Is belief a religious term?
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03-10-2017, 03:25 AM
RE: Is belief a religious term?
I don't consider it a religious term, but I do routinely see it misused by the religious.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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03-10-2017, 04:08 AM
RE: Is belief a religious term?
Is belief a religious term? I don't believe it is.

Get your own bleeding hymn book
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03-10-2017, 10:47 AM
RE: Is belief a religious term?
(03-10-2017 01:49 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  but if someone said "I have faith that my wife is honest with me" I would be a bit worried for them.

You're falling in to the trap created by theistic perversion of the word "faith." There's absolutely nothing wrong in having faith in a person or a thing. It just means that you trust them. If that trust is based on experience, the longer the better, the more well-founded it is. Most reasonable people trust a person they've known for years more than they trust a person they meet today.

Contrast that with theistic "faith" in a god one has had absolutely no experience with or even exposure to since, well, gods don't exist. To paraphrase Dr. Manhattan, all we ever learn of gods is from their old stories. That's all we can know, since nobody can have direct personal experience with a fictional character. Those who claim they do bear watching and perhaps medication and therapy.
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03-10-2017, 09:41 PM
RE: Is belief a religious term?
(03-10-2017 10:47 AM)CosmoMcKinley Wrote:  
(03-10-2017 01:49 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  but if someone said "I have faith that my wife is honest with me" I would be a bit worried for them.

You're falling in to the trap created by theistic perversion of the word "faith." There's absolutely nothing wrong in having faith in a person or a thing. It just means that you trust them. If that trust is based on experience, the longer the better, the more well-founded it is. Most reasonable people trust a person they've known for years more than they trust a person they meet today.
I think that's an overly broad use of the term "faith" -- or at least a colloquial, rather than strict usage.

"Trust" based on experience, is belief based on evidence. Someone has been observed to exhibit certain behaviors in certain situations in the past, so we anticipate they will behave in a similar manner in similar situations in the future. We believe in them based on the strength of past evidence.

Having "faith" in them, to me, removes that regard from the realm of direct experience. For example, having observed someone's behavior in particular circumstances, we might feel certain that we know how they are likely to behave in different circumstances. That certainty is "faith" rather than "trust" because we don't have direct evidence, yet we still believe, even to the point of certainty.

Speaking colloquially, "belief," "faith," and "trust" are all given rather similar fuzzy sorts of meaning, and tend to be used somewhat interchangeably. If we're speaking philosophically, or with strict attention to semantics, we need to tighten the definitions around them, else we'll always be talking at cross purposes.

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Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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03-10-2017, 09:45 PM
RE: Is belief a religious term?
It can be formalized, so no.

#sigh
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04-10-2017, 01:44 PM (This post was last modified: 04-10-2017 01:51 PM by mordant.)
RE: Is belief a religious term?
(04-10-2017 01:44 PM)mordant Wrote:  
(02-10-2017 02:53 PM)SYZ Wrote:  Used religiously: An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof. "Their belief in the Christian god, or the Holy Bible"

Used non-religiously: Trust, or confidence in something. "Their belief in democratic politics, or the laws of the land"

I can't see any reason to get overly-involved with what amounts to mere semantics.
Actually this would be the religious and non-religious context of the word "faith".

When you think about it, the colloquial definition (faith = justified trust based on observation / experience) is almost the opposite of the religious definition (religious faith = belief without a requirement of valid evidence or substantiation of some kind). In fact as CosmoMcKinley aptly pointed out, religious faith is actually belief without any experience at all since you can't experience gods because they don't exist. Believers claim to have "experience" in exactly the same sense that a child might claim to have had experiences with an imaginary friend, but that isn't an actual experience. So then religious faith is belief in the total absence of any foundation other than the imagined need / virtue of taking a "leap of faith" for something you strongly desire or wish to be true.

Then there is the whole notion of equating religious faith (while confusing it with the colloquial definition of faith) with virtue and then disparaging "mere human" wisdom and insight as "worldly" and misleading. People who don't believe in woo even outside of formal religion are often disparaged as limited, close-minded, resistant, etc. when all they are is simply people who do not afford belief to the unsubstantiated (or unsubstantiatable).
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04-10-2017, 01:46 PM
RE: Is belief a religious term?
(02-10-2017 06:41 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  It has its classic philosophical connotations, as the elaborate Justified "true" belief idea of epistemological criteria.

I do as well think about the religious notion and how oddly overtaken it is, but I think it might also be a western notion.

It's such a Christian thing to care so much about what you believe for odd reasons. That is a modern take over of the term and how silly it is, is why I often disregard the idea of the do you believe in god question. Because the implication that it matters is bizarre.
If you confuse your identity with your beliefs, it not only matters, but the notion that it isn't important is a self-negation and an existential threat.

In any case, I wouldn't go so far as to say what you did without qualification, because beliefs influence actions / decisions / values and in that sense "matter".
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04-10-2017, 02:44 PM
RE: Is belief a religious term?
(04-10-2017 01:46 PM)mordant Wrote:  In any case, I wouldn't go so far as to say what you did without qualification, because beliefs influence actions / decisions / values and in that sense "matter".


That's why one should take great care when feeding data into one's own mind. Garbage in, garbage out. Bad data becomes bad decisions which lead to bad actions.
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05-10-2017, 02:57 AM
RE: Is belief a religious term?
(03-10-2017 04:08 AM)Thedemonbarber Wrote:  Is belief a religious term? I don't believe it is.

Demon,

That is a very nice debating move. Smile

D.
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06-10-2017, 07:02 PM
RE: Is belief a religious term?
(03-10-2017 09:45 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  It can be formalized, so no.

I prefer Stuart Dempster, myself.

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"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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