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9 ways not to believe in something

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The Buddha described 9 ways not to believe in something:

  1. Do not believe in something because it is reported.
  2. Do not believe in something because it has been practiced by generations or becomes a tradition or part of a culture.
  3. Do not believe in hearsay.
  4. Do not believe in something because the authorities say it is so.
  5. Do not believe in something because a scripture says it is so.
  6. Do not believe in something believing a god has inspired it.
  7. Do not believe in something just by logic or inference alone.
  8. Do not believe in something because of speculative opinion.
  9. Do not believe in something a teacher tells you to.

Help yourself, accept as completely true only that which you test for yourself, is praised by the wise, and know to be good for yourself and others.

(from Anguttara Nikaya 3.65)

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