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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)

I like this § and would like to retain it, but without sources it comes across as OR, a personal reflection. For that reason I intend to drop or move it in the merge with religious belief. Lycurgus (talk) 02:12, 4 November 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)

I guess your problem is with "Truth value"? k, the current text looks OK to me. Will come back for the merge requested. Did you also tag truth value? The first page search results show that your characterization (of "truth value" or it's use in a larger construct?) is false, or says something about the masses I don't think is necessarily the case, but are you speaking for them or what? Lycurgus (talk) 23:27, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Do see that the tag on the Truth Value article predates your account by a few years and there's only 1 ref, so it's justified. Lycurgus (talk) 00:49, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
So I see that you are a new editor and finding your way, sorry if I was lil sharp. However your edit will likely be reverted. Lycurgus (talk) 23:23, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

I suspect the problem may have been with the rather technical "sentential and propositional form". Rick Norwood (talk) 13:57, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Possibly, no way to tell without a direct response. I avoided an emphasis on logic and mathematics generally but there's an irreducible minimum of that. This isn't the simple English wiki and not using a possibly more broadly acceptable but more subject to misinterpretation np such as "logical form" is why it's like that. Lycurgus (talk) 07:49, 23 October 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)

Tag Response[edit]

As the author of the current merge will process the requested one in a similar fashion after a due interval. Lycurgus (talk) 23:23, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Draft of requested merge. Lycurgus (talk) 05:55, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Merge is complete. I believe the archiving will pick up the merge sources threads even as subthreads, if not will destructure so they're first level. Or not, it's not that big a talk page. Lycurgus (talk) 13:17, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

Merged from Religious Belief[edit]

Section on: Neurobiological findings on religious belief[edit]

The section bellow was once in the religion article together with the material that was mover here. The text is interesting, I wonder if it fits into the article. --Leinad ¬ Flag of Brazil.svg »saudações! 17:28, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Neurobiological findings on religious belief[edit]

"In the year 2005, some views have been proposed by a scientific approach to the physiological effects of religious experience in the human body. Neurobiological research [1] coupled with modern medical imaging, especially tomography, suggests a few things: it appears that serotonin is generated in some areas of the brain of people having religious experiences, and may have specific effects. These include the ability of believers to better cope with stressful situations. Viewed from the perspective of evolutionary psychology, this would suggest that in an uncontrolled environment, religious faith would objectively increase fitness for individuals."
"These views lead to very original conclusions. For the first time, the faith becomes a materially identifiable phenomenon, thus non-deniable on an objective basis. As a reaction to environmental stress, it could be re-named as an efficient survival strategy within a non-controllable environment. Subsequently, the religious behaviour seems to be an especially human attribute, enabled by the human brain complexity. Because environmental uncertainty is unlikely to disappear, so are religious belief."

I think I see what you are getting at. It seems only weakly tied to belief (only the last sentence, really). I also note that it is a verbatim quote. On both counts, it should be re-written--summarized and tied in better. Thoughts? Sunray 07:11, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, I've just decided that I will take a break of editing Wikipedia. I need to focus on some issues in real life right now. The quote will probably still be here when I get back, then I may think this further. May the Wiki be with you :-) --Leinad ¬ Flag of Brazil.svg »saudações! 22:59, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I looked at the article referred in the footnote. The current summary looks inaccurate. The study didn't look at brain activity in people during their spiritual experiences. It found differences in biological structure for people scoring highly on particular personality traits, which come together under the heading of "self-transcendence." The study had nothing to do with "religious belief."
The remainder, from "and may have specific effects" are not conclusions drawn from the study, so this should not be footnoted. The part about evolutionary biology is speculation, built upon a misinterpretation of the study. It's an enormous stretch to "religious faith...objectively increas[ing] fitness for individuals." The whole section should be deleted. 09:07, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I have had a look at this article and it definitely provides a link between brain physiology and the tendency towards religious belief. Given that most other statements in this article are unsupported, it should most definitely be included. Mike0001 (talk) 11:02, 21 February 2008 (UTC)


