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Belief is the state of "mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty. Another way of defining belief sees it as a "mental representation of an "attitude positively oriented towards the "likelihood of something being "true.[1] In the context of "Ancient Greek thought, two related concepts were identified with regards to the concept of belief: "pistis and "doxa. Simplified, we may say that pistis refers to "trust" and "confidence", while doxa refers to "opinion" and "acceptance". The English word ""orthodoxy" derives from doxa. Jonathan Leicester suggests that belief has the purpose of guiding action rather than indicating "truth.[2]

In "epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to personal attitudes associated with "true or false ideas and concepts. However, "belief" does not require active introspection and circumspection. For example, we never ponder whether or not the sun will rise. We simply assume the sun will rise. Since "belief" is an important aspect of mundane life, according to Eric Schwitzgebel in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, a related question asks: "how a physical organism can have beliefs?"[3]

A "Venn/"Euler diagram which grants that "truth and well-justified belief may be distinguished and that a part of their "intersection is "knowledge["citation needed]


Knowledge and epistemology[edit]

"Epistemology is concerned with delineating the boundary between justified belief and "opinion,[4] and involved generally with a theoretical philosophical study of "knowledge. The primary problem in epistemology is to understand exactly what is needed in order for us to have knowledge. In a notion derived from "Plato's dialogue "Theaetetus, where the epistemology of Socrates (Platon) most clearly departs from that of the "sophists, who at the time of Plato seem to have defined knowledge as what is here expressed as ""justified true belief". The tendency to translate from belief (here: doxa - common opinion) to knowledge (here: episteme), which Plato (e.g. "Socrates of the dialogue) utterly dismisses, results from failing to distinguish a "dispositive belief (gr. 'doxa', not 'pistis') from knowledge (episteme) when the opinion is regarded true (here: orthé), in terms of right, and juristically so (according to the premises of the dialogue), which was the task of the "rhetors to prove. Plato dismisses this possibility of an affirmative relation between belief (i.e. opinion) and knowledge even when the one who opines grounds his belief on the rule, and is able to add justification (gr. logos: reasonable and necessarily plausible assertions/evidence/guidance) to it [3].[5] It is important to keep in mind that the sort of belief in the context of Theaetetus is not derived from the theological concept of belief, which is pistis, but "doxa, which in theological terms refers to acceptance in the form of praise and glory.["citation needed]

Strangely, or not, Plato has been credited for the "justified true belief" theory of knowledge, even though Plato in the "Theaetetus (dialogue) elegantly dismisses it, and even posits this argument of Socrates as a cause for his death penalty . Among American epistemologists, "Gettier (1963)[6] and "Goldman (1967),[7] have questioned the "justified true belief" definition, and challenged the "sophists" of their time.

As a psychological phenomenon[edit]

Mainstream psychology and related disciplines have traditionally treated belief as if it were the simplest form of mental representation and therefore one of the building blocks of conscious thought. Philosophers have tended to be more abstract in their analysis, and much of the work examining the viability of the belief concept stems from philosophical analysis.

The concept of belief presumes a subject (the believer) and an object of belief (the proposition). So, like other "propositional attitudes, belief implies the existence of mental states and "intentionality, both of which are hotly debated topics in the "philosophy of mind, whose foundations and relation to brain states are still controversial.

Beliefs are sometimes divided into "core beliefs (that are actively thought about) and "dispositional beliefs (that may be ascribed to someone who has not thought about the issue). For example, if asked "do you believe tigers wear pink pajamas?" a person might answer that they do not, despite the fact they may never have thought about this situation before.[8]

This has important implications for understanding the "neuropsychology and "neuroscience of belief. If the concept of belief is incoherent, then any attempt to find the underlying neural processes that support it will fail.

