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Belief is not the same as faith

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
Belief is not the same as faith.

Belief: an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=what+is+belief

Faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=what+is+faith

As I see it, the difference between belief and faith is that a person can have a belief but not have faith that everything associated with that belief is true. Obviously, this can create a conflict.

I am such a believer. I have a religious belief but I do not have faith that God has all the attributes that the scriptures of my religion say He has. For example, I believe (but do not have faith) that God is loving and just because I cannot understand how God can be loving and just given all the suffering I see and experience in this world.

My definition of blind faith is believing something without question, something that is not in accord with logic and reason, just because the scriptures say so. I am not saying that believers should not believe in their scriptures, I am only saying I think they should question them when they do not seem to reflect what we can observe in this world. If they questioned their beliefs, they would not necessarily lose their faith but rather they might gain some new insights. That is what I try to do.

Instead of questioning their beliefs most believers unquestionably believe what their scriptures say, which is what they want to believe because it is emotionally satisfying. If they questioned their beliefs, they might lose their faith in the loving and just God who is described in scriptures, so that is why they do not question their beliefs. I do not think most believers realize this is what is going on in their minds since this is happening in their unconscious mind, which is where 95% of our thoughts originate.

I could be wrong as these are just my observations.
 

paradox

(㇏(•̀ᵥᵥ•́)ノ)
I am not saying that believers should not believe in their scriptures, I am only saying I think they should question them when they do not seem to reflect what we can observe in this world
I like your distinction between belief and faith, but scriptures deal with spiritual world which is not subject of time or change thus scriptures don't go out of scope, however they don't deal with current reality, that is scriptures are not practical to present problems such as global warming or new normal in society.
 

Spirit of Light

Be who ever you want
Belief is not the same as faith.

Belief: an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=what+is+belief

Faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=what+is+faith

As I see it, the difference between belief and faith is that a person can have a belief but not have faith that everything associated with that belief is true. Obviously, this can create a conflict.

I am such a believer. I have a religious belief but I do not have faith that God has all the attributes that the scriptures of my religion say He has. For example, I believe (but do not have faith) that God is loving and just because I cannot understand how God can be loving and just given all the suffering I see and experience in this world.

My definition of blind faith is believing something without question, something that is not in accord with logic and reason, just because the scriptures say so. I am not saying that believers should not believe in their scriptures, I am only saying I think they should question them when they do not seem to reflect what we can observe in this world. If they questioned their beliefs, they would not necessarily lose their faith but rather they might gain some new insights. That is what I try to do.

Instead of questioning their beliefs most believers unquestionably believe what their scriptures say, which is what they want to believe because it is emotionally satisfying. If they questioned their beliefs, they might lose their faith in the loving and just God who is described in scriptures, so that is why they do not question their beliefs. I do not think most believers realize this is what is going on in their minds since this is happening in their unconscious mind, which is where 95% of our thoughts originate.

I could be wrong as these are just my observations.
My faith only grow stronger and stronger in God:)
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
I like your distinction between belief and faith, but scriptures deal with spiritual world which is not subject of time or change thus scriptures don't go out of scope, however they don't deal with current reality, that is scriptures are not practical to present problems such as global warming or new normal in society.
It is true that scriptures do not deal with present problems such as global warming or new normal in society. It is also true that scriptures deal with spiritual world which is not subject of time or change, but scriptures also describe God's attributes, and that is what I was referring to.

So for example, the Bible says that God is loving, so that is an alleged attribute of God. Then if we look around in the physical world some people will see evidence that indicates that God is loving, but other people see evidence that calls into question a loving God. That creates a conflict for a believer who believes in the scriptures but cannot have faith that a loving God exists, given all the suffering in this world.
 

TransmutingSoul

Veteran Member
Premium Member
Belief is not the same as faith.

Belief: an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=what+is+belief

Faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=what+is+faith

As I see it, the difference between belief and faith is that a person can have a belief but not have faith that everything associated with that belief is true. Obviously, this can create a conflict.

I am such a believer. I have a religious belief but I do not have faith that God has all the attributes that the scriptures of my religion say He has. For example, I believe (but do not have faith) that God is loving and just because I cannot understand how God can be loving and just given all the suffering I see and experience in this world.

My definition of blind faith is believing something without question, something that is not in accord with logic and reason, just because the scriptures say so. I am not saying that believers should not believe in their scriptures, I am only saying I think they should question them when they do not seem to reflect what we can observe in this world. If they questioned their beliefs, they would not necessarily lose their faith but rather they might gain some new insights. That is what I try to do.