I am not surprised to find speculation of signs of hard-wired neuronal activity regarding belief. There have been some discussions amongst anthropologists regarding social evolution and survival of early man exhibiting burial rites and early religious rituals . Whether there is a genetic component in this behavior certainly can not be excluded by the imaging findings. It would be very interesting to see subjects with various degrees of religious belief and find differences in imaging. Is there a possibility belief is a biological trait. If it were true, and belief is hard-wired in the mind of modern man, than religious belief should not be viewed as a product of the conscious mind but an innate emotion. If religious belief is an innate emotion, it certainly is the significant scientific breakthrough of today. It would even shed some perspective regarding conflicts among various faiths. The University of Oxford is conducting a three year study since 2008 "Scientific study into religious belief launched" regarding this specific question, and what ever the outcome is, it should put rumors to rest once and for all...I believe.

--William Magdalin (talk) 17:19, 16 October 2010 (UTC) __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

References and the adherence/rejection sections[edit]

The sections on reasons for adherence/rejection should be referenced in accordance with Wikipedia:Verifiability as well as Wikipedia:Citing sources, which reads, "The need for citations is especially important when writing about opinions held on a particular issue. Avoid weasel words such as, 'Some people say…' Instead, make your writing verifiable: find a specific person or group who holds that opinion, mention them by name, and give a citation to a reputable publication in which they express that opinion." I don't think we need to cite individuals by name, but each claim should have at least one reference, even if it seems obvious. Citing sources will help us avoid straw men, and the process of looking for sources should reveal which aspects of religion most influence the respective stances of believers and unbelievers.

Also, I think we should try to find sources dealing with religion in general, keeping in mind that the religion English sites will tend to focus most on is Christianity ("why I am a Buddhist" gives me 64 hits on Google, compared to 42,800 for "why I am a Christian"). And we should probably focus on the deciding factor(s) of adherence and rejection (while mentioning lesser factors as the article currently does). — Elembis 04:17, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

I have tagged the article accordingly, though the tag implies that original research is acceptable, since it is ambiguous. Mike0001 (talk) 11:04, 21 February 2008 (UTC)


Four of the five images in this article are related to Hinduism. That seems a little out of wack given that the page talks about all religious belief.. I will be replacing some of the Hinduism pictures with those of Christianity and Buddhism. -- Jeff3000 17:02, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Ok, now we have a single image for Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Much better representing different religious belief. -- Jeff3000 17:19, 3 June 2006 (UTC)


There seem to be quite a few errors and ambiguities (e.g. universalism is also a christian belief that everyone gets saved, as believed by most liberal christians). Do we need expert help with the article?

Modern Reasons/Childhood Indoctrination[edit]

Under "Modern reasons for rejection of religion":

"Childhood indoctrination and ethics": Many atheists, agnostics, and others see early childhood education in religion and spirituality as a form of brainwashing or social conditioning, essentially concurring with the Marxian view that "religion is the opiate of the masses", with addiction to it fostered when people are too young to choose.

There's a lot wrong with this.

First, religion is the opiate of the masses should not be in quotes -- this is a misquote of Marx.

What Marx actually wrote is: "Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."

Second, from that quote, it's clear that by the phrase "the opium of the people," Marx meant that oppressed people turn to religion because it relieves their pain, not that religion is an addiction.

Third, neither the correct nor the incorrect version of Marx here have anything to do with the topic at hand, which is "Childhood indoctrination and ethics." What's being addressed here is the view that religious belief is sustained, at least in part, through childhood indoctrination rather than rational choice. It's a real stretch to call this a "Marxian" view.

Fourth, to call this idea "Marxian" is not NPOV. The call this a "Marxian" view is to call those holding it "Marxists." Given the unpopularity of Marxists, and the fact that the application of the label is so strained, it's hard to see this as anything other than a smear.

