how do define Belief?

29 replies
it seems to me to be addition:

a Thought, And an Emotion

you think its right or good from your expeirence and what you've learned

+

and it feels right to you.


any new ideas people can offer?
#belief #define
  • Profile picture of the author tobyjensen
    I would also add to a belief being a conceptual idea powered by emotion.
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  • Profile picture of the author SolveProblemsNow
    A belief is certainty about what is true.

    Once we adopt a belief we tend to distort reality to fit it and delete everything that contradicts it so beliefs are incredibly powerful in our lives.

    Unfortunately most of our beliefs are accumulated by accident and rarely do we decide them on purpose. But that's the good news... you can decide them on purpose. Which leads me to a Tony Robbins quote:

    "It's in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. Chose carefully." - Tony Robbins
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    • Profile picture of the author heavysm
      Simply put: it's whatever you predominantly think.

      These are the ideas that occur to you most often which then project out to create your reality. We are what we most often think and so it is these ideas that make up the core of what we believe.

      I would almost say that beliefs are ideas that we come to accept, but in repetition of a given thought we don't necessarily have to consciously accept it.

      We don't have to say that we accept it for it to become something we believe...we sort of just slide into belief due to the repetition of the idea. Think of affirmations and other things we might purposefully repeat to ourselves to make us believe differently.
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      • Originally Posted by heavysm View Post

        Simply put: it's whatever you predominantly think.

        These are the ideas that occur to you most often which then project out to create your reality. We are what we most often think and so it is these ideas that make up the core of what we believe.

        I would almost say that beliefs are ideas that we come to accept, but in repetition of a given thought we don't necessarily have to consciously accept it.

        We don't have to say that we accept it for it to become something we believe...we sort of just slide into belief due to the repetition of the idea. Think of affirmations and other things we might purposefully repeat to ourselves to make us believe differently.

        can you drill down further? can you consider an equation to fit what your saying in your post.


        for example, Repetition, is after the fact - IMO

        and "beliefs are ideas" isn't a belief a belief, not an idea???

        define Idea : a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action.

        you see, I would have to define what an Idea is.

        1 emotion + 1 thought (of course they repeat) = 1 belief
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          I'm not sure why you have to define "belief". But if you do you can only define it for yourself - not for others as it's a flexible concept to some extent.
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          • thanks for responding Kay.

            because of this :

            we talk in generalities, but live in detail -

            +

            mental experience is built on Metaphor (Definition: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.)

            +

            the "Mind", is just what the brain does (from Steven Pinker)

            +

            we are the only species that has "intelligence" (it's not a survival requirement, other wise cockroaches and dogs would be getting smarter)

            = we over-rate ourselves. were not that special.

            all human comprehension is built on everything else (metaphor - apple pie... tastes like apples, love feels like warm and fuzzy things, a belief is Like an Idea, an idea is like a _____, etc..,) - IMO


            you can come to the conclusion, from this thread that were going in circles!

            which is true. because, as Albert Einstein said "you can't have the solution, from the same level of thinking that had the problem"

            I take it further with - you can't have the same species ask and then answer the question.

            like, how smart are human beings ?

            we will always go in circles, by metaphorical language (look up "E Prime" )

            IMO - I could be wrong

            conclusion - I look for cause and effect, proof of direct relationships, variable A, causes the effect of variable B
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        • Profile picture of the author heavysm
          Originally Posted by kirbymarketingconcierge View Post

          can you drill down further? can you consider an equation to fit what your saying in your post.


          for example, Repetition, is after the fact - IMO

          and "beliefs are ideas" isn't a belief a belief, not an idea???

          define Idea : a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action.

          you see, I would have to define what an Idea is.

          1 emotion + 1 thought (of course they repeat) = 1 belief
          I don't think it works like that. Beliefs are those assumptions and thoughts you take as a mental template for how reality is. All other thoughts fit within that template to create your reality. If a thought doesn't fit the template, it is questioned or else disregarded.