Philosopher "Lynne Rudder Baker has outlined four main contemporary approaches to belief in her controversial book Saving Belief:[9]

Strategic approaches make a distinction between rules, norms and beliefs as follows: (1) Rules. Explicit regulative processes such as policies, laws, inspection routines, or incentives. Rules function as a coercive regulator of behavior and are dependent upon the imposing entity’s ability to enforce them. (2) Norms. Regulative mechanisms accepted by the social collective. Norms are enforced by normative mechanisms within the organization and are not strictly dependent upon law or regulation. (3) Beliefs. The collective perception of fundamental truths governing behavior. The adherence to accepted and shared beliefs by members of a social system will likely persist and be difficult to change over time. Strong beliefs about determinant factors (i.e., security, survival, or honor) are likely to cause a social entity or group to accept rules and norms.[10]

Epistemological belief compared to religious belief[edit]

Historically belief-in belonged in the realm of religious thought, belief-that instead belonged to epistemological considerations.[11]


To "believe in" someone or something is a distinct concept from "believing-that." There are at least these types of belief-in:[12]


Economical belief[edit]

Economic beliefs are beliefs which are reasonably and necessarily contrary to the tenet of rational choice or instrumental rationality.[14]

Studies of the Austrian tradition of the economic thought, in the context of analysis of the influence and subsequent degree of change resulting from existing economic knowledge and belief, has contributed the most to the subsequent holistic collective analysis.[15]


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.[16][17][18]

Delusions are defined as beliefs in "psychiatric diagnostic criteria[19] (for example in the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Psychiatrist and historian "G.E. Berrios has challenged the view that delusions are genuine beliefs and instead labels them as "empty speech acts," where affected persons are motivated to express false or bizarre belief statements due to an underlying psychological disturbance. However, the majority of mental health professionals and researchers treat delusions as if they were genuine beliefs.

In "Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking-Glass the "White Queen says, "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." This is often quoted in mockery of the common ability of people to "entertain beliefs contrary to fact.


We are influenced by many factors that ripple through our minds as our beliefs form, evolve, and may eventually change

Psychologists study belief formation and the relationship between beliefs and actions. Three models of belief formation and change have been proposed:

The conditional inference process[edit]

When people are asked to estimate the likelihood that a statement is true, they search their memory for information that has implications for the validity of this statement. Once this information has been identified, they estimate a) the likelihood that the statement would be true if the information were true, and b) the likelihood that the statement would be true if the information were false. If their estimates for these two probabilities differ, people average them, weighting each by the likelihood that the information is true and false (respectively). Thus, information bears directly on beliefs of another, related statement.[20]

Linear models of belief formation[edit]

Unlike the previous model, this one takes into consideration the possibility of multiple factors influencing belief formation. Using regression procedures, this model predicts belief formation on the basis of several different pieces of information, with weights assigned to each piece on the basis of their relative importance.[20]

Information processing models of belief formation and change[edit]

These models address the fact that the responses people have to belief-relevant information is unlikely to be predicted from the objective basis of the information that they can recall at the time their beliefs are reported. Instead, these responses reflect the number and meaning of the thoughts that people have about the message at the time that they encounter it.[20]

Some influences on people's belief formation include:

However, even educated people, well aware of the process by which beliefs form, still strongly cling to their beliefs, and act on those beliefs even against their own self-interest. In Anna Rowley's book, Leadership Therapy, she states "You want your beliefs to change. It's proof that you are keeping your eyes open, living fully, and welcoming everything that the world and people around you can teach you." This means that peoples' beliefs should evolve as they gain new experiences.[27]

Justified true belief[edit]

Justified true belief is a definition of "knowledge that gained approval during the "Enlightenment, 'justified' standing in contrast to 'revealed'. There have been attempts to trace it back to "Plato and his dialogues.["clarification needed][28] The concept of justified true belief states that in order to know that a given proposition is true, one must not only believe the relevant true proposition, but also have justification for doing so. In more formal terms, an agent knows that a proposition is true "if and only if:

  1. is true
  2. believes that is true, and
  3. is justified in believing that is true

This theory of knowledge suffered a significant setback with the discovery of "Gettier problems, situations in which the above conditions were seemingly met but that many philosophers disagree that anything is known.[29] "Robert Nozick suggested["year needed] a "clarification of "justification" which he believed eliminates the problem: the justification has to be such that were the justification false, the knowledge would be false. Bernecker and Dretske (2000) argue that "no epistemologist since Gettier has seriously and successfully defended the traditional view.".[30]:3 On the other hand, Paul Boghossian argues that the Justified True Belief account is the "standard, widely accepted" definition of knowledge [31]


An extensive amount of scientific research and philosophical discussion exists around the modification of beliefs, which is commonly referred to as belief revision. Generally speaking, the process of belief revision entails the believer weighing the set of truths and/or evidence, and the dominance of a set of truths or evidence on an alternative to a held belief can lead to revision. One process of belief revision is "Bayesian updating and is often referenced for its mathematical basis and conceptual simplicity. However, such a process may not be representative for individuals whose beliefs are not easily characterized as probabilistic.

