Re: virus: Belief and Knowledge

David McFadzean (
Thu, 18 Sep 1997 11:36:30 -0600

At 12:43 PM 9/17/97 -0400, Reed Konsler wrote:

>I think one of the misconceptions about science is that you can make a
>"provisional" assumption without "really" believing it. It's like saying
>you don't smoke even though you don't really believe it's bad for you or
>that you don't walk under ladders even though you don't really believe it's
>unlucky. Actually, this get's back to the first conversation I ever had
>on this list with you (recursion?). Belief is defined by action; if you
>act as if X were true then you believe X...if only for the period of the

Action is only a clue to the belief, or doesn't the motivation behind
the action count for anything? And aren't there problems inherent in
interpreting the action. What can you say about my beliefs from this
textual speech act: "Reed, you are godlike!".

>That's a falsification paradigm. Why don't we assume God exists and try to
>think of some experiments to help us understand what the nature of this
>entity is?

That won't work if we have a priori assumptions about Him being supernatural
and/or "beyond logic". But if we start by assuming that experiments can tell
us something about Him, I'd be interested (for example) to know if His
followers die less often in horrible accidents than others.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus