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On Belief


As was mentioned on the previous page On Truth, asserted pointing objects are the only things we describe as true or false. An assertion is an action, it is to put forth, to claim, to state; an action wherein one points at reality. If the action isn't performed, then no pointing to reality is performed, and therefore the thought, meaning, mental representation, understanding, proposition, experience, or hypothetical expectation is merely what it is to us, an object, not a pointing object, not something corresponding to reality, merely being similar or dissimilar to it beyond our consideration.

An assertion can be made with conviction or without conviction. A nonconvictional assertion can be made as a hypothesis, a mere consideration of possibility. An assertion with conviction we call a "belief".

A belief is a thought, meaning, mental representation, understanding, proposition, experience, or hypothetical expectation that one holds as being true, either explicitly or in practice. It influences how I act toward or think about reality.

When an assertion points to reality, and what it is is claiming is taken as the way reality is, rather than merely a consideration or hypothetical, it is a belief.

Four types of believing: is the case, possible, most likely, impossible

There are conscious beliefs and unconscious beliefs. There are beliefs about precise facts, there are beliefs about particulars, there are beliefs about universals. There are beliefs that are about accidental properties, and beliefs about essential properties. There are beliefs brought about through abstraction and through generalization. And there are structural beliefs that are implied in supporting a different conscious belief.

Dormant Unconsious Belief, ex. - background belief in the constancy of gravity
Active Implicit Belief, ex – walking
Passive Explicit Belief, ex. – sometimes throwing a ball in taking account of gravity to determine where it will fall; it is before my mind that I am taking it into account but I’m not focused on it.
Active Explicit Belief, ex. – Assertion of the law of gravity, one is focused on it

1. Nonactive unconscious - ex. gravity on the moon
2. active unconcsious - ex. gravity when I'm walking
3. active implicit - ex. gravity when I am throwing a ball to someone
4. active explicit - ex. A present assertion of gravity
Whether it needs to be used and the degree of our awareness of it.
Some beliefs act as the foundational framework of the ultimate structure that is output. We are not aware of most of these, though they are each necessary in determining the particular output. They don't often have the structure of a proposition for they are experienced or present as complex wholes.
To have as a fact in one's world view.

Perhaps this surprise or reaction to a consideration of the opposite is one of the ways to distinguish beliefs because some beliefs would be implicit or passive, like gravity, but this would make them normally indistinguishable, we wouldn’t be aware of most of our beliefs. Perhaps beliefs are dispositions. In some fancies of my imagination I am not surprised by changing circumstances of imaginary objects.

Through reflection I check to see if I can have a thought/experience that is what it isn't and isn't what it is at each instance. I also do this when I assert something or when I believe something. I find that I can't think/experience the referring object being what it is and not what it is in either assertions or beliefs, each time I try it. If I can't think of a thought/experience being what it isn't, and I can't think of an assertion or belief being what it isn't, and I can't think of truth being what it isn't, then it appears that at each instance when I can't think of something being what it isn't - I can't think of anything that isn't an assertion being true, and I can't think of asserting a contradiction, and I can't think of a contradiction being true. There is no "assertion" of the contrary of these things.

The aforementioned types of beliefs show me that I have a lot of beliefs that I am never even aware of. Because my goal is the truth, I must become aware of the truth or falsity of each of my beliefs, to the best of my ability.

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