Why Do We Believe As We Do?

The Institute of Middle East Studies

by Arthur Brown

What do you believe?

And, how do you decide what you believe?

Do you believe what you believe because you read it somewhere, because someone you know and trust told it to you, or because you witnessed or experienced something that led you to draw a particular conclusion? Is it as a result of your tradition that you believe certain things? Is it out of some kind of loyalty to a particular view?

And, how do you determine the ‘sources of authority’ from which you are more or less likely to draw your view[s]? From a particular media source? In which case, which one? From material you have read – which material?

From people you know? What led them to draw their conclusions that they have passed on to you? What have they read or been taught? To whom are they loyal, and why? Might it be…

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