          I also don't think emotion is relevant here. Emotions may our way of feeling toward certain thoughts, but they aren't needed to form beliefs, not necessarily anyway.

          A thought that occurs repeatedly to us (parents saying money is hard to get etc) may be repeated to us many times and just taken as truth (to us - therefore becomes a belief).

          You can have plenty of thoughts or ideas, but only few of which you take as truth or reality. And those are your beliefs. Once an idea is taken or accepted as a truth it becomes our belief regarding reality.
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          • Originally Posted by heavysm View Post

            I don't think it works like that. Beliefs are those assumptions and thoughts you take as a mental template for how reality is. All other thoughts fit within that template to create your reality. If a thought doesn't fit the template, it is questioned or else disregarded.

            thoughts aren't assumptions?

            I also don't think emotion is relevant here. Emotions may our way of feeling toward certain thoughts, but they aren't needed to form beliefs, not necessarily anyway.

            Really!???

            A thought that occurs repeatedly to us (parents saying money is hard to get etc) may be repeated to us many times and just taken as truth (to us - therefore becomes a belief).

            want to go in circles? read the definition of "thought"

            You can have plenty of thoughts or ideas, but only few of which you take as truth or reality. And those are your beliefs. Once an idea is taken or accepted as a truth it becomes our belief regarding reality.

            were caught by the limitations of are own language,
            which, IMO, is most of what thinking is.

            we over rate ourselves. maybe because we see the difference from other species.

            or can I ask myself "how great am I?"
            well Kirby you are fantastic, superb, the best, always right, etc..,

            and it feels good....so am I sure this is accurate? yes. it feels right.

            or

            In a way, Buddha is on to something in that our thoughts, feelings, and actions

            pass through us, are not "ours", and.... an illusion

            I don't know!
            probably never will. I'm just a human being, going off what works.
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            • Profile picture of the author heavysm
              Originally Posted by kirbymarketingconcierge View Post

              were caught by the limitations of are own language,
              which, IMO, is most of what thinking is.

              we over rate ourselves. maybe because we see the difference from other species.

              or can I ask myself "how great am I?"
              well Kirby you are fantastic, superb, the best, always right, etc..,

              and it feels good....so am I sure this is accurate? yes. it feels right.

              or

              In a way, Buddha is on to something in that our thoughts, feelings, and actions

              pass through us, are not "ours", and.... an illusion

              I don't know!
              probably never will. I'm just a human being, going off what works.
              You have to be careful about attaching the label of "assumption" to something like a thought because all of perception is an assumption about reality. Nothing tells us that our perception about anything is right objectively, so it must be an assumption that we "perceive" the world as it is.

              We can have plenty of non-emotional beliefs. I believe the sun will rise in the morning...I believe that i will wake up tomorrow...I believe that my car will start when i want to drive etc. None of those things were arrived at because of emotional considerations, they were purely from repetitious feedback from reality which is taken to be truth now.

              There was some statistic a while ago, something like 100,000+ thoughts occur to us on a daily basis of 12 - 18 wakeful hours. You want to tell me that the majority of those thoughts are beliefs?

              Even if we take the into account the unconscious mind which is mainly what we think and believe we still only have a fraction of those 100,000+ thoughts accepted as personal reality.

              The problem with defining belief and thought, however, lies in having disagreement about definition. If you label it one way, it immediately changes and the whole discussion changes.

              I know this because I had 4 weeks of a class in university called philosophy of mind devoted to singling out what the hell a thought and belief was. There was little agreement in the class because definitions changes as our thoughts change/grow. That's just how it is.

              You're using the thing you're trying to describe to describe itself "What do you believe a thought is?" Lol

              So in a way, yes, we are limited by language.

              That is a minor quandary in philosophy, but put into simple terms for the uninitiated, yes, that is a mind-f@#k.

              Some philosophers don't even believe that it is possible to use the thing you're defining to define itself.