There are several techniques for individuals or groups to change the beliefs of others; these methods generally fall under the umbrella of "persuasion. Persuasion can take on more specific forms such as "consciousness raising when considered in an activist or political context. Belief modification may also occur as a result of the experience of outcomes. Because "goals are based, in part on beliefs, the success or failure at a particular goal may contribute to modification of beliefs that supported the original goal.

Whether or not belief modification actually occurs is dependent not only on the extent of truths or evidence for the alternative belief, but also characteristics outside the specific truths or evidence. This includes, but is not limited to: the source characteristics of the message, such as "credibility; "social pressures; the anticipated consequences of a modification; or the ability of the individual or group to act on the modification. Therefore, individuals seeking to achieve belief modification in themselves or others need to consider all possible forms of resistance to belief revision.


Without qualification, "belief" normally implies a lack of "doubt, especially insofar as it is a designation of a "life stance. In practical everyday use however, belief is normally partial and retractable with varying degrees of certainty.

A copious literature exists in multiple disciplines to accommodate this reality. In mathematics "probability, "fuzzy logic, "fuzzy set theory, and other topics are largely directed to this.


Different psychological models have tried to predict people's beliefs and some of them try to estimate the exact probabilities of beliefs. For example, "Robert Wyer developed a model of subjective probabilities.[32][33] When people rate the likelihood of a certain statement (e.g., "It will rain tomorrow"), this rating can be seen as a subjective probability value. The subjective probability model posits that these subjective probabilities follow the same rules as objective probabilities. For example, the "law of total probability might be applied to predict a subjective probability value. Wyer found that this model produces relatively accurate predictions for probabilities of single events and for changes in these probabilities, but that the probabilities of several beliefs linked by "and" or "or" do not follow the model as well.[32][33]


""Religion collage updated.jpg

Religious belief refers to attitudes towards "mythological, "supernatural, or "spiritual aspects of a "religion. Religious belief is distinct from "religious practice or "religious behaviours with some believers not practicing "religion and some practitioners not believing religion. Religious beliefs, being derived from ideas that are exclusive to religion, often relate to the existence, characteristics and worship of a "deity or deities, "divine intervention in the "universe and human life, or the "deontological explanations for the values and practices centered on the teachings of a spiritual leader or group. In contrast to other "belief systems, religious beliefs are usually "codified.[34]

Forms of religious belief[edit]

While it is popularly conceived that religions each have identifiable and exclusive sets of beliefs or "creeds, surveys of religious belief have often found that the official doctrine and descriptions of the beliefs offered by "religious authorities do not always agree with the privately held beliefs of those who identify as members of a particular religion.[35] A broad classification of the kinds of religious belief is documented below.


First self-applied as a term to the conservative doctrine outlined by anti-modernist "Protestants in the United States of America,[36] fundamentalism as a religious belief is associated with a strict adherence to an interpretation of scriptures that are generally associated with theologically conservative positions or traditional understandings of the text and are distrustful of innovative readings, new revelation, or alternate interpretations. Religious fundamentalism has been identified in the media as being associated with "fanatical or "zealous political movements around the world that have used a strict adherence to a particular religious doctrine as a means to establish political identity and enforce societal norms.


First used in the context of "Early Christianity, orthodoxy is a religious belief that closely follows the edicts, apologies, and hermeneutics of a prevailing religious authority. In the case of Early Christianity, this authority was the communion of bishops, and is often referred to by the term "Magisterium. The term orthodox was applied almost as an epithet to a group of Jewish believers who held to pre-Enlightenment understanding of Judaism and now known as "Orthodox Judaism. The "Eastern Orthodox Church of Christianity, as well as the "Catholic Church, consider themselves to be the true heir to the Early Christian belief and practice. The antonym of orthodox is "heterodox and those adhering to orthodoxy often accuse the heterodox of "apostasy, "schism, or "heresy.


The "Renaissance and later the "Enlightenment in Europe were associated with varying degrees of "religious tolerance and intolerance towards new religious ideas. The "Philosophes took particular exception to many of the more fantastical claims of religions and directly challenged religious authority and the prevailing beliefs associated with the established churches. In response to the liberalizing political and social movements, some religious groups attempted to integrate Enlightenment ideals of rationality, equality, and individual liberty into their belief systems, especially into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. "Reform Judaism and "Liberal Christianity are two examples of such religious associations.


