Re: virus: Church of Virus/Memetics/Faith

John \ (
Mon, 26 May 1997 10:39:19 -0400

I'm going to cut to the parts that directly influence the nature of the
argument, and leave the other Christianity/Non-Christianity-of-me to
another thread...

>I believe that nothing can be proven
>true. I don't think everything is nonsensical, therefore I cannot
>possibly be a logical positivist.

Then, pray tell, where do you find the authority to make any statement?
What is "sensical?"

>> >But if you can't back up (offer good reasons for) your beliefs then you
>> >have to admit you are indistinguishable from all the loonies with
>> >nonsensical beliefs. Not all good reasons have to be published in a
>> >peer reviewed academic journal (though that often helps).
>> Fallacy of Continuum again...
>Huh!? How?

The assumption that since I believe something that is not entirely
rational[1] makes me no different from, say, a snake-handler, is an
explicit statement that pigeonholes me as a loony, irreguardless of how
much science I may believe, what value I put on rational thought, etc. In
many ways it is the inverse of what you said earlier...
that it was impossible to classify anyone. You've over-classified, placing
me in an extreme classification without regard to degree.

Now: which is it, Dave? Can you "not classify anyone?" Or are there two
types of people: those who are loony and those who arent?

>I mean that saying things like "people who share my position see the
>situation clearly as opposed to you people" isn't an argument. It is
>just an assertion.

It's also a form of begging the question, I believe. +1.

>> >Funny thing about those Heaven's Gate kooks, at least their beliefs
>> >(in a space ship following the comet) were physically possible as
>>opposed to
>> >most mainstream religions...
>> you forgot to include "physically possible, insofar as we understand
>> physics." Remember: it is physically impossible to break the sound barrier.
>> [Again, Arguing from Ignorance.]
>I don't think it is necessary to append "insofar as we understand it" to
>everything we say (I hope). And there is nothing physically impossible about
>a spaceship following a comet.

Ah: I mean, you're assuming that what most mainstream religions believe is
physically impossible. I'm saying, "impossible as far as we know." In this
case, it is necessary to append that disclaimer. Or not make that argument
at all.

John Williams
Your Message Here...
"See my loafers? Former gophers!"