Is knowledge also a belief?

I have revised my OP to the following for sake of clarity:

Is everything that is considered knowledge also a belief? If so - why wouldn’t we dissociate knowledge from belief?
Knowledge is considered by many to be justified true belief, rooting from Plato. But was that taken too far? Did Plato really mean that as literally as it was taken? Wouldn’t that be an analogy of sorts and not really a definition?
If knowledge is justified, true, and also thought to be as certain as one is certain of a belief, would that mean that belief is not justified, not necessarily true, but thought to be certain?
“Seeing is believing”, a common phrase most of us have probably heard. But not if you understand that perception is flawed, seeing may not be believing for all. At times, seeing may be knowing, through certain justifications. As someone who has seen many things that weren’t real, I disagree that seeing is believing or that some simple generalization of knowledge and belief should occur. Nor do I agree that knowing is a belief.

I contest that knowledge is not belief, that belief is not knowledge. Plato described knowledge as “Justified true belief”. However, would that in turn mean that belief is not justified and possibly not true? I contest that belief is never justified. I contest that belief is not a step towards knowledge. I contest that understanding, logic and reason is the prerequisite for knowledge. Once that is obtained, a state of knowing “becomes”. I don’t agree that it is a state of “believing”. While knowing and believing in the mind may be of the same"feeling" that something is true, I do not think conflation of belief and knowledge is acceptable for these concepts, nor do I find it comprehensible to think that it is acceptable upon deeper analysis.

This is not just of a epistemological concern, but also a linguistical concern.

Webster defines belief as:

Full Definition of believe
be·lieved be·liev·ing

intransitive verb

1a: to have a firm religious faith b: to accept something as true, genuine, or real
2: to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something
3: to hold an opinion :think
transitive verb

1a: to consider to be true or honest <you wouldn’t believe how long it took>b: to accept the word or evidence of <couldn’t believe my ears>
2: to hold as an opinion :suppose
With that, there is great acceptance that all knowledge is also believed. Because both knowledge and belief is “accepted as true” as noted in definition 2. 1b

However, why does that mean that knowledge is also belief? Knowledge is accepted as true, for good reason. Knowledge is not merely accepted it as true, it is understood. If someone asked, “Do you know, or do you believe that 1+1=2”, the answer for most should be know. If someone merely believes that 1+1=2, then they imply that they don’t have understanding of how 1+=1=2. If one says, I know and believe 1+1=2, why would you bother to state you believe? Doesn’t having understanding and knowledge that 1+1=2 disqualify it from being merely accepted as true? Accepting something as true implies an assumption. You don’t understand that it is true. Now if you understand something is true, is it merely accepted? I contest that anyone can accept anything, just as anyone can believe anything. The fact that acceptance occurs does not justify us to conflate knowledge as beliefs, for good reason that I will present towards the end of this thesis.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states the following on belief:

“Contemporary analytic philosophers of mind generally use the term “belief” to refer to the attitude we have, roughly, whenever we take something to be the case or regard it as true. To believe something, in this sense, needn’t involve actively reflecting on it: Of the vast number of things ordinary adults believe, only a few can be at the fore of the mind at any single time. Nor does the term “belief”, in standard philosophical usage, imply any uncertainty or any extended reflection about the matter in question (as it sometimes does in ordinary English usage). Many of the things we believe, in the relevant sense, are quite mundane: that we have heads, that it’s the 21st century, that a coffee mug is on the desk. Forming beliefs is thus one of the most basic and important features of the mind, and the concept of belief plays a crucial role in both philosophy of mind and epistemology. The “mind-body problem”, for example, so central to philosophy of mind, is in part the question of whether and how a purely physical organism can have beliefs. Much of epistemology revolves around questions about when and how our beliefs are justified or qualify as knowledge.”

Please note specifically, "many of the things we believe, in the relevant sense are quite mundane: that we have heads…"Also please note “Contemporary analytic philosophers of mind generally use the term “belief” to refer to the attitude we have, roughly, whenever we take something to be the case or regard it as true.”

