• Bird-Up
    83

    Thank you for sharing that terrible experience. That's the kind of thing people desperately need to know about these days; whether they realize it or not.

    We keep making the same mistake of over-trusting our viewpoints.
  • Harry Hindu
    4.9k
    It can all too easily grab hold of the adverb "in" which changes the meaning completely. Instead of "I believe" something to be true, it says I believe IN Love or in Democracy or some such which has a totally different meaning.Ken Edwards
    Also its noun form: "Belief" has a completely changed meaning. The noun, "Belief", might be said to be one of the results or one of the outcomes of believing something to be true.Ken Edwards
    It does not change the meaning. To "believe in" something as in believing in love is the same as saying you believe "love exists" to be true. To believe in something is to believe that it exists, or to have the belief that it exists. Just as hammering requires a hammer, believing requires a belief.
  • Ken Edwards
    183
    You say, To "believe in" something as in believing in love is the same as saying you believe "love exists" to be true."

    It does not Say that love exists. It might or might not imply it depending entirely on the interpretation by the listener which is something else entirely..
  • Ken Edwards
    183
    Agreed! Emphatically!

    The authors of the last two mass killings proudly confirm and almost seem to be bragging about the fact that it was their "beleivings" that did the killing.
  • Ken Edwards
    183
    Bird up says:
    We keep making the same mistake of over-trusting our viewpoint.

    Agreed, emphatically
  • Fooloso4
    3.4k
    I carefully avoid believing anything at all.Ken Edwards

    Is this not an expression of what you believe about believing, that is is better to avoid believing?

    To believe is used in distinction from to know. What I believe may turn out to be wrong. It expresses a tenuousness, a lack of certainty. It differs from a claim of knowledge.

    It is when this distinction is not made, when one equates believing with being absolutely, indubitably certainty, that believing becomes dangerous.
  • Ken Edwards
    183
    I seem to agree generally. I think we are discussing word meanings. Tricky stuff.

    My sentence: "I carefully avoid believing anything at all" contains self-contradictions and maybe I should rather have said: "i carefully avoid the action of beleiving" For believieg is an action and I do avoid that action. Actions are sometimes easily avoided

    I think there is a further distinction be tween believing and knowing. Beleiving is limited strictly to words. "I don't believe you when you said blah blah".

    But knowing applies to everything that is knowable either by the conscious mind or by the total mind, the subconscious mind. I know thousands of things. But in order to tell you what some of them are I must somehow interpret them in stupid words, alway difficult, frequently impossible.

    Please remember that, in dealing with you, who are a thousand miles away, we are reduced to using dumb words. We can not use the vastly more canny intuition.

    Your last statement: " It is when this distinction is not made, when one equates believing with being absolutely, indubitably certainty, that believing becomes dangerous.

    That Is horribly, tragically entirely true.
  • praxis
    5.3k
    Is this not an expression of what you believe about believing, that is is better to avoid believing?

    To believe is used in distinction from to know. What I believe may turn out to be wrong. It expresses a tenuousness, a lack of certainty. It differs from a claim of knowledge.

    It is when this distinction is not made, when one equates believing with being absolutely, indubitably certainty, that believing becomes dangerous.
    Fooloso4

    First, you say that believing expresses uncertainty and knowing expresses certainty, but then say that believing can express certainty. There is also the fact that what we know can turn out to be wrong, and in those cases are we actually only believing when we think that we're knowing?
  • Fooloso4
    3.4k
    First, you say that believing expresses uncertainty and knowing expresses certainty, but then say that believing can express certainty.praxis

    The latter is the result of the failure to make the distiction of the former.

    There is also the fact that what we know can turn out to be wrong, and in those cases are we actually only believing when we think that we're knowing?praxis

    Right, but as you say, in such cases we only believe that we think we know. The distinction is maintained.
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    What difference does it make? — praxis

    :snicker:
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    There seems to be no discernible difference between beliefs/believing per se and assumptions/assuming.