A term signifying derogation that is used by the religious and non-religious alike, superstition is the deprecated belief in supernatural causation. Those who deny the existence of the supernatural generally attribute all beliefs associated with it to be superstitious while a typical religious critique of superstition holds that it either encompasses beliefs in non-existent supernatural activity or that the supernatural activity is inappropriately feared or held in improper regard (see "idolatry). "Occultism, "animism, "paganism, and other "folk religions were strongly condemned by Christian Churches as mean forms of superstition, though such condemnation did not necessarily eliminate the beliefs among the common people and many such religious beliefs persist to today.


In Buddhism, practice and progress along the spiritual path happens when one follows the system of "Buddhist practice. Any religion which follows (parts of) the fundamentals of this system has, according to the teachings of Buddha, good aspects to the extent it accords with this system. Any religion which goes against (parts of) the fundamentals of this system, includes bad aspects too. Any religion which does not teach certain parts of this system, is not because of this a 'bad' religion; it just lacks those teachings and is to that extent incomplete.

A question by the monk Subhadda to the Buddha:

"O Gotama, there are "Samanas (wandering monks) and "Brahmanas (religious leaders) who are leaders of their sects, who are well-esteemed by many people, such as Purana Kassapa, Makkhali Gosala, Ajita Kesakambala, Pakudha Kaccayana, Sancaya Belatthaputta and "Nigantha Nataputta. Do all of them have knowledge and understanding as they themselves have declared? Or do all of them have no knowledge and understanding?"

The reply by Buddha was:

"Subhadda, in whatever teaching is not found the "Noble Eightfold Path, neither in it is there found a Samana of the "first stage, nor a Samana of the "second stage, nor a Samana of the "third stage, nor a Samana of the "fourth stage."

As a religious tradition, "Hinduism has experienced many attempts at systemization. In medieval times, "Shankara advocated for the "Advaita system of philosophy. In recent times, "Tamala Krishna Gosvami has researched the systemization of "Krishna theology as expounded by "Srila Prabhupada. (See "Krishnology)


Some believe that religion cannot be separated from other aspects of life, or believe that certain cultures did not or do not separate their religious activities from other activities in the same way that some people in modern "Western cultures do.

Some "anthropologists["who?] report cultures in which gods are involved in every aspect of life - if a cow goes dry, a god has caused this, and must be propitiated, when the sun rises in the morning, a god has caused this, and must be thanked. Even in modern Western cultures, many people see supernatural forces behind every event, as described by "Carl Sagan in his book "The Demon-Haunted World.

People with this worldview often consider the influence of Western culture to be inimical. Others with this world view resist the influence of "science, and believe that science, or "so-called science", should be guided by religion. Still others with this worldview believe that all political decisions and laws should be guided by religion. This last belief is written into the constitution of many "Islamic nations, and is shared by some "fundamentalist Christians.

In addition, beliefs about the "supernatural or "metaphysical may not presuppose a difference between any such thing as "nature and non-nature, nor between science and what the most educated people believe. In the view of some historians["who?], the pre-"Socratic "Athenians saw "science, political "tradition, "culture and religion as not easily distinguishable, but all part of the same body of "knowledge and "wisdom available to a "community.

Approaches to the beliefs of others[edit]

Adherents of particular religions deal with the differing doctrines and practices espoused by other religions in a variety of ways. All strains of thought appear in different segments of all major world religions.


People with exclusivist beliefs typically explain other religions as either in error, or as corruptions or counterfeits of the true faith. This approach is a fairly consistent feature among smaller "new religious movements that often rely on doctrine that claims a unique "revelation by the founder or leaders, and consider it a matter of faith that the religion has a monopoly on truth. All three major Abrahamic monotheistic religions have passages in their holy scriptures that attest to the primacy of the scriptural testimony and indeed monotheism itself is often couched as an innovation characterized specifically by its explicit rejection of earlier polytheistic faiths.

Some exclusivist faiths incorporate a specific element of "proselytization. This is a strongly held belief in the Christian tradition which follows the doctrine of the "Great Commission, and is less emphasized by the Islamic faith where the "Quranic edict "There shall be no compulsion in religion" (2:256) is often quoted as a justification for toleration of alternative beliefs, while the "Jewish tradition is one that does not actively seek out converts.

