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On no longer using the word "believe!"

 
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 10:05 am
Frank Apisa wrote:
My point is...and has consistently been throughout this discussion...that when debating or discussing in the areas of religion and philosophy...since the words "believe" and "belief" are ambiguous and mean different things to different people (often mean different things to one individual at different times) it makes more sense to not use the words...and instead use the phrasing that the words are replacing.


Modern philosophers seem to prefer the term "certain knowledge". I rarely see "belief" used in modern philosophy texts.
0 Replies
 
Foley
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 04:56 pm
Cyracuz wrote:

Doesn't this support Frank's statements? In your "more positive" phrasing you have eliminated the word "believe".

Personally I think Frank is on to something. People kill, torture, rape, steal, lie, pillage, plunder and what's worse, all justified by their beliefs. I have yet to hear about someone getting away with such actions when justified by their opinion or their guesses.


Yes, I know. I was saying what the word believe can mean- and I can't really use the word in defining it.

And to Frank: You're an idiot. There's a built in spellcheck in both my browser and on the forum, so if you're going to accuse me of something, please back it up. Besides, it's obvious you can't really argue with me, since all you do is insult.
0 Replies
 
Foley
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 05:12 pm
Frank Apisa wrote:
Nothing wrong with "beliefs."

And I don't think anyone is suggesting we do away with beliefs.

My point is...and has consistently been throughout this discussion...that when debating or discussing in the areas of religion and philosophy...since the words "believe" and "belief" are ambiguous and mean different things to different people (often mean different things to one individual at different times) it makes more sense to not use the words...and instead use the phrasing that the words are replacing.


Frank, I'm pretty sure everyone understands what you mean. But you aren't paying attention to what I'm saying at all!

You said people shouldn't use the word believe because it is ambiguous and can mean different things to different people, and that the sentence will be clearer than if you replace 'believe' with what you literally mean. Yes. Everyone gets that.

But I am saying:

Even if the word means different things, people can still read into just by the context it is in- unless your reading comprehension skills are the ones that are lacking. If someone says, "I believe in reincarnation," you know that their religious faith is placed in rebirth. If someone says, "I believe that there is one God," you can tell the same. If someone says, "I believe you're an idiot," you know that that is what they think. If someone says, "I believe God has told me that you are all going to hell," then you know that they are crazy.

The word itself is not ambiguous- it simply has that potential. Typically in debate, people won't just toss a one-line argument in the air, so you'll be able to see what they mean from its context. If someone decides to be ambiguous, then it is the person who is inept, not the word. Show me sentence that I can't tell what someone means by 'believe', and I'll concede that your argument is the right one.

To Cyracuz:

If someone kills, tortures, rapes, steals, lies, and pillages in the name of their beliefs, then what do you expect them to say instead? If someone is willing to do this, then it is the person that is the problem. Their "beliefs" are obviously a cloak to hide their guilt- and if they didn't say 'believe', they'd find some other word to hide behind.

It's like I said before, people tend to explain themselves, and if they don't then they are probably intentionally being ambiguous to hide their moral flaws- and if they don't say believe, they'll find another word. Until we can force people to be honest all the time, I don't see a reason to stop using the word in debate.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 06:09 pm
Foley wrote:
Frank Apisa wrote:
Nothing wrong with "beliefs."

And I don't think anyone is suggesting we do away with beliefs.

My point is...and has consistently been throughout this discussion...that when debating or discussing in the areas of religion and philosophy...since the words "believe" and "belief" are ambiguous and mean different things to different people (often mean different things to one individual at different times) it makes more sense to not use the words...and instead use the phrasing that the words are replacing.


Frank, I'm pretty sure everyone understands what you mean. But you aren't paying attention to what I'm saying at all!

You said people shouldn't use the word believe because it is ambiguous and can mean different things to different people, and that the sentence will be clearer than if you replace 'believe' with what you literally mean. Yes. Everyone gets that.

But I am saying:

Even if the word means different things, people can still read into just by the context it is in- unless your reading comprehension skills are the ones that are lacking.