    Let us assume...blah blah blah = Let us believe...blah blah blah.
  • praxis
    5.3k
    First, you say that believing expresses uncertainty and knowing expresses certainty, but then say that believing can express certainty.
    — praxis

    The latter is the result of the failure to make the distiction of the former.
    Fooloso4

    I think you're wrong about this. If we're uncertain about something do we need to confirm this uncertainty, or 'hold it to be true', to ourselves? No.

    The expression of belief is nothing more than a sign of solidarity with fellow "believers", and a shared uncertainty is a leash, allowing yourself to be led like a dog.
  • Fooloso4
    3.4k
    If we're uncertain about something do we need to confirm this uncertainty, or 'hold it to be true', to ourselves?praxis

    What does it mean to confirm one's uncertainty? Confirm that you are uncertain? Attempt to eliminate the uncertainty? There are many things about which I am uncertain for which the uncertainty cannot be eliminated. Some of those things seem to be more likely to be true than others.

    The expression of belief is nothing more than a sign of solidarity with fellow "believers" ...praxis

    This may be true with regard to some beliefs for some people but not others. There are beliefs that are matters of opinion. There are varying degrees with which one may hold those opinions.

    ... and a shared uncertainty is a leash, allowing yourself to be led like a dog.praxis

    Again, this may be true with regard to some beliefs for some people but not others. Without greater specificity this discussion becomes rudderless.
  • praxis
    5.3k
    What does it mean to confirm one's uncertainty? Confirm that you are uncertain? Attempt to eliminate the uncertainty? There are many things about which I am uncertain for which the uncertainty cannot be eliminated. Some of those things seem to be more likely to be true than others.Fooloso4

    If I accept or trust or think or estimate or conclude or predict that you're telling the truth does that mean that I believe (hold to be true) you're telling the truth? A definition of believe includes the sense of 'feeling sure of'. Does that refer to intuition, the feeling that you're telling the truth but not an assessment based on reason? If that's the case then I could simply say that, that I feel like or intuit that you're telling the truth. It seems the only other way to 'feel sure of' is to hold you as a truth-teller or to have faith in you, to trust you implicitly. I imagine there could be circumstances where I would be forced to trust someone because it's not possible to verify their veracity, but that could be against my will and wouldn't be really 'feeling' or 'holding' their claims.
  • universeness
    2.4k
    Mad stuff, insane stuff. To the effect that fully justified them waging war and killing millions of people.
    They had firmly Believed that it was morally wrong for them Not to kill.
    Ken Edwards

    Did/do you believe it was correct/justified/advisable to fight against the nazis?
    When you heard these surrendered soldiers speak the way they did, did that strengthen your belief that you were correct in your personal efforts to stop them from continuing to do what they were doing?
    Do you think that it's important to believe IN the justness of a cause if you are going to kill in its name?
    Should I stop another from killing someone because I BELIEVE they are not justified in doing so or help them if I BELIEVE their target is an evil nefarious b****** who might also threaten me and those I care about?
    If I reject believing IN anything then can I still make judgments on what I consider right and wrong?
    How can you build who you are without some kind of foundational beliefs?
  • praxis
    5.3k
    How can you build who you are without some kind of foundational beliefs?universeness

    Rather, I think the question is how can you build who we are without some kind of foundational beliefs.
  • universeness
    2.4k
    Rather, I think the question is how can you build who we are without some kind of foundational beliefs.praxis
    Sure, that's just a projection of what I stated. If you have your own foundational beliefs established within then you can start to try to figure out others using that reference. I am not suggesting your own foundations should be utterly chiseled in stone but you have to have some strength in your foundations.
    I am a fan of the delphic maxim 'Know Thyself.' Although I would probably add 'before attempting to know others.'
  • praxis
    5.3k
    Sure, that's just a projection of what I stated. If you have your own foundational beliefs established within then you can start to try to figure out others using that reference. I am not suggesting your own foundations should be utterly chiseled in stone but you have to have some strength in your foundations.universeness

    I’m suggesting that it’s not a personal foundation but a group foundation. We don’t need to believe ourselves, do we???
  • Ken Edwards
    183
    When I began this thread about the verb - "Believing." I warned that the word "believing" was a very tricky word and might lead to many different meanings and should be carefully examined before using.

