Believing seems the most "mental" thing we do, the thing most remote from what is done by mere matter.
(2) We must distinguish between believing and what is believed.
But our analysis of belief contains three very similar elements, namely the believing, what is believed and the objective.
There are moments when the extent of it seems doubtful; and till his sentiments are fully known, you cannot wonder at my wishing to avoid any encouragement of my own partiality, by believing
or calling it more than it is.
For he certainly does appear to me to contradict himself in the indictment as much as if he said that Socrates is guilty of not believing in the gods, and yet of believing in them--but this is not like a person who is in earnest.
But then you swear in the indictment that I teach and believe in divine or spiritual agencies (new or old, no matter for that); at any rate, I believe in spiritual agencies,--so you say and swear in the affidavit; and yet if I believe in divine beings, how can I help believing in spirits or demigods;--must I not?
For if, O men of Athens, by force of persuasion and entreaty I could overpower your oaths, then I should be teaching you to believe that there are no gods, and in defending should simply convict myself of the charge of not believing in them.
Pierre listened with swelling heart, gazing into the Mason's face with shining eyes, not interrupting or questioning him, but believing
with his whole soul what the stranger said.
She speaks of her with so much tenderness and anxiety, lamenting so bitterly the neglect of her education, which she represents however as wholly unavoidable, that I am forced to recollect how many successive springs her ladyship spent in town, while her daughter was left in Staffordshire to the care of servants, or a governess very little better, to prevent my believing
what she says.
If I am right in believing that allied or representative species, when inhabiting a continuous area, are generally so distributed that each has a wide range, with a comparatively narrow neutral territory between them, in which they become rather suddenly rarer and rarer; then, as varieties do not essentially differ from species, the same rule will probably apply to both; and if we in imagination adapt a varying species to a very large area, we shall have to adapt two varieties to two large areas, and a third variety to a narrow intermediate zone.
Nor can I see any insuperable difficulty in further believing it possible that the membrane-connected fingers and fore-arm of the Galeopithecus might be greatly lengthened by natural selection; and this, as far as the organs of flight are concerned, would convert it into a bat.
You might go on believing
for a time, but sooner or later you would be bound to begin to doubt and worry and torment yourself.