and was understood beyond basic concepts such as food and sit and stay. Once I was able to let go of some of my past experiences and the emotions I felt about them and was able to open myself to other types of justification it totally changed my entire perspective on the issue and I came to realize that I was wrong and that I needed to embrace this new knowledge. To properly justify it to someone else I would definitely explain the logical approach and emphasize that it doesn't necessarily have to class with personal experience but can just give your memories a new perspective.

tpau said...

I agree with Noah. There arn't any things that have drastically challenged my "knowledge". I think that when something has come along I have accepted it. Or it doesn't really sink in enough to faze me and when it does I am use to the idea and so handle it.

Dylan Sublette said...

Most of my believes have come somewhat natrualy to me. They have not changed drasticly as far as i can remember. Although some of my believes are contridicted by substantial oppostitions, using proper justifications, I still hold my personal believes.

Cynthia Santos said...

It was difficult for me to believe that I was looked at differently for my race when I was younger. It seems kind of depressing but I always thought myself as everybody else with no different anything really. Then as I grew older I got comments like, "Oh wow it's so great that you can accomplish something like that". At first I saw it as what it was, a compliment. Later on I noticed that it was said because I am hispanic, as if there was no expectation for me to do anything. Now I'm not saying that people don't say those things sincerely without the thought of my race but sometimes I know why people say it. Especially when I got to high school, I noticed that because of where I was from people quickly made assumptions and it hurt. I experienced enough to say that I I am aware of who I am and believe that who I am and where I am from makes a difference to people. I also understand that there are always going to be those stereotypes for not just my race but any race. It's kind of a long topic.

Audrey said...

I used to be best friends with my cousin, and I believed that she was always right. As we grew older and became more mture, there was a lot of conflict with her parents. At first, I just blindly accepted that everything she said about her parents was true, and even when my own experience with my aunt and uncle went against what she was telling me, I believed her because I didn't want to accept that she could be wrong. However, I finally realized that there is blame on both sides of the issue, and that though my aunt and uncle haven't been the best parents one could possibly have, it's equally true that my cousin has never cut them any slack, unforgivingly persecuting them for any small misstep. This experience led me to the conclusion that there are always two sides to every problem, and now, when I find myself convinced that I am right, I try to see another side of the issue. This is important as for a while I had gotten fairly used to always being right, adn I now realize that no one person can always be right. I use personal experience and logic to justify this belief to other people, but I don't feel the need to do that too often, as people arrive at that conclusion by themselves much of the time, just like I did.

LN* said...

I used to believe that when two poeple were married they would automatically love one another forever. As I grew up, my belief changed. I quickly realized that many people fall out of love just as easily as they fell into love. Circumstance and different events in a person's life can take them apart from someone else. I had a hard time accepting this becasue if I did, I would have to accept that it was possible my parents wouldn't love each other forever. I would have to add the stress of possible divorce into my life and the lives of my friends. I learned to deal with this when I decided that what really mattered to me was the happiness of my parents. If separation would make them happy, then I would support them and deal with what it meant. I put myself in my parent's shoes and justified divorce with empathy. I, myself, would rather be happy and divorced, than unhappy and together with someone I no longer had a connection with.

annelise gilsdorf said...

I had a hard time accepting the fact that my parents and other adults in my life couldn't be perfect and didn't have all the answers. As a child most of us believe that our parents have all the answers. And, as a child, that assumption is predominantly true because they can provide what we need at that stage. But as I grew up and things started happening in my family that I couldn't control, I realized that my parents and people I'd looked up to for so long were human beings just like me and that I couldn't expect perfection from them if I couldn't expect perfection from myself.

Megan said...

At first, I had trouble believing that there was global warming. I understood the concepts that the teachers were talking about but I was skeptical because it wasn't something tangible. When you're young, you need to see and feel things happening before you can really believe it. (At least this was how it was for me)As we get older and you go deeper into the scientific concepts, one can more readily believe something.

Jake said...

I can't really think of anything that I've had a really hard time accepting. I mean, as you say, some that I know I must believe in, so I don't see how it can be hard to accept anything as an addition to my "facts". I mean that like, I guess I was pretty bummed when I was 4 and I learned that Santa Claus didn't exist, nor did Pokemon. But excluding those small things...nothing really comes to mind. And both of those were originally lies, not opinions, or beliefs to my parents.

Sophia said...

That people will disappoint you more often than not. I used to always try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but now I've just accepted that people are that way, no matter what. I've been hurt a lot and after a while you learn (unless you're totally oblivious). There are plenty of ways to justify this, but honestly the only way someone can really understand is for them to go through it themselves.

firefeather said...
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firefeather said...

For a while now, i've assumed a certain person i know has been being rude and ignoring me...only to find out that it isn't as it seems. In reality "they" were trying rather hard to be nice to everyone, but also very afraid of being hurt by those same people. It was a very hard concept for me to grasp, and yet it makes sense. I'm just not quite there when it comes to accepting it, yet. As for justification, i recieved information from a third party source, one that I considered to be reliable. I am not, at this time, able to properly justify it to someone else, because i am still working on understanding it.

