Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Knowledge vs Belief vs Faith

Both knowledge and belief are evidence-based, when the words are used properly. Faith is not. However, it is common to use the words faith and belief interchangeably. Even Webster does it due to widespread acceptance. But, here is the difference in all three.

Knowledge requires empirical evidence. I "know" empirically that my dog is beside me in my chair. It's not something I can choose to "unknow".

Belief also requires evidence. It doesn't require empirical evidence, but it does require evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Without empirical evidence, I cannot "know" that my dog will live long enough to be beside me tomorrow. But, I have enough supporting evidence to believe he will be. Note: Personal experience can provide sufficient subjective evidence for an individual to believe something that is not necessarily factual.

Faith requires little or no supporting evidence. All it requires is a need or desire for something to be true. I can choose to have faith in something regardless of the evidence or the lack thereof. I can choose to have faith in God, flying saucers, or that my dog is the Antichrist, without supporting evidence of any kind. This is because faith is want-to-be based, and fueled by need, fear, tribal influence, or conditioning. It is interesting that even the Bible supports this by declaring that: "Faith is the substance of things "hoped for" (emphasis mine).

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