Exclusivism correlates with conservative, fundamentalist, and orthodox approaches of many religions while pluralistic and syncretist approaches either explicitly downplay or reject the exclusivist tendencies of the religion.


People with "inclusivist beliefs recognize some truth in all faith systems, highlighting agreements and minimizing differences. The attitude is sometimes associated with "Interfaith dialogue or the Christian "Ecumenical movement, though in principle such attempts at pluralism are not necessarily inclusivist and many actors in such interactions (for example, the "Roman Catholic Church) still hold to exclusivist dogma while participating in inter-religious organizations.

Explicitly inclusivist religions include many that are associated with the "New Age movement as well as modern reinterpretations of "Hinduism and "Buddhism. The "Bahá'í Faith considers it doctrine that there is truth in all faith systems.


People with "pluralist beliefs make no distinction between faith systems, viewing each one as valid within a particular culture. Examples include:


People with syncretistic views blend the views of a variety of different religions or traditional beliefs into a unique fusion which suits their particular experience and context (see "eclecticism). "Unitarian Universalism is an example of a syncretistic faith.


Typical reasons for adherence to religion include:


Typical reasons for rejection of religion include:


A belief system is a set of mutually supportive beliefs. The beliefs of any such system can be classified as "religious, "philosophical, "political, "ideological, or a combination of these. Philosopher "Jonathan Glover says that beliefs are always part of a belief system, and that tenanted belief systems are difficult for the tenants to completely revise or reject.[45][46]

Gilbert, sociological perspectives[edit]

A collective belief is referred to when people speak of what 'we' believe when this is not simply elliptical for what 'we all' believe.

"Sociologist "Émile Durkheim wrote of collective beliefs and proposed that they, like all '"social facts', 'inhered in' social "groups as opposed to individual persons. Durkheim's discussion of collective belief, though suggestive, is relatively obscure.

"Philosopher "Margaret Gilbert has offered a related account in terms of the joint commitment of a number of persons to accept a certain belief as a body. According to this account, individuals who together collectively believe something need not personally believe it themselves. Gilbert's work on the topic has stimulated a developing literature among philosophers. One question that has arisen is whether and how philosophical accounts of belief in general need to be sensitive to the possibility of collective belief.


Jonathan Glover believes that he and other philosophers ought to play some role in starting dialogues between people with deeply held, opposing beliefs, especially if there is risk of violence. Glover also believes that philosophy can offer insights about beliefs that would be relevant to such dialogue.

Philosopher Jonathan Glover warns that belief systems are like whole boats in the water; it is extremely difficult to alter them all at once (e.g., it may be too stressful, or people may maintain their biases without realizing it).[45]

Glover suggests that beliefs have to be considered holistically, and that no belief exists in isolation in the mind of the believer. It always implicates and relates to other beliefs.[45] Glover provides the example of a patient with an illness who returns to a doctor, but the doctor says that the prescribed medicine is not working. At that point, the patient has a great deal of flexibility in choosing what beliefs to keep or reject: the patient could believe that the doctor is incompetent, that the doctor's assistants made a mistake, that the patient's own body is unique in some unexpected way, that Western medicine is ineffective, or even that Western science is entirely unable to discover truths about ailments.[45]

Glover maintains that any person can continue to hold any belief if they would really like to[45] (e.g., with help from "ad hoc hypotheses). One belief can be held fixed, and other beliefs will be altered around it. Glover warns that some beliefs may not be entirely "explicitly believed (e.g., some people may not realize they have racist belief systems adopted from their environment as a child). Glover believes that people tend to first realize that beliefs can change, and may be contingent on their upbringing, around age 12 or 15.[45]

Glover emphasizes that beliefs are difficult to change. He says that one may try to rebuild one's beliefs on more secure foundations ("axioms), like building a new house, but warns that this may not be possible. Glover offers the example of "René Descartes, saying about Descartes that "[h]e starts off with the characteristic beliefs of a 17th-century Frenchman; he then junks the lot, he rebuilds the system, and somehow it looks a lot like the beliefs of a 17th-century Frenchman." To Glover, belief systems are not like houses but are instead like boats. As Glover puts it: "Maybe the whole thing needs rebuilding, but inevitably at any point you have to keep enough of it intact to keep floating."[45]

