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Belief system[edit]

Please help with the belief system entry at Talk:belief system. Thanks. Adraeus 02:06, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Because that article is on VfD and looks to be deleted due to no content, I am moving the associated talk page, which does have content to here:

Moved content from Talk:Belief system, currently on VfD[edit]

Note: This entry needs work. Adraeus 02:10, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
A belief system (also system of beliefs) is...
Here is my small contribution. It will probably need lots of works, but after all we have to start from somewhere ;-) I don't know if the comparison has been used somewhere, but a belief system really looks like a mathematical logical system with a set of axioms (unproved beliefs) and inferring rules (reasonnings). Axioms (beliefs) are very debatable since it usually involves beliefs in God(s), supernatural, or even science after all (how many people among you has ever seen and verified an experiment in quantum mechanics? probably not the majority, certainly not my case but I believe in quantum mechanics) ;-) Inferring rules (reasonnings) are usually common to most people. Deduction is the most reliable, induction is used to assert probable conclusions (although I met someone acknowledging only induction as reliable and rejecting deduction). Fafner 08:05, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
See also belief, worldview, paradigm, model
External links On Belief and Belief Systems by the late Bob Eddy (Institute of General Semantics)
Belief Systems by Eric Herboso 04:16, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Thank you, as I've noted elsewhere this is the normal and right if not common practice. I've put merge tags, which should the action be taken will make sure the back matter moves appropriately. Lycurgus (talk) 08:29, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Self-consistent sets of beliefs[edit]

I seem to recall something about the application of Gödel's proof to beliefs, to demonstrate that one's beliefs cannot, taken as a whole, be logically self-consistent. It seemed very interesting at the time, but I can't pull up a cite -- can anyone help? (Yes, I know that Gödel's proof actually demonstrates "incomplete or inconsistent", but the argument did something plausible at this point...) -- Karada 07:57, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Gödel's incompleteness theorem#Misconceptions about Gödel's theorems: "The theorem only applies to systems that are used as their own proof systems"; it follows that the theorem might imply that you can't be consistent if you justify your beliefs with other beliefs; on the other hand if, as most people, you justify your beliefs from one or several external referrents, the theorem does not apply. Jules LT 19:36, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

belief is assigning probability greater than 50% ???[edit]

Removed from the article: "To believe something can be interpreted as assigning a probability of more than 50% that something is true."

(also removed "The rule of the thumb from a school of epistemology that says that certainty should be as big as the corresponding evidence is called evidentialism.", which is useless without the preceding "definition")

This has little to do with evidentialism, which is a theory of justification, in any case.

Who said that? In what book? Is it so widely accepted among scholars that it deserves mentionning so high in the article? This is not only unsourced, it also looks pretty preposterous to me. When you say "X has a probability of more than 50%", you don't believe that "X", you believe that "X is more probable than not"; this is entirely different. Jules LT 19:13, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Definition of Belief[edit]

A belief, in its varying degrees, can be a guess, a dogma, a hope, an intuition, a leap-of-faith. Belief is to make an hypothesis which then must pass the test of Cash Value—bringing Peace of Mind. Yesselman 20:35, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

(edited to correct it in a way)

-> To belief is diffrent from the word believe, believe is to trust and see something in another person. But belief is like to imagen to trust and have faith into a higher being. Belief can't just be put out in words it comes from you and is within you.

I think what you ment was believe and even there is a mistake in that. If you believe in a person you either do it or not you can not just believe have trust and faith in them her him or what ever just 50% else what kind of person would you be?

Belief is not limited to its ineffectuality. Belief does not depend on one's ability to defend their belief. Even with being able to prove their belief as fact, it is still a belief. Whether or not someone agrees is extraneous and should not be in the definition. Belief is simply what one holds to be true. Changed. NewCanada (talk) 01:02, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

For future reference: This is a thought train wreck. (talk) 09:56, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Dictionary Definition of Faith[edit]

I think its VERY information to look at the dictionary definition. "Faith is belief without evidence." This contradicts completely with how theists use "faith" and "belief" interchangeable.

date so will eventually move. (talk) 20:18, 30 June 2014 (UTC)


Beliefs can be acquired through perception, reasoning, contemplation or communication

This statement is plain incorrect, How on Earth can resoning be related to 'belief' . Infact they have completely opposite meanings. Obviously if you can reason(or if there is a logical explanation) to something, then there won't be any 'need' to believe because that 'thing' would be undeniable fact(like a maths equation). The point of belief only arises if there is an absence of resoning!!