    I was correct in my warnings and then the discussion got wilder and wilder and went all over the place.

    And got more interesting.

    And lots of fun!

    Continueing here I will answer some questions.

    Did/do you believe it was correct/justified/advisable to fight against the nazis?

    Yes I did.

    When you heard these surrendered soldiers speak the way they did, did that strengthen your belief that you were correct in your personal efforts to stop them from continuing to do what they were doing?

    Yes it did.

    Do you think that it's important to believe IN the justness of a cause if you are going to kill in its name?

    Yes, I do.

    Should I stop another from killing someone because I BELIEVE they are not justified in doing so or help them.

    No, I can't stop people from doing things because I am 97 years old and I can't walk.

    If I BELIEVE their target is an evil nefarious b****** who might also threaten me and those I care about?

    This is heavy stuff. I would have to know you very, very well along with your family and friends over a long period of time in order to be sure that you, yourself, were not delusional.

    If I reject believing IN anything then can I still make judgments on what I consider right and wrong?

    No. I believe IN hundreds of different things , maybe thousands. I if I should reject all of those things that would turn me mentally into a vegetable with the IQ of a carrot.

    How can you build who you are without some kind of foundational beliefs?

    I never knew I was building me when I grew up. That was 90 some years ago and I don't remember. But I like the sound of the words.

    How can you build who you are without some kind of foundational beliefs?

    I am an American and, like most Americans, I got lots and lots and lots of foundational beliefs. I got foundational beliefs I aint even used yet.

    But I still can't figure out how we managed to get from the meaning of a single word to carrots and mice.

    Please explain.
  • creativesoul
    10.6k
    If I accept or trust or think or estimate or conclude or predict that you're telling the truth does that mean that I believe (hold to be true) you're telling the truth?praxis

    If by "telling the truth" we're talking about saying what one believes to be true, then yes. If by "telling the truth" we're talking about making true statements, then we're talking about the quality of the person's claim(belief) and not the sincerity of the person.
  • creativesoul
    10.6k
    There are thousands of pros out there who spend millions of hours a day and millions of dollars a day trying to concoct clever, attention grabbing, truthful sounding lies or half lies that you and I and even Banno can be tricked into beleiving and then they get money out of us or power over us or maybe just enjoy fucking us over. They are good at it, they are pros.Ken Edwards

    Indeed.

    There is no way I could have the time or the ability to examen the thousands of such dangerous falshoods that are aimed my way.

    Agreed. It highlights the importance of having a stringent, prudent, personal standard for what counts as sufficient reason to believe something or other(warrant).
  • universeness
    2.4k
    I’m suggesting that it’s not a personal foundation but a group foundation. We don’t need to believe ourselves, do we???praxis

    Well, to use a simple analogy. If you want to bake a cake the majority of people will like then pay very careful attention to the ingredients. I know this is open to abuse and such creations as 'Trump/Putin/BoJo cakes' or in the group sense, cult of celebrity/autocratic rule/plutocratic capitalism cake. The group foundation can indeed be made up of mercenaries or duped automatons but I think if you what to create a foundational group that's a force for good in this world, then you need its ingredients to be individuals who care about nurturing, maintaining and progressing the human race as well as making sure that attention to the fate of the human race does not have such side effects as the abuse of natural ecology or the extinction of fauna or the pollution and exploitation of any 'space' beyond the boundaries of Earth.
  • Janus
    12.6k
    Anything that is not known but seems reasonable can be accepted and entertained provisionally for pragmatic reasons; no believing needed.
  • universeness
    2.4k
    From your answers to the questions I posed to you Ken, above the point or the quote below, It seems to me that as a young 17 or 18 year old soldier you did believe IN the cause you were fighting for and those beliefs have not changed as you just confirmed as a glorious 97 year old!

    Should I stop another from killing someone because I BELIEVE they are not justified in doing so or help them.

    No, I can't stop people from doing things because I am 97 years old and I can't walk
    Ken Edwards

    My question was asking for you to advise those who do have the power to stop such. I was not suggesting that you could personally stop such, although, after a few single malts, you probably could.

