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Belief is a state of mental acceptance without evidence[edit]

EDIT - I removed one example of a definition which did not fit the meaning of the word "belief". It made a statement about research leading to belief - however a belief is not founded in evidence, and therefore not in research. Secondly, I reposted the primary definition of "belief" as evidenced in any major dictionary. BELIEF is a state, and it is a state of mental acceptance without evidence - whereas knowledge is a state of mental acceptance WITH evidence. This is the primary meaning of BELIEF, which overshadows and encompasses most of the other definitions below it. Thusly it should remain at the top.

Thank you for your thoughtful contribution(s) to Wiktionary. The reason they were rolled back (again) is because the alternate meanings are commonly used by people. If you add your explanation as to why one particular usage should be avoided, it belongs then in a usage note. If you maintain that people don't actually use the alternate meanings, I must disagree. Please do not reorder definitions. Translations often depend on the order they appear. Since you didn't correct the numbering, you obviously are doing more harm than good (albeit well intentioned.) --Connel MacKenzie 00:22, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Ugh. Rolled back to wrong version. Sorry! --Connel MacKenzie 01:41, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
I find it increasingly difficult to believe that your edits are of a neutral nature. I'm sorry that you seem to have a reason for wanting your particular changes in your particular way. Please suggest the changes you'd like made to the article, here on the talk page, with your detailed explanation as to why. --Connel MacKenzie 09:19, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

EDIT - I removed the words "without evidence" form the previous definition. Common usage of the word "belief" does not distinguish between whether or not there is evidence to support the conceptual mental acceptance. In fact, most dictionaries clearly have both definitions. We already have another word "faith" that usually means "without evidence." However, I must say that I do not know of any belief, even faith, held by any person that is totally without evidence. No one believes or learnes anything totally void of evidence. Furthermore, we are even willing to accept the opinions of others as evidence in legal actions, and even kill people (legally) based only on the "testimony" of some other person. If the word "belief" does not cover all mental conceptual acceptance from accurate knowledge through false or inaccurate opinion, form truth to error, and also to cover faith and will, what is the word that does?

Joe Reeves 16:40, 15 September 2005


Please consider creating an account. Please sign edits you make on talk pages with ~~~~. Thanks. --Connel MacKenzie [+] (contribs) 23:51, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

Belief does not necessarily have to occur with or without evidence. It is the assurance that something is true despite and outside of the limits of physical evidence. Belief is something that can exist outside of the rational. It is something that you have a deep conviction about and it doesn't matter what the evidence does and does not point to.

Suggestion: Please forgive my ignorance about Wiktionary protocol,but I'd like to propose the following as an additional, very broad, definition: "a strategy for rationalizing our observations and interpretations" I know of no usage and comes from my own reasoning.[KAcoose]


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"(process) A wishing of case or circumstance to be true (be + 'lief' --> be + wished)."

Huh? Kappa 04:23, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

It's cleverly done, but I suspect it might be satirical. A possible candidate for WT:BJAODN? RobbieG 13:49, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

RFV failed.RuakhTALK 01:45, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

"Regardless of supporting evidence"[edit]

EDIT - Someone keeps restricting the primary definition with modifiers like “regardless of supporting evidence”. This simply doesn't match usage; belief is still belief when it has supporting evidence, and when it does not. So I have removed that modifier from the definition. 07:11, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

"Regardless of", in this sentence, means "it doesn't make any difference". In other words, it's not saying it can't be belief if there's supporting evidence, but that it's belief whether there's supporting evidence or not. You're removing language that agrees with you. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:59, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
But this reasoning is self-defeating: if belief occurs regardless of X, then X is not relevant to belief. One might as reasonably say that belief occurs "regardless of one's current employment status" or "regardless of one's criminality." Belief does occur regardless of these things, which is precisely why they are irrelevant and should not be included in the definition. I'll leave it as it stands for the moment, but by introducing an irrelevancy, it adds a tendentious feel to the definition. Ansric (talk) 22:35, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm kind of with Ansric here. Though it's redundant, I sort of don't mind it, and I don't know why. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:54, 17 June 2013 (UTC)