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wundayatta's avatar

Why do we find it important to communicate our beliefs?

Asked by wundayatta (58635points) September 13th, 2010

People love to talk about what they believe. However, one can never know for sure that someone actually believes what they say they believe. We can’t get into someone else’s head. Yet, it seems to me, people pay far more attention to what people say than to what they do.

The idea that “actions speak louder than words” is kind of moot if everyone is blind. If you’re deaf, then actions are all you have to go on. Who is better off? The blind guy or the deaf guy? Why?

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16 Answers

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Beliefs regularly impact actions, so I think it is a simple way of summarising what sort of person you are. It would take constant observation to get to know someone in depth from their actions alone, but when they state a belief we can apply our prejudices and stereotypes to form a rudimentary picture of who they are.

Ben_Dover's avatar

We want to help those less fortunate who are living life in a vacuum.

marinelife's avatar

I disagree with the premise that everyone wants to communicate their beliefs. I think there is a vast silent majority who go about their lives without trumpeting their beliefs to everyone—who live their beliefs instead.

CMaz's avatar

The know their belief is to understand their intent. And, we all want to be understood.

That’s half the battler.

Frenchfry's avatar

I feel we express our beliefs to show what we stand for. This is what I think is right and wrong.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What one says is sometimes the best we have to go on – sure, everyone can be making it up but that’s an especially cynical way to view the world as there are plenty of people who remain consistently true to themselves and to their beliefs. For me, it’s important to communicate my ideas and beliefs so that I’m not assumed to have others – speak up or someone will speak for you is how I live my life.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Generally, to disabuse the unenlightened and to hold ourselves above the hoi polloi.

wundayatta's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I don’t think the issue is that people are lying so much as they don’t really know what they believe until they hit the situation and they take an action. Reality seems to have a way of making you do different things than your beliefs might have you do.

@marinelife I disagree with the premise that everyone wants to communicate their beliefs. I think there is a vast silent majority who go about their lives without trumpeting their beliefs to everyone—who live their beliefs instead.

Really? I did not say “trumpet their beliefs,” I said they love to talk about what they believe. This could be to their children or spouses or friends or any other small group of people. I don’t believe I have ever met a person who I talked to for more than a couple of hours who didn’t share at least some kind of belief with me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@wundayatta That is true. Yet, not counting extreme situations, we have an idea of how we will treat others or how we will respond to our responsibilites or raise our children because we’ve done it before or have adjusted our views based on new information, etc. I am a different parent with my second than with my first and I have obtained new beliefs over time about how to parent.

wundayatta's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Although, as @marinelife pointed out, you could raise your children without telling anyone what your beliefs are. In your case, perhaps communicating your beliefs might help explain your parenting actions? Or perhaps there is some other reason?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@wundayatta People ask each other’s beliefs – they want to know what I, as a mother, think about x,y,z and I answer them. There is no reason to raise your children without telling them what your beliefs are – it is my responsibility to allow my kids to understand their parents, what we think about certain things and then make decisions as to whether or not it makes sense, once they’re older. When my son runs around with his fishing rod (that I did NOT get him, btw, because I’m against fishing for pleasure and his bio-dad isn’t) but uses it as a gun, I tell him to stop because I believe (and that’s my belief) that I will have none of that kind of stuff in my house and I inform him (even though he’s 4, he gets a lot) that his parents are pacificts, that shooting is nothing to make fun or light of and that I want him to stop it, because it makes me uncomfortable and upset. He stops it because he cares about me.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Exactly. “By their works shall you know them.”

mowens's avatar

I don’t.

zenvelo's avatar

Because we want a lotta Lurve!

I generally only offer my opinion or knowledge when confronting ignorance or intolerance. I don’t proclaim unless asked first.

Austinlad's avatar

When I choose to share my deepest beliefs, which isn’t all that often, I suppose I’m seeking validation for what I hold to be true or am seeking a different truth. I simply don’t believe in blind faith that what I think is true is true.

imindswant2know's avatar

” beliefs ” there are many different types of beliefs therefor there are many different motivations to express our own. mostly it is a emotionally based desire for validity and confirmation of our thoughts ,to iidentify with others , secure our sense of well bieng , define our place in society

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