Re: virus: Church of Virus/Memetics/Faith

John \ (
Thu, 29 May 1997 09:09:08 -0400

At 11:01 PM 5/28/97 -0600, David McF wrote:
>> However, once you do this, you notice a problem: in order to justify this
>> action logically, you must say that your decision was based on logical
>> thinking, or say that your decision was a nessicery cognative leap based
>> on *no* evidence that can be trusted *whatsoever* -- you've done this based
>> on what you wish to be true, not on what you've observed to be true.
>I don't think the two cases you describe exhaust all possibilities.

I'm assuming you've offered that later...

>You're using Occam's Razor to show that logic doesn't exist? I have
>to assume you are joking.

In a sense, I am. Occam's Razor can not be used to prove or disprove logic,
since it presumes logic to begin with. If OR proves that logic is
non-existant, then it itself cannot be used to prove... ah. You get it.

>> So: how *do* you feel justified in saying things that you know may have no
>> basis at all in anything real if you do not allow yourself to take that
>> irrational cognative leap?
>That's a fair question. I don't feel I have no basis at all in anything real.
>Even though scientific knowledge doesn't have any rock solid foundations
>at the bottom (which means that technically it is circular), it is so
vast and
>interconnected it forms its own foundation. Sort of like a planet in space.
>Nothing holds it up, but it is enough to build on. It is the complexity, the
>coherence and the mutual support of the millions of bits that provides
>a justificiation.

Fair enough. This, perhaps, is why many people who *don't* believe in God
-- and are particularly anti-christian -- push to oversimplify the
definition(s) of Christian.

As for something providing its own foundation -- logic itself is exempt
from the charge against circular logic? Hmm. That's an interesting claim.

Interestingly enough this is an issue that captivated Hume for some time,
and then rubbed off on Kant, who attempted to justify it. Kant's
justificiation is different. Simply put, he saw there to be _a_priori_
truths -- truths that didn't need to be proved. These were hard-wired into
us, and were something we were tuned into percieving. (Sounds a little like
Plato's forms to me.) If these truths could be seperated from the morass of
other assumptions, then there would be a basic foundation identified that
science and logic could be supported on. This led eventually to
Structuralism, which attempted to interpret human behavior on this basis,
and then to Deconstructionism, which insisted that there was no such
structure, that structuralism was based on air, and that we could know
nothing *except* through our perceptions and belief-filters and thereby
made everything suspect.

----John "Crimial Oversimplification, 20 years to Life" Williams
John Williams ICQ Address: 1213689
Various Artists: Raising the Tide of Mediocrity for Two Years