Are human minds static or malleable? When I refer to the human mind I am referring to our conscious beliefs and brain states. I’m certainly no expert but if I can make one observation on the matter it appears to me that our thinking evolves and matures throughout our lifetimes. This naturally accompanies and seems to be built on every previous experience.
We learn, grow, articulate and seek to perfect our talents and abilities in many ways. Since this is the case, I wonder how it translates into our belief systems and how we view the world? As one who used to converse about and advocate Christian theology I’m seeing an issue between some forms of theology and what we actually know about human knowledge and belief.
One form of theology that appears to be in question would be this idea of “the perseverance of the saints.” It is the idea that anyone who truly believes (has faith) in god will always believe in god. It is more strictly taught among Calvinists as this idea that god’s truly elect believers will never fall out of their faith belief. Now, those who teach this philosophy won’t admit it but it is demonstrated to them over and over again that people who once truly believed and had faith in god can and do change their minds about the matter.
Sometimes it is the rejection of Christian claims and an acceptance of Buddhist claims. Sometimes it goes from a literal interpretation of the bible to a symbolic approach. Other times, as in my own life it is the transition from belief in god to a lack of belief. In other words what I once enthusiastically embraced as indisputable truth I now wholeheartedly reject in light of reevaluating the evidence for a god in my own life.
These people will say, “you were never truly saved in the first place.” I actually agree with them in this regard, but the kicker comes in when I assert that the same is true for them. If these folks are unable to substantiate that a supernatural being even exists then it is more likely that they do not actually know or possess this kind of effectual faith in god, they only think that they do. Any one of us can dig our heels in and not desire to change our minds about a matter and the opposite is also true.
This doctrine needs to be honest about the capacity that every human being has to change their minds. Lack of belief is a very real phenomenon. Do you believe in Zeus, or fairies, or ghosts? I didn’t think so.