21 Silly Conflicts based on Beliefs

Dangerous Beliefs Lead to Dangerous Actions

It seems clear to me that beliefs lead to actions. I might go so far as to say that all of our actions are based upon our beliefs, but that would leave the door open to objections in favor of instinctive or impulsive reactions to external stimuli. To avoid this objection, I am going to accept that some actions can be explained through mechanisms other than beliefs. The point I mean to make is that deliberate actions are based upon beliefs, and divisive beliefs lead to divisive actions. strongly believe


This is a problem for several reasons, but the greatest problem is that divisive actions create conflict and reduce the well-being of everyone involved. When people are involved in a conflict, it seems to me that they are tense, paranoid, angry, possibly frightened, and generally stressed. When people are organized as a group working toward a common goal, or even just enjoying the company of the others, the people of that group seem calm, relaxed, joyful, and generally happy.

Us versus Them Mentality

We might consider some examples of this us versus them mentality:

1.     The Republicans versus the Democrats

2.     The Greasers versus the Socs

3.     Literalist Christians versus the Gays

4.     The Hatfields versus the McCoys

5.     Jack Bauer versus Everyone

6.     Batman versus the Joker

7.     Extremists Muslims versus the West

8.     The Bulls versus the Lakers versus the Celtics

9.     The Bulls versus the Bears (financial markets)

10.  Evangelicals in America versus Science

11.  The Sun’s gravity versus the Earth’s momentum

12.  The Protestants versus the Roman Catholics (16th century)

13.  The Allies versus the Axis Powers

14.  The Alien versus the Predator

15.  Biggie Smalls versus 2 Pac

16.  Young Earth Creationists verses Mountains of Evidence (literally)

17.  Dogs versus Cats

18.  The Persians versus the Greeks (before Jesus saved the world)

19.  Biological Creationists versus a long list of …ists including Geneticists, Archeologists, Anthropologists, Paleontologists, Biologists, Fossilologists (aka: one who studies fossils), and many, many others

20.  The Sixth Empire versus the Galactic Republic

21.  Racists people versus people different in appearance or nationality (There is only one human race; look it up)


Now I am aware that many of these examples are silly, actually all of them are silly. It is silly to think the Sun’s gravity is pulling on the Earth because it believes it must—I might classify this example as being impulsive because the Sun is simply reacting to an external stimulus. It is also silly for Jack Bauer to think that everyone was against him even though they usually were during one of his really bad days.


The worst part about this silly list of manufactured conflicts is that some of them are complete fiction, baseless fiction determined to promote continued conflict for all time. Obviously, this includes #17 because there is no good reason for these two groups to not get along. I have actually seen some of the more progressive of these animals get along quite well. By doing so, they both live much happier, more satisfying lives. If only they weren’t so attached to their beliefs. cats-with-dogs-2

Potential Solutions to some of these Conflicts

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”—Mahatma Gandhi

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”—Martin Luther King Jr.

“Fighting for Peace is like screwing for virginity.”—George Carlin

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding,”—Albert Einstein (This is my favorite; this guy must have been some sort of Genius.)

“Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”—Pythagoras

“Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes.”—Robert A. Heinlein


“Together We Stand; Divided We Fall”—Pink Floyd, Hey You


I think this relatively popular atheistic statement needs adjusted.
“Because your beliefs influence your behavior, better beliefs make you a better person.” —Steven Clear


2 thoughts on “21 Silly Conflicts based on Beliefs

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on beliefs affecting actions. It’s why I never understand why people don’t think religious beliefs lead to action. They instead blame the person. If that person were to do something good in the name of their religion, then they point and say how good religion is. They fail to point out how dangerous it is when it leads to things like oppression of homosexuals etc.

    • I find it pretty difficult to imagine what other forces cause or at least greatly influence our actions than our beliefs. I know we have reactive behaviors (e.g., fight or flight and others) and physiological dispositions (e.g., addictions and the like), but speaking in general terms, I don’t think there is any one greater influence.

      I didn’t want to do the research, but I think even our fight or flight or addiction behaviors could probably be based upon our beliefs.

      If a person has a fight response he must believe that that is his or her better option. If a person has an addiction, he or she must believe that the benefits of the drug/substance will outweigh the side-effects.

      Even those considered mentally disturbed are motivated to act based on belief. Take U.S. serial killer David Berkowitz for example. He believed the neighbor’s dog was possessed by a demon and instructed him to kill people.

      How is that any different that killing in the name of God, another unsubstantiated belief.

      I believe in the re-evaluation of my beliefs because I think it will be less damaging to be wrong than to hold too tightly a wrong belief–sort of a reversal of Pascal’s wager.

      Thanks for the comment.

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