Difference Between Conviction and Belief

Conviction vs Belief

Although the words conviction and belief appear similar in meaning at times, there is a difference between the two words, conviction and belief. First, let us define these two words. A belief or else to believe is to consider that something is correct and true. For example, a person can believe in various things such as fate, destiny, alien life, etc. A belief is an opinion. A conviction, however, is a bit different to a belief. A conviction is something that an individual is convinced of. To be convinced the individual needs to obtain all the information. It is based on this information that the conviction is built. Hence, unlike a belief that changes with time and new experiences, a conviction remains the same. Through this article, let us examine the difference between a belief and a conviction.

What is Belief?

Simply, belief is something that an individual considers as the truth. As human beings, we all have our very own belief systems. For example, let us take religion. In each religion, there are various beliefs. These beliefs are different from one religion to another. Followers of various religions consider these sets of beliefs as their reality. They acknowledge these beliefs and make it a part of them.

Beliefs have been formed based on our experiences and backgrounds. People can have various beliefs ranging from alien life to karma. These are very personal ideas and cannot be rejected because they express an opinion of another. Our beliefs can stretch and adapt in accordance to new situations that we face in life. It is not mandatory for beliefs to change completely with new experiences. In most situations, beliefs expand and grow.

Difference Between Conviction and Belief

Alien life is an example of belief

What is Conviction?

A conviction is a firm belief that an individual has on a particular subject. Conviction is usually a bit different to a belief because an individual becomes convinced of something after he has a thorough knowledge and understanding of all the available information. It is based on the information that the conviction is created. Once a conviction has been formed, it is difficult for the individual to see the world in a different light. He only sees things in the light of his conviction.

This is because, unlike a belief that can change, a conviction has very deep roots. It is true that in a belief the individual accepts and acknowledges something. However, in a conviction, a much more complex process takes place where the conviction becomes a point of view through which the individual comprehends the world. The impact a conviction has on a person is extreme. It can even affect the very self of the individual.

 Conviction vs Belief

Conviction is believing something firmly

What is the difference between Conviction and Belief?

Definitions of Conviction and Belief:

Belief: A belief can be defined as a feeling that something exists or is true.

Conviction: A conviction can be defined as a firm belief.

Characteristics of Conviction and Belief:


Belief: A belief can change over time.

Conviction: Convictions mostly remain without changing over time.


Belief: A belief is based on personal opinions.

Conviction: A conviction is not based on personal opinions. It requires concrete information.


Belief: Belief can be weak and shallow.

Conviction: Unlike a belief, a conviction is stronger and deeper.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Flying Saucer by Richard Elzey (CC BY 2.0)
  2. Girl via Pixabay (Public Domain)