To me it is clear that the answer is no. I couldn't be determined to believe something just by being
repeated something over and over. If one told me that aliens exist several times, I still wouldn't
believe it. Yet I do accept something as true when a teacher tells me something. So I guess authority
has something to do with it. Nevertheless, my friend argues that if you're told something over and
over, you eventually end up believing it. Would you please comment on this?
First of all, this isn't, in my opinion, a philosophical question. Clearly, from the standpoint of logic, the
number of times a falsehood is repeated is irrelevant. If you're asking whether we accept authority...
yes, much more than we should, in my opinion, and training in philosophy, hopefully, counters this.
But if you're asking, very generally, what inclines us toward belief in something... that's an enormous
subject, too much for this forum, and in addition isn't, in my opinion, strictly a philosophical question
(although Hume, Descartes, Locke, and Berkeley, to name a few, did essay answers to this).
Now to the specific issue. Depressingly and unfortunately, research (in psychology) has indeed
shown that repetition inclines us to feelbetter towards something. And that increased positive feeling
could indeed lead to belief, eventually, although a) it shouldn't, probably, and b) even if it did, our
feelings almost certainly shouldn't affect our beliefs so directly. But they do. On that latter, and indeed
a strong argument that feelings shouldaffect our beliefs (but more subtly) try Damasio's book: