1) Beliefs are ideas held without question even when evidence exists that shows that the idea is false or incorrect.
2) A set of claims or ideas sapiens use to form their identity.
3) A rigid position unsupported by the facts; another word for nonsense.
4) A claim given to circular logic: “It’s true because I believe it.”
An intelligent person has knowledge. An unintelligent one has beliefs.
A belief is a closed system. It is immune to new information. It is not subject to change and is resistant to logic and evidence. The holders of beliefs claim them as a type of knowledge but refuse to subject these beliefs to any scrutiny or the challenges that everything that is called knowledge must face.
The process used in the acquisition of knowledge—information, suppositions, evidence, hypothesis, counterarguments, the openness to the discovery new information in the future—are all avoided by the individual with a belief. For instance, the scientific method is the best procedure for the testing of claims. But beliefs resist the scientific method as the hypothesis and the conclusion are always the same regardless of the evidence.
The resilience of beliefs in the face of facts are one of the reasons sapiens are so slow to respond to the dangers posed by the looming environmental threats.