The only possibility here is if 'resoning' is being referred to as 'bias' dependent on culture/surroundings etc. Reasonit 00:26, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

I think this results from a confusion between belief as an unproven fact and belief as a conviction adopted after a reasonning (for example a political position). The difference between the two of them might be thin in some cases. Just a thought... Fafner 08:01, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes. A belief can be adopted based on a number of criteria: - authority - experience - perceived phenomena - reasoning - discussion (e.g. clarification/debate)

"Beliefs" don't necessarily have any relation to reason. Especially those induced by authority figures. An associated topic might be rigidity of belief systems and conflicts arising therefrom..

Beliefs can stem from observation, perception, reasoning, and logic (let's not forget discussion). Surely the belief that the world was flat came with a "reason", thus I must agree with this statement also: "Yes. A belief can be adopted based on a number of criteria: - authority - experience - perceived phenomena - reasoning - discussion (e.g. clarification/debate)"

-- (talk) 18:45, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Anytime I may wish I can believe science is philosophy by deductive reasoning. So I agree with you there my friend.-- (talk) 01:50, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

"Is Belief Voluntary?" section[edit]

"Most philosophers hold the view that belief formation is to some extent spontaneous and involuntary.

Most philosophers!? That's a bold and sweeping statement. I'm not sure if to just suggest that is radically POV or ask for some kind of verification. For now I've added a "citeation needed" tag and left it.

Maybe "many philosophers" would be a better choice of words, and easier to add a few references for. The word "most" suggests that nearly all philosophers past-and-present agree about this - somehow, I seriously doubt that... -Neural 03:42, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I have put up a "weasel word" tag, for this purpose. Even stating "many philosphers" would still be using weasel words, because the actual supposed philosphers have not been verified. "Weasel words" do not mark the accuracy nor the inaccuracy of such a statement. Please help us discover which particular philosophers agree with the statement. 18:52, 22 July 2007 (UTC)


The introduction:

Belief is usually defined as a conviction of the truth of a proposition without its verification; therefore a belief is a subjective mental interpretation derived from perceptions, contemplation(reasoning), or communication.

is simply wrong. At least, there is no such definition in my SOD, and if it were the case, one would not be able to believe a verified proposition. Nor is "1+1=2" a "subjective mental interpretation" (Can you think of something that is subjective and yet not mental? Interpretation of what?), yet it is something one might believe.

What is it about introductions to philosophical articles that attracts such stuff? Banno 07:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


The paragraph:

In the religious sense, "belief" refers to a part of a wider spiritual or moral foundation — generally called faith. Historically, faiths were generated by groups seeking a functionally valid foundation to sustain them. The generally accepted faiths usually note that, when the exercise of faith leads to oppression, clarification or further revelation is called for.

has been removed. I can;t see a reason to give prominence to religious belief. Someone may wish to insert it into a new section within the article. Banno 07:38, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

In English the words "belief" and "faith" are treated as different concepts but in some languages (like Dutch) they may translate to the same word "geloof". I am trying to prove that the "faith" referred to in Hebrews 11:1 ('Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.') may also be seen as "belief" and therefore Hebrews 11:1 may be a good definition of "belief". (talk) 06:02, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

This is an English language encyclopedia. English language scholarship treat belief and faith as different concepts, therefore this encyclopedia should. Therefore the above definition, which refers to faith, should not be used as a definition of belief.MartinPoulter (talk) 11:34, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Deductive vs. Inductive[edit]

It seems that the epistimology section contradicts itself, saying that belief is a deductive process, but the building of the belief system is an inductive one. Am I missing something? I'm in favor of stating all belief systems are inherently inductive, and that all deductive processes used in the belief system are based off of premises that require induction. 2/21/07

I'd say rather that the whole section is OR,and should be removed. Banno 04:40, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Done1Z 17:38, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. We should improve the article. Oh! as to your question. I believe they are both. Deductive and inductive. But the question is which would come first?-- (talk) 18:50, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Belief necessarily True[edit]

I disagree with the lead sentence "Belief is the psychological state in which an individual is convinced of the truth of a proposition." This is easily refuted, I and many others believe in God and would agree with a proposition such as "God exists" but would not necessarily argue that it can be proven as "True". In other words you can recognize that you have a belief, such as religion, or race or sexuality, and know that it not necessarily "True" but that you believe it anyway.Tstrobaugh 14:32, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

And does that apply to "2+2=4" or "the sky is blue"? Or is there a difference between mere belief, and Belief with a capital B?

