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Argument for Tolerance from Harmless, Incorrect Belief
Posted: 13 April 2009 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]  
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burt - 13 April 2009 07:23 PM

(For example, there is substantial empirical evidence against the beliefs of creationists, but there is no empirical evidence for or against the possible existence of a non-material creator, only against what various humans have ascribed to that creator.)  Some beliefs can be dismissed as irrational in the sense that they don’t fit with currently established and verified knowledge but others cannot be so easily eliminated (your aunt’s belief, for example).  Under these conditions I claim that the only rational position is suspension of judgment—neither accepting not dismissing a belief, although one can express opinions on its probability of being correct.

While I generally agree about suspension of judgment, that’s only part of the issue. The choice whether to suspend that judgment is only necessary because believers make untestable propositions about the universe. It’s an artificial conflict created purely by the structuring of the propositions to preclude either proving or disproving evidence. If a proposition about the universe cannot be tested or repeated or falsified, then it’s a disservice to both science and humanity to even make the proposition.

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Posted: 13 April 2009 07:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]  
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Jefe, this quote from this thread is the answer to your most recent question:

arildno - 22 March 2009 02:46 PM

Precisely because they have chosen delusions to guide their lives, they are not entitled to intellectual respect from others, however harmless their delusions might be.

Unambiguous ridicule is something all of them deserve, on basis of their own choice.

You don’t need to look far to see people on this forum advocating behavior that is not very nice.

I’m quite sure that its easy, once a personal context is created, for everyone to agree that my aunt does not deserve unambiguous ridicule. On the other hand, the internet is a fun place to be tough. We should remember that of all the bones we have to pick, some are bigger than others, and the people with whom we are picking them have real lives.

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Posted: 13 April 2009 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]  
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Jefe,

No - I had no sinister or sneaky plans. I honestly thought that NickC’s original post was an interesting one.

I was just trying to come up with a harmless irrational belief. The story about my aunt is completely true, (though she does believe many other religious items along with the irrational notion that her husband’s spirit has survived his death and accompanies her in the present).

[ Edited: 13 April 2009 07:56 PM by Silver Bullet]
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Posted: 13 April 2009 10:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]  
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Silver Bullet - 13 April 2009 11:53 PM

Jefe,

No - I had no sinister or sneaky plans. I honestly thought that NickC’s original post was an interesting one.

I was just trying to come up with a harmless irrational belief. The story about my aunt is completely true, (though she does believe many other religious items along with the irrational notion that her husband’s spirit has survived his death and accompanies her in the present).

Since she is living in the same house there are undoubtedly many reminders around in her environment, partial patterns associated with experiences with her husband, that evoke emotional impressions she interprets as impressions of her husbands spirit.  In that sense, his spirit is still “alive.”

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Posted: 18 April 2009 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]  
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“burt”

Since she is living in the same house there are undoubtedly many reminders around in her environment, partial patterns associated with experiences with her husband, that evoke emotional impressions she interprets as impressions of her husbands spirit.  In that sense, his spirit is still “alive.”

The “spirit” you refer to are memories and contextual connections in the aunt’s mind/brain.  His spirit is alive in her memories. That is a different context than what Silver Bullet was referring to as a spiritual entity.  The former is a human experience, the latter is an implied supernatural phenomenon.

I don’t think you are suggesting they are the same, but IMO religious people confuse the two frequently.

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“Every war is a war against children.”
Howard Zinn

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