1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Belief and Knowing

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Fool, Mar 11, 2022.

  1. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    15,124
    Ratings:
    +3,501
    Religion:
    Light Impressed with Love
    Is one belief any greater than any other belief, given neither is a fact or experiential knowledge?

    is knowledge better than belief?

    can knowledge be gained without belief. if so, how?
     
  2. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    21,980
    Ratings:
    +11,813
    Religion:
    Scientism
    IMO, knowledge is the experience acquired when belief is put into practice.
    Knowledge eventually replaces belief except where belief cannot be practically applied.

    Is knowledge better? Yes as reality structures knowledge.
    Belief however is only structured by the depths of one's own imagination.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  3. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    15,124
    Ratings:
    +3,501
    Religion:
    Light Impressed with Love
    so basically one's imagination is no better than another?
     
  4. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    21,980
    Ratings:
    +11,813
    Religion:
    Scientism
    I wouldn't say that exactly.
    I recall a thought experiment.
    One was asked to imagine a red ball in the middle of the room.
    Then to imagine this ball to start bouncing in place.
    To imagine this ball bouncing higher and higher.
    Eventually bouncing so high it bounced through the ceiling and into the sky above.

    Some folks were unable to imagine the ball bouncing through the ceiling.

    Sometimes the representation of reality we create in our minds becomes a mental reality we cannot think beyond.

    After hearing this, I practiced imagining a physical ball passing through physical objects. However, I suspect we all create a mental structure of reality which we cannot think beyond.
     
    #4 Nakosis, Mar 11, 2022
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2022
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    23,055
    Ratings:
    +12,605
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    I think you're confusing belief the with content being believed. Belief is just a presumption that what one thinks may be true and accurate, is true and accurate. Belief refers to our having made that choice for ourselves. Knowledge, however, is more experience based. To 'know' something is to have direct personal experience of it.
     
  6. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2021
    Messages:
    9,796
    Ratings:
    +9,489
    Religion:
    Buddhist
    It's a complicated issue.

    If Jim says "I saw a dog in the backyard last night" and his neighbor says "No, that was a coyote." then Jim saw a real thing but believed it was a dog and incorrect. Jim is corrected and now knows it was a coyote.

    Jim then says "I saw Bigfoot in my backyard last night." and the sheriff comes by and looks at the prints left in the mud and says, "No, these are bear tracks." But Jim is convinced it was a Bigfoot and tells everyone in town he saw Bigfoot. Given the facts Jim is wrong but instead likes the idea that he saw Bigfoot, and he rejects the sheriff's identification of material facts that will overturn Jim's belief.

    The sheriff can say he knows it was a bear in Jim's backyard because there is material facts of what bear tracks are. There are no facts of what Bigfoot tracks are outside of some prints that can't be verified. The sheriff says that what he observed were not like the typical Bigfoot print, and all prints observed were consistent with bear tracks.

    Yet Jim is certain he saw a Bigfoot, and nothing will convince him that his experience wasn't valid.
     
  7. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    23,055
    Ratings:
    +12,605
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    Unless it wasn't. Like I say, belief is just the presumption that what we think is true and accurate, is true and accurate. That doesn't make it true and accurate, though. It's just a decision we make for ourselves to presume it to be so. To forgo doubt.
    Well, he saw what he saw, and that was bigfoot. And he then chose to forgo doubt, and so believed what he saw was what it was. When the sheriff looked he only saw bear tracks, and only saw what he saw, so he then chose to believe that what was there must have been a bear. Even though he didn't actually see anything but some bear tracks.

    The point being that "belief" is just a presumption (sans doubt) that what we think is true an accurate, is true and accurate. Even though we could be quite wrong about it.
    To a philosophical materialist, the "material facts" trump direct experience. To almost anyone else, it does not. And rightly so.
     
  8. sun rise

    sun rise Śvāna Dharma
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    74,329
    Ratings:
    +38,502
    Religion:
    Love/Omnism
    One belief may be greater depending on the basis for the belief. Is the belief from science based on evidence. Is belief from studying those who have attained from all over? Is the belief just a personal belief with no basis?

    Knowledge is of course better than belief.

    The problem with the third question is that the word "knowledge" is used in a vague way. What kind of knowledge? Attainment of unity with the Divine? The knowledge that God exists? The knowledge that there is something more than mundane existence that comes suddenly to some even atheists?
     
  9. Link

    Link Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2019
    Messages:
    10,233
    Ratings:
    +2,746
    Religion:
    Twelver seeker
    Humans can have the followings:

    (1) Knowledge of something, but not accept that knowledge and deny it(in denial)
    (2) Belief in something (thinking we even we might know it) but it has no justified basis to believe in it (based on conjecture) and can even be false
    (3) Knowledge of something, and doubt in it that is irrational skepticism
    (4) Knowledge of something, and having faith in one's knowledge of that and proofs thereby
    4 has various levels when it comes to unseen witnessing of God and his light. The signs are many (mainly can be divided to eight types), and all types of them help.
    Certainty is also of various strength. You can be certain at different levels of certainty.
     
  10. setarcos

    setarcos The hopeful or the hopeless?

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2021
    Messages:
    353
    Ratings:
    +69
    Religion:
    Christian
    I believe this is epistemologically flawed question in that we are dealing with two different classes of information. Asking if one is better than the other would be like asking if an orange fruit is better than the color orange. They each serve their purpose in their own way.
    Knowledge informs while belief performs. In other words our belief initiates action based upon the knowledge that it is informed by.
    For example, I believe all stove tops are hot because I have gained knowledge by burning myself on one. So I act according to my belief by avoiding putting my hand on any stove top no matter what. Then my belief changes when I accidentally touch a cold stove top or am otherwise informed through experiment or some other form of knowledge that not all stove tops are hot. My belief system has then changed and I act accordingly. I may seek to gain knowledge of how to tell the difference or what causes one stove to be hot and another to not be etc.

