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Believin' "IN" it idn't gonna git it!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PureX, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    So, for what seems like several decades, now, I have been struggling to point out to some of you on here that no one cares what any of us "believes in". And that we care even less (if that's possible) about what anyone "disbelieves in". What we actually care about, if we care about what each other has to say at all, is what you are asserting to be true. Whether or not you believe it to be true is of no consequence to us, because the truthfulness of what you are asserting is in no way buoyed up nor undermined by the degree to which you believe or "unbelieve in" it. Such that all we're actually interested in is the assertion, and why you are holding it forth as being true. Because our knowing these may strengthen or weaken or otherwise change or enhance whatever ideas we are holding to be true, ourselves.

    I don't know how to say it any clearer that this.

    But it's been to no avail. Y'all continue to pointlessly announce to all that you "believe in" this or that, or that you "unbelieve in" it, as if this were supposed to mean something to us. And although it doesn't, I can see that I must surrender to the irrepressible persistence in offering this pointless proclamation. Nothing I say is going to stop you.

    However, I still doggedly refuse surrender to the use of the term "in" being added to the use of this term, "believe".

    I can grudgingly accept that you assert; "I believe X = X" (even though I still don't care that you believe it, or how strongly you believe it). But I have no idea what you even mean when you proclaim that you "believe in X = X". Or the even crazier variation; that you "believe on X = X". It really is just nonsensical gibberish at this point, and I just cannot in good conscience allow it to pass as any kind of bona fide information transferal.

    So, hence forth, be warned.
     
  2. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    Ah, semantic hair-splitting. If it were an Olympic sport, RF would win an entire closet of gold medals. Sadly, nobody has endeavored to get it recognized as such just yet.

    Bummer for arguments like this one!
     
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  3. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I don't see the pursuit of logical clarity in a philosophical or theological discussino or debate as "hair-splitting". But of course you are free to be as vague and confused as you like. That is your right.
     
  4. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I get it, and yes, someone claiming that something is true is the more damning item if compelling evidence cannot be presented to back the assertion up. However, I think there are certainly times our ears do perk up at people's "beliefs." Like when a professional psychologist informs us what they "believe" to be someone's issue(s). Can we state that they "know" for certain? Not really, and obviously they are going to try and produce some kind of evidence to back their diagnoses up - but in the end, none of it is "tangible," can only be "shared" by people who know the person being diagnosed fairly intimately, etc.

    My main point being that there are plenty of situations where a lot of us care about what someone else believes (opinions on symbolism in art or literature, for example, or what the best place to dine in town is, etc.) Coincidentally enough, however, those items tend to be less contested AND are also based on observable, real-world phenomena. Strange that, isn't it? (note: not really)
     
  5. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    If I understand you correctly, it's better to say "this is what I hold is true" rather than "this is what I believe is true" because we can believe anything we want, but what makes a good discussion is what we hold true to ourselves?

    I'd say "I believe god exist" (for example) is what you're getting at. Believing "in" something is putting your trust into something you hold is true without evidence (definition of belief). But your context seems like you can believe anything anyone wants and claim it to be so, but to hold some interest to the other party, it has to be true to the person they speak with in order to hold any value to both parties.

    If that at all makes sense.
     
  6. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I have a couple of points to make, here.

    You seem to be validating my position in saying that what we choose to 'believe', and what we think we 'know', are both of little actual importance to anyone but ourselves. Precisely because they are based on criteria that's subject almost entirely to the holder. And is therefor of little relevance to the criteria of others. And visa-versa.

    As to those situations when we "care about the opinions of others", I agree. But what we are caring about is their opinion, not their beliefs. And not that they are asserting it as a truth that we should also accept. Even if they were to be doing this, it's understood, by us, that we aren't going to accept it as such. We're simply looking for their thoughts and experiences, as additional information in forming our own opinions.
     
  7. Eyes to See

    Eyes to See Active Member

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    Whenever someone uses words such as everyone, no one, etc I usually dismiss what they say out of hand. These are extreme exaggerations and cannot be taken literally. Even if the person using the exaggeration hopes you do.

    When you speak for "we" what group of people have you been chosen to speak for? How many of them came to the consensus that you are speaking on their behalf about? When you refer to everyone, or no one are you just referring to this group of people that has chosen you to speak on their behalf, or do you imagine you speak for everyone everywhere?

    You do realize it is just impossible to take any of this seriously?
     
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  8. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    This is mostly true, yes. In the examples I gave of "best place to eat" or "what's good in art" or something, yes - we understand that the person is not making a truth claim. They may believe it, however, with some amount of fervency - like stating that "[X] Chinese restaurant has the best wonton soup." To the point that you'd be hard-pressed to talk them out of something like that, unless you could produce compelling evidence (A taste-test, for example).