Glover's final message is that if people talk about their beliefs, they may find more deep, relevant, philosophical ways in which they disagree (e.g., less obvious beliefs, or more deeply held beliefs). Glover thinks that people often manage to find agreements and consensus through philosophy. He says that at the very least, if people do not convert each other, they will hold their own beliefs more openmindedly and will be less likely to go to war over conflicting beliefs.[45][47] the truth with open minded


The British philosopher "Stephen Law has described some belief systems (including belief in "homeopathy, "psychic powers, and "alien abduction) as "claptrap" and said that they "draw people in and hold them captive so they become willing slaves to victory... if you get sucked in, it can be extremely difficult to think your way clear again".[48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schwitzgebel, Eric (2006), "Belief", in Zalta, Edward, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford, CA: The Metaphysics Research Lab, retrieved 2008-09-19 
  2. ^ Leicester, Jonathan (2008). "The nature and purpose of belief". Journal of Mind and Behavior. 29 (3): 219–239. Retrieved 29 December 2015. The purpose of belief is to guide action, not to indicate truth. 
  3. ^ Compare: [1] - "The 'mind-body problem', for example, so central to philosophy of mind, is in part the question of whether and how a purely physical organism can have beliefs." Retrieved 01 July 2016.
  4. ^ Oxford Dictionaries - definition published by "OUP [Retrieved 2015-08-09]
  5. ^ - Copyright (c) 2007, 2008 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved
  6. ^ Gettier, E. L. (1963). "Is justified true belief knowledge?". "Analysis. 23 (6): 121–123. "JSTOR 3326922. "doi:10.1093/analys/23.6.121. 
  7. ^ Goldman, A. I. (1967). "A causal theory of knowing". "The Journal of Philosophy. 64 (12): 357–372. "JSTOR 2024268. "doi:10.2307/2024268. 
  8. ^ Bell, V.; Halligan, P. W.; Ellis, H. D. (2006). "A Cognitive Neuroscience of Belief". In Halligan, Peter W.; Aylward, Mansel. The Power of Belief: Psychological Influence on Illness, Disability, and Medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press. "ISBN "0-19-853010-2. 
  9. ^ Baker, Lynne Rudder (1989). Saving Belief: A Critique of Physicalism. Princeton University Press. "ISBN "0-691-07320-1. 
  10. ^ Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army (2012). Information Operations. Joint Publication 3-13. Joint Doctrine Support Division, 116 Lake View Parkway, Suffolk, VA. p. 22.
  11. ^ Price, H. H. (1965). "Belief 'In' and Belief 'That'". Religious Studies. 1 (01): 5–27. "doi:10.1017/S0034412500002304. 
  12. ^ MacIntosh, J. J. (1994). "Belief-in Revisited: A Reply to Williams". Religious Studies. 30 (4): 487–503. "doi:10.1017/S0034412500023131. 
  13. ^ Macintosh, Jack. "Belief-in". "The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. p. 86. "ISBN "978-0-19-926479-7. 
  14. ^ Peter Taylor-Gooby - ECONOMIC BELIEFS AND SOCIAL POLICY BEHAVIOUR "Economic and Social Research Council (Economic Beliefs and behaviour research programme) [Retrieved 2015-08-09]
  15. ^ R. Arena & A. Festré. Knowledge, Beliefs and Economics. Edward Elgar Publishing 1 Jan 2006, 288 pages, "ISBN "1847201539. Retrieved 2015-08-09. 
  16. ^ L. Bortolotti. Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs. OUP Oxford 2010, 299 pages, "ISBN "0199206163, International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry. 
  17. ^ Tarski's Truth Definitions, LOTH Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  18. ^ Introduction to Logic and to the Methodology of the Deductive Sciences" Alfred Tarski Dover 1995/41, Ch. I, § 2 Expressions containing variables--sentential and designatory functions and Ch. II On the Sentential Calculus in its entirety
  19. ^ Delusions in the DSM 5 A blog by Lisa Bortolotti & Ema Sullivan-Bissett
  20. ^ a b c Wyer, R. S., & Albarracin, D. (2005). Belief formation, organization, and change: Cognitive and motivational influences. In D. Albarracin, B. T. Johnson, & M. P. Zanna, The Handbook of Attitudes (273-322). New York, NY: Psychology Press.
  21. ^ "Gelman, Andrew; Park, David; Shor, Boris; Bafumi, Joseph; Cortina, Jeronimo (2008). Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do. Princeton University Press. "ISBN "978-0-691-13927-2. 
  22. ^ Argyle, Michael (1997). The Psychology of Religious Behaviour, Belief and Experience. London: Routledge. p. 25. "ISBN "0-415-12330-5. Religion, in most cultures, is ascribed, not chosen. 
  23. ^ Hoffer, Eric (2002). The True Believer. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics. "ISBN "0-06-050591-5. 
