virus: belief vs. faith (thanks, Jason)
Tue, 21 May 1996 15:27:40 -0400


You brought up a point which I was going to post when I got another
chance to get online (I've been away for several days), and that is that the
definition of faith is the flip of the definition of belief. If belief is
defined as:
"to believe X is to refuse to doubt the validity of X, either out of evidence
(sensory or empirical) or out of an acquiescence to authority,"
then faith is defined as:
"to have faith in X is to refuse to doubt the validity of X in the face of
evidence to the contrary or an opposing authority."
The point here is that with these definitions, one can have faith
"tested," whereas belief is supported by the results of tests or by the
absence of contradictory tests (i.e., the authority concept). This is
integral to the concept of martyrdom, and based on this -- since faith is not
looked on well by Virians and belief is -- we could define any attempt or
inclination toward martyrdom (as opposed to sainthood) as a Virian sin.