If you didn't have your head up your ass, Foley...you would realize that is a bunch of horseshyt.

If someone says, "I believe there is a God"…

…can you tell if that person is saying, "I am certain there is a God" or "I estimate it is more probable that there is a God than that there is no god" or "I am not working from any evidence, and I am making a guess that there is a God." ALL OF WHICH ARE POSSIBLE.

How the phuk can anyone tell?

And even a moron like you should be able to finally grasp that it would be better for the discussion, if the person, rather than using the ambiguous "I believe in God" ...actually used the one among that sampling that is the truth.

Quote:
If someone says, "I believe in reincarnation," you know that their religious faith is placed in rebirth. If someone says, "I believe that there is one God," you can tell the same. If someone says, "I believe you're an idiot," you know that that is what they think. If someone says, "I believe God has told me that you are all going to hell," then you know that they are crazy.

The word itself is not ambiguous- it simply has that potential.



It is ambiguous, you moron. It is ambiguous.

And if your spellchecker really is working...why did you have a post like the one that prompted my remark about your asshole spelling?

What a phukin' jerk!
0 Replies
 
Foley
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 07:38 pm
Frank Apisa wrote:

And if your spellchecker really is working...why did you have a post like the one that prompted my remark about your **** spelling?


Show me some misspelled words and then we'll talk.

Frank Apisa wrote:

If you didn't have your head up your ass, Foley...you would realize that is a bunch of horseshyt.

If someone says, "I believe there is a God"…

…can you tell if that person is saying, "I am certain there is a God" or "I estimate it is more probable that there is a God than that there is no god" or "I am not working from any evidence, and I am making a guess that there is a God." ALL OF WHICH ARE POSSIBLE.


No.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/believe wrote:
Believe-to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.


That is what believe means- it means that you are confident you are right, but don't have proof. If someone uses the word otherwise, then they are misusing it. Care to comment on that? Suddenly the word is not so ambiguous, is it? Or will you simply say "You're too stupid to realize that I'm right without having anything to say against that" again?

If someone misuses the word, then they are stupid. But it has a definition. I can't help it if morons like to make up their own meanings for words, Frank, but you have to accept that it has a definite meaning.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 08:34 pm
Foley wrote:
Frank Apisa wrote:

And if your spellchecker really is working...why did you have a post like the one that prompted my remark about your **** spelling?


Show me some misspelled words and then we'll talk.


Here is a quote from you...from the post where I made my remark:

"I don't understand why you think that intelligent people can't even read the conotation out of a word like believe. If someone is stupid and hides behind the word, then let them. They are obviously too incompitent to debate in the first place. Intelligent people will understand what you mean, or add more to what they have said if they need to.[/quote]

Now...run the underlined words through spellcheck.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 08:42 pm
Belief IS an ambiguous word, but so are ALL words ("multivocal") to various degrees. The denotative power of words drives some individuals to an almost exclusive use of formal notational systems, but such codes lose as much in color and expressive tone as they gain in precision.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 08:45 pm
Foley wrote:
If someone kills, tortures, rapes, steals, lies, and pillages in the name of their beliefs, then what do you expect them to say instead? If someone is willing to do this, then it is the person that is the problem. Their "beliefs" are obviously a cloak to hide their guilt- and if they didn't say 'believe', they'd find some other word to hide behind.


I seriously doubt that people would blow themselves up if they didn't believe it was right to do so based on some religion or ideology.

But I agree with one thing. A belief is a cloak. It is the inability to admit to oneself that one lives in ignorance. Rather than face this uncertainty many people prefer to fabricate answers. The problems arise when these people decide to act on those answers.
I wish all extrimists and fanatics who would resort to violence world wide would ask themselves one simple question: "Has anything I've ever done made my life, and the lives of my loved ones better?"

