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Huh. Via utforsker. Equally offensive to mainstream Monotheists and Pagans. Yet possessed of a very discomfiting bit of truth. Thoughts, anyone?

Also, today is the 7-year anniversary of my first day working at this organization. Why does this make me queasy?

Some people get motion-sick; I get inertia-sick.

Comments

chadu
Feb. 24th, 2005 07:16 am (UTC)
Re: I ramble for too long
I'm not talking about moral judgments. I'm talking about matters of fact. At issue here is the tendency for people to rely on non-empirical, laregly emotional criteria like "faith" for knowlege of matters of external, material fact.

Then I believe we're talking at cross-purposes here, because that's the end of the pool I was splashing in.

If you think I've been defending "the Grand Canyon was carved by the Deluge," then one of us is high.

My pet hamster makes me feel better, but I recognize that my relationship with "Barfly the Hamster" essentially exists only in my brain. I don't for a moment believe that this pleasant fiction has an effect on the laws of physics or causality, or that it has any reity-in-itself.

Do you feel I've been arguing the opposite? That a "pleasant fiction" has an effect on physics or causality?

It tells the person nothing about the external universe.

Fair enough. But it certainly helps many people live in it. . . and interferes with other people's ability to live in it.

It is, however, a USELESS faith, in that the Deists' god is for all practical purposes the same as no god at all.

No, it's quite useful. It explains "How did this all come to be?" in a way that satifies their need to believe and their observations of the world around them.

Actually, and correct me if I'm wrong, you seem to be arguing from a point that all faiths are a priori useless. Do you see the existence of (or the potential existence of) a useful faith?

You can't decide whether the reporter is credible without first defining the nature of credibility, which is what I was attempting to get you to do.

I'd say that credibility is based on past and current observances, plus any emotional responses stirred up by those observances, plus any standard operating procedures one follows (faith that all people are generally good, bad, self-interested, whichever). Thus, someone may have lied to me every time I've met them in the past, but then say something to me that I believe is true (based on what I'm currently perceiving and how I emotionally react to the person, the situation, and what is said).

How would you go about evaluating the following proposition given NO context: "There exists a unicorn, which is pink, which is invisible, and which is under a desk."

Given no context, it very well may be true. The person could be telling a fictional story or a dream (where for the purposes of the story, the statement is true); the person could be describing a game or other entertainment (where within the gamespace the IPU actually exists), the person could be lying, the person could be deranged, the person could be telling the absolute factual truth.

Without context, there's no way to tell, factually, since evidence relies on context.

So, absent absolutely all context (including if this occurence happened in external reality at all), I'd have to rely on my personal feelings and knowledge about the statement, as well as any assumptions I choose to make.

If I choose to believe the statement refers to a videogame, I feel an IPU could exist in such a state, therefore I believe that the statement is perfectly true.

If I choose to believe the statement refers to factual, external reality, I feel an IPU doesn't exist in such a state, therefore I believe that the statement is false.

If I choose to believe the statement is a parable or metaphor, I feel an IPU does exist in such a state, therefore I believe that the statement is true.

However, I'd like also to point out that this is a different question than if I personally experience meeting an IPU under a desk. That opens up a whole 'nother can of worms (though along the lines discussed above).

CU

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