Friday, October 11, 2013

Belief

Belief is the conviction that something is true or false.
  • I believe the Nancy Drew videogame series is awesome.
  • I don't believe soccer is an interesting sport.
  • "I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky. I think about it every night and day."--R. Kelly.
Belief is not the same as opinion.  Opinions are neither true or false, but beliefs can be true or false.

According to Plato, beliefs become knowledge when they are justified.  If you have a good reason for believing something, then your belief becomes knowledge.  For example, I believe Abrahamn Lincoln died in 1865.  I believe this, because I read it in a book.  This means I know Abraham Lincoln died in 1865, and I can confidently state that as a fact, not as an opinion or an unjustified belief.

Obviously, it is possible to have false knowledge. That is what you call it, when a person believes something which is not true.  It does not matter how justified their belief is; even if you have a good reason to believe something false, it is still false knowledge.

10% of the time, we believe things because we saw them or figured them out in our minds.  90% of the time, we believe things on the testimony of other people.  Those beliefs include everything that happened before you were born, and everything that happens outside of your current location.  You weren't around to see those things yourself, but you still believe they happened.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is so unsatisfying when you are tackling heavy subject matter but only cover little bits at a time. It just makes everything seem fragmented. I want more to gnaw on and mull over.

I know you're a busy bee, though, so thanks for discussing this at all.

Breanna;) said...

Well, I really appreciate your taking your time to discuss this Michael. It helps me to better understand things.

Thank you!

Kuhna said...

But Nancy Drew games being awesome and soccer being interesting are opinions, not beliefs ... right? In the colloquial tongue, the use of 'belief' is fine, but not if you're getting into the nitty-gritty of it.

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