Disbelief and Selective Attention

Can disbelief cause us not to experience parts of reality?

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Disbelief and Selective Attention

#1  Postby Kenaz » Mar 13, 2014 3:36 am

I think we can all agree that belief is unnecessary at best, and at worst, extremely dangerous.

However, what about disbelief?

Not just a stance of agnosticism, but a reverse assertion of conviction, "That is not true."

I am sure most of you are familiar with selective attention, but just in case, and for fun:


I argue that reality is what it is, regardless of what we choose to believe. But some say that, as evidenced by selective attention experiments, if we are unaware of something or choose to actively hold that it is not possible, we can become blind to the phenomena or element in reality.

They advocate that if one says it cannot be so, rather than keep an open mind and test, it will likely not be experienced based upon our disbelief and conviction in such.

Can actively holding a stance towards something, either in positive or negative dis/belief, keep us from an honest inquiry to understand our reality?
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Re: Disbelief and Selective Attention

#2  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 13, 2014 3:40 am

I saw the gorilla and counted 15 passes - I am immune!
You're only conscious when you're thinking about consciousness.
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Re: Disbelief and Selective Attention

#3  Postby Arnold Layne » Mar 13, 2014 9:58 pm

It's true.

Perhaps I should try more to believe in fairies and pink unicorns. I might not know what I've been missing.
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Re: Disbelief and Selective Attention

#4  Postby MrFungus420 » Mar 14, 2014 4:35 pm

Kenaz wrote:Can actively holding a stance towards something, either in positive or negative dis/belief, keep us from an honest inquiry to understand our reality?


Yes, it can.

That doesn't mean that it will.

I actively believe that there is no such thing as magic. However, provide me with sufficient evidence that magic is real, and I will change my mind (and try to enroll in Hogwarts' Adult Education Program).

The problem isn't believing something. It's not being willing to examine those beliefs. It is the inability or unwillingness to admit the possibility of being wrong about something.

So, I have to change my answer. No. Having a belief in something cannot keep one from an honest inquiry about that belief. Being unwilling to examine it keeps one from that inquiry.
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Re: Disbelief and Selective Attention

#5  Postby hackenslash » Mar 14, 2014 4:58 pm

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