1Z 18:04, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Actually I'm not sure what you consider to be Beliefs and/or beliefs, perhaps you could provide some more examples, which category is the "2+2" in? or the sky? The "2+2" one is obviously incorrect as others have stated above "Gödel had shown that mathematics is both incomplete and inconsistent. Mathematics must be incomplete because there will always exist mathematical truths that can’t be demonstrated. Truths exist in mathematics that do not follow from any axiom or theorem."Tstrobaugh 20:16, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
GIT doesn't have the slightest impact on the necessary truth of 2+2=4.

1Z 21:40, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Really? Explain how GIT has no influence on elementary math. Here's my rebuttal when you're done. (and thanks for answering all my questions, I can see this will be productive) "Gödel showed that "it is impossible to establish the internal logical consistency of a very large class of deductive systems--elementary arithmetic, for example--unless one adopts principles of reasoning so complex that their internal consistency is as open to doubt as that of the systems themselves."(10) In short, we can have no certitude that our most cherished systems of math are free from internal contradiction." from [1].Tstrobaugh 14:00, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

rems.1Z 19:03, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

GIT does not stop you being able to prove individual theorems 1Z 19:03, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Exactly my point about beliefs to begin with. Just as belief in God is accepted without proof and those that accept it know it can't be proved. From the page you cited:"So suppose we accept the axioms and methods of proof formalized in T as valid without proof."Tstrobaugh 13:46, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
But that point has nothing to do with Godel. We don't need GIT to tell us we can't prove every axiom. (And we can adopt the formalist's approach of defining truth only within an axiomatic system). 1Z 14:34, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

If you think "god exists" is not necessarily true, you presumably think there is some evidence or argument which could disprove it. Would you continue to believe in God if the disproof were presented to you? if not, doesn't that show there is some connection between truth and belief? 1Z 14:48, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
That is not true. I do not believe that there is any evidence or argument to disprove it, also no evidence or argument to prove it. Where prove means using empirical, objective evidence and Popperian hypo-thetico-deductive logic. The connection, as you say, between proof and belief is in mine and other believers minds and beyond the reach of scientific inquiry and objective "Truth".Tstrobaugh 16:38, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Point 1: You can think what you like, Tstrobaugh, but if you can't find your ideas in the literature, then it can't go in the Wiki. Banno 22:00, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Point 2: The implication of your opening statement is that one can believe something while holding it not to be true; for example, that one could coherently say "I believe god exists , but it is not true that god exists". See Moore's paradox. You seem simply to have confused truth with proof of truth. Banno 22:00, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

"Contemporary analytic philosophers of mind generally use the term "belief" to refer to the attitude we have, roughly, whenever we take something to be the case or regard it as true." That quote comes from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I respectfully ask Tstrobaugh and others who feel likewise to read more about this subject before contributing, because of the damage that can be done by misuse of basic terminology.MartinPoulter (talk) 21:13, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I challenge the idea that God is unprovable. God is 100% verifiable and not, as some suggest, a sort of fairy tale. Anyone and everyone who claims otherwise does so without good scientific principles. Beliefs that support the "fairy tale" quality of the argument are made by persons too lazy to do the work- or their current belief system makes it impossible to do the work... only the person himself knows. Either way, the work of proving God or disproving God is nothing more than 'parroting' other's assumptions. Up until 1999, I spent my life bashing God/Jesus/Buddah/Muhamad/etc. and mocking any and all that believed in such nonsense. I learned how to belittle them, and confound them with my words, much to my delight. I knew however that I really did not know what I was talking about- I just acted like I did. Part of my deception was getting others to believe I knew what I was talking about, the other part was getting myself to believe it too. I decided to find out for myself, once and for all time. I committed 1 year of my life to studying and researching if God was "real". I determined that for one year I would not only read, but study the Bible- like I was studying for a college final. What ever the Bible said to do- I would do, what ever the Bible said not to do- if I was doing it, I would quit it. I would apply myself to the teachings found there with all my efforts. If at the end of one year, my life hadn't somehow "improved", or if I could not say "God exists" then I would know the truth instead of spewing whatever I had "learned". It was during this time that God revealed Himself to me (just like He said He will in Jeremiah 29:13). I have now spent the last 10 years refining my abilities to love God and love everyone else and have never looked back with regret. Nothing on earth compares to the riches found in Christ Jesus. I have had many opportunities to "test" His promises, and in every way, He is Faithful to His promises. Find out for yourself or continue to bask in mockery of fools.

