What's the difference between Belief, Knowledge and Truth?
Have you ever become speechless with incredulity when listening to someone talk passionately about something they clearly believe is true which has no foundation in any reality you have experienced, or totally contradicts all reputable evidence? For example, many really do believe the earth is flat and that records and evidence to the contrary are fabricated or misunderstood!
The mind is very susceptible like this - once the seed of an idea is sown, without critical thinking, it can develop roots, acquire a quality of strength in the mind, become taken as truth, and grow into the tall strong presence of belief.
Belief is about having faith or confidence in something. It often begins as just an opinion. Perhaps we start to believe something that we have been told or read... Belief is just there in us one day - it was not our choice to believe; it was an involuntary action occurring after our own internal standard for evidence had been met. In other words, belief results when we are convinced of something.
It is important to recognise that our own internal standard of evidence is not necessarily equivalent to actual evidence.
Knowledge is different - it could also be described as a belief, but if scrutinised or questioned, it can be independently proven beyond reasonable doubt.
Is knowledge therefore truth? Not necessarily. Knowledge is regularly being overturned by new knowledge, and widely held believed truths are often found to be false when new evidence is discovered.
So, can we be certain of anything or ever know an eternal truth?
Ultimately only that which we experience can be taken to be our truth, and knowing that experience is relative and ever-evolving brings us to a point where we hold even that very lightly.
Once understanding reaches this place, we realise that we do not know. And that's the truth.