Do You Believe In Hard Work?

Let’s assume that the answer is yes. You believe that hard work contributes to a life worth living for everyone. So, are you hard worker? If you are not a hard worker and you say you believe in hard work because it will contribute to a life worth living, then do you really believe in hard work? If you say you believe it but your life doesn’t show it, then, should I say that you don’t believe in hard work? Perhaps you say that you believe in hard work to be in agreement with those people who do work hard and believe in their work. Fair enough. Who wants to have constantly defend this view against society? That’s a lot of work!

Perhaps this is how belief often works. It’s less work to have to have people secretly disbelieve you than it is to have to try and defend your beliefs.

About JoeL

I completed a Master of Music degree from McGill University. I am currently working towards an Artist Diploma also at McGill. I like to do philosophy as a hobby.

3 thoughts on “Do You Believe In Hard Work?

  1. Am I right to see quite a bit of Zizek here, with the interrogation of what we tell ourselves we believe/desire and what we actually believe/desire?

    I see this quite a bit with what people say they love vs. how they actually spend their time. People will say that they love reading or learning instruments, but rarely will they say that they love facebook (or porn) even though they may spend far more time on these activities. I don’t think the answer to this is simply to be honest with oneself, end point, as if, if we just admit to ourselves that we like shitty things that then we’re good people. I’d rather posit that the answer is honesty in view of continual conversion to what is good.

    I’ve been told both that this quote comes from Fergus Kerr and Stanley Hauerwas. Regardless, it’s a good one: “Worship is not the result but the precondition for believing in God.”

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  2. Thanks for the great comment.

    But I’m going for something a little bit different. In your comment, beliefs are somewhat secondary; what is primary is the allegiance or commitment to something else (Christianity, or being a good person). What I’m after is applicable to those commitments as well, but also to something much more general. The situation that I am point to in regards to commitment would be something like this: “I go to church because I always have and everybody else does. But if following Jesus means doing something very different than those around me are doing, than I definitely will not be the first to do it.” Here, commitment to Jesus is secondary and fitting in is primary. “Fitting in”, i.e., not trying to think through the current accepted practices is what guides one’s “beliefs.” I say that I believe even if I don’t because to not go to church would scandalize everyone and I would have to do a lot of work to defend this decision. OR, I could say I don’t believe in God and go to church and people might try to convince me otherwise. Again, I would have to put in the work to defend my “beliefs.”

    Another way to put it in the Christian situation would be to say, “well, if you don’t do X then you are not a committed Christian. Therefore, you are probably not a Christian.”

    Your addition of “good people” is also crucial here. It is a general commitment to being “good.” The (false) belief that I am naming does not have an explicit commitment. In your cases you, if your commitment is indeed primary, then serious conversations need to happen.

    I believe because others believe. I believe to inspire others though both parties do not actually believe. This is Zizek’s understanding of belief.

    So perhaps what I am naming under the theme of “belief” is merely the spoken words of an individual participating in the “they” (In the Heideggerain sense).

    Perhaps the word “belief”, then, is bankrupt. It merely obfuscates honesty.

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  3. Okay. I think I see now. So the point is that (in the majority culture, at least), the language of belief serves to let us escape from the difficult work of authenticity? That makes sense to me then, and I’d agree. Clinging to belief – “well, it’s what I believe” – serves often to simply shut down conversation or allow someone to escape critique. Perhaps this is part of why many theologians prefer words like trust or loyalty.

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