BTW: I submit that the definition of belief be changed to:

A belief is a choice a person makes consciously or unconsciously that has some pre-set parameters, exclusions, actions, procedures, and positions that stem from culture, teachings, experiences, facts, and or assumptions that work together with the intention to guide, protect, and or promote the believer. A belief therefore, is a mini- “program” that a person ‘installs’ that executes when a specific circumstance arises and with the intensity by which the belief is held. Each mature person has thousands of beliefs of varying degrees of intensity that execute continuously without much if any effort. For example, if a person believes that heroine is very harmful to all people and highly addictive, and if this person believes there is no room in their life for a heroine addiction, then they will be “protected” from carelessly using heroine. New, contradictory, or more strongly held beliefs, a change in the state of the person’s life or some other form of coercion would have to be accepted before the person would willingly use heroine. To illustrate, suppose the person in this example believed that their life “was over” and nothing mattered any more, whether or not it is a valid belief, they choose to run the new overriding program. There now would be “room” to give it a try. Beliefs can be healthy or unhealthy, dependant on the way in which the choices made manifest; fervently held or loosely held, based on the degree to which the person accepts contradictory information; true or false, based on reality. Due to the time involved in the discernible outcomes, it is sometimes difficult to diagnose the root cause for mishaps associated with living out particular beliefs. For instance, if a man believes that all women desire a strong man for a husband and if he further believes that strength is determined by getting one’s way at all costs, then when he lives this belief out, he determines, sometimes years later, that the women he has selected “just have problems” because they do not value his ‘strength’. It is not until a friend, therapist, or some concerned person uncovers the belief that has led to his undesirable behaviors, and can get him to see and change his belief with respect to marital relations, that he can function properly in the relationship. What a person believes can be the difference between joy and misery, elation and depression, even life and death. Robb Miller January 14, 2009 10:44 AM —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:58, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

What you say is interesting, but it is no proof. Unless God did appear to you in a measurable way (appeared visibly before you, talked to you, etc), there is no scientific observation possible. You don't elaborate on how you met Him, but I take you meant that you felt Him in your soul (or something like that). I won't discuss on the possibility of the thing, as it is completely personal: even though I believe there is probably no god, I admit that if there is one he can talk individually to people (by the way that's why I don't mock people who have religious beliefs). So you may have a personal proof that God exist, and I certainly don't challenge it. But it isn't a reproducible and universal proof, such as the ones we have in physics or maths. Scientific method can't be applied. This is not to say that science and religion are exclusive, only that science fails at any proof about the existence of any god, because scientific method can't be applied. Fafner (talk) 07:59, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Removed Paragraph, For Now...[edit]

"If one has an external inducement to belief, such as a prospective marriage partner, he may be unable to drastically change his true belief in order to obtain the desired reward. The best he might do would be to pretend at belief. There is a possibility that with study, he would come to change his belief, depending on his earlier sources and his confidence in the validity of new ones."

I believe this paragraph needs rewritten, because the example is unclear. What I mean is the relevence to the example given in connection with the topic does not adequately correlate. (Yes, I know the connection is implied. Yet an encyclopedia is meant to give information and describe, not imply. see: implicature) The paragraph also did not seem consistent with the section it was previously in and probably needs moved. If no one else does, I hope to rewrite this, but I'll have to research how beliefs play roles in marital relationships (and since I am not married, well, I'll have to trust sources that are plausibly verifiable.) 18:19, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Perphaps the belief in a lasting relationship and trust?-- (talk) 18:51, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Justified True Belief, False Belief[edit]

Whomever is attempting to make a case for either "justified true belief" or "false belief" please either specifically cite your sources or stop reverting my changes/corrections. There is no such thing as a true or false belief. Logical errors made in antiquity can NOT be used to justify your personal point-of-view. Thanks. -- PiPhD 07:07, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Talking about belief as true or false is pretty uncontroversial in philosophy: see William Poundstone's "Labyrinths of Reason" for an informal round-up. "There is no such thing as a true or false belief." sounds like a very extreme position, not one that should dominate an NPOV article. Check out the article on the Gettier problem and its refs. I haven't edited the article BTW, just commenting.MartinPoulter (talk) 22:13, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Plus, who is deleting the recent entries from the history section of Belief?! -- PiPhD 07:07, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Spiritual Section[edit]

The spiritual section is very odd. It sounds like someone's opinion and not at all like an encyclopedia. It is mostly incoherent. Someone smarter than myself should fix it. (talk) 17:53, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the above. There's no frame of reference nor sources cited to represent a consensus of noted spiritual thinkers. The Spiritual section is entirely op/ed stuff. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:58, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Agreed- it's total gibberish. Doesn't belong in an encyclopedia. Is there even anything there to salvage? MartinPoulter (talk) 22:02, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Limiting Beliefs[edit]

