Is knowledge also a belief?

Do you believe that or do you know it? I know better :wink:

Oh, you were presenting a survey of how English speakers use words? My mistake, I thought you were doing philosophy. Anyway, this is all been addressed time and again, and you’ve ignored it.

Yes. Or: Do belief and knowledge have the same root(s)?

Yes your mistake, it was both.

Yeah that works. In any event, it’s too easy of a question to answer for somebody that doesn’t have some nonrational motivation to make it complex. The whole ‘Belief is what religious people do, good people don’t have beliefs’ angle he took it is what cinched it for me. So far as I am aware, there is no intellectual space outside of Dawkins’ cult of personality in which statements like “I don’t have any beliefs” aren’t nonsense.

Obviously knowing is a type of belief as belief is defined, if the question is does knowing become something so quantitatively different from a belief that it should no longer be considered a belief is just semantic.

You could just as well say it the other way around (but you just do not want to):

We easily say that “it might be 10th street” when we actually mean “I believe it is 10th street”.

People throw around the word “might” too loosely.

Your enemies are the words “belief” and “believe”, probably also the words “religion”, “theism”, “God”.

You opened your thread because you believed that you can easily kill certain words or at least their meanings.

There is nothing that proves your statements. Again: Your statements are ridiculous. So they are not suitable for changing anything of the epistemology or anything else.

If I say I believe it’s 10th street, I would generally not mean, it might be.

Might means possiblity. I am not saying what I think is the case if I say might be.

If I say I believe it is tenth street, I think it is, but I am not sure. Or I am English and I know damn well it is but I am correcting someone gently, though perhaps more cruelly.

People USE the word belief loosely precisely because it means a wide range of things. In everyday language. This is mirrored in philosophy by taking it to mean what someone considers to be true, however they arrived at that belief.

If you want to argue that you KNOW certain things and that this is different from belief, this leads to all sorts of philosophical problems. For one, it means your belief in that case cannot be revised. It is final. You cannot possibly be deluded, whatever scientific research it is based on will never be revised or superceded, you are not in a simulation, you are not remembering incorrectly and so on.

I think most people who disagree with you here fully understand that belief can be used to refer specifically to religious type beliefs or what gets called superstition.

But 1) that is not the limit of everyday usage. 2) this is a philosophy forum and in philosophy you are quite incorrect 3) IT DOES NOT FUCKING ENTAIL THAT RELIGIOUS BELIEFS ARE THE SAME AS BELIEFS ARRIVED AT VIA SCIENCE 4) there are very good practical and logical reasons that the philosophical community had decided to refer to knowledge as a specific rigorously arrived at subset of beliefs. They do this, and miraculously, this does not mean that atheist philosophers must suddenly consider old testement assertions as the same as your doctor’s or the latest nobel prize winner when she is talking about her research findings.

You are used to using Beliefs in a certain way, but I will bet that you don’t challenge people IRL when they use believe broadly. In any case there is no reason to.

You are triggered by the word. It makes you feel like you are conceding something, conflating two categories WHEN IT SIMPLY DOES NOT DO THIS.

If you have a club where you decide that belief believe will only mean X, fine have that club. You would not be wrong. You would have an agreed upon use, clear in context. But in a philosophy forum to go on and on claiming that it is wrong to consider knowledge a specific kind of belief when there are good reasons to do this and these have been explained to you and further THIS IS A CLUB, the philosophical community, and they have decided to use the terms in a way they find useful.


In fact you are being offered a different was of using terms that you might use WHEN IN PHILOSOPHICAL CONTEXTS, just as we speak and write differently in different contexts all the time . Or you can decide you will never ever do this thing that makes you so uncomfortable. That’s fine. Language is for us. I for one do not care how you use the words, unless we get into a discussion of epistemology and even then I can work with you as long as we define terms.

But you seem not to be able to live with other people using the terms this way.

And I believe that is ridiculous.

Moreno nailed it.

too long to read the whole thread:

Knowledge is perception since it is infinite. One never should trust completely a perception. Reality is ever changing since thought is projection. But right, what I am saying is a belief in itself. LOL

Allow the illusion to serve you, not being a victim of it.

I don’t think that’s the case. Saying “I believe it is 10th street” to someone usually means " I don’t know it’s 10th street, I think its 10th street though", does it not? Otherwise, someone who knows it’s 10th street would say “It’s 10th street”. Very confidently. The good thing about this example is, there is usually no cognitive biases wrapped up around this issue of finding something, usually. So its pretty simple. I don’t think people throw the word “might” around too loosely. Seems you’re just being contrarian to engage in sophistry

The word belief does mean a lot of different things of course, and usually when people do say " I believe… (insert possible truth)" they are expressing uncertainty - unless it is their doctrine/religion, opinion, or values in which certainty is more prevalent.

“If you want to argue that you KNOW certain things and that this is different from belief, this leads to all sorts of philosophical problems. For one, it means your belief in that case cannot be revised”

I disagree, as I mentioned knowledge does not necessarily mean truth, it is dynamic. The difference between belief and knowledge is justification. What that justification entails is reason, awareness, logic, understanding. Vague yes, but belief doesn’t include those justifications. Belief is either uncertainty (not the type of belief we are discussing in this thread - or certainty - this is the type of belief we are discussing in this thread). With knowledge, there is justification for certainty, with belief, there is not. With knowledge being dynamic and not necessarily truth we have a reasonable categorization of how we understand how we think, what our limits are and also an allusion to truth being mildly elusive perhaps, at least among qualia.

