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beliefs

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2005 06:08 am
I've marked that it varies from case to case. There are things which are merely a matter of curiosity--such as the origin of beer, or the prevelance of sentient life in the universe--the answers to which would not affect one's life. There are other matters--such as how reliable your new neighbors will prove to be, or the relative efficacy of a governmental policy for which one lacks the requisite knowledge for a thorough judgment--which are important in one's life and for which some belief is necessary, even though uninformed.
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djbt
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2005 06:41 am
With you on that Setanta.

Letty, horribly pedantic side discussion, but hey - if only initials that formed pre-existing words could be called acronyms, then TLA wouldn't be a TLA, admission of which would surely bring the world to a crashing halt, somewhat like crossing streams with a proton pack.

Gungasnake, presumably you're either a first-rate or second-rate life scientist, since you can look down on the errors of those third-rate, evolution-believing ones. Tell me, what is your speciality, and where can I access your works?
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2005 07:45 am
Letty wrote:
I would never wound another's soul.



I wrote that it would vary from case to case. Let's take your example, and describe it with a very simple, concrete scenario. There are two people. A loves B very much. B does not return the love, and breaks off the relationship.

In this case, B DOES wound A's soul, and probably his ego as well. But what is the alternative? Should B stay with A even though she does not love him?

I think that there are many cases like this that thread through life. Bottom line, one needs to look out for oneself first, and the people about whom one cares. As for everyone else, IMO, I believe in a generalized good will that I give to all human beings, as long as they play fair with me.

My guiding principle is a corollary of The Golden Rule. It goes, "The right to swing your arm ends at the other fellow's nose".
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2005 09:05 am
Setanta & Cyracuz, you've raised an important point. total suspension of belief is impractical. conversely, simultaneously maintaining imcompatible beliefs is irrational. but between those extremes, i think a person may have a preference for belief or skepticism, and i personally seem to prefer skepticism in comparison with most people i know.
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2005 09:18 am
this is undoubtedly an issue that belongs in another forum, but since it came up, i might as well respond. i'm not a creationist by any stretch, but i do concede that there's no conclusive proof that life arose spontaneously on earth from purely organic processes. perhaps origin of life and evolution ought to be treated as separate topics. it seems plausible to me that many scientists who profess religious beliefs do just that, at least in private.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2005 09:58 am
yitwail wrote:
Setanta & Cyracuz, you've raised an important point. total suspension of belief is impractical. conversely, simultaneously maintaining imcompatible beliefs is irrational. but between those extremes, i think a person may have a preference for belief or skepticism, and i personally seem to prefer skepticism in comparison with most people i know.


I don't necessarily see one as having a choice between skepticism and belief. There are matters about which we perforce have a belief, as in the examples to which i referred. One can approach those matters with skepticism, but one is still often obliged to take a position although ill-informed. Previously i used the term uninformed--that was an error on my part. Uninformed belief is faith, and seems to me to be a mistaken response to one's world. That one is obliged to take a position on important matters although poorly informed or ill-informed does not warrant an equivalence to being uninformed, of taking things on faith. I approach most claims people make on any subject with skepticism. In matter such as higher-order mathematics or arcane scientific disciplines, i am poorly informed and lack any expertise. As this almost never impinges upon my daily life that is not a problem--and i avoid forming a belief unless i can inform myself sufficiently that i feel comfortable with that. I rarely comment on such matters in these fora for those reasons. In matters about which i am well informed, chiefly history and politics, even when faced with an uncertainty which requires the formation of a belief, i am sufficiently well-informed to feel that i am on solid ground in forming my opinions. In all matters however, yes, i agree, sketicism is the best tool for examining any claims and all dogmas.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2005 11:03 am
Yit, do you mind if I deviate a bit so that I can respond to djbt? Thanks. Razz

dj, you asked why bm was NOT an acronym. I simply tried to explain, and gave you an example. That's not being pedantic, honey. It's simply a definition.

Phoenix. Of course there are a thousand variables in my mini philosophy, and just as in all philosophies, wide and questionable gaps. I've never been much for logic, I'm afraid, my Florida friend.

Setanta and all, yes, one often has to take one at his word because their is no other alternative. I've been that route.

"belief", being an abstract word, is open to many cultural ideas and interpretations. Citing the denotation, unfortunately, won't help a bit.
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djbt
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2005 11:14 am
Letty wrote:
dj, you asked why bm was NOT an acronym. I simply tried to explain, and gave you an example. That's not being pedantic, honey. It's simply a definition.