This section reads like something from a pop self-help book rather than academic research - or maybe it's research I'm unaware of: impossible to tell in the absense of references. It gives a contrary impression to what would be given by summarising actual research, e.g. on cognitive bias such as illusory superiority. I intend to remove this section when I next pop by, unless the author has inserted citations. MartinPoulter (talk) 21:02, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Thats why it's a "wikipedia" and not an "encyclopedia" (unlike an "encyclopedia" we can improve and fix at any time).-- (talk) 18:53, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Etymology of Belief[edit]

There is no etymology of the word belief, which is strange because its quite an interesting word.

Here is what I found on the and an article called Carnival of the Etymologies, both sources listed.

c.1175, replaced O.E. geleafa, from W.Gmc. *ga-laubon (cf. O.S. gilobo, M.Du. gelove, O.H.G. giloubo, Ger. glaube), from *galaub- "dear, esteemed." The prefix was altered on analogy of the verb. The distinction of the final consonant from that of believe developed 15c. Belief used to mean "trust in God," while faith meant "loyalty to a person based on promise or duty" (a sense preserved in keep one's faith, in good (or bad) faith and in common usage of faithful, faithless, which contain no notion of divinity). But faith, as cognate of L. fides, took on the religious sense beginning in 14c. translations, and belief had by 16c. become limited to "mental acceptance of something as true," from the religious use in the sense of "things held to be true as a matter of religious doctrine" (c.1225).

Etymologically, belief is a common West Germanic abstract noun, but its original, correct form is represented by Old English geleafa. Its relatives across the Germanic language tapestry include Old Saxon gilobo, Middle Dutch gelove, Old High German giloubo, and the Modern German verb glauben. The ga-, a standard Germanic noun prefix of intensity, was reduced according to the usual evolution in English, and the word emerged as ileve or leve, both of which turn up in early Middle English texts. But the unnatural form belief (be- is not a noun prefix) rose up in the 12th century and established itself, probably by an analogy from the verb believe, where the be- belongs. The Proto-Germanic root behind this group of words is *galaub-, which meant "dear, esteemed," and derives (with a prefix) from the Proto-Indo-European base *leubh- "to care, desire, love," itself the source of love and leave "permission" (originally, probably, "approval resulting from pleasure"). The sense evolution that led to the Germanic group that includes believe probably came via "to hold estimable, valuable, pleasing, or satisfactory; to be satisfied with." Another descendant of this group is lief "willing" (from Old English leof "dear"); a most useful word, now, alas, all but extinct. Want and love are overworked and misused to fill the hole left in the language when this word faded in the 17th century. It survives somewhat in the phrase livelong day, which, though the first element was mistaken for live (v.) and deformed, was originally (c.1400) lefe longe (day), from lief "dear," used here as an emotional intensive.

In the quote at the head of this article, I might have used faith in place of belief. Faith has "fidelity" at its root. Conviction has "victory." But belief has "love." You hold a faith because you have committed yourself to it; a conviction has won you over. But you believe in what you love, be it a child or a country or a cause. So, too, love is belief. And it is not adamant as faith -- it can be deceived and revealed, it can be broken. But, as in one of my favorite stories, something always endures:

In "The Dove's Neck Ring," written early in the 11th century by our reckoning, the great Spanish-Arabic philosopher-poet Ibn Hazm tells of many kinds of love in thirty chapters. In one of them, he writes of the poet Al-Ramadi, who was passing by the Gate of the Perfumers in Cordova one day when he saw a young slave girl and she took possession of his heart. He followed her across a bridge and into a cemetery called Al-Rabad. Then she noticed him, who had left the crowd, and she turned and asked him, "Why are you walking behind me?" He told her of his great sudden passion. She told him forget it, cast it away, there is no use in hoping for fulfillment. But he asked her name, and she told him: Halwa, that is, "Solitude." And when he asked where he would see her again, she said she would return to the Gate of the Perfumers, which was a gathering-place for women, at the same hour on Friday. Then they parted. "By God," Al-Ramadi wrote, "I went assiduously to the Perfumers' Gate and Al-Rabad from that time on, but never heard another thing about her. And I do not know whether the heavens consumed her or the earth swallowed her up, but truly there is in my heart, because of her, a burning fiercer than a glowing ember." And she was the Halwa to whom he addressed his love poems. And those poems crossed the Pyrenees into Aquitaine, and there taught the troubadours to sing of amor de lonh -- "love in separation, far-away love, love-longing." Before that, all in northern Europe had been warrior-verse, the dear love of comrades in arms. Now we have what we call "Western literature," via Yeats and Eliot and Billie Holliday, via Dante, via Bernart de Ventadorn, via Al-Ramadi, from Arab slave girl Halwa by the Perfumers' Gate. Otherwise, we'd all still be singing "Beowulf."