Attitude can simply be described as, the way we think or feel about something. I contest that the way we think or feel can vary from individual to individual. I am under no requirement to think and feel like anyone else, nor are you. While generally there are a lot of similarities in the way people think and feel - there is also the inability to actually experience the way another thinks and feels. Love, may be perceived differently from every single person to the next, same as any perception of colors. This subjective experience is part of what makes us human; we only attempt to relate to each other by sharing language that describes the similarities we think and feel. But that does not mean they are the same. A state of knowing however, is not reliant upon “attitude”. The requirement to be in a state of knowing is having knowledge, and knowledge is justified. It is understood through reason and logic. Belief is not understood, it is merely an “attitude” of accepting something as true.

I contest that conflation of knowledge as belief in the manner described previously is a misconception that has often been overlooked by contemporary analytic philosophers. There may be some relevance of how this has occurred and how knowledge is also a belief in the psyche of the general population, that being that we are all under cultural and very greatly, religious subjugation the past 2,000 years. In turn, there is good cause to consider there is linguistic subjugation. For example “Oh my god”, is not a literal call out to god, it is an exclamation of awe or disbelief, so to speak.

A great deal of our population has the belief that beliefs are sacred. “We shouldn’t make fun of other people’s beliefs” you might hear. Yet, if an unpopular belief rises to the mainstream, these same people might be making fun of it. People who believe in aliens, who believe 9/11 was an inside job, who believe in all sorts of conspiracy theories, or that aliens exist, get ridiculed incessantly, or that there are multiple gods. The problem is, when it comes to a belief in a widely accepted God, it’s sacred. No you can’t make fun of that. This is when the rules apply. I contest, criticism of beliefs is exactly what is needed. I see the possibility that the very nature of the concept of knowledge and belief may be conflated due to the sanctity of beliefs the past 2,000 years in the English Language.

When a believer is confronted with criticism, they will begin to shift their belief as knowledge. Suddenly, as a defense mechanism, they “know” that god exists. It’s no longer a claim that it is believed. Well that’s when things get hairy and cognitive dissonance kicks in. They begin willfully thinking that they believe God exists and know God exists at the same time. This causes them great discomfort and while engaging in a discussion about this, you will see their emotional pain rise out of this, they will get upset, they begin to feel attacked. These are all defense mechanisms for an ultimately inept way of thinking, conflating beliefs as knowledge.

  1. Knowledge is not a belief

  2. Beliefs are not knowledge

  3. Religion, faith, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Greek Mythology, Jainism, Taosim, are beliefs, not knowledge.

  4. I can believe anything I want, just because massive quantities of people believe the same thing, doesn’t give it anymore credibility, logically. Yet people, not consciously, think it’s ok, I suspect. I did, in the past at least. This essentially, is a myopic thought process, which reeks of a logical fallacy, dubbed “Argumentum ad Populum”:

Beliefs are in many ways not a good thing to have. Faith on the other hand, is a lot like hope, we have faith that we will do good on a test, etc. Faith, I would say, is a good thing to have, but lets not conflate it with a belief as well. Belief’s in the context I am referring to, are thinking that something(s) are true, without knowing that they are true. I content that there is nothing good that can come of this. If you are right about your belief, you are lucky. But why act before knowing? Why believe you know, before you actually know? Take into account all things before hand. Yes, probability is a factor, but know that you do not know and proceed accordingly. Knowing that you do not know is half the battle many times. It will not cause a need for defense mechanisms, or coping with what you thought was true, turns out to be wrong.

This is how belief’s ought to be criticized, to either solidify them, or knock them down. If a belief can withstand criticism, then perhaps we will find merit in it. If not, we will find nonsense, pain, and anguish, that come about as a result of defense mechanisms. Beliefs are not sacred, anyone who things that is an enemy of rational thinking. an enemy of truth. People believe all sorts of crazy things, yet we should question them, criticize them, in a way that doesn’t hurt their ego, necessarily, however difficult that may be, but in a way that helps people think, to help them understand. When it comes to anything, don’t believe, just know that you do not know.

