What is belief?

Ktulu
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What is belief?

 

 This is post from a philosophy forum that I frequent:

"What is belief? What is the function of belief? Is belief truth? Is truth belief? Why do people think their own belief trumps the belief of another person? This is about all belief systems. I hate long orations so keep it concise and to the point. 

I believe in live and let live. I believe the function of belief for humans is to realize the concept of live and let live. I believe belief is the sum total of ones accumulation of learned and processed information, whether or not that learned and processed information is true or not. I believe my belief of live and let live only trumps beliefs that bring premature death, death, or pain on purpose to others."

 

This is my reply to the post:

"I would define belief as the ability to rationalize that which cannot be proven without doubt. I would also venture to say that everything beyond "cogito ergo sum" would require some degree of belief.

The function of belief, within the above definition is to allow humans to cope with an uncertain and dynamic universe. We would not be able to function if we required absolute knowledge of any one given proposition. At one point we have to accept the current 99.9999% of knowledge as sufficient and allow for the 0.00001% of belief.

I would venture to say that belief would be perceived truth. People used to believe that the earth is flat, and that the sun revolves around the earth. As for the second part, I'm not sure that I understand how truth can be belief... 

People likely favor their set of beliefs as an evolutionary advantage to aid survival. You have a better chance of survival if you operate from a perceived certain paradigm. If you continually change your beliefs, you are likely to think that a bears are docile bee keepers that will offer you honey and hang out with you. It is better that you stick to your belief that bears will kill you on sight and run, even if you're wrong, at least you're alive."

 

 

What do you guys think?

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


cj
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k=jb

From dictionary.com

Quote:

belief - bih-leef noun

1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.

2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.

3. confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.

4. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.

(I stripped out all of the html code in this quote, so it does not look like an exact copy because it isn't exact.)

Knowledge = justified belief

Your beliefs should be justified - repeatable, verifiable patterns are truths.  The collection of repeatable, verifiable truths you have garnered constitutes your knowledge about reality.  Your epistemology should be based on k=jb.  - Philosophy (at least as Pete Boghossian "believes." )

Attitude - A favorable or unfavorable evaluative reaction toward something or someone.  Often rooted on one's beliefs, exhibited in one's feelings and intended behavior. Your behaviors are usually not a perfect reflection of your attitudes and beliefs.  -Psychology

I would add that beliefs are a shortcut - once you have done all the justification you feel is necessary, you then "believe" and don't bother with continuing research.  This is good news and bad news.  It saves time - why waste time trying to figure out if the way we determine time is either accurate enough or not?  For getting to work, doing your assignments, fixing dinner, close enough is good enough.  For doing precise physics (or similar) experiments, you likely need to spend a little more time on time.

It is bad, in that if our research is flawed, we may have a belief that is not in line with reality.  And therefore, we could be making decisions based on unjustified beliefs that cost us time, money, resources, maybe even health or our lives. 

To respond directly, however, I believe "live and let live" can get us into trouble.  Some of the letting other people live may lead to consequences that are less than optimal for the rest of us. 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


digitalbeachbum
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It is my belief that all

It is my belief that all beliefs are opinions; and that's my opinon.


Ktulu
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cj wrote:Knowledge =

cj wrote:

Knowledge = justified belief

Your beliefs should be justified - repeatable, verifiable patterns are truths.  The collection of repeatable, verifiable truths you have garnered constitutes your knowledge about reality.  Your epistemology should be based on k=jb.  - Philosophy (at least as Pete Boghossian "believes." ) 

*disclaimer... not sober

Knowledge may be justified belief, but justification is itself a rationalization, which in turn would be an attempt to forcefully fit your perceived phenomena into your paradigm.  

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


cj
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Ktulu wrote:cj

Ktulu wrote:

cj wrote:

Knowledge = justified belief

Your beliefs should be justified - repeatable, verifiable patterns are truths.  The collection of repeatable, verifiable truths you have garnered constitutes your knowledge about reality.  Your epistemology should be based on k=jb.  - Philosophy (at least as Pete Boghossian "believes." ) 

*disclaimer... not sober

Knowledge may be justified belief, but justification is itself a rationalization, which in turn would be an attempt to forcefully fit your perceived phenomena into your paradigm.  

 

*disclaimer ... have not been drunk in too long.

Justification should be the scientific method - even for your own personal beliefs.  That is not to say we are not prone to all of those nasty fallacies - belief perseverance, confirmation bias, etc.  We should be aware of same and consciously fight these tendencies.

Some days I am admittedly better at this than others.  We all are.  We should make the attempt to base our beliefs on repeatable, verifiable evidence - a rational justification.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.