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But what is really believed is that God exists, which is very far from being simple.
For example, "Plato preceded Aristotle" and "Aristotle preceded Plato" are both contents which may be believed, but, although they consist of exactly the same constituents, they are different, and even incompatible.
Often images of various kinds accompany them, but they are apt to be irrelevant, and to form no part of what is actually believed.
I come now to the question what constitutes believing, as opposed to the content believed.
We speak as if we always believed that Charles I was executed, but that only means that we are always ready to believe it when the subject comes up.
One may set to work to recall some piece of history one has been reading, and what one recalls is believed, although it probably does not cause any bodily movement whatever.
It is clear that a proposition can be either believed or merely considered, and that the content is the same in both cases.
Each of these I regard as constituted by a certain feeling or complex of sensations, attached to the content believed.
It is not enough that the content and the belief-feeling should coexist: it is necessary that there should be a specific relation between them, of the sort expressed by saying that the content is what is believed.
In the latter case, but not in the former, the pastness is part of the content believed.
It would seem that, in such cases, the feeling of belief exists unattached, without its usual relation to a content believed, just as the feeling of familiarity may sometimes occur without being related to any definite familiar object.
I don't see why the things we believe absolutely now shouldn't be just as wrong as what they believed in the past.
From old habit, unconsciously he thanked God that he no longer believed in Him.
I told him, moreover, that I believed myself mistaken in supposing, as I had done, that your sister was indifferent to him; and as I could easily perceive that his attachment to her was unabated, I felt no doubt of their happiness together.