  24. ^ Kilbourne, Jane; Pipher, Mary (2000). Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel. Free Press. "ISBN "0-684-86600-5. 
  25. ^ see Kumkale & Albarracin, 2004
  26. ^ Rothschild, Babette (2000). The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. "ISBN "0-393-70327-4. 
  27. ^ Rowley, Anna (2007). Leadership Therapy: Inside the Mind of Microsoft. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 69. "ISBN "1-4039-8403-4. 
  28. ^ The received view holds it that Plato's theory presents knowledge as remembering eternal truths and justification reawakens memory, see Fine, G. (2003). "Introduction". Plato on Knowledge and Forms: Selected Essays. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 5–7. "ISBN "0-19-924558-4. 
  29. ^ "Chisholm, Roderick (1982). "Knowledge as Justified True Belief". The Foundations of Knowing. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. "ISBN "0-8166-1103-3. 
  30. ^ Bernecker, Sven; Dretske, Fred (2000). Knowledge. Readings in contemporary epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 3. "ISBN "978-0198752615. 
  31. ^ Paul Boghossian (2007), Fear of Knowledge: Against relativism and constructivism, Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press , Chapter2, p 15.
  32. ^ a b Wyer, R. S. (1970). "Quantitative prediction of belief and opinion change: A further test of a subjective probability model". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 16 (4): 559–570. "doi:10.1037/h0030064. 
  33. ^ a b Wyer, R. S.; Goldberg, L. (1970). "A probabilistic analysis of the relationships among beliefs and attitudes". Psychological Review. 77 (2): 100–120. "doi:10.1037/h0028769. 
  34. ^ Wittgenstein, Ludwig (2007). Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief. University of California Press. p. 53. "ISBN "0520251814. 
  35. ^ Braithwaite, R. B. (1975). An empiricist's view of the nature of religious belief. Norwood Editions (Norwood, Pa.). "ISBN "088305955X. 
  36. ^ "'The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth'". 2012-11-27. Archived from the original on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  37. ^ "Roy Moore: 'We Have No Morality Without an Acknowledgment of God'". "Christianity Today. 2005-03-07. Retrieved 2006-05-19. 
  38. ^ Miller, David Ian (2005-02-15). "Finding My Religion: Steve Georgiou on his faith and mentor, minimalist poet Robert Lax". SFGate. Retrieved 2006-05-19.  External link in |publisher= ("help)
  39. ^ Repa, J. Theodore (1998-10-18). "Building Community: The Marriage of Religion and Education". Retrieved 2006-05-19. 
  40. ^ Larson, David B.; Susan S. Larson; Harold G. Koenig (October 2000). "Research Findings on Religious Commitment and Mental Health". Psychiatric Times. 17 (10). Retrieved 2006-05-19. 
  41. ^ "Russell, Bertrand (1927-03-06). "Why I am Not a Christian". Archived from the original on 2006-11-19. Retrieved 2006-05-19. 
  42. ^ For example, some "Muslims believe that women are inferior to men. Some "Christians share this belief. At the time of the "American Civil War, many Southerners used passages from the "Bible to justify "slavery. The Christian religion has been used as a reason to persecute and to deny the rights of homosexuals, on the basis that God disapproves of homosexuality, and by implication homosexuals [2]. Adherents to a religion may feel antipathy to unbelievers.There are countless examples of people of one religion or sect using religion as an excuse to murder people with different religious beliefs. To mention just a few, there was the slaughter of the "Huguenots by French "Catholics in the sixteenth century; "Hindus and "Muslims killing each other when "Pakistan separated from India in 1947; the persecution and killing of "Shiite Muslims by "Sunni Muslims in Iraq and the murder of "Protestants by "Catholics and vice versa in "Ireland, (both of these examples in the late Twentieth century); and the "Israeli–Palestinian conflict that continues today. According to some critics of religion, these beliefs can encourage completely unnecessary conflicts and in some cases even wars. Many "atheists believe that, because of this, religion is incompatible with world peace, freedom, civil rights, equality, and good government. On the other hand, most religions perceive atheism as a threat and will vigorously and violently defend themselves against religious sterilization, making the attempt to remove public religious practices a source of strife.
  43. ^ Beauchamp, Philip (pseudonym of Jeremy Bentham) Analysis of the Influence of Natural Religion on the Temporal Happiness of Mankind, 1822, R. Carlile, London, at page 76: "Of all human antipathies, that which the believer in a God bears to the unbeliever is the fullest, the most unqualified, and the most universal"
