RE: virus: Belief and Knowledge

Thu, 26 Jun 1997 23:16:35 -0700

>From: Reed Konsler[]
>Sent: Thursday, June 26, 1997 8:13 AM

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

>>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) =

< Original text reintroduced for clarity>
>>SKEPTICISM is an unwillingness to commit to any position. Since
>>(as all debaters know) it is far easier to oppose than propose, the =
>>safest intellectual position is often one of absolute skepticism

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

That was the most exciting "discovery" I had in thinking about all of =
this. It gave me intellectual footing to say exactly why a constructive =
argument is more valuable, uncertainty and all, than a secure yet =
vacuous statement of absolute doubt.

I wrote in my notes: "...interestingly it stresses that the faith of the =
pious is no more irrational than the nihilism of the intellectual". =
[note: "it" refers to a graph I'd drawn]=20

>Deron Rocks!

Thank you kindly!=20

At the risk of sounding smarmy, I'll return the compliment by quoting a =
message I sent to David a few weeks ago:

"...Reed's 4/28/97 posting was nothing short of brilliant and deserving =
of the rarest of all compliments -- hardcopy."=20

[] =20



"This book was written in 1911 but since then my views have undergone =
significant development....Whitehead convinced me that the concept of =
matter is a logical fiction." --- B. Russell, _The Problems of =
Philosophy_, Foreword to the German Translation, 1924