It seems curious to me that most people accept the meaning of belief to be an acceptence of a personal theory or philosophy, rather than its literal meaning...I wonder if this kind of belief (circa 12 century AD) is entirely based upon one's personal collection of thoughts about experiences one has had, and how a particular individual might relate those experiences together. Most life experiences may be common to everybody, but a person's particular belief's and perspectives on life might well depend on the order that events are experienced in, which might directly influence how a person relates experiences to one another, and hence radically effect their opinions. Also, is it the case that some people have confused the word belief with insight, thereby mistakenly comming to the conclusion that their belief's are beyond the realms of thought? (talk) 19:24, 5 October 2009 (UTC)DougM

I'm very very happy for this exposition from DougM. It makes it clear that a change is needed in the article defining, from the very beginning, that belief is a "mental representation of a sentient being's attitude towards the likelihood or truth of something." To equate belief with what makes us say "I think so" , I think, is blocking the understanding of what belief is, and its role in religion, politics and personal relations. The notion of belief that occurs when saying "I believe in you" does not fit the definition. To believe in Jesus, for instant may be understood in regard of believing that Jesus existed, became Christ, and is the expression of one of the triunine persons. This can, arguably, be a belief in the sense of someone's attitude in regard of his or her mental representation, being an approximation to the reality, e.g. the truth. But for a believer his or her belief has less to do with his or her capability of his or her mind to represent what is truthfully. The unlikeliness of the wine becoming the blood of christ, for instant; or the belief in the ressurection of the dead by the time of the eschaton, should prove that belief has less to do with likelihood, or a preconceived attitude towards some strange possibility, however unlikely, of being the actual reality. To mistake and confuse representation with the real is contrary to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Abrahamic religion may even be understood as an attempt to overcome this problem, comparable with the Vedic religions relation to Maya. In regard of the Abrahamic religion, this mistaking of the representation with the real is considered a sin, particularly stated by the second commandment. To believe in Jesus, for instant, has more to do with matters of trust and fidelity, lojality and communion, than with the likeliness of someone called Jesus being elevated to the status of Messiah, witnessed by 12 righteous judges of the tribes of Israel, conquering complete sovereignity and making anyone who believes in him, in the sense of giving full loyality, giving fidé, a heir to a world beyond the fettered state of being under the law. Indeed, the christian is already by the power of her belief, legally sovereign, equal to the princes and sovereigns of the world. This example of belief has nothing to do with the sort of insistence on one's own mental representation of an assumed reality having any likelihood of fitting the actual truth, a priori. To believe, in Christ or what ever, is to open the possibility for an unknown, not yet realised wisdom, liberation, heavenly birthright, or to whatever belief will lead. It is the promise of the gospel, that this jump into the unknown, which may be totally contrary to any reasonable mental representation of what is awaiting on the other side, that a trustworthy hope will arise after the action of belief is commenced; and that this hope, in turn will guide the sovereign seeker to the source of this hope, a yet unexperienced love. It is even rendered quite clear that to hope for profit as a motivation for the leap of faith is rather an obstacle for faith. The Christian dharma/doxa is quite clear on the succession of these phenomena, from belief to hope to love. This is not an attempt of spreading the gospel. Christ is a rather monstruous entity to me. Because Christ, dispositively, is the radiating source of political sovereign power, as it is demonstrated by international law and institutions. But. To reduce faith/belief to the more or less automatic calculation of probability, as a cognitive/mental faculty of creating for one self a representation of reality, which one trusts as having great likelyhood for being true, is dangerously obscuring the matter, and language regarding belief. We may position this element of belief, the cognitive faculty or obscurity of regarding certain representations actually fit the truth it represents, here stated as the primary definition of belief, in the subcatergory of dispositional belief; in contrast with the concept of current belief. Dispositional belief deals with what we believe in, without thinking so much about it, what we more or less take for granted, what is inherited. In this category we must put our common belief, more or less consciously, that our money are representing our credibility, or actual worth. In regard of such, then, the primary definition in the article seems quite precise. In regard of what we may term as current belief the definition fails terribly. It's a tremendously difficult task to bring a good delineation of the concept of belief, but obviously the lack in the standing definition is the element of intent. --Xact (talk) 17:22, 11 February 2015 (UTC)


