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If negotiations are to prove fruitful, there must not only be sincerity on each side, but there must also be ____________ in the sincerity of the other side.

In my opinion "certainty" is more suitable than "faith" since the latter is usually used in the context of religion and spirituality, but the answer is "faith". "Substance" seems a little awkward but I can't exactly point out why. Can someone also tell me the subtle differences in meaning of these three words.

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  • "usually used in the context of religion and spirituality"... that's probably true, but usually doesn't mean only. The Cambridge Dictionary's definition is much more open than that.
    – JavaLatte
    Aug 5, 2021 at 6:52

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To quote Benjamin Franklin, "nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes". I guess that rules out certainty.

Substance doesn't work because there has to be substance in the sincerity of each side, not the other side.

That leaves faith, which the Cambridge Dictionary defines as "great trust or confidence in something or someone": it's not just to do with religion and spirituality.

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