Knowledge is a subset of belief.
Beliefs are things one believes are true.
Those things considered knowledge must meet certain criteria.

Both beliefs that are considered knowledge and beliefs that are not may be true or false.
Calling something knowledge means the belief in question has made it through some gauntlet.

I disagree that it was a belief if its knowledge. It’s known - due to reason, logic, the proper justification to consider something knowledge.

I don’t agree that knowledge is a belief. I see good reason to separate the two conceptually, and see no reason why knowledge is considered belief. Can you clarify why that has to be the case?

Belief is not knowledge. Knowledge is whatever was presented in your consciousness and you remember it to be true. Belief is the faith that your theories will be true, but you aren’t sure.

For example, we believe that our memories are true knowledge that happened in reality, but we cannot be sure that someone tampered with our brains and gave us false memories.

Further more, we cannot be sure that if someone did tamper with our brain and give us false memories that they are false memories, because the very act of planting them could make us go through time and live out those memories as if they were real. My belief is that this may not be the case, that there is a spiritual essence of reality outside of our brains that binds us all and makes only memories that happen in real life outside of our brains have the mollasses of feeling real.

People have the firm belief that aliens aren’t real, and that 9/11 was not an inside job. The CIA already admitted aliens are real, but who trusts the CIA?

I’m saying it doesn’t matter if aliens are real or if repitilians are running the government. The government is shit, the world is shit, and people themselves are shit. So does it really matter if aliens are real or not, because they don’t give a shit about planet Earth. Does it matter if reptilians are real or not, because the government is already corrupt as fuck and the music industry is trying its hardest to be as corrupt as it can. Does it really matter if they are lizard people, monkeys, or space aliens from mars? Does it matter if a Nazi wears a brown uniform, or a black uniform? Its just a matter of cosmetics.

The deeper issue, is why people believe 9/11 isn’t an inside job, because they seem like they have a psychology of just swallowing whatever the media tells them, which is dangerous.

See revision to OP please

^Didn’t pass the Turing test for me.

Now did I?

No. Keywords can be programmed.

What can’t be programmed? In turn, how do you know? Why should anything past the test then? If so, why even comment? I rest my case.

Can you have knowledge but not believe it to be true? If you don’t believe it, how is it knowledge (“knowing”)?

Because I know it to be true, its not a matter of belief.

Seems like a botish comment, I said keywords can be programmed, not can’t.

The other post was bottish as fuck, it was a wall of text that was a remixed copypasta of the original text, completely ignoring everyone’s posts.

Yes I should’ve posted “the other post” first. I kind of cleaned up the thesis on the 2nd time around and just barfed it in the general reply area.

I have revised my OP for clarity - thank you.

All others, please note this conversation has led to an edit. Ultimate Philosophy 1001 is not a mad man, in this case.

I think that where you can e.g. Make a sound make it move through air then record it and get essentially the same thing, then info is making it between and through physical objects.

As long as the instrument/brain is reading correctly, then it can receive info from the world = knowledge.

learning a skill [is an example of how knowledge can exist even without direct relation to the material] = knowledge.

teaching others those skills, such that they can record and mimic them = knowledge.


Of course it still might be wrong. Some things that are knowledge turn out later to have merely been beliefs, even within science. But more importantly, it is useful to consider knowledge belief because it is something we believe. We may believe things that are not knowledge to be true, but we certainly also believe what we consider knowledge.

I don’t see what the harm is to consider knowlegde rigorously arrived at belief.

I know it common usage, belief is sometimes referring only to superstitions and religions beliefs. But this is only one of the ways belief is used, even outside of philosophy. In philosophy belief is used for anything that we believe is true. The noun to the verb. They fit each other precisely. Since we know by this that when we refer to knowledge as a specific kind of belief, it does not mean that therefore knowledge is merely a belief.

It doesnt have to be the case. We use words and can use them as we like. Non philosphers often get very upset because, I think, to them saying knowledge is a kind of belief means that believing the world is flat is a solid as believing that the earth revolves around the sun or something. But given that we precisely label, though not all of us in the same ways, the characteristics of knowledge that separate it out from other beliefs, this is simply a nonissue.

The first advantage of saying knowledge is a belief is that, well, we believe what we consider knowledge.
The second more practical reason is it allows us to easily lay out how we form our beliefs and what makes some knowledge and some not.

I actually think JTB is problematic, but that’s another set of issues.

CAlling knowledge a belief also allows for revision. Some things we consider knowledge now will turn out to be incorrect. To make it seem like knowledge is not a kind of belief, one which is justified in certain specific ways other beliefs are not, make this potential revision more logical. If we say knowledge is not a belief, then it is as if it must be right, and when it comes time to change those pieces of knowledge that turn out not to be true, we must then doubt in some too serious way all the things we considered knowledge since we seemed to be making some ontological rather than methodological distinction.

But you can of course use the words as you like.

I see, so you believe in absolute certainty. Or do you just know absolute certainty to be a absolute fact?

And you didn’t really answer my question. Can you have knowledge and yet not believe it to be true? And if you believe it to be true, how is it not a belief?

You seem to want to insist that “belief = probably wrong” and “knowledge = absolutely certain”.

Here’s another problem I have with the way you present the issue.
It is as if we have knowledge here ( )
And then over there we have beliefs ( )
Two sets of non-overlappping stuff that are distinct.
But in fact we have a wide spectrum of things we believe in, for all sorts of reasons. Or to put it differently we have beliefs of all different kinds which we can look at and describe having been arrived at via different methodologies, and we could also, at least would also tend to analyze in terms of gradations of strength.
You might have political beliefs: some even in part supported by science. You might believe your friend Joe is having an affair. You saw him come out of a hotel with a woman, kiss her and grab her ass. Not his wife, who you know, pretty damning. A rather solid belief, though their might, it turns out have been some ornate alternate explanation. He finally decided to try out his secret dream of acting and it was a student film and you missed the young camera crew filming from a van. You likely have a wide set of very solid beliefs about what you did earlier in the day, though many of these would be very hard to demonstrate were true to others. Beliefs about what a dream meant or is. Beliefs about other peoples problems, some in your family, some you do not know well. You have your beliefs as a non-scientist about scientific ideas. Beliefs based on authority: you tennis instructors beliefs about how to moveo n the court, your dentists beliefs about what needs to be done in your mouth. It is often quite a good methodology to take on the beliefs of experts. Other times it is not a good idea. And on and on.
Beliefs with varying degrees of likelihood of correctness. Beliefs arrived at through many different methodologies.
It makes sense to me to consider, in a philosophical mileau, all the things you believe in, including things based on science, as the set of your beliefs. And from there begin to distinguish them along methodological lines and have epistemological discussions.
I mean, here are two ideas:
The moon is made of cheese.
Cheese is made from dairy products.
They are both ideas.
The fact that the first idea is one you think is absurdly, wildly incorrect, does not make diminish the word
‘idea’. People have good ideas and bad ones.
Cocksucker is a word. So is mellifluous.
Both words, neither diminishing the category word.
Is it useful to use belief for all the things you believe in? I think it is. For the reasons given here and before.
And given that even what is considered knowledge is open to revision in YOUR epistemology, given that yours places the highest priority, I would guess on beliefs based on science, only more so. What is considered knowledge today may not be tomorrow, even if it is unlikely, to the best of our knowledge, that most of it will be revised.

Untestable hypotheses can certainly be regarded as beliefs although they are actually non scientific by definition
Also science is primarily an inductive discipline which means it deals in probable truth rather than absolute truth

It\s hard to place this since you pulled one sentence out of what I wrote. It seems like you might be disagreeing with me. Do you disagree with the statement you quoted.?
would you agree that one of the strengths of science is that what is considered true can be revised?
Do you have knowledge of the idea of justified true beliefs in philosophy and why this is considered a good definition of knowledge?
Though perhaps you are agreeing with me. What you mention about science as inductive and provisional (my word) supports my position and I also mentioned it in different wording since I doubted he would be clear on terms like inductive.