Belief

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(belief vs. faith)
(expanding; might need to split off "degree of belief" section to own article? -- have to stop in middle; more to come...)
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'''Belief''', in simplest terms, is what the [[mind]] accepts as [[true]]. One can believe something to be true without having [[knowledge]] that it is true. Also, one can believe something to varying degrees of certainty (see also [[Probability]]).
 
'''Belief''', in simplest terms, is what the [[mind]] accepts as [[true]]. One can believe something to be true without having [[knowledge]] that it is true. Also, one can believe something to varying degrees of certainty (see also [[Probability]]).
  
Believing something without evidence is called [[faith]]. "Belief" does not always imply "faith," as one can believe something based on evidence. For example, one does not have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, since the fact that the sun rises every day is supported by a lifetime of personal experience, thousands of years worth of recorded observation, and a scientific model of the earth's rotation.
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==Degree of belief==
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Common phrases describing ones own degree of belief:
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* I ''know'' that
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* I ''believe'' that
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* I ''think'' that
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* I ''feel'' that
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* I [would] ''guess'' that
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* I [would] ''bet/wager'' that
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* I [would] ''like to think/believe'' that
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* I ''have no reason to doubt'' that
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* I ''have no reason not to believe/think'' that
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Common phrases describing the degree of believability of a statement of fact:
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* It is true
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* It is ''certainly'' true
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* It is ''surely'' true
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* It is ''almost certainly/surely'' true
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* It is ''most likely'' true
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* It is ''likely'' true
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* It is ''probably'' true
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* It is ''possibly'' true
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* It is ''perhaps'' true
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* It ''may be'' true
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* It ''might be'' true
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* It ''should be'' true
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* It ''can/could be'' true
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In addition, most of the above statements could be negated in two different ways, giving rise to different connotations. For example, "It is ''not likely'' [to be] true" is different from "It is ''likely not'' [to be] true".
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==Belief vs. faith==
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Believing something without evidence (or in the face of contradictory evidence) is often called ''[[faith]]''. "Belief" does not always imply "faith," as one can believe something based on evidence or other rational reasons (e.g., logical arguments).
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For example, one does not need to have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, since the [[fact]] that the sun rises every day is supported by a lifetime of personal experience, thousands of years worth of recorded observation, and a scientific model of the earth's rotation on its axis.
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==Belief ''in'' something==
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Having '''''belief in''''' something is different from simply having a ''belief''.
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==Believers==
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Calling someone a '''believer''' usually connotes belief in a god, especially the [[Christian]] God (in the U.S., anyway). Sometimes the belief is related to other claims, such as ESP or alien abduction.
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[[Category:Epistemology]]
 
[[Category:Epistemology]]

Revision as of 18:00, 20 May 2007

Belief, in simplest terms, is what the mind accepts as true. One can believe something to be true without having knowledge that it is true. Also, one can believe something to varying degrees of certainty (see also Probability).

Contents

Degree of belief

Common phrases describing ones own degree of belief:

  • I know that
  • I believe that
  • I think that
  • I feel that
  • I [would] guess that
  • I [would] bet/wager that
  • I [would] like to think/believe that
  • I have no reason to doubt that
  • I have no reason not to believe/think that

Common phrases describing the degree of believability of a statement of fact:

  • It is true
  • It is certainly true
  • It is surely true
  • It is almost certainly/surely true
  • It is most likely true
  • It is likely true
  • It is probably true
  • It is possibly true
  • It is perhaps true
  • It may be true
  • It might be true
  • It should be true
  • It can/could be true

In addition, most of the above statements could be negated in two different ways, giving rise to different connotations. For example, "It is not likely [to be] true" is different from "It is likely not [to be] true".

Belief vs. faith

Believing something without evidence (or in the face of contradictory evidence) is often called faith. "Belief" does not always imply "faith," as one can believe something based on evidence or other rational reasons (e.g., logical arguments).

For example, one does not need to have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, since the fact that the sun rises every day is supported by a lifetime of personal experience, thousands of years worth of recorded observation, and a scientific model of the earth's rotation on its axis.

Belief in something

Having belief in something is different from simply having a belief.

Believers

Calling someone a believer usually connotes belief in a god, especially the Christian God (in the U.S., anyway). Sometimes the belief is related to other claims, such as ESP or alien abduction.

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