Durrie said...

I had a tough time coming to terms with my parents' divorce. I knew that it was a fact that it happened, but I couldn't believe that it was truly the best thing for my family. I couldn't open my mind to the possibility that a divorce could end in a better situation. But after the initial denial, I was able to open my mind and realize that my parents really were happier apart. I think some things are really only possible to understand through experience. Honestly, right now I just live alone with my mother, and I've come to realize that it's just as stable and comfortable as a traditional family.

Micha said...

When I was young I believed in the existence of a God. I believed it because I was young and impressionable and my teachers, at the time, were all very religious. However, after getting new teachers, growing up a little bit, and questioning the things that people tell me, I now am agnostic - accepting the possibility of a higher being, but not believing that he exists because there is no tangible proof. I would properly justify it to someone else by presenting the fact that there is no scientific proof of the existence of a higher being, of any sort.

Taylor Dolak said...

i think that death is a hard thing to accept as true because even though you know that someone is gone, it takes a while for the reality to set in because for a while you just can't believe that someone is actually gone. but after time you just have to accept it cuz there's nothing you can do to change it and i would justify it to others as: that's just how it is.

orange said...

Death is something that I realize is true however I had a hard time accepting. As a kid some things are hard to "wrap your head around" and death was just one of these things. I have since realize that it just has to be accepted as fact that everyone dies. This frightened me and was hard to figure just what happened. Discovering religion helped with some of this however it was still difficult to accept.

andihayes said...

I now believe that adults are human too - not that I thought that they were aliens before. I used to think that adults had everything figured out, that they knew all of life's answers, that everything in their lives was set and perfect. I thought that once you get to a certain age you just kind-of magically knew everything. What really showed that I was mistaken was when I grew up myself. I started to become more independent and instead of things making more sense, they got more complicated and complex. As you get older, everything seems to get more and more complicated, all of your decisions suddenly carry a lot more weight, and you have to learn to communicate ever increasingly complicated feelings. I would justify my new belief by the fact that we are all humans and we all have to interact with other humans. Everything gets bigger as you get older: the number in your age, you, your decisions, the knowledge that you hold, and the emotions that you feel. All of it gets bigger and more plentiful as you grow.

Lynda L. said...

I had a hard time accepting the fact that no matter how hard I try to help and change a person for the better, it won't always happen. I learned that girls, not all of them, have this fantasy thing where they feel like it's their duty to help a person when no one else is willing to, and through patience and understanding, their help will eventually have an affect on the person, and he/she will become a totally different person. I had this sort of fantasy, and I was so disappointed when it backfired. Part of the reason why I couldn't understand that people couldn't change that easily was because I didn't want to accept the fact that I failed. Now I believe that if a person truly wants to change for the better, the initiative has to come from them first. I can't try and force the change on them.

Ishmael said...

I don't think ther's anything that's changed my views drastically, at least not in terms of finding religion or a sudden loss of idealsim. I've never been particularly spiritual, even as a kid, and that really hasn't changed. I'm open to the ideas I suppose, but it's not something I have a stance on. The only real change in belief that comes to mind, is a slow realization of reality. I believe on the whole, humanity is short sighted, selfish and petty. I don't think that everyone is neccesarily evil, just not particularly good either.

Jessi said...

honestly i have a hard time accepting that i am good at what i do, like snowboarding. for the longest time, when people asked i would say no or i don't know, but i've worked really hard at it, and i know that i am good at it, because i have put so much of my life into it.

Arora said...

I used to believe that politics were useless. I could see no point in people tearing others down so that they wouldn't get elected. Not that I see the point of that now.... but I do see that there is more to politics than arguing and insulting people.
I also realize that it's a necessary evil, and without it, the people wouldn't have much power. It just took me a while to realize. If I had to help someone else understand that politics were neccessary, I guess I would just have to go into a long involved discussion on how if we weren't voting, we wouldn't have power over our own government, and to convince the majority of the public of an individual's ability, it is natural to show everyone how bad their opponent is. It, unfortunately, is one of the ways that humans can be persuaded.

Abby said...

When I first found out that my aunt was a victim of breast cancer, i counldn't accept it. I never saw it coming, and when I found out I didn't know what to do. I wanted to believe that if I didn't accept it as fact, it wouldn't actually be real, but that isn't how it works unfortunately. After I saw her with her hair gone and a different feeling about her, I realized that though she had this illness, she was working to get better and rid herself of the cancer so that it wouldn't control her life.

sarah derosier said...

I came to realize this summer, through personal experience, that really the only person you can rely on is yourself. And sometimes not even then. What brought this realization upon me is that a person in my life who'd I'd always greatly respected had a major fall from grace. I'd always thought of them as being a constant. I'd thought that since they'd always been someone I could rely on and trust, that they always would be. I was wrong. soooooooo wrong.
I suppose it was hard for me to accept this truth because the thought of being completely alone in the universe is quite overwhelming.
I think this belief is knowlege by aquiantance because I'm not sure if I can prove it yet to other people. As for myself, I believe it completely.