    In the case of a psychologist's assessments, that, I feel, straddles a line. It may be a "professional opinion," but they are absolutely going for what they feel is the "truest" diagnosis possible, and when pressed, would provide any amount of evidence that you might require to try and convince you. And again - such will very likely come with assertions of belief that you are more willing to listen to, than those of your local, competing theist or atheist.
     
  9. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Yes. I can understand and accept the "loose language" of saying "I believe X to be true" instead of saying "I assert X to be true". So long as it's understood that it's the assertion that matters, and is at issue, NOT the "belief". And certainly not the "unbelief".
    In this particular instance, you have not actually asserted the existence of God as a truth, to me. And I would have no reason, then, to take your exposition as such. Whereas if you were to assert your 'belief' as a truth claim (true beyond yourself) then I would have to take it as such, and consider it as such. The problem is that the word "believe" as it is persistently being used does not clarify whether it's a personal choice, or an implied truth. As a personal assertion of belief it is of no special consequence to me. But as an assertion of collective truth, it is. And if it is, then the assertion deserves logical, reasoned, support. Where as, as your own personal belief/choice, it does not.

    Since we here on RF are very often discussing God's existence as a collective truth assertion, requiring logical, reasoned support, we should stop muddying up the discussions by insisting on using the term "I believe" when we mean to assert a collective truth requiring logical, reasoned support, AND when we mean to assert a personal preference that does not require logical, reasoned support.

    "I believe" = personal preference, not requiring logical, reasoned, support.

    "I assert" = a collective truth, requiring logical, reasoned support.

    It does.

    I think the problem is that people don't differentiate these key points in their own minds, and so confuse themselves and everyone else in discussion. And then when I or someone else points it out, they get all ego-defensive and try to 'double down' on their confusion instead of digging into their own minds and learning to differentiate their own thoughts, and assertions to others, more clearly.
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    The problem is the doping scandal in our sport.
    That bad image is the reason I don't get to go
    to the Olympics!
     
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  11. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    In this instance I think the professional should ASSERT his position, and be prepared to support it with logical, informed, reasoning (which I assume he could do). In this case, it's neither an opinion nor a 'belief', it is an assertion of truth. (This dos not men that we must accept is a truth, of course. But it does mean that we must consider it logically, and reasonably, as the truth.)
     
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  12. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    You should perhaps learn to accept the use of exaggeration as a form of artifice. The OP was meant to be exaggerated for the sake of levity. I wanted to make a legitimate point, but to do so in a way that allows us all not to get too bent out of shape over it.
     
  13. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    I don't understand.

    What is the distinction between someone "believing in" versus "asserting to be true?"
     
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  14. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    "I believe" = personal preference, not requiring logical, reasoned, support.

    "I assert" = a collective truth, requiring logical, reasoned support.
     
  15. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    That helps, thanks!

    If this is how we are approaching these terms, hmm... well... gotta say I care a lot more about what humans "believe" than what they "assert." In my view the "assert" is just pretentious version of "believe" in most cases. A story is a story - and I wanna hear the stories. :D
     
  16. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    But why do you want to hear the 'stories'? Other people's stories. Why are they important to you?

    I would assert that your 'reality' is a whole collection of 'stories' (just as all of ours' are), and you want to use their stories to make your own stories 'better'. Now, call those stories 'personal truth assertions', and you've got yourself a philosophical discussion.
     
  17. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    *blinks*

    Do... do you seriously never want to hear stories to hear stories? Because they are fun and interesting? Because you are a curious person? Have a love of learning new things? Enjoy the beauty and awe and wonder of the world? If not that... that's really sad, honestly. :(
     
  18. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I don't see much difference between that description and a belief backed by evidence. It almost seems as though you want to categorize it differently for some reason. Just because a belief is asserted as truth is not grounds for no longer calling it a belief, right?
     
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  19. Jaiket

    Jaiket Well-Known Member
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    Not sure I completely follow. Is this a big-words way of saying, skip to the reasons/evidence, bro?

    Have you been coming on here all these years raging that people are doing words wrong?
     
  20. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    So this is a question of English usage, which in reality is notoriously flexible.

    Especially since the old "rules" of grammar have fallen out of fashion ─ don't split the infinitive, don't end a sentence with a preposition, a unit of factual information is a datum and the plural is data, and so on.

    Here, if I'm presented with an example in ordinary arithmetic or algebra where 2≠2 or X≠X, I could explain why I struck it out by saying ironically but correctly, "I believe in numbers being equal to themselves".

    But otherwise I tend to agree with you, though your level of concern is considerably higher than mine.
     
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