Reviews for Belief LyricsPerformed by John Mayer
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shut up alec | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/24/09
listen. the song is about the crisis belief can cause. think, you want to watch an action movie, but your sister wants a chick flick, in comes an argument about which genre is better than the other and how stupid you are to believe otherwise.
same principle except this isn't a family spat, this is war. people dying, poverty, displacement, you name it.
Belief by John Mayer | Reviewer: Mike | 6/4/09
To me it's saying belief is what makes a person do what they do - regardless if we believe if it's right or wrong. It will make a nation go to war to defend their beliefs and a country to start a war because of it's beliefs. Everyone believes one thing or another - it will never change and war will continue - because of belief.
WTF folks | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/20/09
I rarely read comments posted on the web because they're so pointlessly stupid, but when have a few down seconds to peruse they definitely provide entertainment. Thanks for giving me a chuckle all! I'd also like to thank the web for providing a place where pointless debate can run amok.
Feel free to point out my flaws -- I'll never read your comments anyway and maybe they'll provide someone else a giggle.
comments | Reviewer: Florida_S | 4/14/09
- It is possible for artists to have interesting insights about society since they are somewhat removed from it. (Not that they always do...)
- The 'hundred thousand children in the sand' also could be referring to Darfur, as well as the young soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it doesn't seem that the song is focused on any single particular conflict. "We're never going to beat this" seems to generally refer to the 'global war on terror' and the West vs. radical Islamist conflicts.
- Generally the first verses remind me of debating with a fundamentalist or creationist -- "like punching underwater." It's nearly impossible to reconcile some points of view when the parties are entrenched in different deeply held beliefs or world views.
- The debate here is a good example of how difficult it is for people to rationally debate anything. Nicely ironic.
Spare us | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/6/09
In response to "someone" please leave your political and religious beliefs at the door... this song is about war obviously but belief doesnt clearly state that its religion he's reffering to... Also to conclude hes talking about iraq because he says sand is just foolish do you know how many wars have been fought in the "sand" ........
i agree with alec | Reviewer: someone | 3/3/09
this song is mainly about the war in Iraq,
"what puts a hundred thousand children in the sand?
belief can, belief can
what puts a folded flag inside his mother's hand?
belief can, belief can" - is a clear reference to the war. Alec's interpretation of the lyrics is correct, although unlike him I side with John's message. Belief in the song is clearly referring to religious beliefs which are not motives to fight, but Mayer is also referring to the opinions people give on things they believe in. He is saying that actions speak louder than words evidenced in - "is there anyone you can remember
ever surrender with their life on the line?". If you are told to accept a different belief with a gun to your head, will you change it? Belief can change during time and thus cannot be used as a weapon since it is not stable. I personally like the way he wrote the song and songs do not have to be extremely complicated to be great. oh, and john Mayer is not a genius, he is a good songwriter but he is not a genius. leave the term for real geniuses.
*sigh* | Reviewer: the wise one | 2/10/09
jeezes alec will you just keep your pants on? Noone is sure what the song means only john mayer himself it might be religion or it might be something else. Is it so important to hold your ground just because someone else comments against you. Whatever they say is not true until you respond to it.... -_-
Truth is not belief, truth is absolute | Reviewer: Girish | 2/7/09
Truth is definitely not subjective. Stone is stone, it is not water. It will never turn into water by any perspective.
Belief means to accept something as truth because some trusted source said so.
What songs like these mean is that find out the truth by your own observation and reason and not take extreme steps based on some one else's opinion.
Religion is a good means to collect like minded people and learn good behavior, but it can easily be used as weapon if people blindly believe in what the religious leaders say without thinking on their own.
Belief & The Special Olympics | Reviewer: Scott D | 2/4/09
Regarding the previous posts, I'd point out that old saying that winning an argument on the internet is a little bit like winning the Special Olympics. You may come in first, but you're still retarded.
Reply to personal criticism | Reviewer: Alec | 1/25/09
I wouldn't comment again, except I feel that my position has been attacked personally, by someone who has not only misunderstood what I said, but also has a profound misunderstanding of logic.