Does the "Believe in" section belong in this article? It seems to me that the first meaning for "believe in" (i.e., have confidence in) refers to a non-psychological sense of the word, and the second meaning is either religious belief (which is covered in a separate article), or can be restated as "belief that something exists." AndyBloch 19:15, 20 March 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by AndyBloch (talkcontribs)

The believe-in section clearly does belong here (IMO) since it makes the necessary distinction between believe-in and believe-that. It is, however, incomplete and incorrect. The problem is that it describes the existential claim as implying a need to justify the existence of the thing being believed-in. This is clearly not true. I believe in the concept of freedom of speech, and see no need to justify its corporeal existence. The same is true of love, justice and equality, beauty and trillions of other things people can legitimately believe-in but which have no objective existence. For an encyclopedia to claim that belief-in any of these things implies a need to justify their existence is bizarre to say the least. (talk) 05:59, 29 March 2010 (UTC)


A class I had in symbolic logic had us translate reject as belief in the negative. So rejection would be the belief that another belief is incorrect. Rejection is in itself a belief. Comments: (talk) 00:10, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Belief is change.[edit]

Belief, as a method of acquisition of knowledge, is usually associated with religion. But belief is also used for acquisition of knowledge of other truths. That which a human observer remembers is the result of either a quantitative change from not knowing to knowing or knowledge is the result of analysis of some truth and absorption of its description. Quantitative method is an instant change while description is a change in small dozes over a limited period of time. KK ( (talk) 19:39, 14 June 2012 (UTC))

Merge tagging[edit]

Nothing is happening there in 2.5 years, still looks like an advertisement for somebody's research. Unless somebody wants to run the gauntlet of creating a full blown article on the topic, a quick merge of all the content and pluralform titled as a 1st level subsection here seems the best way forward for now, maybe come back later with a standalone article. (talk) 08:23, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

I've performed the front matter merge, another can do the copy/paste, will continue to work the copy in my user space, doesn't appear to be any urgency as I noted above. The back matter of the merge sources should move too, if I complete will do this. Lycurgus (talk) 05:45, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
noting at this point all the front matter merged in a global redact, the content of all five original articles in sync with the merge draft ATM. (talk) 06:08, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
user:Atelfa has made a number of changes essentially without comment, I haven't looked at them closely, just looked to see the individual apparently registered only to edit this article. At this point the merge draft and the main space article are diverged by Atelfa's edits and whatever changes to the other merge sources. I will move the back matter but I won't track main space changes from the point of the merge tag placements. Please make any changes to the merge draft which are improvements yourself, not going to duplicate other editors effort when the normal process has been followed here on the discussion page. (talk) 23:47, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Looks like the right thing to do here is go ahead and complete this so will do shortly. Lycurgus (talk) 09:00, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

This is in progress, will do back matter first. I've removed the add images tag as the merged article will have at least 3. Leaving the philosophy rating start, someone else can re-rate when the merge is complete. Lycurgus (talk) 19:50, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Looking to see the bot run, want to merge the source talk pages as 3-n after it creates 2. (talk) 23:34, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Looks like it's busted/neglected/being bounced from maintainer to maintainer. Getting feedback, will do manually, pull the bot markup if necessary. (talk) 00:37, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
The current maintainer (QueenOfFrance/Sigma) confirms bot in weeds, will address shortly. (talk) 01:05, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Per his page/IRC statements QoF isn't doing anything with the bot soon so went ahead with this. Haven't looked at Atelfa's changes yet, intend to merge them as well after review. Lycurgus (talk) 00:24, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Expect that per the usual process here that or another maintainer will restore the bot at which point the archiving should kick in. Also at some point after that the indexing should be verified. (talk) 00:26, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Merged Atelfa's changes, there was only one which wasn't either a redlink or obviated by the merge. (talk) 00:48, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Restoration of Archive bot[edit]

It looks like there's a shakeout of the archivebot occurring so doing nothing, assume it will follow conventions of prior implementations so far as I know the parameters here are correct given that assumption. (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 19:46, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

I noticed on some high traffic articles about recent events that archiving was working so may be best to adjust to what one of them is doing. Lycurgus (talk) 03:53, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

*sex, love, beauty, and other strong positive emotions" (Formation)[edit]

In Formation: neither sex, love or beauty are emotions. Proposals: "sex, love, beauty or strong positive emotions"; "sex, love, beauty and other strong positive concepts" (unsatisfactory).

