Re: virus: Truth and Beauty

David McFadzean (
Thu, 23 Oct 1997 12:22:54 -0600

At 01:44 PM 10/23/97 -0400, Reed Konsler wrote:

>Of course. But be careful, you've just defined a kind
>of "evidence" that is socially negotiated...constructed.

Only out of necessity since I don't think it is possible
to achieve a universal point of view.

>I think that there are "intersubjective standards of
>evidence" but I also think that these standards are not
>entirely "objective" and certianly not constant or
>consistent. If we are now going to speak of

Yes, the standards can't be theoretically perfect.

>evidence and truth as something negotiated between
>members of the community...well, I think that is
>true...but it the past I was accused of being a subjectivist
>for proposing it.

I think there is a difference between what I'm suggesting
and subjectivist. I'll have to think about how to describe
the difference.

>In other words, it isn't sufficient to prove there are costs to unreasonable
>beliefs, you must demontrate that these costs outweigh the benefits. If I
>believed that the costs outweighed the benefits, I would change my mind.

Excellent, progress. I think it is the case that the costs outweigh
the benefits. You disagree. Before I ask how we can figure out who is
right, I should ask if it matters to you. (I don't want to assume,
and I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't matter at all to Richard B.)

>Oh, you also would have to provide a feasible alternative to living without
>unreasoned beliefs. I can think of no current examples.

Whoa, I never said "unreasoned" beliefs. I said unreasonable. Huge difference.
For example, I think loving one's child is perfectly reasonable, even
though there may be no conscious thought or formal logic involved.
So endangering oneself in order to save a child would be considered
a decision based on a reasonable belief in my view.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus