My values, which I have derived through an empirical factor-analysis, are what I use to guide my choice of beliefs at any point in time. These are-
- Equality in Opportunity
- Equality in Understanding
- Equality in Relevance
- Freedom of Aspiration
- Freedom of Choice
- Freedom of Expression
In interacting with the world, one’s values will guide the way one responds to the beliefs expressed by others and considered by oneself. If one tries to assert both one’s values and associated beliefs onto others I call this morality, which has no place in a democracy. If however one tries to convince others of one’s beliefs while respecting their own values then this is what democracies are all about.
Take a look at some of the competing belief systems I wrestle with in trying to find the perfect ‘truth’. I hold sets of beliefs independently of one another, and they themselves are separate from ‘me’ which is more than the sum of these beliefs.
The Societal belief set
My societal belief set are those beliefs I have developed from reading literature or examining and taking part in the production of other media texts or discourse from which I have constructed a social reality. Societal in this context refers to the understanding necessary to construct an idea of the society one is in, which while different from others will allow for easier integration if possible to understand the ‘societies’ constructed by others. The following are types of Societal belief:
- Theological beliefs. There are those things I think religious texts say, those things I think people of certain faiths believe, and there are those which I think support my values and should form part of my religious identity.
- Ethnological beliefs. There are those that I think established media texts say, those that I think people of different protected characteristics generally hold, and there are those that I think reflect the way I see myself through my values and should therefore become part of my individual cultural identity.
The Experiential belief set
My experiential belief set are those beliefs I have developed through interacting with the world and the people in it, reflection on these, and verification of them with other sources such as research papers and philosophical books and texts. My experiential beliefs include:
- Philosophical beliefs. There are those that I think established scientific texts and my own empirical and theoretical evidence says, those I think people of different scientific philosophies believe, and there are those which I think can help realise my values when used in a particular way.
- Pluralistic beliefs. There are those that I think established political texts say, those I think people of different political positions believe, and there are those which I think support my values and form part of my constructed identity.
- Psychological beliefs. There are those that I think my mind and body want be to believe, those that I think those in society would prefer me to believe, and there are those that I believe that support my values, which I need to train my mind and body to believe.
- Evangelical beliefs. There are those things I belief are good for the wider environment, such as my local community, my friends and the nations we are part of. I will try to convince others of the merits of these beliefs even if they do not want to adopt them for their purposes – They should still accept my right to my ideals as I do theirs.