    This is heavy stuff. I would have to know you very, very well along with your family and friends over a long period of time in order to be sure that you, yourself, were not delusionalKen Edwards
    I appreciate what you mean but it's no different from your 'when I spoke to some of the German prisoners' memory. Did you know for sure that the comments expressed were supported by every prisoner in that group? It's like that biblical story about sodom and gomorrah. I mean really, that idiotic angel could not find any decent folks at all in either city! I for one, don't believe that biblical BS.
    That does not mean I am attempting to invalidate the impression these soldiers gave you Ken I am just trying to use a wider (perhaps I might even risk the word wiser) beamed torch, at those soldiers and what they might have chosen to say to one of their very young captors compared to what they truly felt inside. Can you really trust what traumatised captives say, who perhaps are beginning to realise what duped fools they were and what destruction they have brought down on themselves?

    I never knew I was building me when I grew up. That was 90 some years ago and I don't remember. But I like the sound of the words.Ken Edwards

    But as a glorious 97-year-old, looking back. Can you see the building methodologies/strategies you employed now?

    I am an American and, like most Americans, I got lots and lots and lots of foundational beliefs. I got foundational beliefs I aint even used yetKen Edwards
    I, personally hate and despise the action of "believing"Ken Edwards

    How do you 'marry' these two seemingly contradictory viewpoints Ken?

    But I still can't figure out how we managed to get from the meaning of a single word to carrots and mice.
    Please explain.
    Ken Edwards

    :lol: I can only offer the following old observation "Out of little acorns, big oak trees grow!"
  • Christoffer
    1.3k
    Sitting there in Germany amid the ruins listening to these horrors I became an enemy of believing, not only rational believing but any believing.Ken Edwards

    This is why I'm also opposed to the idea of "belief". The concept is thrown around too much, also in a way to discredit someone with a more rational and unbiased view of the world. It's easy for them to say "that's your belief" to anyone that doesn't agree with them, and while "truth" is a fluid concept, there are still a lot of methods of arriving closer to the truth than further away from it. That's why I subscribe to the idea of epistemic responsibility. That you have a moral responsibility to investigate your beliefs and turn them into rational conclusions or prove them wrong and accept the rational conclusion taking their place.

    Blind belief in a claim is immoral and not investigating it before believing it is immoral. A convincing argument can be temporarily accepted, but never as truth before investigation.
  • Wayfarer
    16.3k
    Example: "Belgiums are baby killers and should be punished". Once, long ago, those words were believed my millions. Evil words, sinful words. Death words.Ken Edwards

    Still trying to work out who those millions were, and why "Belgiums", especially considering that Belgium is actually a country. :chin:
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    believe IN — Ken Edwards

    :cool: Aha!
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    Still trying to work out who those millions were, and why "Belgiums", especially considering that Belgium is actually a country. :chin: — Wayfarer

    :rofl:
  • Harry Hindu
    4.9k
    You say, To "believe in" something as in believing in love is the same as saying you believe "love exists" to be true."

    It does not Say that love exists. It might or might not imply it depending entirely on the interpretation by the listener which is something else entirely..
    Ken Edwards
    The goal of the listener is typically to understand what was said by the speaker, not to make up its own meaning to the words spoken by someone else.

    So what is it you mean or are implying when you use the phrase, "i believe in love.", if it's not that you believe that it exists.

    I carefully avoid believing anything at all.
    — Ken Edwards

    Is this not an expression of what you believe about believing, that is is better to avoid believing?
    Fooloso4
    Exactly. This whole time Mr. Edward's has been telling us what he believes to be the case. He could be wrong. So if he is wrong that means he cant be describing what actually is the case, but what he believes to be the case. Is Mr. Edward's never wrong?

    We can only ever use language to refer to our beliefs/knowledge of what is the case. Whether or not our beliefs/knowledge of what the case is accurate is another story.
  • praxis
    5.3k
    Anything that is not known but seems reasonable can be accepted and entertained provisionally for pragmatic reasons; no believing needed.Janus

    TRUTH!
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