Instead of questioning their beliefs most believers unquestionably believe what their scriptures say, which is what they want to believe because it is emotionally satisfying. If they questioned their beliefs, they might lose their faith in the loving and just God who is described in scriptures, so that is why they do not question their beliefs. I do not think most believers realize this is what is going on in their minds since this is happening in their unconscious mind, which is where 95% of our thoughts originate.

I could be wrong as these are just my observations.

Yes indeed it is our Belief in Baha'u'llah that gives the power of Faith to embrace every thing Baha'u'llah has offered.

It takes a strong Belief to have an unshakeable Faith.

Can you see that is why the Covenant is very important, as it is a 'statement' by Baha'u'llah that appoints Abdul'baha and with that authority then appoints Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice.

"Belief: an acceptance that a statement is true". So if our belief of that statement is not strong, out Faith likewise is on unstable foundations.

The key here is it is very important that we do an individual search into all the 'Statements' made by a Messenger, so our belief is on very solid grounds.

All the best Susan, I hope Lewis is well now. Regards Tony
 

Spirit of Light

Be who ever you want
Can you explain why?
I can try:)

The more I look within my own being, at my shortcomings and then read scriptures, I can see the correlation between what the scriptures say and what I find within, in the prosess of changing my being i pray to God for guidance, and within a day or two the answers i need arise in my life, and I get a clearer picture of what I need to change in my life.

Hope that explain a bit :)
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
Yes indeed it is our Belief in Baha'u'llah that gives the power of Faith to embrace every thing Baha'u'llah has offered.

It takes a strong Belief to have an unshakeable Faith.

Can you see that is why the Covenant is very important, as it is a 'statement' by Baha'u'llah that appoints Abdul'baha and with that authority then appoints Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice.

"Belief: an acceptance that a statement is true". So if our belief of that statement is not strong, out Faith likewise is on unstable foundations.

The key here is it is very important that we do an individual search into all the 'Statements' made by a Messenger, so our belief is on very solid grounds.

All the best Susan, I hope Lewis is well now. Regards Tony
I have an unshakeable belief that Baha'u'llah was a Messenger of God, but I do not have unshakeable faith that God is loving because there is absolutely no evidence that would lead me to believe that, and what Baha'u'llah wrote about an all-loving God does not suffice, given it such a belief is contradicted by all the suffering I see in this world. That God is all-loving can only be believed on faith, not on evidence, and I cannot believe on faith alone, I have to believe on evidence, reason and logic.

No, Lewis is not well at all, he is in the hospital fighting for his life. There are many like him all over the world.

The loving God you believe in created a world of endless suffering and even if it was not so obvious by looking around in the world, that is straight out of the Writings.

Storehouse of Suffering quote

The religious apologetics do not suffice for me so don't bother.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
I can try:)

The more I look within my own being, at my shortcomings and then read scriptures, I can see the correlation between what the scriptures say and what I find within, in the prosess of changing my being i pray to God for guidance, and within a day or two the answers i need arise in my life, and I get a clearer picture of what I need to change in my life.

Hope that explain a bit :)
I experience the same thing. I pray and I believe that I get guidance from God and my faith in God grows stronger, but I cannot believe that God is all-loving given all the suffering I see in this world. I am not going to say God is not all-loving, I do not know whether He is or not, and it does not really matter to me because I do not need God's love.

Perhaps I need to rethink what it means for God to be all-loving, this is a spiritual journey I am on.
 

Spirit of Light

Be who ever you want
I experience the same thing. I pray and I believe that I get guidance from God and my faith in God grows stronger, but I cannot believe that God is all-loving given all the suffering I see in this world. I am not going to say God is not all-loving, I do not know whether He is or not, and it does not really matter to me because I do not need God's love.

Perhaps I need to rethink what it means for God to be all-loving, this is a spiritual journey I am on.
May it be that it is us humans who create the suffering our selves in our life? Both to our self and toward others, and that God has given the teaching needed to end all suffering, but humans has stopped listening and follow ego instead?
 

osgart

Nothing my eye, Something for sure
I accept that it takes honesty for all productive situations and encounters. This I know and this I have faith in. I consider this a fact that's not rooted in physical phenomena, it's only arrived at by reason. So my faith in honesty is rooted in factual reasoning. This fact goes beyond believing. Now since I consider this fact a spiritual truth, it applies to my spirituality and my faith.

My belief in the spiritual realm stems from a metaphysical intuition regarding interpretation of evidence.

I also see that philosophy by a priori reasoning leads to many solid facts of truth. One of those truths is honesty is the basis of all productive relationships and endeavours. Another is that defense of virtue is a virtue itself.

