RE: virus: The One or the Many? (was: META)

Robin Faichney (
Mon, 3 Nov 1997 13:46:34 -0000

> From: Brett Lane Robertson[]
> If you say that *some* of what you know might be wrong...are you
> saying that
> some of what you know might be right?
Of course.

> And if doubt describes the first
> case, does faith describe the second?
Perhaps. But remember, we don't know which is which.

> So could the same information (the
> "more to be learned") be learned using either faith or doubt?
No. If you have faith that you're right, you're not
opening to learning more. On the other hand,
you have to have faith that you *can* learn more!
I'm not against faith where appropriate, it's just
that I see doubt as being equally important. You
can't doubt something that you have faith in, but
you can certainly have doubts about some things
and faith in others simultaneously, so, in general
terms, they are not conflict, only in specific
cases. Seems to me it's silly to argue that either
faith or doubt is superior, as they have different
functions, and both are essential.

In cases such as having faith that we are capable
of learning, it is most beneficial to lean towards the
positive assumption. It's not really practical to
entertain doubts about such things.

> Who is to say that the absolutist is a monster? If the absolutist
> only
> sticks with what he knows, then he would only be a monster if what he
> knows
> is monstrous, right?
The question is, how does he know that he knows it?
A very major factor in all ideologically-based political
and economic disasters is unjustified certainty in a
political/economic theory. There is noone as sure of
his right to rule as a dictator. Doubt humanises us,
makes us modest and tolerant.

> AND why does having nothing to doubt
> imply having "no beliefs or opinions"?
It's the other way around. Imagine you had no
beliefs or opinions. What could you then doubt?

> If a person had beliefs and/or
> opinions which contained more faith than doubt, would the best way to
> present this argument involve using the greater quantity or the lesser
> quantity?
I don't think presentation of arguments is what we're
discussing here. Doubt is a tool for learning, not for
presentation of what you (think you) know. But no
doubt many people are more impressed by apparent
unshakable faith. Is that a good thing?

> And, do you believe that it is POSSIBLE to project what one knows into
> the
> future? That is, imagine that only those things which objectively
> occurred
> were projected... Would faith that this is true or doubt in reality
> assist
> internalizing this future learning?
Can't parse any of that.

> Finally, do you think that Chartre dispelled doubt--as he said he did
> to
> formulate his based on something other than doubt (as
> he
> said it was)?
If you mean Descartes, no, I don't think he dispelled doubt.
In his main aim, he failed. Thank god! (Not that it was
possible, anyway.)