Joel D. said...

I used to believe that everything in life should have a place, an order, a method, a structure...that it should all line up and make a perfect reasonable sequence. Since, I've come to learn to find a certain satisfaction in the inexplicably random, the chaotic, and the utterly pointless.
The transition was not so hard, but unexpected.
I justify my new belief on the basis of a pattern of self awareness. Once on reflection, I found that there was a new commonality in the events that I cherished.

Taylor G. said...

The ultimate question that I've found difficult to understand is the human need for faith. At first, I always attributed it to mankind's constant hunger for explanation. I say this, being Catholic my self, that faith as I know it doesn't always have to make sense.

It is in this way that concept of faith encompasses almost every conceivable aspect of moral belief. And it is that point that I have had a great difficulty understanding, and an even greater difficulty justifying.

To justify such a point would be to justify human ethics as a whole. Can I justify human righteousness? I think not. But one's ability to grasp the point is proof enough of its existance in society. And I believe it is through realization, not justification, that faith can be understood.

I. Kennedy said...

I now believe that relationships are anything but perfect. However, it was a hard pill to swallow. I thought that everyone was your friend, and justified that the people who weren't you either didn't know, or had terribly wronged you in some way. Then I found things like discrimination and things like the elemetary cliche of being picked last for kickball (not based on athletic ability). That proved me wrong, and there was no way to justify my beliefs, which necessitated changing them.

Kaelee said...

I agree with taylor d. death was a very hard thing for me to accept. I believe death is a part of life and everyone has to deal with it. However for the longest time it was so hard for me to imagine everything is gone i no longer will walk this planet and everything i see now i may never see again. When you die it is like you disappear off the planet and you're unheard of for generations to come. This all was before my brother died. After my brother's death i became a strong believer in the Christian religion and now i believe that what we all are experiencing now is a very small portion of our life. The best parts of life come after death, for example i believe through faith and authority that i will see and hold my baby brother again. I am no longer scaried of death, i just don't want it to come before i am able to leave my mark on this world.

Erin said...

I was raised believing in the right of everyone to a free and responsible search for religious truth and meaning, but never taught a specific doctrine. Within the last couple of years I have begun seriously exploring other religions, and I think the biggest change in my beliefs is that I now believe in god. I had difficulty accepting what appeared to be an arbitrary explanation for questions that I didn't feel the need to answer or that I was content to accept as unknowable. Though I do not consider myself Christian, I developed a belief in the existence of god while reading C.S. Lewis's book Mere Christianity, which laid out a series of logical and metaphorical reasoning that culminated in the that belief. I wish I could quote the passage, but I don't have the book with me and I wish to do it justice. I would justify this belief by recommending that book, which is very well articulated. However, my simplified justification is that there are things which I cannot comprehend and do not even know about, questions which, as far as I know, no one knows or can comprehend, or ever has. Whatever entity does comprehend them, and there must be something that does in order for them to exist, is what I call god. This last statement I recognize as faith, not substantiated knowledge. It is a belief that I hold and justify with philosophical reasoning, not empirical scientific evidence.

Ryan Beethe said...

When I was in middle school, it was "intellectual" to believe that all stereotypes are bad. Now in high school, it seems like it's "intellectual" to say that sterotypes are generally wrong, but formed naturally and necessary for day-to-day life. I now believe that just like any other type statement, stereotypes can be false, or (contrary to what I used to believe) true.

For example, there is a stereotype that football players are, among other things, cocky, crude, and stupid. As a football player, I can assure you: this is mostly true, especially the cocky and crude part.

Yet anyone who knows me knows that I am proof that the stereotype isn't completely true. Still, I believe that a stereotype doesn't have to be 100% true to be valid.

Before I realized this, I didn't like that fact that I kept stereotypes, but I now realize that some are valid.

On the other hand, I also realized that while a negative stereotype may be true, most all people have redeeming qualites. So while the football stereotype may be true, there's only a couple of guys that I actually dislike on the entire team.

Meredith Wheeler said...

I believe that America is a power for good in the world. I have really struggled to accept this belief, but I think that struggle is the reason I am so adamant about defending this country. I arrived at this belief after a variety of experiences, most importantly: studying government and appreciating America in an abstract sense, and representing the US in Jordan and appreciating the US in an actualized environment. I justify my belief, therefore, primarily through experience. I can now honestly say that I would rather be a citizen of America than anywhere else in the world. We have the kind of educational and democratic resources that others idealize and dream of, and I am grateful to have had unfettered access to them. It's easy to point to all the wrongs America has committed, but I think that true appreciation is the ability to defend the minutiae for a larger purpose. True patriotism lies in challenging and questioning the status quo, but it also entails a willingness to recognize the plethora of good that America does in the world.

A-Dog said...

I've come now to believe that music is the most complex and sophisticated form of art in the world. Where as, when I was younger I didn't appreciate music nearly as much, even calling classical music trash. Now, after attending a music center for 6.5 weeks, I've studied, experienced, lived, and breathed music, coming to appreciate it more than ever. Knowing now, all that is put into composing, reading, performing, analysing, and listening to music, I can't even begin to explain its complexity! I would try to justify furthur because I know how many people in the world don't appreciate genres of music such as classical, but it involves so many areas of intellect as well a unique emotional connection, that I know now takes a lifetime to fully grasp.

Tae said...

I don't feel that I necessarily accept anything as unequivocally true. I tend to not believe in the existence of a god, but am open to accepting a god if presented with different evidence. Thus, if evidence is presented that is strong enough to alter what I perceive to be closer to the truth, I can generally accept it without too much difficulty. I came to terms with my inability to find the absolute Truth a long time ago, and have made my peace with this fact.

Karam said...

When I was very young, a concept that was hard for me to accept, better yet fathom was the idea that all that lives must die. A good example of how I was able to learn this was when I saw the movie "The Lion King." WHY DID SIMBA'S FATHER HAVE TO DIE!? Because I was only 4 years old when I saw this movie, it was an eye-opener to what life really was like and how precious it is. I think it was so hard to believe because (aside from the fact that I was 4 or 5) I kind of had the notion that life went on forever. I did initially have difficulty accepting it, but as time progressed I realized it was inevitable, and I believe I accepted it because of my faith in Islam with the belief of the afterworld

Minny said...

I used to have a hard time believing that some events far away will affect me where i was; most of the world news came to me from the media, ie: tv. i could see the happenings on the tv, all the wars, shootings, etc., but i didn't feel them personally; i didn't think they would affect me or anyone else around me much because we...were not there(?). but i've learned better, and i know that no matter what happens, it all affects us everyday, even if it's not a direct effect.

Lindsey Goris said...

I like what Lynda said about how you can't always change people (for the better). This was something that was hard for me to accept as well. It was hard for me to accept that someone has to be willing to change, because it made me feel so powerless to help people.

Hannah said...

Like Minny I used to have a hard time believing that things happening far away would affect me. When learning about world news through the media, I had a hard time feeling any connection to world events. A few years ago, though, my cousin went to fight in Iraq and I learned through experience that even though something may be happening in another continent it can still affect me just as much as those who are experiencing it firsthand.

leahreynolds said...

I agree with Megan that its hard to fully accept global warming. At first I didn't really think it was possible because at the time I had never really thought about how simple things I did everyday were hurting the earth. I also didn't understand some of the terminology and how some people just denied believing it at all. Now I have come to terms with how man made inventions and other things are slowly harming the planet. After doing an experiment on how population effects the amount of specific gases released into the atmosphere, I have accepted that examples such as this prove that global warming is occuring and will continue to.

Nathan B. said...

I had a difficult time accepting all of the chaos and atrocities in the world. I used to try to push out the ideas of genocide starvation and rape from my mind but I've come to accept that, while we rarely see these in the nice suburbs of Fort Collins CO and in most of the US, they are a very real part the world

Vincent Levinger said...

For the longest time I thought that Ashely Tisdale was like... 17, but then my older bro told me that she was more like, 25. I couldn't beileve it. So that night I got on the good 'Ol internet and found out that it was true. Mostly, this would be consensus and fact that helped me to turn the corner on this topic.

Kathryn said...
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Nick Jordan said...

I had a hard time believing that Nalgene water bottles contained harmful chemicals that would possibly give you cancer. It was hard for me at first because I used one so often, and people had been using them for so long that how could they be bad for you? (Consensus and Experience) Then I did more research, and found that it was not that they are all toxic and will automatically poison you, but that if heated the toxic chemical BPA is released, and in very large amounts it can be harmful to you. I also didn't want to believe this because I read an article in the paper about the mass movement to throw away Nalgenes in favor of BPA free bottles, and that would mean a lot of waste because every household has several Nalgenes, and I didn't want to be part of that. (Empathy- for the earth) I was happy to find that there is an effort to recycle Nalgenes, because they can't be recycled normally. Personally I compromised by keeping my old Nalgenes, hand washing them, and buying a BPA free one too. If my facts or wrong feel free to post a reply-- I'm really not that educated on the issue, but I am pretty interested.

lisaking said...

To my 3rd period class -
What (most of) you are doing well is bringing up real life examples and telling how and why you changed your beliefs. Some of you are even discussing your justifications! Many of you, however, ignored the last part of this question: And now that you accept it, how would you properly justify it to someone else? Please use ToK language and develop your answers.

We have moved beyond the original set of questions and are beginning to apply some skills. Please respond fully to the prompts.

jeff_tweedy said...

For me, it was pretty hard to accept people with different religious beliefs than mine when I came to Poudre... I'm not actually Catholic, but I went to a Catholic school for like five years, and a lot of the stuff they taught me kind of sunk in. I haven't completely abandoned all of that or anything, but I had to consider other people's beliefs, and now I feel that I really believe in that stuff instead of believing it because someone told me to.

Ben Baroch said...

Something that I had issues accepting was that modern medicine is not really all that great. Sure, we have machines that can make detailed diagrams of people's brains, we have wonder drugs that can treat anything from a cold to schizophrenia, but sometimes the simple things that should be dealt with can't. In the last months of my grandmother's life, she was prescribed aspirin for pain, and it raised the pH of her blood enough to eat a hole in her stomach lining which was the cause of her death. When this happened, i couldn't believe that something as simple as a prescribed amount of aspirin can kill someone. This was also a lesson that the human body is much more frail than I used to believe it was. My justifications for this belief are (to use the TOK index of proper justifications) experience and logic. To justify it to someone else, i would give the evidence of my personal experience, and the specs of the human body. We are fragile creatures that would not survive in the world if it were not for our ability to problem solve. Without technology, we would die out rather quickly.

christine said...

Something I believe to be true now is that some people inherit depression genetically. Before I justified this belief for myself, I always thought that depressed people were complaining about nothing. I know it seems harsh to think like that, but I couldn't see what those people saw wrong in their lives. I was close with several of these people, and I knew they had a supportive, loving family and that they were doing financially well. Their friends cared about them so much, but these people just didn't realize it. They noticed everything that was wrong with their lives, and picked out every little thing and made it into a big deal. That's when I really started thinking, and logically, I realized that there was a possibility of depression being genetic. Nothing was wrong with their lives, and I had no other reason to think anything else could be the problem. I was left with the reason of the existence of genetic depression. If I had to properly justify it to someone else, I could just present them with factual evidence of a mutated gene being found that was linked to depression. The facts were out there for a while, but I had to justify it for myself through my experiences with people.

Michelle Madsen said...
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Ian B said...

I used to believe that government was not only a necessary force in the world, but also a desirable one.

I justified that by convincing myself that the government makes life easier for us and benefits us as a whole, but my justification has eroded as I've realised that limitations drive us to exceed them.

I now find that I believe in anarchy, but not in the way we are led to perceive it by our government and institutions. I am an anarchist in the sense that I believe that absolute freedom is the ultimate goal, with one exception: people should be free to do as they will so long as they do not encroach upon others' right to freedom.

I would justify this to others through discussion of the good and evil of government in a logical manner, but with a certain amount of emotion that is inevitable when discussing what is right or wrong for people.

Government was created to serve one purpose: to defend the rights of individuals.

But at the point where our numbers have swelled to the point that we turn against each other and government itself is losing control, can we put our trust in anything but ourselves?

I have no doubt of the good intentions of others, but because I do not believe that one cannot truly know another, I do not believe that anybody is entirely fit to govern others.

And if one does not govern oneself appropriately and encroaches upon the freedom of another? One must first accept that a mistake has been made, and then must atone for it. Once forgiven by the individual whose freedom was affected, one is again free.

So often are we confronted with threats to our "freedom". Are we, have we ever been, how can we ever be free under control of others?

Only if a civil disobedience clause is written into the roots of the government could anything of this sort be achieved without suspending the institution of government altogether. But under what political circumstances could that happen?

Ilya said...

For many years I was strictly atheist - I would flatly reject the very concept of "having someone up there" (as I thought the system worked - I was woefully uninformed as a kid), because of logic — how could there possibly be a higher power up there, space is up there, and if it created the world, where'd it come from in the first place? and science proves it all wrong, no? —, as well as a result of how I was raised... Over the past two years, especially, my religious beliefs have become less and less strictly defined - while I still disagree with the concept of the God most religions believe in, I'm much more willing to listen to their reasoning for their beliefs, as well as having noticed a distinct difference in my own spiritual beliefs. Where before I would reject the very concept of higher powers, the world's complexity, startling coincidences, and long periods of incredible luck (or the lack thereof) made me wonder about whether higher powers really didn't exist - now my beliefs are very blurry, and I'm not totally sure of what they are myself. Overall, I believe in the presence of forces such as destiny and Fate, and perhaps others (I wrote a more detailed post about this on one of the initial questions), all of whom play a part in how life plays out for us, be it in terms of luck, the people we meet, or something else. My justification behind this is primarily faith - just about all of my beliefs in this area were influenced by my friends and books I read, which, though fiction, seemed to explain what was puzzling me. I also believe that faith often cannot be justified to others, because it's not a standard that people can base their beliefs on - as Nathan said, it's a matter of intuition.

annelise gilsdorf said...

To add to my previous post...
I believe that adults are not perfect. This was a hard conclusion for me to come to as I had been brought up thinking that my parents know best. My justifications for believing now that my parents are not perfect are as follows:
Firstly, I have seen them handle siutuations in a very poor manner. I have watched my parents and other adults make mistakes and I now can say that through my own experience I know that adults aren't perfect.
Another justification that has helped me to come to terms with that belief is my own self-awareness. I know that I'm not perfect and that I make mistakes, and furthermore, I know that the magnitude and frequency of mistakes I make hasn't gotten to be less as I've gotten older. The mistakes are just of a different sort. If I applied this to any other person, logically it makes sense that a human of any age, no matter how wise, cannot be perfect.
I believe that these justifications would also suffice for anyone I would try to explain this concept too.

