[The previous series, 107, can be found [url=https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/jrps-bite-sized-metaphysics-series-107/438/1]here. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found here. This series, 108, picks up with the topic arrived at the end of the previous series. The current overall topic of series 106 through 109, is the relation of reasoning to belief.]
[Entry 1 for “Belief Without Reason?”]
It seems to me (as an initial expectation, based on my previous considerations), that every ‘real’ belief requires an acted inference of some sort on the part of the believer; although the exact inference may not be what the believer claims it is with respect to the belief.
In other words, I question whether there can be any such thing as a real belief that is irrational (in the very limited sense I am using of ‘irrational’.)
As I roll on the ground in delirium after being snakebit, I might be muttering “Snake… in hole…” But that doesn’t necessarily mean ‘I’ actually ‘believe’ it: because ‘I’ might not be conscious. The sounds coming out of my mouth might be the same type of non-intended effects-by-association which produced my delirium in the first place.
Dentists and some other physicians (or people like myself who have undergone special forms of anesthesia) know quite well that a human can be unconscious yet still respond to sensory stimulus in a manner not entirely different (but still somewhat different) from how the person might consciously respond. This can even include an anesthetized person answering questions. Yet the person is not conscious; he is purely reacting, not initiating events. Memory artifacts which happen to be processed during this period for retrieval later, might give that person some data to draw inferences from and thus to form beliefs later; but I do not see how the unconscious person as an ‘unconscious’ person can (as the ‘unconscious person’) be having a real ‘belief’ connected to his statement.
(Or, more precisely, an unconscious statement may reflect a belief consciously held at other times, and so be connected in that manner. But such a link is not a necessity, and at any rate I think it is a contradiction in terms to say ‘I’ ‘am believing’ something at the moment when ‘I’ am unconscious.)