Belief vs. faith

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Part of the article series
Cassiopaean Experiment
Cassiopaean Experiment

In FOTCM discourse, the term belief means a concept which is accepted as a given truth, without necessarily being critically evaluated. 'Belief' often connotates emotional attachment of the believer to the belief. At an extreme, such attachment turns the belief into a 'sacred cow', defended through emotional thinking. By contrast, the term faith may be used to connote the opposite – an open-minded attitude and trust in the process of inquiry.

Understood in this way, 'belief' means having firmly decided that the world is a certain way and holding fast to this view even in the face of evidence to the contrary. In essence, one is attempting to force one's model on the world. Since there is then no regard for truth, this involves a form of subjectivity and internal considering regardless of whether what is believed happens to be correct or not.

'Faith', being an attitude of openness towards the truth and whatever the investigative process reveals, involves the opposite: an open and receptive attitude to the Universe. There is trust and the absence of any inflexible judgement on how things 'must be'. Faith, then, is conducive to the striving towards objectivity.

Belief is in a sense controlling and scared of being wrong, while faith is adventurous and flexible. The distinction between the two is also related to the question of anticipation and non-anticipation.

Even though the dictionary definitions of faith and belief are similar, the Cassiopaean material tends to make the above distinction between 'belief' and 'faith'.

See also