virus: Belief and Knowledge (was: The truth about faith)

Reed Konsler (
Thu, 26 Jun 1997 11:13:31 -0400 (EDT)

>Date: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 19:35:44 -0700
>From: DJS <>

[cut the great story]

>In this light, consider four definitions:
>1. Knowledge.... Belief in accordance with the Evidence.
>2. Credulity....... Belief despite the Evidence.
>3. Skepticism... Disbelief despite the Evidence
>4. Thrift............ Disbelief in accordance with the (lack of) =

Wow, I'm sold. This was a great. I also like your characterization
of the intellectual skeptic, which was something I was going to bring
up. Way to define words!

>1. This post seemed to take _forever_ to write, it's longer than I =
>wanted it to be, it says less than I wanted to say, and it says it less =
>well than I'd hoped it would. Lurking is much easier :-)

Oh, but you're so good at it! Don't be a skeptic about your own

>2. Some of the confusion over the word "faith" results from =
>equivocation of "Faith =3D Credulity" with "Faith =3D Committing Fully =
>to Uncertain Propositions". (These correspond exactly to David's =
>graphical interpretation I think.)=20

Another point I was going to make, as well.

>3. Knowledge is the fruit of the middle way, between the intellectual =
>laziness of Credulity - belief without evidence, and the spiritual =
>laziness of Skepticism -- evidence without belief.=20
>4. The "power of positive thinking" aspect of the Credulous position is =
>a fascinating aspect of it. It probably gets attention far out of =
>proportion to its actual applicability, but it does so because it is =
>paradoxical and self-referential and interesting and often true (all =
>good things!). In this sense it's probably analogous to the "altruism" =
>issue of natural selection.


Deron Rocks!


Reed Konsler