It's such a simple word, yet its past is thousands of years old. The scientific definition of beliefs is: a mental attitude of acceptance or assent toward a proposition without the full intellectual knowledge required to guarantee its truth. Believing is either an intellectual judgement or a special sort of feeling with overtones that differ from those of disbelief. Beliefs have been distinguished according to their degree of certinity: a surmise or a suspicion, an opinion or a conviction.
I think beliefs were born with the first civilization on Earth. Prehistoric people sat around the fireside and the elders told stories, legends and the beliefs of their civilization. .
One main belief of prehistoric people is the existence of the soul. They belived in an aspect distinct from the body and residing in it. .
Egyptians and Chinese believed that there is a dual soul. The Egyptian ka (breath) survived death but remained near the body, while the spiritual ba proceeded to the region of the dead. The chinese distinguished between a lower, sensitive soul, wich dissappeares with death, and a rational principle, the hun, wich survives the grave and is the object of ancestor worship.
I belive in the existence of a soul. I belive that our soul survives death, and is searching between the worlds for a body to reincarnate. And when a child is born, it gets a soul, and who knows, maybe your soul will reincarnate in a dog or a butterfly. Although some religions don't accept that animals have souls, but I doubt it because animals can love, feel pain, and be happy like human beings.
Mystery and superstition have always obscured the state of death. Many belief systems have tried to distingiush between physical and spiritual being. Despite the decomposition of the human body following death, the idea has persisted that something of the individual person continues to survive the experience of dying.