Lauren P said...

I used to believe that all life was like elementary school. My elementary school, Beattie, was especially sheltered, (as I later learned form others who had less perfect elementary school experiences.) No one I knew ever separated into cliques, and the "popular" kids (those who were considered more good looking than the rest,) always hung out and did homework with the others. If you were a "slacker", you forgot to do a homework assignment (color a picture.) I never experienced any racial slurs, and the biggest "bad" word I knew at the time was "h. e. double hockey sticks."
I never expected that life other than this could be any different. Boy was I shocked when I went to Boltz Junior High for the first time. 7th grade was a real struggle for me - mentally coping with this entirely new environment. For the first time I was exposed to cliques, derogatory words, and even bullying. Life was not this perfect little place where everyone got along. I now believe, and in my mind know, just how imperfect (and sometimes cruel,) this world can be.

Simone said...

I now believe that you can fall in love when you are young. I used to think that yeah, you could have a boyfriend or girlfriend when you were in high school, and that you would like them, but you couldn't love them because you probably weren't going to spend the rest of your life with them.
Now I realize based off of experience that you can know love when you are young. Even if you won't have a certain person forever, you can love them with your whole being. And if you are too cautious with your feelings because you realize you won't have them forever, you lose that complete and true involvement with that person that makes them special.

Kelsey B said...

I believe that maturity really does come with age and that you can't really fake it until you get there if that makes sense. I use to believe that the people who acted rather immature were doing it on purpose to get attention and that if I acted more mature then them, then that ment that I was more mature. I know that when I was in junior high, and even earlier in high school, I always thought that I was one of the more mature people, but now when I look back on it as a result of experience, I realize that that really wasn't the case at all. For example, I look back on some of the things that my parents and I use to fight about and it all seems really stupid and pointless, but at the time it seemed important. This has been difficult for me to accept because at the time I felt like I had it all figured out and like I knew what was worth fighting for and now I am struggling to see that I really didn't. This is also hard to accept because it means that my parents were right when they said that some things really would seem that important a few years later. I don't really want them to be right because I felt like I was right, but I really wasn't. My parents aren't right about everything, but I do believe now that they were right about this.

Kara said...

I used to believe that I would always be friends with my friends from elementary school. I thought that we would grow up together and never seperate, always being there. But now I know that that is wrong. I now believe friendship isn't unbreakable. When we went to junior high school, we all started to change. I couldn't handle the changes. They were becoming people I didn't like. I tried to convince myself it was a faze, or it was my fault because I just couldn't accept them as they were. But no matter how I resisted,I started to drift away from them. At first I tried to use logic to justify it. For isn't it logical to say that people change and staying best friends isn't always possible. But in the end it wasn't about logic or anything like that, it was pure emotions. It just hurt too much to be with them anymore. I was so alone when I was with them and it would have torn me apart if I didn't cut it off. Not just being best friends, but being friends at all. I couldn't take the agony of remembering what I had lost. But even today, I think I would still try to use logic to justify it, saying that people change. For telling someone about the emotion doesn't really cut it. Only knowing first hand how it feels to dislike the person who used to be your best friend and see the same distain and discomfort in their friend's eyes will someone truely understand that friendship isn't unbreakable.

tpau said...

I guess I always thought that I would always play basketball. But later, after I was forced not to play, I realised that that wasn't the case. I figured out that there were other interests and things to do. It was really hard to accept at first because I had always played basketball, since 4th grade, and was always very passionate about it. But know I accept that I am capable of doing other things and there are new experiences out there that I can learn more from and enjoy. Being unable to play for a year opened my eyes to the fact that there was a bigger world and more experiences out there. I mostly used logic to convince myself. I figured that there was nothing I could do and so accepted it also I logically broadened my mind for other possibilities. I would also use experience and logic if I was justifing it to someone else.

Laura Jo Washle said...

This may sound silly, but I truly believe now that you have to work for your own money. I used to think that money came easily to people, that it wasn't very hard to become wealthy, and that in a way, money grew on trees. As a child, I always got what I wanted. By no means was I some spoiled little kid, but it was never a big issue because whenever I needed something, it was always there for me. Within this past year especially, I have struggled with the fact, that my views on life from the financial aspect were a little off target. As I began driving this year, I had to deal with many new things. My parents put me in charge of paying for a car, and originally I thought it would be easy to come up with the money. Well...it was a lot harder than I thought it would be to say the least. I had a difficult time accepting the fact that I would eventually have to support myself, find a job, and pay for more than a 1992 Honda CR-V. Up to this point in my life, things have always come easily to me. Now that I understand more about what it takes to make a living, I know that the only reason I have been "spoiled" in the past is because someone else worked hard to provide that for me.

meredith said...