Er... I was describing myself as pedantic. If I was describing you from your responses, I think I'd go for 'patiently humouring'. Honey.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2005 11:39 am
Very Happy Well, that's one resolution that we can all agree upon.

Ah, Yit. Let's go for it anyway.

Belief:


noun

1. acceptance of truth of something: acceptance by the mind that something is true or real, often underpinned by an emotional or spiritual sense of certainty
belief in an afterlife


2. trust: confidence that somebody or something is good or will be effective
belief in democracy


3. something that somebody believes in: a statement, principle, or doctrine that a person or group accepts as true


4. opinion: an opinion, especially a firm and considered one


5. religious faith: faith in God or in a religion's gods


[12th century. Alteration of Old English gelēafa after believe]

Sheeeeeze. <smile>
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2005 07:17 am
Quote:
Setanta & Cyracuz, you've raised an important point. total suspension of belief is impractical. conversely, simultaneously maintaining imcompatible beliefs is irrational. but between those extremes, i think a person may have a preference for belief or skepticism, and i personally seem to prefer skepticism in comparison with most people i know.


I cannot say that I have any predetermined preferences or solutions in this. Total suspension of belief in not just impractical. It is impossible. Even in science the ability to believe is what gives birth to new theories.

And maintaining an incompatible belief is not always irrational. I maintain my belief in the inherent goodness of man despite hard evidence to the contrary. I feel it is the rational thing to do.

And besides, rationality, what is irrational and what is sane, who can know these things? We might all agree that believeing in a personified god is irrational, and the only thing that would give weight to this argument would be the sheer number of people in agreement. Even if everyone agreed, we might still be wrong. Scepticism is but another "religion", that's all.
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2005 09:31 am
Cyracuz wrote:
Scepticism is but another "religion", that's all.


can i quote you on that? :wink: not "just" another religion, i hope. if we're expanding the definition of religion to encompass skepticism, then i suppose atheism would be a religion, and from my perspective, it partakes more of the character of a religion than skepticism, in insisting on the absence of God without proof of absence. are you familiar with the term "mitigated skepticism" coined by David Hume? i interpret it as skepticism tempered by common sense. do you think the distinction with absolute skepticism matters?
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Diane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2005 09:09 pm
Yit, like you, I am an agnostic because God or no God is impossible to prove and because i've seen the destructiveness of absolute belief--especially in religion.

As for physical actions like the sun coming up in the east, I believe totally. That is a proven action. I totally believe in my love for Dys and in his love for me, but I am aware that we can, ocassionally, hurt each other unintentionally. Am I skeptical of our love? Of course not, just rational about being human. I guess there should be a distinction between rational thinking and skepticism and I'm not intellectual enough to be the one making the distinction.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2005 08:48 am
To think in terms of "god or no god" is thinking in extremes. Anything can be destructive regardless of what it is, so long as the wielder is ignorant of it's functions. Wether it is sceptisism or zeal is irrelevant.
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Maximos1984
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2005 11:54 am
the best is to belive!
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2005 12:14 pm
Lord have mercy. We haven't settled on a belief system yet, Yit? <smile>

Maximos, Welcome to A2K. I'm Letty from Florida, and I BELIEVE you have met the rest of the tribe. Hmmmm. I believe I'll send a poem Maximos' way:


Abou Ben Adhem

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold:

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou?" The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."

"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men."

The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!

-- James Leigh Hunt
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Maximos1984
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2005 12:19 pm
hey letty .. that was outstanding poem .. but i don't know who's Abou Ben Adhem ! Laughing and what about that tribe thing?
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Maximos1984
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2005 12:20 pm
could ya explain pls!
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2005 12:25 pm
no, letty, we're still hammering out the details, but i'm a bit surprised at this point that uncertain belief is trailing all the other poll choices. on the other hand, the sample isn't statistically significant nor representative, so i shouldn't be surprised by anything.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2005 12:34 pm
Maximos, that was just a poem that suggests that the best belief is the belief in our fellow man. Only this will secure our place in a book of gold.

I hope that I have been clear.

Yit, I suspect that all are being honest in our own way. I don't do polls, honey, because I'm never quite certain of them. UhOh! I'm not trying to make light of the situation. <smile>
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Maximos1984
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2005 12:40 pm
thanx for making things clear... !
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