I plan to remove this reference to Marx from this section. I may add a section under "Modern Reasons..." about Marx's critique of religion. I wanted to document my reasons in advance, and to hear any counter-arguments offered. 08:32, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

"'I don't know that atheists should be regarded as citizens"[edit]

I've removed this quote, attributed to GHW Bush, as a blp concern, in response to comment on Talke: Separation of Church and State about its dubious sourcing. -- Vary | Talk 08:39, 20 November 2007 (UTC) - Link-marketing?[edit]

I removed the link to because it seems to be the Facebook or MySpace of creating your own religion. The link is to a website with no established resources on faith; it seems to be marketing and was added by someone not logged in. If anyone thinks it's relevant, please note why here rather than simply restoring it without explanation. Tiresias BC (talk) 22:06, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

article scope[edit]

The article makes no or a very weak attempt at distinguishing religions belief form adherence or religions faith in general. These concepts are very different indeed. Belief is an intellectual performance found in "literate", codified book religions, diametrally opposed to "pagan" religion where adherence is defined by the performance of rituals. Even in Christianity, you can easily be a practicing Christian (essentially, attend mass, take the eucharist) without any intellectual belief whatsoever. The article needs to be much more explicit about this distinction, and much material that is at present included is in fact offtopic. Many examples given concern religious worship, not belief. --dab (𒁳) 09:21, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Bill Gates[edit]

I remeber reading in an interview of Bill Gates that he said something about having better things to do on a Sunday than attend the church. Would it be appropriate to link to Bill Gates in the Opportunity cost bullet of the modern reasons against religion section with a reference? NerdyNSK (talk) 07:25, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

It would be best to provide a citation quoting Gates making this statement. Sunray (talk) 21:03, 20 September 2008 (UTC)


who have what this article calls "religious belief" do not "believe" as such. we KNOW GOD IS REAL PRAISE THE LORD JESUS. reference to "religious belief" is tolerated as a polite courtesy to heathens. there will be no such politeness on wikipedia. we will tell the truth about our savior for all to hear. glory glory halleleujiah. Codigo'll aka Huh? 15:00, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Islam & pluralism[edit]

On religious pluralism the article states: "People with pluralist beliefs make no distinction between faith systems, viewing each one as valid within a particular culture".

I removed quote from Koran, al-Baqara verse 62, as it cannot be interpreted as endorsement of other religions existing after the message of Islam appeared. Islam claims exclusivity of religious truth for all time after the revelation of Koran cf. Sura al-Imran verse 85 and al-Maidah verse 3.

Aksel89 (talk) 15:45, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

life in tajikistan[edit]

ne how —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Modern reasons for rejection of religion?[edit]

I fail to see any points, under the section "Modern reasons for rejection of religion", which are modern in any way. All of them are old. Ancient. About as old as religion, I'd say-- (talk) 14:11, 11 December 2010 (UTC).

Belief much more than simply a mental state[edit]