My, "bitterness," was not directed towrds those who disagreed with me, because nobody did, because the meaning of the song is obvious. In fact, this was the very first thing I pointed out. My irritation was sparked by the fawning, submissive manner in which people describe John Mayer as being a genius for having written these lyrics. Writing a song somebody likes is not the criteria for being a genius.
I also take exception to Chase's utterly self-serving comment about John Mayer purposefully appealing to, "the more intellectual eye," which is an obvious attempt to make himself look clever on the merit of his musical taste. Again, this song, and in fact most of John Mayer's songs, are not high in their intellectual content, which is why pretty much everyone understood the meaning of this song. What's more, Chase doesn't qualify as an intellectual because you don't see music, you hear it with your ears, and interpret it with your brain. Eyes have nothing to do with it. Also, beleif is neither an idea nor an entity it is an action. One beleives in an idea or beleives in an entity.
Further to Poison Prison's comments on objectivity, I did understand the meaning of the song, and I disagreed with it. I don't think agreeing with a concept is prerequisite for understanding it.
2+2=4 is axiomatic. Whether you beleive it or not, 2+2=4. If you remove the established meaning of the numeric figure 2, it will not cause 2+2 to equal another number, it simply has no meaning, unless it is imbued with a different quantative value. If that were the case then any figures could mean anything to anyone, as the meaning is imbued by the reader exclusively (this is post-modernism). In this case, there ceases to be any inherent meaning, only opinions, none of which have preferance over another. The text itself is therefore meaningless. If I can imbue this song with any meaning I want, that is only because it is meaningless.
We do not beleive that 2 represents the same thing, we all conciously agree on its meaning, otherwise we would have no means to express the truth of 2+2=4. If I were to express it algebriacally as a+a=b, then it would be necessary for anyone reading it to agree on the values of a and b as being 2 and 4 respectively. If, however, you were to decide that a=6 and b=9 you would say that a+a=b wasn't true, you would be correct, but you would not be understood by anyone who accepts that a=2 and b=4. It is necessary to express anything that absolute meanings are established and aggreed apon by everyone, otherwise we would have no way to understand each other. It is not a beleif, but a social contract in which we all agree to imbue a symbol with the same meaning.
It is precisely my beleif in accepting absolutes that allows me to find meaning in the song, because if we didn't all agree apon the common meaning of words in the English language, the song would be meaningless.
I'm not writing because Poison Prison disagrees with me, because he doesn't. Actually he agrees on the meaning of the symbol 2, and of all the words he used in his post, otherwise he wouldn't be able to express himself. Therefore he must agree that there must be absolutes of meaning that we all must agree apon.
The position he has taken is the same as John Mayer's, and is logically untenable, and he is therefore a hypocite. The mere expression is antithetical of the the concept expressed.
I think I have adequately proven that I am of sufficient intellectual capacity to understand the meaning inherent in these lyrics, that John Mayer is not a genius and therefore that the understanding of these lyrics is not an indicator of superior intellectual capacity. Is it possible for anyone to simply write a review without some attempt to make themselves look clever?
Dear SDC: | Reviewer: Poison Prison | 1/21/09
Why is it that 2+2=4 again?
Because we say it does. However, that's not true. 2 is just a term we give a concept of a quantity of items.
We believe when people tell us certain words and symbols mean certain concepts, but that's all it is. It's a belief.
That's all it will ever be.
And these beliefs have caused many arguments, and hostility, and your belief stops you from getting a good meaning from this song. Alec's belief on what he thinks the song means makes him bitter toward everyone who disagreed with him.
Aaaand, this is what the song's about.
Belief | Reviewer: Chase | 1/18/09
I think mayer is trying to put out a more general point as compared to religion, I think he is talking about belief as an entity rather than an idea, how it has power, it has an ability to take a human being into a realm in which he/she is unable to comprehend, I mean his statements of never being able to win the world or stop the war is a clear message that people will believe in a different manner, based on a persons experiences. In essence, his message is clear, Do what you think is right, dont let people, media, or other sources lead you away from what you BELIEVE is the right. His references to " kids in the sand" and "folded flag inside his mothers hand" are a representation of how people can change ideas of theirs because of what "others" think, regardless of the correctness of such ideas. They are vulnerable, a belief can go both ways, you can use belief as what you personally believe is right with no outside influence, or it can be used to persuade YOU to think differently, seeing as how it is an "Armor" but yet a "Sword" at the same time is probably the best analogy to any idea i have ever heard, i love john mayers music he has talent and he is an artist who can get messages across to the more intillectual eye, which is who he wants to get across. Rather than sharing his ideas with people who take music for the literal meaning and dont make a connection with it. because the people who can make a connection with this song are people who have belief as an Armor, those who dont are vulnerable to its blade.
