RE: virus: Yoda

Wright, James 7929 (
Thu, 10 Apr 97 09:49:00 EDT

Corey wrote:
>>Fine, I can wait. While you're thinking, let me draw a picture of what
>>looks like! [JHW]<<
>It might just take that long! I still am not sure, but perhaps what
>unsettled me about your response was that I got the impression that
>you feel that belief is not only useless, it's harmful. I agree that
>belief can be harmful, but it _can_ be helpful as well. You aren't
>claiming the opposite, but I somehow got the idea that you were.
>Preconceived notions, I guess.<
Perhaps we have different ideas about what constitutes /belief/. The way
I would describe "that practice which allows one to proceed in the
absence of certainty" is /intent/. The way I would describe "that
practice which allows one to hold a given view, despite lack of visible
evidence or sound reasoning that maintains the view" is /belief./
I have limited use for the former, although I seem to use it all the
time; the reason is that it is not supportable when closely examined,
IMHO. However, neither do I spend the time required to closely examine
the justification of every conscious and unconscious act; the time
involved simply isn't worthwhile, so I proceed on /intent/, and justify
only when necessary (say, to enlist the cooperation of others in an act).
/Belief/ has even less justification in my view; if you cannot generate
evidence or sound reasoning to justify your view, how can you hold it?
Beyond and beside all this I use techniques from Zen to try and dissolve
the illusions I have acquired, such as the existence of "I", in order to
prevent falling into errors of reasoning and justification. I am not
totally successful in these efforts, but then some individuals take many
years to attain enlightenment, so I am not in a hurry.
This post wound up being a bit long-winded, but I don't want to create
the impression that I find /belief/ harmful, just unnecessary. How do you
use belief, as a concept, and how do you find it helpful?