DEFINITION OF BELIEF

Before fully analyzing the term belief that concerns us, we must determine its etymological origin. In this sense, we would have to establish that it comes from Latin, and more specifically from what would be the sum of the verb credere, which can be translated as “to believe”, and the suffix -entia, which is equivalent to “quality of an agent”.

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The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines belief as the firm assent and agreement with something. Belief is the idea that is held to be true and given full credence as true. For example: “The belief of the researchers is that the girl is alive somewhere in the country”, “No one can dispute the belief of a mother, but the truth is that the evidence indicates the opposite”, “In the most difficult moments I stand by my beliefs. ”

The prayer is based on a belief of the person.

Belief and faith

A belief can be considered to be a paradigm that is based on faith, since there is no absolute demonstration, rational foundation or empirical justification to prove it. That is why belief is associated with religion, doctrine or dogma : “According to the belief of my people, human beings have infinite lives that follow each other according to karma”, “I cannot support an initiative which is contrary to my Christian beliefs”, “We have to respect those who have beliefs different from ours”.

The conformation of a belief is born from within a person (it develops from their own convictions and moral values), although it is also influenced by external factors and the social environment (family pressure, dominant groups, etc.).

Classification according to type

When talking about beliefs, we would have to underline the existence of a great variety of them. Thus, for example, we find what are known as global beliefs, which are those ideas that we have about aspects such as life, the human being or the world.

However, there are also beliefs about the origin of something, about the causes or about the meaning.

Each religion has its own beliefs.

It is also important to keep in mind that, as a general rule, beliefs can be limiting or empowering. The former are identified as being those that what they achieve is that we are incapacitated to be able to think or act in a certain way in a specific situation.

The latter, on the other hand, what they achieve is to improve our self-esteem and our confidence since basically what they are in charge of is helping to enhance our abilities. In this way, they give us security and initiative to be able to carry out certain actions in the event of specific events that arise.

Open beliefs and closed beliefs

It is possible to distinguish between open beliefs (which allow discussion based on a logical and rational analysis) and closed beliefs (which can only be discussed by an authority). Scientific beliefs can be mentioned in the first group, since anyone capable of proving the contrary is in a position to refute a belief. Among closed beliefs, the most common are religious beliefs (which emanate from a divinity and are administered by a select few).

It is important to establish, in this framework, that the Catholic Church sustains the entire set of pillars and beliefs in the figure of God the Father, in the existence of the Trinity, in the Holy Spirit… It is, therefore, a closed belief.

BELIEF