Seeing is believing  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Seeing is believing is an idiom first recorded in this form in 1639 that means "only physical or concrete evidence is convincing". It is the essence of St. Thomas's claim to Jesus Christ, to which the latter responded that there were those who had not seen but believed. It leads to a sophistry that "seen evidence" can be easily and correctly interpreted, when in fact, interpretation may be difficult.

One of the most notable articles by American folklorist Alan Dundes was called "Seeing is Believing" in which he indicated that Americans value the sense of sight more than the other senses.

Roland Barthes pointed out in "Sade, Fourier, Loyola" that modernity changed the hierarchy between sound and image, priviliging the latter over the former. "'Hearing is believing' became 'seeing is believing'. Before modernity, hearing came first; believing meant listening to the word of God: auditum verbi Dei, id est fides." (Surreal Documents [1])

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