  44. ^ Faith is the commitment of one's consciousness to beliefs for which one has no sensory evidence or rational proof. When a person rejects reason as their standard of judgment, only one alternative standard remains to them: feelings. A mystic is a person who treats feelings as tools of cognition. Faith is the equation of feeling with knowledge. To practice the "virtue" of faith, one must be willing to suspend one's sight and one's judgment; one must be willing to live with the unintelligible, with that which cannot be conceptualized or integrated into the rest of one's knowledge, and to induce a trance like illusion of understanding. One must be willing to repress one's critical faculty and hold it as one's guilt; one must be willing to drown any questions that rise in protest—to strangle any trust of reason convulsively seeking to assert its proper function as the protector of one’s life and cognitive integrity. The human need for self-esteem entails the need for a sense of control over reality—but no control is possible in a universe which, by one's own concession, contains the supernatural, the miraculous and the causeless, a universe in which one is at the mercy of ghosts and demons, in which one must deal, not with the unknown, but with the unknowable; no control is possible if a person proposes, but a ghost disposes; no control is possible if the universe is a haunted house. A person's life and self-esteem require that the object and concern of his or her consciousness be reality and this earth—but morality, people are taught, consists of scorning this earth and the world available to sensory perception, and of contemplating, instead, a "different" and "higher" reality, a realm inaccessible to reason and incommunicable in language, but attainable by revelation, by special dialectical processes, by that superior state of intellectual lucidity known to Zen-Buddhists as "No-Mind," or by death. A person's life and self-esteem require that this person take pride in their power to think, pride in their power to live—but morality, people are taught, holds pride, and specifically intellectual pride, as the gravest of sins. Virtue begins, people are taught, with humility: with the recognition of the helplessness, the smallness, the impotence of one's mind. A person's life and self-esteem require the person to be loyal to their values, loyal to their mind and its judgments, loyal to their life—but the essence of morality, people are taught, consists of self-sacrifice: the sacrifice of one’s mind to some higher authority, and the sacrifice of one's values to whoever may claim to require it. A sacrifice, it is necessary to remember, means the surrender of a higher value in favor of a lower value or of a nonvalue. If one gives up that which one does not value in order to obtain that which one does value—or if one gives up a lesser value in order to obtain a greater one—this is not a sacrifice, but a gain. Remember further that all of a person's values exist in a hierarchy; people value some things more than others; and, to the extent that a person is rational, the hierarchical order of the person's values is rational: that is, the person values things in proportion to their importance in serving this person's life and well-being. That which is inimical to their life and well-being, that which is inimical to their nature and needs as a living being, the person disvalues. Conversely, one of the characteristics of mental illness is a distorted value structure; the neurotic does not value things according to their objective merit, in relation to the person's nature and needs; they frequently value the very things that will lead them to self-destruction. Judged by objective standards, they are engaged in a chronic process of self-sacrifice. But if sacrifice is a virtue, it is not the neurotic but the rational person who must be “cured.” They must learn to do violence to their own rational judgment—to reverse the order of their value hierarchy—to surrender that which their mind has chosen as the good—to turn against and invalidate their own consciousness.Waldau, Paul (2001). The Specter of Speciesism: Buddhist and Christian Views of Animals (American Academy of Religion Books). Oxford University Press, USA. "ISBN "978-0195145717. 
  45. ^ a b c d e f g h "Jonathan Glover on systems of belief", Philosophy Bites Podcast, Oct 9 2011["permanent dead link]
  46. ^ Elizabeth A. Minton, Lynn R. Khale (2014). Belief Systems, Religion, and Behavioral Economics. New York: Business Expert Press LLC. "ISBN "978-1-60649-704-3. 
  47. ^ 'Philosophy, Beliefs, and Conflict' ,
  48. ^ "New Scientist (magazine), 11 June 2011 A field guide to bullshit | New Scientist

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