Also, a case can be made that not only strong *positive* emotions influence beliefs => "sex, love, beauty or strong emotions" might be the best phrasing.

Vinnie2k (talk) 13:59, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Messed up lede.[edit]

Want to explicitly distance myself from it as a major restructuring of the body of the article was performed by me a while back. That belief has not been treated generally in a variety of disciplines, is just flat false, the worst kind of thing you see often enough here, the basis of a justly deserved bad rep. Lycurgus (talk) 11:21, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Please be specific about what "that belief" refers to. Are you saying that "belief" has not been treated generally, or that some specific belief has not been treated generally. Thanks. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:07, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
lol, TWAJS, right? Seen ur nick b4 dunno if ur a site comedian or wat, pushed this onto later queue with other muggledy do. Lycurgus (talk) 00:26, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

No, I really wanted to know. I can't think of any other article where the first sentence is contradicted by the first reference. Rick Norwood (talk) 20:46, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Heidegger is neither a credible or authorative source of philosophy.[edit]

I deleted the section in the intro referring to the Nazi thinker Martin Heidegger whose "philosophy" has never been taken seriously by philosophers who study the concept of belief. He's more known among those who study the concept of being within the field of ontology among continental philosophers. And recently he's even been discredited in that field as fraudelent by his most ardent adherents. At least he should be considered too controversial in general, and too marginal in the field of the Philosophy of Mind to warrant such a promiment place in the intro of such a generic subject as this – beliefs. Perhaps a widely accepted psychologist, neurologist or a classical philosopher such as Plato would be better suited?

If contemporary views in Philosophy should be noted, than Stanford's Encyclopedia of Philosophy could serve as a guide. As a point of reference, Heidegger is never once mentioned in the entry on Belief. In fact, it would be considered quite bizarre to do so by most reputable scholars.

Best Regards. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:22, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

This is certainly contentious and as the author of the current composition of the article, want to distance myself from remarks above. I don't consider Heidegger "a Nazi philosopher" and without passing judgment on the merits of his work, it's certainly the case that he's one of the most influential philosophers of the prior century. Therefore from the point of view of Encyclopaedic tone/neutrality the § ought probably to be restored, but I don't recall it or it's content and not going to work this. Lycurgus (talk) 12:07, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

Motivations §[edit]

Since the restructure/merge this been tagged and looking at it it certainly could use a rewrite but what's there could be sourced, maybe belongs in another article. Lycurgus (talk) 05:06, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

With regards to a removed passage of two sentences[edit]


I just removed this passage below, and have no argument against anyone returning it to the article (i.e. I presume it is valid), but it is rather difficult to understand, and also would be much improved if the reader had at least reference to a source to see the context it is written in. Also I think people would benefit from not having to dig around for definitions of the word sentential, plus the statement is based on a discussion of belief in the context of one source MacIntosh, J. J. (1994). "Belief-in Revisited: A Reply to Williams". Religious Studies 30 (4): 487–503. doi:10.1017/S0034412500023131 (belief-in and belief-that), which surely is a view-point which is reasonable, but is only one view on belief, and shouldn't dominate the article.

Insofar as the truth of belief is expressed in sentential and propositional form we are using the sense of belief-that rather than belief-in. Delusion arises when the truth value of the form is clearly nil.

Delusion arises when the truth value of the form is clearly nil surely is an interesting and curious statement and maybe enlightening and insightful should someone understand it, eventually, but an encyclopedia is meant to inform people, not leave them intimidated by the sense someone else has a vastly superior intellect. "the truth value of the form is clearly nil" really is just a pile of nonsense to someone who doesn't have at least a degree in what-ever subject is necessary to understand (philosophy, psychiatry, psychology, or a everyday degree of mastery of psycho-babble or what-ever) Antrangelos (talk) 21:35, 8 August 2015 (UTC) - this is the only actual source material I could find in the link provided (the described link just shows a main page and no relevant information what-so-ever). Plus the article is actually categorized as Religious belief, which doesn't encompass belief period I think. Antrangelos (talk) 21:35, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Belief definition[edit]

I put it forward that epistemology's border between justified Belief and knowledge is blatant, it is ' Proof'. Without out proof it is belief, with proof it is knowledge. Justified belief is a calculated guess, when belief is just a guess. Belief is something we use when something is unknown, once known its no longer a belief. The discussions that come from this should be about what is ProofItalic text' .Not how much belief equals knowledge, this is erroneous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by NeilEdwards22 (talkcontribs) 12:04, 19 August 2015 (UTC)