There is some discussion about this started on the thread "On the Party and it's relationship to the class" but that is not the right place for it. Perhaps the topic might warrant a thread of its own?
Some comrades don't believe in "beliefs" as a sound basis for thought and comment, certainly not for anyone claiming to be Marxist, but trust only in science whenever possible. Fair enough. Others believe that beliefs which have undergone some testing in time can form a trustworthy basis for human action. But surely even science starts out from beliefs? When Newton saw the apple fall straight down, rather than sideways, he had a hunch, an initial belief, that some physical force was at work, and came up with gravity. The same is true of Marx. He had a hunch that forces were at work in society which were beyond everyday perception. He was right, and came up with class struggle as a force of history. The bourgeoisie beg to differ, preferring the invisible hand or something even vaguer! They're mistaken. So if a comrade feels that their connection to Marxism is more like an act of faith, or stays at the level of a belief: I BELIEVE IN THE PROLETARIAT; THE ONLY REVOLUTIONARY CLASS; BEGOTTEN OF THE BOURGEOISIE and so on, is this necessarily reprehensible? But I suppose it could be dangerous, and I suppose I'm partly joking when I should be serious, but I don't think beliefs are just to be dismissed for not being scientific, but see them as a basis for science. Contentious? Newton was a scientist. True. But was Marx?
Anyway don't we need to widen our grasp of what science is? The bourgeoisie insist on a great divide between science and art, and are overfond anyway of seeing the world and everything in bits and pieces. No holistic point of view for them; all is fragmented. Could not the novel "Portrait of a Lady", rather than being downgraded as fiction, be seen for what it is: a sociological study in depth of the Machiavellian ruses of the bourgeoisie in pursuit of profit: the sleazy sophisticate Osmond landing the rich but surely naive heiress Isabel? The author's presentation and analysis of the lies and deceit at work, and the use of art commodities themselves as seductive toys, establish the whole work as a serious study with a scientific basis in reality. And, were not Michelangelo and Leonardo - always billed by the bourgeoisie as major artists and their products worth a lot of money on the market now - not in fact early scientists, technicians and engineers? Their buildings, inventions, new techniques in paint, weapons of war, awareness of architectural principles and so on, not merely artistic but based on scientific understandings. Similarly, the amazing sculpture produced in the ancient worlds, and the renaissance, while easily labelled art because of it's beauty, represents the triumph of a scientifically based engineer over natural forces.
So if you claim the label "art" for Marxism and a belief in beliefs, be aware that they may only be condemned to this nomenclature as a result of the bourgeoisie's extremely limited understanding of what might constitute science, and that you may be dismissing the beginnings of a new and developing science.
Recently, on various forum threads, there have been disputes about what constitutes science, and what constitutes proof of various claims made for and against whatever it is that the proletariat is or isn't doing at this time in history. Scientific proof may be demanded; beliefs and feelings (even worse!) may not be accepted. But didn't marxism emerge originally on the basis of feelings about humanity's condition, for which some sort of rational justification was then sought?
In the 19th century three major sciences were established - Darwinism, Freudianism and Marxism. All three remain under attack from bourgeois factions, but then all three are related in seeking the betterment of humanity. But what they also do is widen our concept of what may be regarded as being science, and it's important to bear that in mind when we discuss matters relating to the revolutionary proletariat, who imposes no restrictions on ideas and the culture of debate.