Talk:believe

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Please do not intersperse comments, as this initial question ended up too long. --Connel MacKenzie 04:37, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

So, the translation section(s) here seem unworkable. The verb is transitive or intransitive (for which we aren't supposed to make any special distinction.) If a verb has senses that are intransitive only, they should be identified. But the single sense listed as intransitive, is also covered in the transitive section.

Why is this a problem?

Well, all the translations entered so far, seem to be exact translations, regarless of transitivity. Possibly they are all wrong...but it looks much more likely that they are exact: there is a TTBC section that has a lone "Estonian" entry. Furthermore, WiktionaryZ lists them as "exact" translations there (of the ones that it has.)

The fact remains, for this entry, that the four definitions given should be listed as one single definition. None of the senses are exclusive with regard to transitivity.

If no one presents a compelling argument not to, I'll merge these all into one.

--Connel MacKenzie 04:37, 14 December 2006 (UTC)


Is the transitivity of the translated word important semantically? (Syntactically, of course it is.) The Japanese 信じる is transitive only, and is used for both "to accept (something) as true" (transitive) and "to have faith in (something)" (intransitive in English). I don't see a problem with merging the senses. Cynewulf 04:51, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Regarding merging the senses, the only one I would question is the one currently broken out as intransitive. I would suggest that, in a religious context, "believe" might have an extended sense beyond the simple question of boolean acceptance of a particular theological proposition. Think of the term believer (our current def is bare-bones.) This term is frequently used as a categorization, antonymous with heathen, heretic, etc. In short, to "believe" can also mean "to belong" (to a religious sect.) --User:Jeffqyzt 14:50, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

The first two definitions might be merged. Each concerns the acceptance of or trust in a thing; the first accepts the messenger as truthful while the second accepts the message as true. I'm not sure that this is a true difference of use. However, the third definition is quite different, since it concerns confidence of prediction. In the example sentence for the third definition, one could substitute the word predict, think, or expect. None of these words could work in the sense used in the first two definitions. I believe we have at least three distinct definitions here. --EncycloPetey 23:17, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

RFV[edit]

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

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Is sense 2 ((transitive) To accept as true without empirical evidence.) really just believe in or is it used this way without in transitively? Either way the usex is wrong. - TheDaveRoss 20:13, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

This definition would be a novel one with or without "in", transitive or intransitive. It reminds me of definitions by w:Ambrose Bierce. Most dictionaries don't have a contrafactual sense. Encarta is the closest: intransitive: to think that something exists: to be of the opinion that something exists or is a reality, especially when there is no absolute proof of its existence or reality. "Absolute proof" is a logical, not empirical possibility. DCDuring TALK 20:49, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Rfv-sense To consider something as true without having empirical evidence is the most common usage. —This comment was unsigned.

Wording is not good; surely with or without empirical evidence, it's the same concept. It does say 'without' (that is, none at all). Mglovesfun (talk) 21:06, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
We are a dictionary, so wording has some significance. In any event, it would be interesting to see the context of quotes that use this sense ofor anything like it. I guess people say things like "I really know it can't be true, but I believe it anyway." DCDuring TALK 21:23, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Isn't this exactly the same as sense 1? What am I missing?​—msh210 (talk) 08:17, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Are we dealing with a sort of methodological conflict here? It seems the point is that people who believe (in this sense that is supposedly most common) do so outside the scope of logic. Perhaps a way to approach this is to regard a belief as an axiom. Pingku 10:32, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Now let's not get encyclopedic (or epistemological) here. With respect to making (modal?) assertions about the truth of propositions, the same people sometimes use "know" and "believe" as synonyms and sometimes as contrasting terms. In the contexts using the words in contrast "know" seems to imply a greater justification (social knowledge) for the proposition in question. It also seems that "believe" is used about propositions about which there is/has been a great deal of disagreement and about propositions of broad scope. "Know" seems to be used for 'smaller' propositions. DCDuring TALK 12:27, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Only just read the whole entry. Delete this, redundant (though not identical to) sense #1. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:11, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's redundant. The wording of the rfv'd sense allows for belief based on proof without evidence to back it up. Presumably this would be deductive proof, and if discipline were applied the proof might be subject to peer review. However, I don't see any hint that objectivity is required. So all it requires is that the believer is convinced by said deductive argument. The question should not be whether proof without empirical evidence is possible, but rather whether someone could be convinced by such a proof. Pingku 15:48, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
The "without empirical evidence" bit is the problem. Do we require a different definition for "with empirical evidence"? Empirical evidence is POV in this case. You might say (hypothetically) that my belief in God is without empirical evidence, I might say that the Earth, the Moon the stars, these are all examples of empirical evidence. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:10, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Struck. I merged the senses / deleted the second sense (as Mglovesfun suggested). - -sche (discuss) 01:52, 31 August 2011 (UTC)