Does Judaism reject the concept of “belief” and require knowledge of God instead?

Answer by Jim Ashby:

Words mean what they mean. In your question details, you say,

the only word that appears applicable in the Torah is emunah, which is faithfulness to an concept that you know to be true

You're conflating the subjective (faithfulness) with the objective (know to be true). Faith is belief without objective reason. It doesn't get any more subjective than that. The words, 'know and true', address facts and reality. They're objective words.

Okay, now consider the phrase, 'faithfulness to a concept that you know to be true'. A concept that you know to be true is knowledge; it doesn't need faithfulness because you already know it to be true. Faithfulness is irrelevant to knowledge. Being inconsistent with the subjective and objective — mixing and matching them — is a sure way to confuse yourself and others. Ascribing the subjective to the objective, or vice versa, is the most common category error I see. It's rampant: not just with theists but with people in general, including atheists. If you want to be coherent and objective, you need to be mindful of this very fundamental category error.

With the above in mind, God is a subjective concept. There's nothing external to you that you can point to that will confirm God's existence. If there's nothing external to you to support the concept of God, where do you suppose support comes from? Your imagination. The God meme is totally in your head.

So Judaism CAN'T require knowledge of God. There's none to be found 'out there'. What Judaism CAN do is require that you know scripture. Scripture is a real, objective, thing; God is not. Judaism wants you to have faith that scripture is the word of God because you then must assume God exists in the first place. It's circular reasoning. That's the faithfulness Judaism seeks. Begging the question with circular reasoning is the hallmark of faith.

Does Judaism reject the concept of "belief" and require knowledge of God instead?

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