TOP Q: What Does It Most Decisively Mean To Believe, Disbelieve, or Lack Belief?

Believing and not believing are not simple things. There are ways to cognitively believe, disbelieve, and refrain from believing. But functionally there are ways to effectively act as though one believed, disbelieved, or refrained from believing. There are at least two broad kinds of avowed atheists who take two distinct kinds of stances on the [Read More...]

Disambiguating Belief

Ophelia Benson counters a common and deeply misleading equivocation (one I counter often, but most specifically addressed here and here): Belief is about truth; it equates to”it is true that X”. It is thus cognitive rather than emotive. It seems odd to me to ask if it would be better to believe the things I [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Not All Beliefs Held Without Certainty Are Faith Beliefs

David Crowther raises a crucial point of contention: What I really want to do, is get back to the question of whether atheism is necessarily a “faith position”. If we generalize the term “faith” to mean believing or relying on something without absolute proof, than I think it is true to say that every possible [Read More...]

Beliefs Have Consequences, Including Religious Ones

ZJ has another predictably perfect video brilliant in unpredictably sharp ways: There are those who say that religious beliefs are not at the root of certain behaviors that appear to be caused by religion. Even when the actions of the religious are completely in line with their beliefs, even when they openly proclaim that they [Read More...]

Are Certain Beliefs and Desires The Same Things?

Eric Schwitzgebel makes an interesting case that in some cases believing and desiring may be the same thing, or at least close enough to each other as to be inseparable from each other: In the usual taxonomy of mental states (usual, that is, among contemporary analytic philosophers of mind) belief is one thing, desire quite [Read More...]