Please note religion is really irrelevant to this conversation. We are talking about certainty of truth with knowledge and belief and the difference. Religions are irrelevant, science is irrelevant. Justification is and what proper justification is needed is a far more complex matter - keep in mind this is a basic framework.

I don’t know what you mean I am “triggered by the word”. It makes me feel like I am conceding something? I have nothing to concede if I don’t think things are truth without proper justification that entails it to be knowledge. So what of it? I don’t know why you are getting emotional here though - I never claimed anything is being taken from me. I do think this belief/knowledge dilution may contribute to people not thinking logically or reasonably. It makes it ok to belief things are real or true without proper justification somewhat, it may lead to people not parsing their own thoughts properly.

That has nothing to with what I was talking about.

It is true that:

It was an example, the reversed example of yours, and I could have given many other examples too. The sentence “people throw the word ‘might’ around too loosely” is as correct or incorrect as the sentence “people throw the word ‘belief’ around too loosely”. That was what I was saying.

Seems you are just being contrarian to engage in sophistry.

Seems you do not know what you are talking about.

“Ich glaube” in German means “I believe” in English, and “Ich denke” in German means “I think” in English. Since the late 1960s, certain German people have been fighting a “word battle”; the reason for it is the goal that “Ich denke” shall be used instead of “Ich glaube” which shall die out; the people shall believe that they think and shall not notice that they believe and not think; in this way new believers shall be bred, namely those who do not think / know that they believe but nevertheless believe that they think / know.


Do you have any references for this? I think people don’t notice now whether they believe or know, that’s the problem with the world and a little better clarity on belief and knowledge could help. A lot of that has to do with the what consists of understanding. As stated earlier, that’s a bigger task at hand, but something epistemology has been doing with things here and there, in a manner that isn’t really relayed to anyone. I already provided reasons why, I want a new theory of epistemology because I think people don’t think cogently. I don’t think they parse their thoughts very well, in particularly when dealing with things such as knowledge, truth and belief. These words are tossed around often and often they don’t really mean what the person saying them actually means. Many times, people don’t actually introspect well enough to actually understand if they hold a belief, or if they have justification for knowledge, or if they even know if something is true. It has been conflated and led to erroneous thoughts. Not only that, the field of epistemology has led to disseminating truth from belief more oft than showing the relation, in attitude as I mentioned, in our every day language. What else is there? So why should we hang on to JTB? I think we lose the true essence of knowledge and the true essence of belief by doing so and I think this schism could be a better way, if only we could get around the harshness this sounds to anyone who classifies knowledge as a subset of belief. If only we can get around the 2,000 years of epistemology building upon JTB, only to note the differences more so than anything, yet still hang on to JTB.

So, I hope we can gain more understanding of the essence of knowledge, belief, truth and opinion with this schism. Not only for ourselves as individuals, but maybe even for the field of epistemology.

Yes: my experience and studies.

Seems to be the opposite of what I am proposing. The goal is for the field of epistemology to get on board with how people think, and what the field already understands. Belief and knowledge have a discernable difference in attitude (certainty) and usage - justification, and mindset. In essence, everything about knowledge and belief becomes differentiated at an epistemological level - yet the categorization remains for no good reason it seems. The people are confused - people don’t understand the difference between their beliefs and their knowledge - yet epistemology does - yet puts it in a nice box called belief. Yet its truth also. Yet its not.

It is not difficult to find out which of the English speakers use the term “I think” or the term “I believe” how often, in which situations and with or without switching. Until the end of the 1960’s German speakers used the term “ich glaube” very much oftener than the term “ich denke” - maybe this ratio was 90 to 10. Since about 1990 certain German speakers have been using the term “ich denke” very much oftener than the term “ich glaube” - maybe this ratio is 99 to 1 (and for all German speakers maybe 80 to 20 or 70 to 30). So the ratio of the use of the terms “ich glaube” and “ich denke” has reversed within merely two decades (1970’s and 1980’s).

What’s easiest is rarely what’s right :slight_smile: You can think that, but that’s not how the words are used. You can state that that is how you use those words, but you don’t really offer any reasons for others to agree.

Anyone can believe anything they want, without justification - this is true, but doesn’t logically entail that all beliefs are unjustified. Why should we accept that a belief stops being a belief when it’s justified, and not just become a firmer belief? Is “understanding” or “comprehending” an objective state, or is it a subjective feeling? Many people understood the universe as being heliocentric, and were equipped to judge others on their understanding of that… knowledge? Belief? Was it knowledge until disproved?

And is there nothing that you’d say you know that you haven’t rationally and logically analysed and empirically verified? I don’t believe that. Or maybe I know otherwise. :wink:

Another false dichotomy. “In his opinion, we should deport all foreigners” has no informational content different to “He believes we should deport all foreigners.”

Realise? That’s a bold claim. As far as I’m aware, the mind handles them identically - wasn’t this the point of Sam Harris’ excursions into neuroscience?

If you want to approach philosophically as rigorously as you claim, it seems odd that you conflate such different concepts as “criticism of” with “making fun of”.

Now you’re claiming that the distinction you’ve just imposed on people is causing them cognitive dissonance? Do you not think it’s more likely that people get emotionally invested in their worldview and fight to defend it against people who see things otherwise? This bit reads like the wrong end of the fedora Reddit new atheistsphere, and I’m pretty sure (or at least believe) that you don’t belong there.

Unproven at best.


You’re playing fast and loose with words, now, shifting definitions. In the sense of “something believed” vs. “something known” they’re neither; they aren’t statements, they’re worldviews. Containing some accurate belief(-statement)s and some very weird ones.

So where does “making fun of them” come into this? And now you neither believe nor know anything?

You answered your own question: