What does it mean to "Believe in" something?

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  1. iantoPF profile image81
    iantoPFposted 12 years ago

    What does it mean to "Believe in" something?

    I keep hearing and reading people say "I believe in" followed by Gods, Devils, Supernatural forces and even scientific debates, (Creation, Evolution, etc.) I know what "Believe" means and I know what "in" is. The two words, put together, do noe make sense to me.
    Can anyone clarify?

  2. profile image0
    Catzgendronposted 12 years ago

    Faith, family and friends.  These are words that describe the foundation that I rely on to rule my life and how I've choose to live. 
    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    The scripture... read more

  3. juneaukid profile image70
    juneaukidposted 12 years ago

    Let me answer with belief in mythology. One does not literally believe, let us say, in Micmac Indian legends of ancient ogres and giants like Jenu and Glooscap. But what one can believe in is their poetic effectiveness in revealing facets of human nature.

    1. iantoPF profile image81
      iantoPFposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Very well put. Let me see if I understand; It is one thing to believe myth as truth and another thing to see myth as presenting archetypes of the human consciousness. Interesting points.

  4. Gentle Fist profile image82
    Gentle Fistposted 12 years ago

    There are lots of things people believe in, but the sole act of "believing in" is common to all. Anthropologically speaking and without much metaphisics involved, believing is something means you have the trust in something. There is no true belief if there is no trust present.
    You can see people who say they believe in god but are afraid of much things, like they do not have the trust needed. they do not truly believe with their whole being, they might just be raised in a certain family which honors such and such tradition.
    When you believe in something, it means you give yourself fully to that idea, be it God, Devil, Evolution, Bible. Relationship with the thing you believe is the relationship with that which you consider the ultimate, with the one which has all the answers. That's why belief should not be common in science since it explores and wants to know not to believe. But, trust, on the other hand is more humane concept which cannot be evaded so easily during our lives, and we might even build our relationship with God/s on pure act of trust.

    1. iantoPF profile image81
      iantoPFposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      "When you believe in something, it means you give yourself fully to that idea"
      That is an excellent definition, thank you.

  5. CR Rookwood profile image70
    CR Rookwoodposted 12 years ago

    I think I get what you are saying here. Belief is a choice, an acceptance of something in the absence of absolute proof. But add 'in' to it and it changes the meaning in a way that matters.

    Your question got me to thinking. What DO I 'believe IN' and what does that mean? I never gave it much thought before, but I guess I would say I believe in attitudes that I am confident do no harm. I could say I believe in love, I believe in compassion, I believe in patience. I am confident those are all qualities that, if developed, make life better all around. And they are easy to understand. There's no duplicity there, no agenda.

    But when it comes to things like the supernatural, which I write about a lot, I don't really use that 'believe in' phrase because it seems 'off'' to me too.

    Like when people ask, "Do you believe in UFOs?" UFO stands for Unidentified Flying Object. It isn't a question of belief at all, we know there are flying objects that can't be identified, people see them all the time.

    What the person is REALLY asking is, "Do you believe that spacecraft are visiting earth and that they are flown by space aliens?" Why not just ask that question straight out? The 'believe in' question is a dodge, it's a way of asking something else without really asking it.

    The same goes for questions like "Do you believe in God?" There other questions lurking beneath that one, questions I maybe think are impertinent or ridiculous or just too personal, so when people ask me that, I think, what is this person getting at, what is going on here, really? Often they just want to check what 'tribe' you are in. Why not ask that straight out?

    Terrific question, by the way. Really enjoyed thinking about it and you know, I've felt the same discomfort when I hear things phrased that way but never thought to bring it up directly. Which is in itself interesting.

    1. iantoPF profile image81
      iantoPFposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      A truly beautiful answer. Thank you.

  6. AnnaCia profile image78
    AnnaCiaposted 12 years ago

    To acknowledge the existence of something.  I just think that we miss use the phrase.

    1. iantoPF profile image81
      iantoPFposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I agree totally. If the phrase has any meaning at all it is being misused.

  7. kmaskreations profile image55
    kmaskreationsposted 12 years ago

    "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."   I can only see these words as it pertains to my salvation.  Because I believe as the Bible defines belief, I would give my life for my Savior, as many before have done.

    1. iantoPF profile image81
      iantoPFposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you but there lies my problem. I understand you believe. How does "believe in" make sense?

  8. edhan profile image36
    edhanposted 12 years ago

    To me, believe in simply means I am convinced in what I have believe in. Some people may have the thoughts about certain things but do not believe in it. It takes 100% of your thoughts to process in order to convince yourself if you do believe in the thing that may not present itself clearly.

    It is like saying I believe in God. This means that even though one cannot have scientific proof of seeing (seeing is believing) but we believe in our hearts that God exists.

    1. iantoPF profile image81
      iantoPFposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      "we believe in our hearts that God exists."
      Thank you edhan; that is the first time, in these answers, that I have seen the phrase "Believe in" make sense.

  9. libby101a profile image61
    libby101aposted 12 years ago

    I think it means exactly the same... believe or believe in... both have the same meaning! Why do they not make sense to you? It's self explanitory!

    People can believe or believe in whatever they want...it's their right! Everyone has their own choices and ideals... it doesn't make sense to me that people are always complaining about what joe blow believes or believes in... who cares... it's his business!

    1. iantoPF profile image81
      iantoPFposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Not as self explanatory as you might think. "Believe" is like Faith. "In" means being inside. The two words together don't make sense.

  10. owhorspecial profile image60
    owhorspecialposted 12 years ago

    To Believe in Someone means To Love, To Respect,  To Obey, To Fear and Have Faith and Patience in Him...I believe in God.

    1. iantoPF profile image81
      iantoPFposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I know it makes sense to you but how does the word "believe" followed by the word "in"  make sense?
      Also; if you have Love, Respect, faith and patience, you have something wonderful. When you add obedience and fear you have an abusive relationship.


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