Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

4 Bumps

Can one be forced to believe something?

If you really don't believe something to be true, even if you pretend you do and go through the motions to placate those around you, can you ever be worn down into believing it? When presented with the choice of believe or suffer for eternity, can you make yourself believe something, or do you just make yourself miserable wondering what's wrong with you that you don't feel it the way you've been told you're supposed to?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 6:26 PM on Jul. 2, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (48)
  • Umm... That's a hard one. Because in cases of "brainwashing" persons are generally "forced" to believe something. However, in these cases that person is usually unsure of their beliefs or of weak mind in the first place. But generally, no, you can't change what you believe by will and you can't force someone else to change their beliefs either. We can however teach and educate others and ourselves which allows the mind to grow and beliefs to mature and change in order to align with what we now know to be truth...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 6:29 PM on Jul. 2, 2011

  • No, you can not force yourself to believe anything. I think even those who follow religion with blind faith have to at least question from time to time what the heck it is they are following.

    You do not have to be miserable. I am at peace with the fact that the whole concept of organized religion is not something I am capable of, nor do I care to follow. I live my life as a good, moral person without any sort of religion in my life. And darn it, I'm pretty darned happy! :)

    Answer by Mom2theboy1994 at 6:29 PM on Jul. 2, 2011

  • i don't really know that it matters. As long as they came to the conclusion which is what the goal was

    Answer by amberpaiz at 6:30 PM on Jul. 2, 2011

  • Nope.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 6:32 PM on Jul. 2, 2011

  • Because in cases of "brainwashing" persons are generally "forced" to believe something.

    That's part of what I was thinking - even with something like Stockholm Syndrome, the person can be "deprogrammed". It takes a lot of therapy, but it seems if it was a true belief, they wouldn't ever be able to be swayed from it again. It's probably the best place to consider it, though - someone who has been physically abused or emotionally blackmailed into "belief" that a real belief, or is there still a piece of the mind in there somewhere with a grasp on what they thought to begin with? Is that the part that makes the deprogramming possible?

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 6:35 PM on Jul. 2, 2011

  • I was raised Christian and always questioned it. It just never quite sat right with me. I professed the faith but there was lots of dissonance in my heart. It wasn't until I explored other religions that I saw Christianity in a different perspective: more as one of many ways of reaching God, with rules and stories that accompany it and make it into an institution. The more I studied other religions, the more dissatisfied I became with Christianity. I consider myself a Pantheist now; I love the philosophies in Buddhism and Existentialism. It feels liberating and refreshing to find my own path according to what really sings to my heart.

    No, I don't think you can be forced to believe something. If it doesn't really speak to you, resonate with you, then you will not truly internalize it and make it your own.

    Answer by judimary at 6:43 PM on Jul. 2, 2011

  • No way!

    Answer by older at 6:49 PM on Jul. 2, 2011

  • No, you can't force someone to believe something.

    Answer by countrygirl06 at 6:52 PM on Jul. 2, 2011

  • I do think people can be brainwashed, yes.

    Answer by kidnappedbylove at 6:55 PM on Jul. 2, 2011

  • Depends on the individual.

    Answer by pookiekins34 at 6:56 PM on Jul. 2, 2011

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.