Something that I believe to be true now but I had a hard time accepting before was the idea that we can actually learn from history and try to prevent ourselves from making the same mistakes over and over again. I used to say to myself, sure history repeats itself, but why do I care? Will we really TRY to avoid another war after countless others have happened...? I was mostly stubborn in my belief that humans are trapped in a cyclical pattern of world events and that no matter what we do, we cannot stop these thing from happening. Now I believe that, to some degree, we can. I eventually became more aware of the people around us trying to make the world a better place by making sure that we don’t continue to make the same mistakes. I think that the longer ago something happened, the more people are inclined to disremember the way things really were during that time… it is human nature to forget negative experiences. Yet now we have books and videos and all sorts of records from primary sources that collectively tell us the entire story. I think that when people read these things they are less likely to want to relive the same experiences. So far, we haven’t again implemented slavery; I think we may have learned a lot from that mistake.

Callie said...

A belief that I initially had a hard time accepting was the theory of evolution. In first grade I was confused by my teacher's very basic explanation of how humans developed from other living things, and by my Sunday School teacher's explanation of Adam and Eve. I now accept both beliefs, but in different ways. I accept the Biblical version as a wonderful story about the care God put into creating the world, but not a literal, scientific account. I justify this with faith and emotion, because the proof is based on religion. I believe in the theory of evolution, because of consensus in the scientific community, and the evidence shown to me in science classes.

tucker said...

i had a hard time accepting that my parents are not always right. i guess i actually, truly accepted it in about the seventh grade, when people who believed different things began to challenge my beliefs. my parents and i have always gotten along pretty well, and I still believe things because they raised me to believe them, (and i know thats 'bad' but i know the opposition and i still choose to believe it) but it hit hard then because the 'my parents said so' justification no longer worked and i had to start trying to justify them to myself, and i couldn't. however, now i know this, and although i do know that they can be wrong, i still choose to believe that they are also often right.

hockeysuto22 said...

I had a very hard time accepting other people's beliefs. I used to be very closed minded in the sense of answers in school, or answers in life in general. I thought that only my answer or thought process was correct. I honestly have no idea why i thought this, but I was very set on that decision. "I turned the corner" when I first entered high school. The IB program helped me with this closed minded problem very effectively. I was pretty much thrown into a world and a way of thinking that "other people with their differences might also be right." Now, I listen to other's beliefs and take them to heart before simply discarding them as false. That doesn't mean that I change my beliefs with a simple justification for another, however i just look more indepth at that justification and either agree or disagree.

Michael W. said...

I had always believed that there was always time on my hands since I thought I could do things fast and efficiently. Now, I believe this is not so true. I always believed that I could easily get something done later and still be fine. I had trouble understanding that this was not always the case, because up until the IB program, it was pretty much always the case. What helped me see that I couldnt always be like this was actually both looking towards the future and seeing what my slacking efforts returned. Most often it was not always good. I think that if I wanted to justify to someone else, I'd tell them that the more they put in now, the better off they'll be in the future.

the bee gee said...

Similar to Sarah's comment, I have somewhat recently chosen to believe that the only person on whom you can rely is yourself. This is not to say that other people are all depraved malicious beings of destruction (only those in politics), but that it is best to trust your own judgment and live your life for your own sake, and not for another person. My justification for this is part logic, part experience. I have realized that if you make your decisions considering what will best benefit you at any given time, then happiness will ensue. It was difficult for me to believe this because it implies a sort of selfishness, but have realized that if you are truly genuine in your actions and choices, then the outcome will be positive for you and for others.

Nels said...

I have always been a forgiving person. I have always been mellow and let things happen. I believed that the people in my lifer were all good. While I knew that people killed other people and stuff, I never actually knew anybody that had done that.

I knew these 3 people from kindergarten and we were friends. 1 was always friends with me but wasn't that close with the other two. Then we all congealed during 6th grade. However, this created a really bad group. Then over the next couple years we really became jerks. I mean, I do not want to talk about some of the stuff that happened. I realized this a couple years ago. I then believed that one should try to help people become better people. However, it just came to the point that I realized that they didn't want to the right thing or any help. At the end I just gave up on them. During all of this I had friends and family who realized this but I kept loyal to them until it became obvious what was right and I acted upon it.

I would justify this view that people aren't always good people and that they don't want to be helped with my experience and some other peoples evidence to back up my view. I know I have written about this on the blog a couple times already, but it was a pretty big event in my life and applies to a lot in my life.

Bismah A. said...

Something that I have had a hard time believing is that when you grow up everything is miraculously easy and ok. Ever since I was little I've wanted to grow up as fast as I could becasue i thought that "grown-ups" had more fun and got to do more things. But now I have realized what a treasure childhood and innocence is, and as a result, I know find myself wanting to go back in time and be a little kid again. I have accepted that growing up is inevitable, but it really isn't all its cracked up to be, and we shouldn't try to speed up the process so much.

Ali said...

The one main thing i grew up believing was that everyone was happy no matter what the circumstances were. I was happy, therefore everybody else was too.

I had a hard time believing that this wasn't true because all i knew was my own emotions. I knew i was always happy no matter what, even if things went wrong or stuff was bad. i was happy, and had never experienced anything else, and i didn't think anyone else had either.

Through personal experience, then, i realized that not everyone felt as i did. I got to know some sad sad people, some angry people, and a whole lot more people who weren't happy. It was all about experiencing it.