Btw, I am referring to the human end of "belief" here, not wether or not what is believed is true, but to the need many humans have to add up the sums before all the numbers are in.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Feb, 2007 10:20 pm
Sorry, folks. In my last post I meant to say the connotative powers of words (not the denotative power....)
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Foley
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Feb, 2007 01:29 pm
Frank Apisa wrote:
Foley wrote:

"I don't understand why you think that intelligent people can't even read the conotation out of a word like believe. If someone is stupid and hides behind the word, then let them. They are obviously too incompitent to debate in the first place. Intelligent people will understand what you mean, or add more to what they have said if they need to.

Now...run the underlined words through spellcheck.


Okay. I'm wrong. I checked my browsers, and only one of them corrects my spelling; my other version of firefox is outdated.

Still, my point stands. That word is "ambiguous" only because people misuse/misinterpret it. It still has a meaning- when people start adding their own, personal definitions to it is when it becomes confusing.
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Feb, 2007 03:04 pm
Since we already have determined that when a person says, "I believe that…"…it can mean anything from "It is my blind, unsubstantiated guess that…" to "I am absolutely certain that…"

…the word is much, much to ambiguous to use during debate.

I am amazed that you cannot see that it makes much better sense not to use the word…and instead, to use whichever of those alternatives actually applies.

Apparently you are either too stupid to understand it…or you simply do not have enough integrity to acknowledge that my suggestion does make more sense than that garbage you are spewing.

In any case, go buzz around someone else. Gnats do not add to a discussion.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Feb, 2007 05:28 pm
Frank, I'm embarrased to report that you and I are not so different as I thought.

The other day I was thinking that you might be too dumb to understand what I (and perhaps Fresco) have been trying to tell you, or that perhaps you lack the integrity (courage, honesty) to open yourself to our insights and information (I have no doubt that we understand you better than you understand us). Instead you have decided to "commit" yourself to a position of absolute commitment to non-commitment.
How similar those notions are to what you have written to me:

"Apparently you are either too stupid to understand it…or you simply do not have enough integrity to acknowledge that my suggestion does make more sense than that garbage you are spewing."

Go buzz off, buddy.
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Feb, 2007 06:07 pm
JLNobody wrote:
Frank, I'm embarrased to report that you and I are not so different as I thought.

The other day I was thinking that you might be too dumb to understand what I (and perhaps Fresco) have been trying to tell you, or that perhaps you lack the integrity (courage, honesty) to open yourself to our insights and information (I have no doubt that we understand you better than you understand us). Instead you have decided to "commit" yourself to a position of absolute commitment to non-commitment.
How similar those notions are to what you have written to me:

"Apparently you are either too stupid to understand it…or you simply do not have enough integrity to acknowledge that my suggestion does make more sense than that garbage you are spewing."

Go buzz off, buddy.


I am pointing to my crotch!
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Feb, 2007 10:18 pm
My God, how absolutely weird: so am I !!!!!
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Foley
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Feb, 2007 08:01 am
Frank Apisa wrote:
Since we already have determined that when a person says, "I believe that…"…it can mean anything from "It is my blind, unsubstantiated guess that…" to "I am absolutely certain that…"

…the word is much, much to ambiguous to use during debate.


But you fail to realize that the word doesn't actually mean those things, people are just misusing it- and if people are going to misuse one word, then they'll misuse another, I promise.

You can say the exact same thing about an opinion.

If I say, "It is my opinion that there is a God" I might mean that that is what I think, but have no proof of- or it might be my opinion because I think I have proof.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Feb, 2007 11:09 am
Well put, Foley. Another example is the auhtoritative "opinion of the court", an opinion that formally "defines" reality.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Feb, 2007 11:09 am
Well put, Foley. Another example is the authoritative "opinion of the court", an opinion that formally "defines" reality.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Feb, 2007 11:09 am
Well put, Foley. Another example is the authoritative "opinion of the court", an opinion that formally "defines" reality.
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wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Feb, 2007 02:47 pm
Jurgen Habermas is a German sociologist, famous for his analysis of language. His theory of "communicative competence" may have some relevance to this thread. Here is how that theory is described in Wikipedia:

Quote:
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