    I believe it can since we are dealing with two independent though related classes of information. I can gain knowledge of an event or thing without believing it is true knowledge even though it may be and thus have it not effect my belief. Or I may gain knowledge I believe is true even though it isn't which I hadn't had before which then may alter what I previously believed.
     
  11. setarcos

    setarcos The hopeful or the hopeless?

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2021
    Messages:
    353
    Ratings:
    +69
    Religion:
    Christian
    I hadn't read this before I posted but I think we are on similar tracks here. Except I think knowledge can be gained without personal experience of what that knowledge is imparting though that of course is susceptible to trust in another's experience.
     
  12. syo

    syo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2016
    Messages:
    5,640
    Ratings:
    +1,918
    Religion:
    pagan, omni, anarchy, nihil, and nicene christian
    We have both, and both are great. :cool:
     
  13. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2017
    Messages:
    5,024
    Ratings:
    +1,023
    Religion:
    Disciple of Jesus
    I think all knowledge people have is knowledge only because people believe it is knowledge.
     
  14. night912

    night912 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Messages:
    2,181
    Ratings:
    +956
    Religion:
    Not religious
    Knowledge is a subset of belief. You can believe that something is true without having knowledge whether it's actually true or false. But if you have the knowledge that something is actually true, then if you are being rational, you must also believe that that particular thing is true.

    BTW,
    If a person believes that something is true, he/she also accept/thinks that it is true. If that person believes that it's true but tells people that he/she doesn't accept/think it's true, then that person is either being irrational, doesn't understand what "belief" is in accordance with "truth" or the person is simply being dishonest. I've noticed that there's a couple people in RF that would qualify as that.

    And after engaging in a discussion with with someone and towards the end of the conversation, he/she says something along the lines of this, "I'm not arguing or saying/think that it's true, I'm just telling you what my belief is." Any rational person who is being honest will conclude with great "certainty," that that person is more than likely, being dishonest.
     
  15. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2021
    Messages:
    9,796
    Ratings:
    +9,489
    Religion:
    Buddhist
    But the neighbor WAS correct, he recognized it was a coyote. Jim made a mistake due to a lack of knowledge and guessed it was a dog.

    Given the evidence Jim saw a bear and believed he saw a Bigfoot. He refused to accept the lack of evidence for a Bigfoot and rejected the likelihood it was a bear given the bear tracks.

    So given the available evidence the only reasonable conclusion was that Jim saw a bear and believed it was a Bigfoot. There is no evidence of a Bigfoot being there. There is evidence of something that could be mistaken as a Bigfoot. There is no justification for Jim's belief.

    And that is the value of material evidence. If we are going to make a valid conclusion about some phenomenon or thing then we need good evidence for a positive judgment. Without adequate evidence we can't be satisfied that the idea is true. Without Bigfoot tracks it's not rational to conclude there was a Bigfoot in Jim's yard. Given the bear tracks it is rational to conclude Jim saw a bear and interpreted it as being a Bigfoot.

    In this case Jim's experience of a Bigfoot wasn't based completely on evidence, but also of memory of things he'd learned about, notably that some claim a Bigfoot exists. So Jim's belief and testimony is not objective, but influenced by real things and sensations and also memory and belief. A rational person would admit they likely just saw a bear and not a Bigfoot as believed.
     
  16. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2021
    Messages:
    9,796
    Ratings:
    +9,489
    Religion:
    Buddhist
    It depends on what sort of experience we are talking about. Look at my example of Jim and his belief he saw Bigfoot. Would you trust his testimony and that be adequate for you to believe in Bigfoot too? Or do you have a high standard of what a person claims as to whether what they claim is rational and plausible?
     
  17. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    23,055
    Ratings:
    +12,605
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    Then it is our belief in someone else's knowledge.
     
  18. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    23,055
    Ratings:
    +12,605
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    No, he didn't. All he saw was coyote tracks and presumed that the other guy must have seen a coyote. In fact, he has no idea what the other guy saw.
    Both men are just presuming things. But one is doing it based on personal experience, while the other is doing it based on extrapolation from "material evidence". Why are you just blindly presuming the second guy is right? (Hint; it's because you are a philosophical materialist that believes reality is defined by physicality.)
    Your reasoning is heavily biased. The truth is that Jim saw what he saw, and thought what he thought. Then the neighbor saw what he saw, and thought what he thought. Neither of them saw the same thing, and so neither of them thought the same thing. Your presumption that the neighbor was correct is based solely on your own bias in favor of 'material evidence' over persona experience. Apart from that bias, YOU have no reason to make such a determination.
    That it supports your bias? :)
    Interestingly, there was no need for any conclusion to be drawn except that humans really want to pretend that they always know what's going on. When very often they do not. It's exactly why you (and others) are so overly enamored with the idea of 'material evidence' being sacrosanct.
     
    #18 PureX, Mar 12, 2022
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2022
  19. Martin

    Martin Spam, wonderful spam (bloody vikings!)

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2017
    Messages:
    3,804
    Ratings:
    +2,898
    Religion:
    Dharmic
    It's complicated! One problem with belief is confirmation bias. People can get attached to their beliefs, which leads them to look for confirmation, and reject contradiction.
    Or people can over-interpret their experiences according to their beliefs, eg assuming a particular meaning to a mystic or "spiritual" experience.
     
  20. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    15,124
    Ratings:
    +3,501
    Religion:
    Light Impressed with Love
    belief is not information. they aren't synonyms on any level.

    information is based on fact and not imagination. imagining anything/everything doesn't mean it is even if it might be possible. the only way to determine if belief, thinking is fact is to be able to test/question it against reality.
     
Loading...