Now, the way i'd justify it to someone else would be experience. unless they were really self-aware (another feasable justification), i'd say you absolutely just have to experience it to know happiness in others.

Kathryn said...

Something i now know to be true is that people grow up and change and move on to new things. I know that sounds like I used to live in Neverland but I really never thought about it until recently. After 16 years of having at least one of my sisters around all the time, i am now an only child. It was really hard for me to accept the fact that my sister would be leaving for college this year and that she wouldnt be around for me to talk to every day. But now that she's gone i know that things like this happen all the time and adjusting to them isn't all that bad and life goes on. A major justification for this is logic...of course people are going to grow up. And secondly is experience. Twice now i have had a sister graduate from highschool and move on to college so it must happen all the time. I would use these same justifications to explain it to other people, especially as i feel like this isn't a hard subject to make others understand when many have gone through the same experiences i have.

Amelia A. said...

I have now realized that people don't miraculously get better after coming out of a coma. In the movies, they always show the moment where the comatose patients dramatically open their eyes and whisper, "where am I?" In reality it's nothing like this, and I know this through experience. I had a difficult time accepting this truth: my best friend of 13 years was in a coma for two months. I kept expecting her to wake up any day so that things could go back to the way that they were; this is what I had been led to be believe. When she finally did come out of the coma, it was a slow painstaking process. She didn't speak for weeks, and didn't recognize me for at least a month. Finally, memories began to come back and she regained her use of speech. I was hopeful again that soon everything would be back to the way it was. But I've learned that it probably won't ever get there. She has permanent brain damage, and will probably suffer all her life the repercussions of her coma. Today, whenever I watch shows like Grey's Anatomy with my family and someone wakes up from a coma and is immediately able to speak and function normally, I always say "no way!" My experience and the authority of many doctors has taught me otherwise, and gives me the ability to share my "knowledge" with others.

Tess Santangelo said...

one thing that was hard for me to believe is all of the craziness that goes on every day in the world. its hard to accept that somethings around you arent picture perfect. sometimes people dont want to see whats really going on because they dont want to feel responsable or just think its easier to be oblivious or just not aware of what is really going on. but you cant escape all the chaos because it is all that appears on the news and other media around the world and really cant be escaped. people need to look around them and see that not all things are as good for some people as they are for us lucky few.

Lindsey Goris said...

I had a hard time accepting that i couldn't control everything in my life. It may not seem like it, but I'm the kind of person who likes to have things laid out neatly and clearly, and I like to have a plan for everything, so accepting that my life and future wasn't always obvious and concrete was hard for me. I accepted it mostly because I had to, and because I came to realize that I was just stressing myself out by trying to control everything in my life, and plan everything. It's still hard sometimes to just do my best and let the chips fall where they may, but I now beleive that you can't control or plan everything, and I don't thingk you necicarily should be able to. I justify this beleif with logic that it's physically impossible to be certain about everything, and faith that things will work out, even when i'm not sure how yet.

Paigeypoo said...

I personal have changed my beliefs on the fact of people eating meat. I don't want to push my believes on anyone, but I think that the killing of animals is wrong, because I believe they do have feelings and are intellegent living organisms in this life. Even though many people think they cannot speak or think, I believe they can, for example when you tell a dog to sit or roll over or shake they do it. So I believe killing and eating other animals is wrong for the fact that they are just like people and feel, and can act the same way we humans do.

JWolff said...

I believed that during elections, every single vote counted. I thought they counted every single one and majority rules to decide who wins. It seemed very logical to me that they counted every single one and tallied them up. We did that in elementary school when electing leaders of the class. The experience in primary school helped me to believe thats what it's like everywhere. Little did i know, its all pretty much based on electoral votes. The people don't really have their "one vote" say in the matter. It didn't sort of take me awhile to believe it, i went through all the scenarios and such but couldn't figure out when an election was decided by one vote. Because I couldn't find any other reason and there were many justifications that said it was all based on electoral votes, i settled that it was all electoral votes.

s_to_the_donnelly said...

A thought that occurred to me while sleeping a few years ago, was the inevitable notion that you will probably not have a similar outcome socially, that you intend to. Specifically, we've all been raised on television to believe that we'd all be millionaire's and movie gods and rock stars, but most of us won't. And we're slowly learning that fact, and we're very, very p*ssed off.

Michelle Madsen said...

what i have come to believe as truth is that in the bible there is a passage that talks about sins, one of them is that one must not eat animals with a hoof or that chew cud, which means that I cant be eating pork, I heard this from my best friend originally and i found it really hard to believe that i would never hear about this...once i saw it in the bible i found it must be true from that authority.
To justify why i have come to believe that this is true is from the authority of the bible, I believe that logically if one commandment is true then so should the rest of them, that one cant pick and choose which rules to live by, if i believe in the bible then i must believe in all of it, you cant take parts of god's word and say its true, if indeed it is all holy writings it is either all true or none of it. This idea is backed in my faith in religion and I have intuition that this is right.