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great answer, I hadn't thought of it that way.
Just the opposite happened to me. I was suicidal for years believing God was the reason for so much pain in the world. The day I looked up and stopped believing in God was the day I became happy again. I accepted the universe as is.
I'm similar austinstar, however I do my best to understand others and if it can help them, wonderful!
I agree that beliefs can be a source of comfort but I've never heard of someone coming to a belief because it's comforting.
I agree MT.
JM, I agree that no-one could take themselves seriously if they believed something for being comforting, however, if something is comforting, we generally bias our thinking towards finding evidence for it. Check out motivated reasoning.
I would say that "faith" is belief in something without evidence. I don't necessarily see belief and faith as the same thing in all circumstances, and I think trust is separate from both as well.
I think that "belief" encompasses "faith", "optimism", "pessimism", etc.. I cannot speak intelligently on "trust" because I've never experienced it.
I am still interested in an example of demonstrable evidence regarding "belief."