I gave a RS that shows belief is much more than only mental. Yes, it's 100 years old, which shows this is historically founded, and how the English language has used belief in a religious context traditionally. I don't think this is even controversial: for believers, faith is also in the heart (i.e. a conviction or persuasion), which is what the RS shows. I just added this in addition to the mental statement, and think both should be included. Let's not have a battle over every little minor thing, please. :) WP will be much more enjoyable if we all try to work together, which sometimes may require some compromise. WalkerThrough (talk) 21:08, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Note that verifiability is a requirement for inclusion, not a guarantee of inclusion. Wikipedia has additional requirements from other policies and guidelines. How do you think this would improve the article? KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 22:58, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
It would improve the article because people want to know what is the truth about Religious belief. The truth veritably and able to be verified is that belief extends much beyond mental assent. People ought to know to have a good Encyclopedic explanation/definition of the word. Let's all try to get along. This is not a major thing to fight over. This is pretty obvious to...believers. WalkerThrough (talk) 23:15, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The acceptance of something as truth is a mental state, since the mind is what accepts it. Without thought, there can be no belief, so belief of any sort is a state of the mind (mentis). Convictions and persuasions are in the mind as well. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:42, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
What I said does not disagree with you. I am agreeing that it includes the mind, but that it extends beyond the mind to the heart (where deep seated beliefs are). We are not here to debate philosophy. There is a RS that addresses the issue and should be included. This is adding helpful information and an improvement for the article. WalkerThrough (talk) 00:44, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
The heart only pumps blood, and its capacity for thought is pretty much non-existant. If you are refering to the heart as a metaphor for emotional states, emotions are seated in the mind, and are just another type of mental state. Attempting to push thought outside of the mind into other areas only expands the mind's boundaries.
If we are not here to debate philosophy, then we must stick what what is observable. Any sort of thought beyond the mind is not observable, and beliefs are thoughts. To try and place thoughts anywhere else is going beyond science and psychology, into animism: the idea that we each possess some sort of second unobservable body and mind that is somehow more our truer selves than what ourselves which we currently observe. Occam's razor and WP:V would have us just assume that the soul, the "heart," the mind, etc are the same thing: that which thinks. So, any beliefs, thoughts, understandings, or what have you, that occupy such an observable but immaterial part of us would be mental in nature. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:04, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
In response to your edit summary: Improvement does not always equal adding. Vandals (I am not calling you a vandal) add stuff as well. It is the quality of what is added that determines whether something is an improvement. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:04, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Bias anyone? Adherence/Rejection sections[edit]

The adherence/rejection sections seem to be heavily biased in favor of atheism/agnosticism. The adherence section seems to talk about the adherents in the third person and what they believe (but the author does not necessarily) while the rejection section seems to argue its points in the first person as if they are absolute truth. It even directly accuses believers of discrimination (with respect to homosexuality and speciesism). The rejection section also gets much more space to argue its points and is far too wordy (especially in the last section). There's even a bullet point repeated verbatim in both sections ("Crisis of faith"). The formatting isn't even up to snuff: the title of each bullet point is just placed in quotation marks instead of set apart (by bolding it or something) from the rest of the text. I wholeheartedly agree with the tags above those sections: they need to be rewritten. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:55, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

The final point under the rejection section seems to be a philosophical argument for rejecting religion. Does it belong on this page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:35, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Haven't looked at this but first impression is probably belongs in apostasy. Lycurgus (talk) 01:36, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Merge Tagging[edit]

The discussion for this was apparently automatically set to the merge target. Appears small enough to go, intend to carry the current tagging into the target unless whatever the issue(s) are are also addressed with the merge. Belief is belief, doubtless there are faith and other distinctly religion related article spaces too, not looked closely at content here, am familiar with the target. I think the norm is for the discussion to occur in one place but wanted there to be notice here. Lycurgus (talk) 23:55, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Changed my mind on the tagging, after looking a little closer. They are probably stale and rather not carry downlevel text into the merge target, the bulk of the article can merge unchanged. The last §§ may have issues. Thinking they maybe should be dropped or go to apostasy, other titles. Lycurgus (talk) 22:37, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Actually last two §§ should be OK with a reduction in size of the second one moving some of the text to footnote. Lycurgus (talk) 02:01, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Systems overview section removed by mobile IP edit[edit]

This was reverted before the merge. Spurious complaint asking for what was in the prior subsection. Lycurgus (talk) 13:06, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

Spurious was wrong, complaint was substantive but action taken was overreaching. Lycurgus (talk) 13:48, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

Etymology of "doctrine"[edit]

Sorry, but the word 'doctrine' derives directly from Latin 'doctrina', related to the verb 'docere' = 'to teach'. It's possibly indirectly related to Greek 'δόξα' if one goes back several thousand years and jumps branches in the Indoeuropean language family, but there's no direct etymological relationship. I suggest removing this sentence or using an English word that does derive from 'δόξα' such as 'orthodoxy'. I've therefore replaced 'doctrine' with 'orthodoxy' in the sentence.Tdbostick (talk) 17:18, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

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