Belief is when you *think* you know and knowing is... well, when you *know* you know. Where does the need to believe in, well, anything comes from is another matter. Many people live in self-delusions because they need to believe in something or someone without any facts to support such claims. Why, i have no idea as i don't believe in anything that i can't confirm with my own observations or logic. If i am unsure of something i'm content in admitting that i don't know.
Hmmm... beliefs. I can say that apart from a few temporary statements that I'm attached to or convinced of, even though I may say I "believe", I simply don't really believe in them. The words "I believe" is simply used by me for grabbing people's attention, for emphasizing certain things or simply, a play at what people think as "beliefs". I use the word "belief" to represent statements and ideas and perceptions I hold for a while, before I'm forced to abandon them or rework them. Or only when I'm feeling extremely cynical or depressed and feel like going for a temporary "emotional ride" before I abandon them. Or when I want to explain something to someone and don't feel like delivering a 20 page thesis. Or quite simply, when I know the other person just is incapable of grasping that huge motherload of logic I use. Or when I'm unable to find a proper word or thought to label something under.
Because for me, I come across so much information once every few days, that it quite simply repeatedly reprograms my sense of reality: sometimes altering it, challenging it or even tearing apart everything. These bits of information all come from different perspectives and fields: medicine, science, geography, history, different groups of people, etc.
To say that I "believe", would probably require me to abandon logic, rationality, information, humanity, etc. and to adapt statements and stands that would never change or not change much. Therefore, things to me are always defined as "perceptions", "thoughts", "concepts", "actions", "consequences", "the total sum of this and that", etc., etc. that belong to either me or to others, in terms of time periods, faiths, cultures, sub-cultures, etc, occupations, etc.
And I judge or measure people and concepts by reliability, usefulness, logic(well the logic sets that I know of or can recall at that singular moment), how they treat themselves/others, their actions, their intentions, etc., etc. So yes, I abandoned the concepts of "belief", of "trust" and stuff like that. Why bother stating I "believe" when every 10 to 20 to ___ days, I'm going to come back with a set of altered statements and come off sounding as someone foolish?
The "me" before would be like this. Yes, everything below is likely about the former "me":
To "believe" would require me to analyze, observe and perceive said subject for a period of time, before I can actually arrive at a conclusion that would lead me to believe in a theory or a statement. However, my beliefs change all the time as I come across new information, as I see things from different angles and so on. Also, I understand that what I "believe" is not always true but until I can come across new information, new methods that will change my beliefs, I will just simply keep these beliefs but not tell the world. Upon the moment when I start to realize that my belief is in no way accurate, I will just either keep it and demote it to an observation, a perception, a piece of information, etc. or simply abandon it.
A very simple example of how I can arrive at beliefs: I used to eat fast food all the time. I did not believe too much in health, nutrition and so forth. But then, I fell tremendously ill. The doctors were either unable to or uninterested in helping me and their medicine was mostly useless. So, I started to learn more about nutrition, vitamins, medicine(modern, alternative, etc.), etc. and all these information helped shape some of my views and beliefs about the human body.
And another example: I used to believe the sky was simply "light blue" until I found out that the colors perceived by others through their eyes, are not always the same as mine. Same for scent, taste, touch, etc.
I hold beliefs out of xenophobia, cultural beliefs, fascism, superstition, "weird concepts" about aliens and so forth. Seriously, do not ask me how I came to believe, at one time, that flying saucers existed!
Yes, yours truly actually tampered with a gazillion faiths/branches of faiths(either by joining or reading about them and considering conversion): Christianity, Satanism, Buddhism, Islam, European pagan faiths, voodoo-based faiths, tarot-based faiths, etc., etc.
i know this is an old post but what the hell.
simply, isn't belief just the extension of the way a child must innately trust it's caregiver in order to survive?
adult beliefs are when the person has not outgrown that trait, not broken through their superego, which comes in during those young formative years.
that is my summation. they have not outgrown the need to be parented, going from mum to god etc.
it is possible to be totally without belief when you deconstruct all that you are taught in those early years. things like hope still find their way into your psyche from time to time, but free from belief, rationality becomes the most dominant force in your life.
Interesting thoughts trouble. It would seem that belief is tossed around and used in different connotations. For example, people often say, "you gotta believe in yourself to achieve anything." I would say that "envisioning" an outcome and "believing in something" are often misconstrued. For example, envisioning a desired outcome has been shown to be a successful technique in helping many athletes achieve goals. So has hard work and practice but it is often the ability to push the limits of what we "believed" were our limitations. So there is a certain kind of belief that I would say is valuable, however the "Constructed belief systems" we're taught as children can become hindrances as we grow older. One of my favorite quotes from the Principia Discordia is "I firmly believe that nothing should be firmly believed."