Because the issue here isn’t that we believe. Believing is easy. When you’re out on the road headed to a restaurant for dinner with family or friends, you’ll choose to go one way instead of another because you believe it’ll get you there sooner. When you’re seated and looking at the menu you decide to order a salad because you believe it’s a healthier alternative to having a steak and potatoes. And when the bill comes at the end of your meal, you pull out your calculator to make sure you leave exactly a 15% tip, because you believe that’s what great service deserves
So, you see, believing is not the issue because we all believe in something. It can be as simple as believing that pink is more pleasant than purple, or green looks better than blue. And it can be as minor as believing that Lucky Charms taste better than Cheerios, or that Coke tastes better than Pepsi. But our beliefs can also taint major decisions—if we believe that one neighborhood is nicer than other then we might just shell out too much money to buy a home there, or if you belief that a Lexus is truly superior to a Toyota—even though they’re both owned by the same automaker—you could end up spending over $20,000 more for a similar car.
So if the cross and the crucified Christ doesn’t seem foolish simply because we believe in it, then why is it “foolishness to those who are being destroyed”? Or to ask it another way, if believing isn’t the issue then what is?
The real issue arises when you cannot reconcile believing with experience. So when you’re out on the road headed to a restaurant for dinner with family or friends, you might choose to go one way because you believe it will get you there faster than another route…but what happens when take the route that you believe is quicker only to get stuck in traffic for twenty minutes? Well, chances are you no longer believe that’s the “quicker” route.
Or what happens after you’ve ordered a Caesar salad with chicken because you believe it’s a healthier alternative at a place like the Cheesecake Factory—so you don’t feel so bad about indulging in a slice of their red velvet cheesecake later on—only to learn that a skirt steak with a side of mashed potatoes would have had fewer calories. I bet you’re going to think twice before you believe a salad is always the healthier alternative.
Or what happens after you’ve left that 15% tip on the table because you believe that’s what exceptional service deserves, only to go home and do a quick Google search to find that everyone from CNN to Business Insider agrees that a 20% tip is standard for exceptional service? You might just decide to be a little more generous the next time a waitress or waiter goes above and beyond.