              The next level to this is defining action and intention. If we want everyone to have headaches as they try to sleep tonight ill post the next thread about that
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              • heavysm:

                The next level to this is defining action and intention. If we want everyone to have headaches as they try to sleep tonight ill post the next thread about that


                That is a minor quandary in philosophy, but put into simple terms for the uninitiated, yes, that is a mind-f@#k.

                this describes me. I so much want to know, but have to be reminded that you can learn and have fun by the search, the journey, the circularity of human experience and understanding.

                define Action -

                noun
                1.
                the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.

                Intention -

                noun
                1.
                a thing intended; an aim or plan.
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                • Profile picture of the author heavysm
                  Originally Posted by kirbymarketingconcierge View Post

                  heavysm:

                  The next level to this is defining action and intention. If we want everyone to have headaches as they try to sleep tonight ill post the next thread about that


                  That is a minor quandary in philosophy, but put into simple terms for the uninitiated, yes, that is a mind-f@#k.

                  this describes me. I so much want to know, but have to be reminded that you can learn and have fun by the search, the journey, the circularity of human experience and understanding.

                  define Action -

                  noun
                  1.
                  the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.

                  Intention -

                  noun
                  1.
                  a thing intended; an aim or plan.
                  Intention and action can get incredibly muddied depending on the complexity of examples involved (or else we get far too theoretical and no one understands anyone, really). One problem here is that there is a set definition that over laps. Both actions and intention in this case have "aims", so does that mean they are the same thing?

                  Let's examine whether action and intention be the same thing in the following scenario:

                  If i go to take an aspirin from a labeled bottle, take the proper actions to open the bottle and ingest the pill, there is both the action and intention of taking an aspirin.

                  But what if, unbeknownst to me, the bottle has been replaced with sugar pills because my girlfriend doesn't like me taking aspirin so much so I only "think" im taking aspirin when I'm really not.

                  Here the intention is definitely to take aspirin, but the action is not congruent with the intention. Both have aims, which I think we can generally agree on. But is an action really still an action, at least in the way of taking the aspirin, if we merely think we are ingesting what we intended but we're really not?

                  Here this places a schism between what we think is going on versus. what is actually going on. There's no doubt that there is an action of reaching out the hand, pulling the pill out of the package etc but when does it become not the action we intend? Is it when the girlfriend first switches out the aspirin for the sugar pills or is it later on when we finally realize that the pills are not what we thought they were? (she finally tells us about the pills or we somehow find out).

                  Another scenario:

                  When girlfriend tells us she has switched the pills, but she really hasn't. Let's say that she still doesn't like us taking aspirin for every small ache we have, so she simply tells us she switched them out for sugar pills, but really hasn't.

                  In this case the action is congruent with the intention of taking the aspirin, but we don't realize that. So is the action really taking aspirin because that's what's happening, or is it taking sugar pills because that's what we think is going on?

                  The intention in both cases is to take the aspirin, but whether or not the action is congruent with that depends largely on what we believe of the situation. Or, you can over ride that by saying that it doesn't matter what we believe, because what's really happening (either of unknowingly taking the sugar pills or rightly taking the aspirin) is what matters.

                  I took the class called "Theory of Action" in university and that is still probably one of the most difficult courses I've ever taken in defining action and intention, then extrapolating on examples that actually make sense.

                  So, in brief, as we can see it can be pretty simple to have the intention of doing something. Even something more broad or basic as intending to stick to a plan which has a specific outcome. The individual steps that actually happens may not be part of the "plan" but if you achieved the desired outcome...was your action congruent with intention?

                  I think this is enough to ponder about for now lol
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  • Profile picture of the author dave147
    Your belief is a complete trust in, and without a doubt or hesitation in that belief, at the time of that belief.
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    • Profile picture of the author mobiusman
      I think we do need to define/describe how a belief comes into being. That way we can better get our arms around it.
      For example: Any belief no matter what it is about can only be established in one of these two ways.

      1. Through argument - a story, a discussion, a great book read over and over such as Think and Grow Rich (you get the idea)
      2. Through hard evidence - like if you put your finger over a flame you will be able to totally believe anyone who says that fire burns.