. | Reviewer: topher | 12/26/08
you know i think it's
sending a message to basically everyone,
protesters,people at war,people on the side.
we're all to damn stubburn.
the beliefs people say they have
turn people against each other,
same as christians,it's retarded.
they all fight about communion,
and how this happened and how that happened.
Only if... | Reviewer: SDC in CA | 12/10/08
John is, of course, a product of quazi Ivy-league (with a touch of Hollywood) liberalism. Berklee with a little UC Berkley mixed in.
Don't get me wrong - he's incredibly talented - I listen to his music - and like a lot of his clever lyrics.
But... he comes to the conclusion (in this song), that everything is relative - no absolutes - it doesn't matter what you believe - pick something - they're all the same.
This would, of course, make sense, if all things were equally true. But they're not.
If 2+2 = 4 was the same as 2+2 = 9 or 2+2 = cat
Then what you believe about 2+2 wouldn't matter.
Similarly, is "God wants me to love people and forgive people and be kind to people" really the same as "God wants me to blow people up"? Are those the same - and we should just pick one?
Truth matters... unless yer a barely post-teen multi-millionaire.
I would agree with his premise that you will never convince people of your beliefs my marching or protesting.
But ... some of the arguments here are so poor in their logic. Things like "belief is BS" is, of course, self-defeating. Is that the reviewer's belief about belief? Yes - and if he's right... then his belief about belief is.... you guessed it...BS.
Anyway.. you could go through 90% of the posts here - and point out the internal errors of logic... but.. what's the point? They wouldn't get it anyway - would they?
I really tried not to... | Reviewer: Alec | 12/5/08
... but after reading the fawning, obvious crap that most people have posted here I just couldn't help myself. I'm not a big John Mayer fan, so please excuse me for not harping on about his, "genius," and, "depth."
All of you have managed to pick up on what this song is about. Why? Because it's really, really obvious. The message is, "religion can be a good thing, but we shouldn't fight about it," and that is the only workable interpretation of the song.
The word, "belief," is used as a euphamism for, "religion." Otherwise the song becomes an absud paradox in which Mayer expresses his belief that nobody can say their beliefs are better than anyone else's, which of course opens him up to the criticism that he holds that this belief is better than believing that your belief is better than someone else's, and he's guilty of the very thing he's criticising.
It isn't a simple anti-religion statement due to the line, "belief is a beautiful armor," which attributes a good and proper use for religion, but the rest of the song is (obviously) saying that it isn't worth fighting for. However, the chorus lyric is immensely flawed, in that he implies that there is a justification for war and world domination. Rather than being immoral, religion, as a motivation to war, is simply hindersome to success: "we're never gonna win the world, we're never gonna stop the war, we're never gonna beat this, if belief is what we're fighting for." By this logic, if we weren't fighting for religion but something else (like oil, or capitalism, which we all secretly know are the real motivations for the Iraq war) that we could indeed win the world, stop the war and "beat this."
I think it's petty obvious from the rest of this all too politically correct song that this isn't what Mayer is getting at, but he simply hasn't thought through the possible mis-connotation of his lyrics. Apart from this he takes an incredibly fashionable, left-leaning view of religion and war, which is, in the end, no different to most people working in popular music today. He adds nothing really of interest and, honestly, lacks the courage of his convictions to actually address the issue of religion, and as a result his lyrics suffer from the aforementioned, "belief paradox".
That is what the song is about, this is how you write a review. I do not share Mr. Mayer's sentiments so if you do not believe what I have written, I don't care because you are wrong.
If you insist on posting your opinions online, please make sure that you actually have an opinion.
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