This is from wikipedia:
Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty. In other words, belief is when someone thinks something is reality, true, when they have no absolute verified foundation for their certainty of the truth or realness of something. Another way of defining belief is, it is a mental representation of an attitude positively orientated towards the likelihood of something being true. In the context of Ancient Greek thought, two related concepts were identified with regards to the concept of belief: pistis and doxa. Simplified, we may say that pistis refers to trust and confidence, while doxa refers to opinion and acceptance. The English word doctrine is derived from doxa.
Something this definition doesn't seem to include, is that all belief, whether true or imagined, is a conceptualization. A concept is a thought form, and therefore is only ever a thought based representation of the object of belief, and never the object itself. Many objects/objectives though, do begin existence as a concept, or as a thought form.
However, I am specifically concerned with the often used concept, "one ought simply believe", as though belief has some magical transformative properties that can transform the believer so long as they believe.
I was watching Kung Fu Panda recently, and was simply enjoying the film and quite surprised by the level of consciousness used in the film. Everything was going along nicely until Shifu comes to Oogway with bad news..
Shifu: I... I... have... it's... it's very bad news.
Oogway: Aah, Shifu. There's just news. There's no good or bad.
Shifu: Master, your vision... your vision was right. Tai Lung has broken out of prison! He's on his way!
Oogway: That is bad news... if you do not believe that the Dragon Warrior can stop him.
Shifu: The panda? Master, that panda is not the Dragon Warrior. He wasn't even meant to be here. It was an accident.
Oogway: There are no accidents.
Shifu: [Sighs] Yes, I know. You said that already... twice.
Oogway: Well, that was no accident either.
Shifu: ... Thrice.
Oogway: My friend, the panda will never fulfill his destiny, nor you yours, until you let go of the illusion of control.
Oogway: Yes. Look at this tree, Shifu. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me, nor make it bear fruit before it's time.
Shifu: But there are things we can control. [Kicks the tree causing several peaches to fall] I can control when the fruit will fall. [One hits him on the head. Oogway chuckles] And I can control... [Tosses the peach in the air and chops it in half] ...where to plant the seed. [Punches a hole in the ground and catches the seed] That is no illusion, Master. [Throws the seed into the hole]
Oogway: Ah, yes. But no matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Shifu: But a peach cannot defeat Tai Lung!
Oogway: Maybe it can. [Covers the seed in dirt] If you are willing to guide it, to nurture it. To believe in it.
Shifu: But how? How? I need your help, master.
Oogway: No. You just need to believe. Promise me, Shifu. Promise me you will believe.
Shifu: I... I will try.
Oogway: Good. [Sees petals floating around him] My time has come. You must continue your journey without me. [Hands Shifu his staff]
Shifu: What... What are you...? [Oogway backs into the swirling petals] Master, you can't leave me!
Oogway: [Starts to vanish] You must believe.
Normally I couldn't care less what people believe, however it does concern me somewhat, when belief is represented in this way. What says you all?
Oh and btw, I watched the rest of the film and enjoyed it very much.