      Beliefs can motivate and that motivation can be for good or evil so be careful. Preferably go with a belief that is established by truth and by how it feels in your gut.
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      Mobiusman talks about the Head Brain/Gut Brain system. Did you know you have two different brains?
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    there are two kinds of beliefs..the kinds people will tell you about ..

    and the real beliefs they take actions from ..

    you can get lost in the first group of beliefs ..and change them all you want .. but if you never find..that patterns of thoughts that actually result in you making choices or reacting in a way..the same way over and over ..then changing them is near impossible .

    there are differences between beliefs and ideas ideas typically are stated with a should ..beliefs the real beliefs come after a but most of the time .

    " i should eat better" " ..but nothing good for me tastes good to me "

    you can tells someones real beliefs by listening to their butts.. you can tell someone true priorities by seeing how they spend their time and money .
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Trujillo
    Belief doesn't always mean fact or fiction. Belief can mean that beyond what anybody else says you have formed an opinion about something and you choose to stand by it regardless of people having different views from you. An example could be you "believe" in making money online but family and friends don't believe it's possible.
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    • Odahh,

      I love this :

      " i should eat better" " ..but nothing good for me tastes good to me "

      you can tell someones real beliefs by listening to their butts..


      Matthew - great perspective :

      Belief doesn't always mean fact or fiction
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    kirby..

    we have been taught to use the language we have to limit ourselves .

    limit are part of the game and mack playing possible.. but many people beliefs where actually imprinted on them while they where in the womb and before they could speak.. and they then used the same language those around them used ..

    mant belief we hold strech back hundreds of years and are no longer valid many others are based on human social structure going back millennia ..the problem is the beliefs no longer fit the world we live in and even beliefs from 50 years ago ..are counters to what is good now.

    go to school get a degree ..get a good job and work until you retire .

    and most of the american dream ideal..was just marketing system to a large group of people to sign up for a lifetime working and getting ionto and paying off debt..or getting into and staying in debt .

    we live in a world that has one economy..and is highly interconnected ..when most of the beliefs we have come from ages when everything was separated and isolated and information was limited or privileged . so many thing where based of myths.

    now we have a world deluged by information..much of it conflicting ..so unless people are going to test everything that have to borrow beliefs about things .
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    see i have had a problem with the use of the language most of my life .. even though English is the only one i speak.

    a big part of it is that the same word has many different meaning depending on the context of the words surrounding it ..

    beliefs and thoughs are two different things ..though all beliefs are most likly patterns of thoughts ..not all thoughts are beliefs .

    our brains are processing a huge amount of information every second ..and our brains also ack like a thought antenna that is picking up a constant flow of thoughts .. which are filtered through our beliefs ..with a lot of thing we don't grasp getting ignored or not focused on .

    beliefs are what we use to navigate in this world..and how we get our limited understanding of what is around us ..without beliefs it would be hard to process new information ..as new information get related and grasped ..

    many beliefs supply short cut in decision making process as it would be hard to do anything if you had to way all the facts each time you had a choice to make ..

    the problem with the way our beliefs are form is they worked well for long periods of time while change was slow for most of human history ..but when things change rapidly ..there is panic that sets in..

    and we are at a time were everything is changinf rapidly and our belief systems are in traumatic shock many people craving a time when things where simpler
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    see the problem is to have a discussion about belief.. there has to be some point that there is a basic agreed upon definition that is close ..

    unless the point is not to discuss beliefs ..bt to argue about what they are ..

    or at least thats my belief ..
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  • Profile picture of the author DaveSchwReno
    1. Through argument - a story, a discussion, a great book read over and over such as Think and Grow Rich (you get the idea)
    2. Through hard evidence - like if you put your finger over a flame you will be able to totally believe anyone who says that fire burns.
    I would add:

    3. Through personal choice. That is, you work hard to believe something. For example, you decide that you there is a God. As such, you begin to collect evidence to support that belief.

    Please note: I am using this as an example! I am not trying to start a religious debate.