So knowledge about non physical, abstract qualities such as virtues can come from reason.

I believe these non physical, abstract qualities are spiritually based, and not physically based based on my metaphysical intuition. These kinds of intuitions often enough have no breakers especially in regards to spiritual claims.

My conclusion is that believing and having faith is a matter of intuitions more often than not. When someone talks of spiritual truths they are often talking about things arrived at by solid reasoning such as facts about honesty, belief, and faith. No one should be quick to dismiss a good honesty, belief, and faith. Those meanings should not be altered to fit an argumentative style because they are important points of expression.
 

Valjean

Veteran Member
Premium Member
There is more than one definition of faith, Trailblazer. In the faith vs knowledge, or faith vs evidence debate, trust is not the sense in which faith is being used.
You're constructing a straw man. Were not talking about trust when we talk about faith.
 

It Aint Necessarily So

Veteran Member
Premium Member
Interesting idea for a thread. I largely agree with your thoughts.

Belief is not the same as faith.

Agree. Faith is kind of belief. Belief is a bigger category of which faith is a subset.

Belief: an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

Agreed.

Faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something

This is not how I define faith. For me, faith is belief despite lack of confirming evidence, or in some cases, despite contradictory evidence. If complete trust means certitude, that can be a faith-based opinion, since the most certain one can be is that something that has always been the case in the past can reasonably be expected to be the case now, but nothing is certain, so, other outcomes are possible. Complete trust is a little vague, since most people would say that they have complete trust that the sun will set this evening and rise again in the morning with the understanding that it is physically possible that that will not happen however unlikely.

As I see it, the difference between belief and faith is that a person can have a belief but not have faith that everything associated with that belief is true.

I would write that as a person can believe some but not all of the ideas offered, which is typical of most believers by faith. So, two Christians agree that Christ died and rose again for their sins so that they could be saved into a heavenly afterlife, but then part ways about just about anything else, maybe one believing Genesis literally and the other not, etc..

My definition of blind faith is believing something without question, something that is not in accord with logic and reason, just because the scriptures say so.

For me, all faith is blind by definition, blind meaning belief without sufficient supporting evidence. Don't forget that evidence is the noun form of evident, meaning apparent to the senses. Think of it like this: If you look both ways before crossing and decide that it is safe to proceed, your belief is evidence based. If you don't look, and just trust that no cars are coming, you're crossing by faith. It's the blindness to the evidence of the street traffic that makes it faith. If you open your eyes halfway across, whatever you see and believe now is no longer believed by faith.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
This is not how I define faith. For me, faith is belief despite lack of confirming evidence, or in some cases, despite contradictory evidence.
Faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something, and it can be faith despite lack of confirming evidence, or in some cases, despite contradictory evidence, but not necessarily.

In the religious context believers have faith despite lack of confirming evidence, or in some cases, despite contradictory evidence, but in other contexts, a person can have faith in someone or something that has been proven trustworthy and reliable over time. For example, I have faith in my veterinarian and I have faith that the vehicle I drive will be reliable.
If complete trust means certitude, that can be a faith-based opinion, since the most certain one can be is that something that has always been the case in the past can reasonably be expected to be the case now, but nothing is certain, so, other outcomes are possible.
That's true, nothing is for certain, because what one has faith in could always let them down.
I would write that as a person can believe some but not all of the ideas offered, which is typical of most believers by faith. So, two Christians agree that Christ died and rose again for their sins so that they could be saved into a heavenly afterlife, but then part ways about just about anything else, maybe one believing Genesis literally and the other not, etc..
That is true in Christianity and other older religions that do not have a clear set of beliefs that believers agree upon, since all the older religions have split into many sects, but it does not tend to be true for the Baha'i Faith, since we are a unified group with a clear set of beliefs, and we are supposed to believe that everything that was revealed by Baha'u'llah and His successors is true That is where I sometimes run into problems because I believe it is all true yet I do not have complete trust or confidence that certain things in the Baha'i Writings are true. As I said in the OP, I do not have faith that God has all the attributes that the scriptures of my religion say He has. For example, I believe (but do not have faith) that God is loving and just because I cannot understand how God can be loving and just given all the suffering I see and experience in this world.

So I have a belief but not have faith that everything associated with that belief is true.
For me, all faith is blind by definition, blind meaning belief without sufficient supporting evidence.
The word faith is normally associated with religion, but as I said above, it can be associated with other things. Maybe faith in a religious belief is blind, but faith in other things that have sufficient supporting evidence is not blind faith.
 
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