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

David McFadzean (
Wed, 02 Jul 1997 13:02:23 -0600

At 10:10 AM 02/07/97 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:

>I think we would have to decide whether this *is* faith,
>before questioning whether it was reasonable. But I

Sure, but when I suggested that your description might not
be consistent with the definition of faith I am told that
a) logical/linguistic analysis can't be applied,
b) people shouldn't be hung up on definitions,
c) there might be a bugbear in my small mind.

>say, neither of these is necessary, and either of them
>may be positively misleading. Usage comes first, and
>analysis comes after the fact. People, as you know,
>do not always act or speak in accordance with logic.
>To adhere closely to its principles therefore means you
>will very often fail to understand people.

No, it is a mistake to think that logic can only be
applied to things that are logical.

>I don't think that focussing on definitions is a very
>reliable way to help understand yourself or others. See

Definitions are absolutely essential to communication
and (as abstractions) understanding. People lament
that discussions (especially internet-based ones) often
come down to semantic arguments. But rather than try
to deal with the problem constructively ("what do you
mean by that?") they sweep it under the rug ("don't get
hung up on definitions").

>>> And: consistency is the bugbear of small minds.
>>> (As you know.)
>>I know that is a misquote taken out of context and I personally
>>assign a large negative truth value to the statement (especially
>>since you have escalated the severeness by threefold hitdice :-).
>>But let's try out the DoT, why do you think it is true?
>That was a throw-away that I'm not going to take the time
>to defend. I wish I had as much spare time as some of the
>people around here seem to do!

Thow-aways are the kobolds of small minds (as you know :-).

(Would anyone care to defend Robin's position in his absence?)

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus