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Author Topic:   Belief: Directive vs. Reflective
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 1 of 2 (658117)
04-02-2012 11:55 AM

Directive Belief
A directive belief is a belief someone holds that describes how they should live their life.
Reflective Belief
A reflective belief is a belief someone holds that describes how their life is lived.
I believe in the Christian God.
Directive Belief: I believe in the Christian God, therefore I choose to read the Bible and follow it's instructions.
Reflective Belief: I choose to read the Bible and follow it's instructions, therefore I believe in the Chirstian God.
Notice how in the Directive Belief, the Bible is being read in order to follow the rule of believing in God.
In the Reflective Belief, the Bible is being read because the reader wants to read the Bible. It is the result of this basic desire that leads the reader to believe in the Christian God. Most people have many different beliefs, and some will be Directive while others will be Reflective.
It is my contention that Reflective beliefs are much more powerful. Your beliefs simply reflect the way you live. You can identify with and conform to your beliefs because that is how you choose to be in the first place. This makes the belief stronger and fuels a desire to continue along with the belief. The belief is more of a goal or aim from within rather than an external rule or command.
Directive beliefs are generally unwilling to change. When you are attempting to follow a Directive belief that you do not accept, it can become extremely difficult. You will start doing things in order to gain acceptance for holding the belief instead of doing things because you actually accept the belief. This kind of mask is generally unhealthy and can lead to deep frustrations with the environment around you.
I like to think that my beliefs about gods are Reflective, but I'm not always sure.
I do not rely on a god to get me up in the morning. I rely on my alarm clock.
I do not rely on a god to pay my bills. I go to work.
I do not rely on a god to keep me and my family safe. I educate myself and take precautions.
When I make an important decision such as where I should live or if I should keep my job or who I should marry I do not wait for an indication from a god. I devote time into the important task and make the decision after careful consideration.
I attempted to make this list a wide range of things including some trivial and some major aspects of my life.
Therefore, since I do not leave such things "in the hands" of any god... I think I am an atheist.
What strikes me as odd is that I think most people do the same thing as I describe above.
I don't know anyone who relys on a god to wake them up in the morning so they don't use an alarm.
I don't know anyone who relys on a god to pay their bills so they don't work.
I don't know anyone who relys on a god to keep themselves or their family safe so they don't educate themselves and take precautions.
I don't know anyone who relys on a god for important decisions in their life so they don't devote any time and careful consideration into those tasks.
And yet... many people seem to say they do believe in a deeply personal and involved god.
Is your belief about gods Reflective or Directive?
If you think your belief is Reflective, can you describe the parts of your life that reflect the belief?
(Faith & Belief forum please, because that's where the money is!)
Edited by Stile, : Corrected some confusing terminology - thanks jar

Posts: 897
Joined: 03-02-2006

Message 2 of 2 (658126)
04-02-2012 1:12 PM

Thread Copied to Faith and Belief Forum
Thread copied to the Belief: Directive vs. Reflective thread in the Faith and Belief forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.

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