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If I believe that the Spaghetti Monster lives under my bed, what word would you use to describe this? It can not be proven that the Spaghetti Monster does not live under my bed because you have not looked there but I also have not proven it to be true myself. It's not a religious belief because religious beliefs are by definition "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods" and this is not a belief in a higher power, just a scary Spaghetti Monster. And it's also not a scientific belief because it has not been scientifically proven. Furthermore, it is not a false belief because one has not proved it to be false.

Hope this makes sense.

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    It seems to me that your claim about a spaghetti monster living under your bed is false. Or at least unprovenbutsoridiculouslyunlikelythatnobodywouldinvestthetimetocheck. (Is that a word?) As such, this seems to be more a question about the philosophical nature of truth and falsehood than about the English language. – David Richerby Jan 6 '15 at 9:13
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    Religious, despite your claim otherwise, unless you can show how it covers religions like Buddhism that don't have such a belief. If it's excessive from the viewpoint of your professed religious beliefs, then superstitious. – Jon Hanna Jan 6 '15 at 10:01
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    I know it's false because he lives under MY bed. – Hot Licks Jan 6 '15 at 13:19
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    @Isaiah Turner The point is that there is no clear answer to your question, because this is an 'opinion based' question. The answers are not based on facts, but on what people think of your beliefs. I would say that your statements about Spaghetti Monster are substantiated, because I happened to see such a monster under by bed too. Another answerer would say that these are unsubstantiated claims or superstitious beliefs because they are ridiculous on their humble opinion. No-one knows the truth or can prove it. The answerers expressed their personal or biased opinion about your belief. – user93573 Jan 7 '15 at 15:06
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    As I said, your question was formulated incorrectly. :) – user93573 Jan 7 '15 at 15:08
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It's not a religious belief because religious beliefs are by definition "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods" and this is not a belief in a higher power, just a scary Spaghetti Monster. And it's also not a scientific belief because it has not been scientifically proven. Furthermore, it is not a false belief because one has not proved it to be false.

If it has been neither proved true nor proved false , then it would be:

  • an unsubstantiated belief

Here's the definition from Oxford Dictionaries online:

Definition of unsubstantiated in English: ADJECTIVE

Not supported or proven by evidence:

  • 'unsubstantiated claims'

Reference: "unsubstantiated", Adjective. Oxford Dictionaries Online. Accessed January 6th 2015

  • This is the closest answer I can find to correct. I wish there was a word with a slight variation in definition. Specifically "Not supported or proven by scientific evidence" as many would accept things like the Bible as evidence although not technically scientific. – Isaiah Turner Jan 6 '15 at 19:00
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    Araucaria? John? Have you come back? – andy256 Jan 8 '15 at 4:09
  • Oh, if only he had ... I'm really glad you recognise my namesake hero! Most people think I'm a girl because of my 'name'! Ggrrr :) – Araucaria Jan 8 '15 at 4:13
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Your question is interesting and it can be interpreted in at least two ways.

If we focus on your phrase, "It can not be proven...", then I think the concept you are searching for is falsifiability.

Alternatively, if we focus on the phrase, "...I also have not proven it to be true myself," then I believe the concept you are looking for is willful ignorance because you refuse to investigate your "belief".

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    Popperism (the inability to be falsified) is a synonym in this regard. – Affable Geek Jan 6 '15 at 11:01
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Beliefs can be many things: moral, philosophical, existential... An all-encompassing term would simply be personal beliefs.

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A notion is a fanciful or foolish idea (Dictionary.com). A spaghetti monster under the bed is just a notion, with no facts to prove or disprove it.

an idea that is believed to be true or valid without positive knowledge (has this naive notion that most people are basically honest) (Merriam-Webster)

Other words that indicate a belief not supported by evidence include

  • feeling
  • sense
  • hunch
  • instinct
  • intuition

but these words tend to convey an increasing degree of reliability, which may be based on experience in similar circumstances where the belief was ultimately proved.

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According to Bertrand Russell's Theory of Descriptions (Kripke in Naming and Necessity took a different view), "The Spaghetti Monster lives under my bed", when correctly analysed, is a combination of three propositions: 1. There is a Spaghetti Monster. 2. At most one thing is a Spaghetti Monster. 3. Everything that is a Spaghetti Monster lives under my bed.

My strong suspicion is that the first of these propositions is false, with the result that your belief itself is also false. The fact that it may not yet have been proved to be false is irrelevant to its truth status.

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    The classic example (where France is a Republic) is: "The King of France is bald." – Irefuteitthus Jan 6 '15 at 13:57
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    It is my suspicion that, if there is one spaghetti monster, there must be many spaghetti monsters (the species would have died out otherwise). Therefore, either (1) or (2) is false. – Peter Shor Jan 6 '15 at 14:09
  • Unless there were many and there now remains only one: vide Martha the passenger pigeon, or indeed the Loch Ness Monster. – Irefuteitthus Jan 6 '15 at 17:27
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Regarding Isaiah Turner's question: "If I believe that the Spaghetti Monster lives under my bed, what word would you use to describe this?" Belief is a term notorious for its lack of apt synonyms, so, intead of looking for alternative words, I think it's better to look for words that may qualify a belief. In the case of the Spaghetti Monster under the bed I'd qualify that belief as implausible.

As Humbulani points out in Comment 4, it makes little sense to qualify a belief as true or false. All assertions of the form: I believe that... must be taken at true ones (even if the person is lying, since we cannot prove she doesn't believe in that). On the other hand beliefs may be plausible or implausible, according to whether they are considered by the audience as reasonable, credible or conceivable.

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I think your logical argument for this not being scientific is based on false assumptions. You could consider this a scientific belief. Science allows and even encourages beliefs that are suspected but have not yet been proven or disproven and refer to them as hypotheses or a hypothesis. If you are looking for an adjective to describe this you could say hypothetical.

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