belief


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Belief

Mental reliance on or acceptance of a particular concept, which is arrived at by weighing external evidence, facts, and personal observation and experience.Belief is essentially a subjective feeling about the validity of an idea or set of facts. It is more than a mere suspicion and less than concrete knowledge. Unlike suspicion, which is based primarily on inner personal conviction, belief is founded upon assurance gained by empirical evidence and from other people. Positive knowledge, as contrasted with belief, is the clear perception of existing facts.

Belief has been defined as having faith in an idea or formulating a conclusion as the result of considering information. Information and belief is a legal term that is used to describe an allegation based upon Good Faith rather than firsthand knowledge.

belief

n. convinced of the truth of a statement or allegation. In a common phrase "upon information and belief," the so-called belief is based only on unconfirmed information, so the person declaring the belief is hedging his/her bet as to whether the belief is correct. (See: information and belief)

belief

(Something believed), noun canon, conclusion, conviction, credo, creed, doctrinal statement, doctrine, dogma, expectation, maxim, persuasion, precept, principle, rule, tenet
Associated concepts: beyond reasonable doubt, presumption

belief

(State of mind), noun absoluteness, assurance, assuredness, certainty, certitude, conclusion, confidence, credence, credulity, definiteness, expectation, judgment, opinio, opinion, persuasio, positiveness, sanguineness, understanding, unequivocalness
Associated concepts: good faith belief, suspicion
Foreign phrases: Cuilibet in arte sua perito est credendum.Credence should be given to one skilled in his particular art. Cuique in sua arte credendum est. Everyone is to be beeieved in reference to his own art or profession. Testibus deponentibus in pari numero, dignioribus est credennum. When the number of testifying witnesses is equal on both sides, the more worthy are to be believed.
See also: assumption, concept, confidence, conjecture, credence, credibility, credulity, dogma, estimate, faith, idea, impression, notion, position, presumption, principle, reliance, stand, standpoint, supposition, theory, thesis, trust, weight

BELIEF. The conviction of the mind, arising from evidence received, or from information derived, not from actual perception by our senses, but from. the relation or information of others who have had the means of acquiring actual knowledge of the facts and in whose qualifications for acquiring that knowledge, and retaining it, and afterwards in communicating it, we can place confidence. " Without recurring to the books of metaphysicians' "says Chief Justice Tilghman, 4 Serg. & Rawle, 137, "let any man of plain common sense, examine the operations of, his own mind, he will assuredly find that on different subjects his belief is different. I have a firm belief that, the moon revolves round the earth. I may believe, too, that there are mountains and valleys in the moon; but this belief is not so strong, because the evidence is weaker." Vide 1 Stark. Ev. 41; 2 Pow. Mortg. 555; 1 Ves. 95; 12 Ves. 80; 1 P. A. Browne's R 258; 1 Stark. Ev. 127; Dyer, 53; 2 Hawk. c. 46, s. 167; 3 Wil. 1, s. 427; 2 Bl. R. 881; Leach, 270; 8 Watts, R. 406; 1 Greenl. Ev. Sec. 7-13, a.

References in classic literature ?
Yes, there was a sort of refuge which always comes with the prostration of thought under an overpowering passion: it was that expectation of impossibilities, that belief in contradictory images, which is still distinct from madness, because it is capable of being dissipated by the external fact.
Every man on board seemed well content, and they must have been hard to please if they had been otherwise, for it is my belief there was never a ship's company so spoiled since Noah put to sea.
Does not the belief in vampires rest for others, though not, alas
And you are ready to renounce all belief in your good sense, in your knowledge, in your fidelity, in what you thought till then was the best in you, giving you the daily bread of life and the moral support of other men's confidence.
A favorite topic with me was the popular belief in omens -- a belief which, at this one epoch of my life, I was almost seriously disposed to defend.
Vernon, which had reached me, in common with the world in general, and gained my entire belief before I saw you, but which you, by the exertion of your perverted abilities, had made me resolved to disallow, have been unanswerably proved to me; nay more, I am assured that a connection, of which I had never before entertained a thought, has for some time existed, and still continues to exist, between you and the man whose family you robbed of its peace in return for the hospitality with which you were received into it; that you have corresponded with him ever since your leaving Langford; not with his wife, but with him, and that he now visits you every day.
In fine, therefore, Lady Arabella wanted the general belief to be that there was no snake of the kind in Diana's Grove.
But howsoever these things are thus in men's depraved judgments, and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature.
We are accustomed since the growth of the historical method to the belief that states are "not made but grow," and are apt to be impatient with the belief which Aristotle and Plato show in the powers of the lawgiver.
There is observable throughout, the contest between mechanical and spiritual methods, but with a steady tendency of the thoughtful and virtuous to a deeper belief and reliance on spiritual facts.
It seizes with avidity upon any incidents, surprising or mysterious, in the career of those who have at all distinguished themselves from their fellows, and invents a legend to which it then attaches a fanatical belief.
For the ancients these questions were solved by a belief in the direct participation of the Deity in human affairs.