2. Definition: Belief
Generally, belief is the mental attitude that some proposition is true with
or without there being empirical evidence to prove with certainty that this
is the case. For every given proposition, every person either has or lacks
the mental attitude that it is true — there is no middle ground between the
presence of absence of a belief.
This idea is accepted as being true based on
observation, opinion, faith (trust) or reason (logic).
Beliefs are frequently passed along from generation
to generation and may be part of a person’s religious,
social and/or cultural background. Beliefs are not
used to explain things scientifically.
- Someone believes that the
chineese people are less intelligent
than the black or the white people
He can have this opinion but he
doesn’t have enough evidence to
Therefore, a person’s belief does
not guarantee that his/her opinion
is true or realistic. However, he/she
has every right to have one.
- In the case of faith (to gods)
everyone either has a belief that
at least one god of some sort
exists or they lack any such
4. Definition: Proof
Proof provides sufficent evidence (instead of belief) to establish something
as true, or to produce belief in its truth. In casual conversations, most people
use the word "proof" when they mean that there is indisputable evidence that
supports an idea. Proof is based on observations and logical conclusions, so
it is more absolutist and generally true for everyone.
Example: Someone believes that Earth is flat. We have evidence to prove
that it is circular. (According to Galileo Galilei)
5. Importance of belief in our lives
Making assumptions and thoughts that
will provide you an explanation of things
that you are not really sure about. Beliefs
are important because behavior is
important and your behavior depends on
your beliefs. Everything you do can be
traced back to beliefs you hold about the
world — everything from brushing your
teeth to your career. Beliefs also help
determine your reactions to others'
behaviour — for example their refusal to
brush their teeth or their own career
All this means that beliefs are
not an entirely private matter.
Even beliefs you try to keep to
yourself may influence your
actions enough to become a
matter of legitimate concern of
6. Importance of proof in our lives
Having proof to support your belief reassures you that something is true
and actual, which will make you feel safe. The major difference between
proof and belief is that, while belief helps you create an explanation of the
world that may or may not be true, proof provides you an explanation that
is certainly true. Let’s take the first example. A person believes that the
earth is flat, but he has no evidence to prove it. That means he may or
may not be wrong. That doubt makes him feel insecure about whether he
should believe that or not. Proof provides an accurate opinion based on
facts and not simple assumptions. And that provides safeness.
7. Belief & subjectivity
A belief is something you create with your own mind,
whether it’s true or not. So it’s based on a personal
opinion. Other people can disagree with you because
they have an opposite belief. That results to belief being
more subjective, not true for everyone, even though
many people can share your opinion.
8. Proof & objectivity
On the other hand, when we have proof to support an
idea, it becomes a general opinion that most people
share and it’s based on real facts, so it’s more absolute.
If you prove something true, then you can convince the
others and spread that opinion. Then, your opinion
becomes true to most people, until there is evidence to
prove it wrong. So, proof is really more about objectivity.
10. Relation between proof and belief
We are forever getting into trouble because we confuse belief with proof,
and we’re all too often wrong. If something can be proven, we can say we
know it. If something is merely believed, it cannot truly be known.
However, if we believe that something is true and we have evidence to
prove it, than our belief can be considered a real fact.
A belief is a real fact only if there is a proof which explains it.
11. Identity: formed by both
People’s identity is formed by both their beliefs and their knowledge, ideas
that they have evidence to prove that are true. They have their beliefs,
which form their character and their view of the world, and they also have
accurate perceptions of the world being formed in a certain way. In other
words, your identity is based on what you believe and what you know,
because your thoughts and behaviour are based on these two aspects.