What's the difference between faith and belief?

I'm a Dutch guy. Here, we have no distinction between the words "faith" and "belief." They're both called "geloof" here. I'm wondering what the difference - if any - is. For example, how to translate the following sentence?:

"Faith is a belief in something for which we have no evidence."

Is It Normal?
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  • Belief is what you accept as truth. Faith is more like trust.

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  • A guy walks across a tightrope in front of a crowd. The crowd cheers.

    Tightrope walker: "Who here believes I can walk across the tightrope while carrying someone?
    Spectator: "Oh yes! You can do it?"
    Tightrope walker: "You think I can walk across the tightrope while carrying someone?"
    Spectator: "Yes! I know you can!"
    Tightrope walker: "You sir! Come here. I will carry you while walking across the tightrope."
    Spectator: "Oh no! Not me!"

    That spectator believes the tightrope walker can walk across the tightrope while carrying someone. But he doesn't have faith. Not enough to be the person carried.

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  • "People hold false beliefs about Islam."

    Yes, that it's peaceful, for example. It's not. There may be nice Muslims, but Islam itself is rotten to the core. After all, nice people can also adhere to deeply immoral and absurd stuff.

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  • I'm pretty sure they're both the same, the word 'Faith' is just a fancier way of saying it. The word 'Faith' on its own is also used as a shorthand way of saying 'Belief in a religion". So instead of saying "My belief in Christianity", you'd just say "My faith".

    The word 'Faith' is also often used non-religiously just to mean to have hope that your circumstances will improve. For example, instead of saying "Have hope that things will get better in the future", you can just say "Have faith". It's basically short for "Have faith that things will get better in the future", but it's been shortened to just "Have faith".

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  • It depends on who you ask. I think belief is more about what you intellectually understand to be true, and faith is more about who/what you trust and depend on.

    So belief is more of a 'head' thing and faith is more of a 'heart' thing.

    As JustAHuman appears to be saying, we all have beliefs, but we don't all have faith.

    The author of your quote subtly seems to be implying that people who have faith are schizophrenic or insane.
    Of course they may well be, but it depends on what they have faith in, why, and what the quality and character of this faith is.

    Then there are some writers who use 'faith' when they mean 'religion' or 'Christianity' or 'anyone who believes in a higher power', amongst other things. It's actually quite irresponsible to use fuzzy terms when expressing disdain for a group of people. To this person I say, 'do your own homework and find out for yourself whether the objects of your disdan (known only to yourself) are intellectually satisfied enough by the evidence they have for the things they believe.'

    But that's just me.


    You make me curious about Dutch. Can you explain in more detail what 'geloof' is?

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    • Well, there really isn't very much to explain. "Geloof" is, like I said, simply the same word for "faith" as well as "belief." The quote I mentioned, for example, in Dutch, would be translated as: "Geloof is een geloof in iets waar we geen bewijs voor hebben."

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