    Permit me a more "worldly" example: Every Thursday you play golf with a friend. You beat him constantly. On Monday you injure your wrist and by Wednesday night you BELIEVE that you cannot win on Thursday.

    IMHO, this is also a kind of "personal choice" where we manufacture evidence to support what we THINK we SHOULD believe.

    Robbins is right: The trick is to choose carefully what we CHOOSE to believe.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tomwood
    Surely a belief is just a sense of certainly about something. Nothing more I'm not saying beliefs aren't incredibly powerful, but there's no need to complicate the basic concept
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    • Originally Posted by Tomwood View Post

      Surely a belief is just a sense of certainly about something. Nothing more I'm not saying beliefs aren't incredibly powerful, but there's no need to complicate the basic concept
      yes.

      I believe ________ because my experience reinforces it and it feels right overall.

      we over rate ourselves. it can be just simple answers.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Jacoby
        As Rich Mullins said,
        "I believe what I believe, that makes what I am...I did not make it, no, it is making me."

        Yeah, it's a Christian song, but even taken out of context I think it still applies...our beliefs are thoughts and emotions...reactions to the world around us. Everything you think, feel, believe, or whatever, is a reaction to something else. In other words, cause and effect. You feel one way because of something else.
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  • Profile picture of the author NeedBucksNow
    Having belief in yourself and knowing that you can make a difference in the world, is a great feeling I would say
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    • I like the opening post.

      reading the reply's is there anything new???

      it seems to me to be addition:

      a Thought, And an Emotion

      you think its right or good from your expeirence and what you've learned

      +

      and it feels right to you.


      any new ideas people can offer?


      As Rich Mullins said,
      "I believe what I believe, that makes what I am...I did not make it, no, it is making me."

      sounds like the same old stuff! boilerplate phrases

      what about conflicting beliefs. when they clash, is there a right and wrong???

      You see, a muslim extremist can make the above statement

      I like BlogsBringBucks reply - maybe no answer, but that it feels good.
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      • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
        Hey Kirby -- such a great post. Thanks for sharing this. You and I think very much a like (you probably can't tell based on our previous conversations -- lol), but it's true.

        I think we just have different words and vocabulary for what what we think about about how things work.

        A belief is definitely a combination of a thought and an emotion. That is probably the best description I have heard.

        What else can we say about a belief? Can we tell if a belief is good or bad?

        I believe we can. This thought+emotion transforms into a driver of human behavior.

        Is belief permanent? Certainly not (although, some beliefs tend to outlast others). Beliefs are directly affected by what we experience. It's a feedback loop.

        Something happens in our life and that forms a belief (it could be something we are told and accept, it could be something real that we experience, it could be a perception that is based on false information or assumption). But, the belief is always accepted as "true" by the person who holds the belief.

        In Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude by W.Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill, Stone relates a story about a belief he had: he didn't like jumbo frog legs. Why? He had eaten and liked regular frog legs. But on one occasion, he tried jumbo frog legs and they tasted terrible. He didn't like them. On another occasion, later in life, he went to a restaurant and ordered frog legs, but it turned out that the restaurant only served jumbo frog legs. He didn't want to make a scene and so he decided to just eat the jumbo frog legs and he absolutely loved them (It turned out the original jumbo frog legs that he didn't like were spoiled).

        Stone had carried this belief with him all his life based on false information.

        We now have a new formula: belief = thought + emotion + integrity of the information that the belief is based on.

        The way to tell if a belief is good or bad is to look at the behavior that it drives. Behavior can be evaluated and analyzed. The outcome of the behavior can also be reviewed. If the belief is driving a positive behavior that is getting a desired result, the belief is good on some level (and vice-versa).
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        • @rbarnhart1

          thanks for your kind reply.

          ( I thought you would be mad from my other thread post )

          always like to hear your input!

          hey! wait a minute!! your using the LOA on me!!!

          dang you barnhart

          LOA does work


          love W Clement Stone. still use his "power naps" technique to this day.
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          • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
            @Kirby ROFL

            Thanks Kirby. Appreciate that.
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