The Relationship Between Belief and Conflict

Concerned Global Citizen
3 min readFeb 26, 2023

I would like to examine the “pattern” of “belief systems”, or ideologies.
This means it applies to ALL ideologies that have ever existed, are presently existing, and will ever exist.
This is how we come to understand the ‘nature’ of things.

First, let’s look at exactly what an ‘ideology’ “is”
The definition that is being referred to here is the following:

A set of doctrines or beliefs that are shared by the members of a social group or that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.

What’s a “doctrine?”

A principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief, as by a religious, political, scientific, or philosophic group; dogma.

Ok, now we’re getting somewhere….
What is a “belief?”

1. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something.
2. Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.

This is interesting…
so a ‘belief’ is something that is “accepted as ‘true’.”

Now the question that comes into play is “What is the basis of this something being accepted as true?
Is this based on an opinion, here-say, tradition, folk-lore, etc., or the fact of what actually is?
It’s my contention that a belief falls more on the side of the former than the later, which brings me to my next point.

So we have a ‘belief system’, which is a body, or collection of beliefs that operates on a set of assertions. When people “adhere” to an ideological doctrine — of any kind(remember, we’re talking patterns) — it’s basically a prescribed way of self conduct or living which must adhere to a narrow or strict way of thinking and behaving.
This means conflict.

This means conflict both internally and externally.
The internally generated conflict means there’s a portion of the psyche that must serve as the policeman or “controller” to make sure that no internal dialogue ever strays from the belief system.
This then creates the constant need for an “internal overseer”, “judge”, and “enforcer” to monitor the internal dialog and control it by keeping it “in line” with the ideology.

The externally generated conflict basically comes in the form of the externalization of this phenomena but projected on the “outside world.” So these internal controls are then externalized in the form of laws, coercion, bribery, threats, and of course all manner and manifestations of brutality and violence ready at a moment’s notice to pounce on, and completely stamp out any form of free or independent thought that strays from the collection of “allowable” thought comprising the ideology.
So it appears that “beliefs”, again, not based in the fact of what actually ‘is’ occurring, breed conflict.
Now observe the state of humanity, past and present.
From this vantage point our history and way of life appears to be based entirely on beliefs of one kind or another, and then look at how we’ve lived in, and continue to live in conflict on this planet.

Because thought is ‘binary’ in nature, this means any assertion or postion taken MUST also create it’s opposite. This then creates the potential, or ‘threat’ of the opposite state occurring which must then also forever be guarded against in order to “maintain” the desired assertion/position/state.
Expressions like “keeping the faith” come to mind.
What does this expression say?
It says “hold on to the faith because it can be lost.”
This “holding” action requires that constant effort and energy be used, living under the constant “threat of loss.”
This means constant conflict.
We appear to pay a heavy price to “hold our beliefs.”

To dive deeper into the nature and structure of thought itself please see the articles: