Poll: When I say that I believe something, I mean that…
… I’ve got enough evidence suggesting a notion but I am unsure of its certainty.
… I am sure about the certainty of a notion regardless of what evidence may suggest.
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Believing versus believing
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24-04-2014, 10:56 AM
RE: Believing versus believing
(24-04-2014 08:00 AM)wazzel Wrote:  Outside of religious contex, for me it is your option 1 in the poll. More or less the short version of "Based on what I know on the subject and how I interpret that information I think this outcome, but do not know for sure."
I think that would be quite an honest meaning, wouldn't it? "I believe this, but I don't know"

Thanks wazzel, have a good day.
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24-04-2014, 10:59 AM
RE: Believing versus believing
(24-04-2014 08:04 AM)Seldon Wrote:  This was an accident ^^^

I believe that I am rubbish at even the most basic computing tasks haha Facepalm
I agree with your remark (the poll options didn't necessarily cover all possible cases) but not with your belief. You seem to have been able to turn the computer on, which is the most basic computer task :-)

Thanks for your interesting view, Seldon. Have fun!
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25-04-2014, 03:15 AM
RE: Believing versus believing
(24-04-2014 10:53 AM)living thing Wrote:  ...
Sorry, what program?
...

Y'know the program for which the Earth was built... to discover the Ultimate Question (to which the answer is 42).

Cat / dog, dog / god... makes no difference.

Don't play the innocent with me. I'm on to you!

I just ask for fair warning before you order the destruction of the planet.

Hobo

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25-04-2014, 09:44 AM
RE: Believing versus believing
(25-04-2014 03:15 AM)DLJ Wrote:  ...
I just ask for fair warning before you order the destruction of the planet.
Hobo
He he, no worries, you'll have it.

Now!

Consider Hmmm... strange, nothing happened.

I'm sorry DLJ, there is a lot being lost in translation. I didn't really grow up in an anglo-saxon culture and I've never been great fan of science fiction anyway, so I've had to follow your link and do a few additional searches in order to simply find out what you are talking about. I feel there is a lot more I need to read / listen to / watch before your comments make sense in my mind, so please excuse me if I don't know how to react to them; I'm a bit like when you had your introductory course in that new job.

What about the topic in this thread? Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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25-04-2014, 09:50 AM
RE: Believing versus believing
Hello Dom, how are you? I'm sorry, I skipped your post.

(24-04-2014 07:02 AM)Dom Wrote:  This is interesting to me. When I deconverted (age 10 ) one of the things I thought about is "the believing business". Not "believing" was the most despicable thing on earth according to the nuns.

To me the word meant: "I have no knowledge but I choose to think that...." It wasn't til much later that I ran into different interpretations, but that is the meaning I attached to it then, based on what I heard and saw from the nuns.

I still have that meaning as primary definition in my head, and I tend to "believe" nothing. The case of "I believe I am going to go to the store later" translates to me as "I think I am going to the store later".
So would you say that you now use the verb with the meaning "taking a notion as a truth" when it appears in negative sentences (e.g., I don't believe in ghosts), and with the meaning "suspecting without certainty" in positive sentences, like the example you provided?

Cheers!
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25-04-2014, 09:56 AM
RE: Believing versus believing
(25-04-2014 09:44 AM)living thing Wrote:  
(25-04-2014 03:15 AM)DLJ Wrote:  ...
I just ask for fair warning before you order the destruction of the planet.
Hobo
He he, no worries, you'll have it.

Now!

Consider Hmmm... strange, nothing happened.

I'm sorry DLJ, there is a lot being lost in translation. I didn't really grow up in an anglo-saxon culture and I've never been great fan of science fiction anyway, so I've had to follow your link and do a few additional searches in order to simply find out what you are talking about. I feel there is a lot more I need to read / listen to / watch before your comments make sense in my mind, so please excuse me if I don't know how to react to them; I'm a bit like when you had your introductory course in that new job.

What about the topic in this thread? Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Ah! Was I going off topic? That's hard to believe. Tongue

Sorry to send you on the research trail... you coulda just asked me what I was rambling on about. Smile
I forgot you weren't a Brit (it must be your eloquence that befuddled me there).

To explain...
You successfully found the Hitchhiker's Guide character (and his cat) to whom I was referring.

That character had a manner of speech, namely the self-doubt ("but don't take my word for it" etc.) that reminded me of yours.

Then you mentioned talking to your dog and the flashback in my mind crystalised into a realisation that I had been conversing with the REAL ruler of the universe.

It was kinda like a compliment but I've never been any good at those.

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25-04-2014, 04:48 PM
RE: Believing versus believing
(25-04-2014 09:56 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Ah! Was I going off topic? That's hard to believe. Tongue

Sorry to send you on the research trail... you coulda just asked me what I was rambling on about. Smile
Don’t worry, research is always fun. Well, maybe not always, but it is an activity I often enjoy. Besides, you did provide a link and googling "hitchhiker ultimate question" wasn't that difficult. Thanks for the offer, though.

(25-04-2014 09:56 AM)DLJ Wrote:  (...) it must be your eloquence that befuddled me there
That is a very pleasant remark, thank you very much.

I'm not a Brit, although I have lived and worked in England for a few happy years. But I don't even consider myself to be of "my" nationality; I don't believe in nationalities. Brit, Peruvian, Japanese, Kenyan, Bengali... in my mind, those are words used for the self-description of people who don't seem to understand that we are all human beings. Maybe centuries ago, when different cultures developed in relative isolation, the terms may have had some meaningful value, but not today. Today, they are a burden for our mutual understanding, as well as an excuse to bleed people with taxes and send them to die for their leaders.

Great people and putrid bastards come in every nationality and this planet has beautiful things everywhere I go; not only where I was born. I just view myself as one living thing among many, glad to be alive in a universe with so much to offer, even though I am sometimes embarrassed to be of my species.

(25-04-2014 09:56 AM)DLJ Wrote:  To explain...
You successfully found the Hitchhiker's Guide character (and his cat) to whom I was referring.
But it wasn’t difficult at all, I just clicked on the link you provided.

(25-04-2014 09:56 AM)DLJ Wrote:  That character had a manner of speech, namely the self-doubt ("but don't take my word for it" etc.) that reminded me of yours.

Then you mentioned talking to your dog and the flashback in my mind crystalised into a realisation that I had been conversing with the REAL ruler of the universe.

It was kinda like a compliment but I've never been any good at those.
I thank you for it, although I don’t think I deserve such a compliment and I definitely disagree with the conceptual possibility.

In my mental model of the things around me there is no room for a ruler of the universe; I don't even agree with the idea of the universe being governed. It is certainly not governed by those abstract notions that we pompously call "laws", which are simply attempts to describe its structure and/or behaviour. I find it more likely that we inherit that idea from the time when people thought there was a ruler ruling; many scientists up to not that long ago probably saw themselves as discovering the rules by which the creator of the universe ruled over his/her/its creation. But I don't believe in Superman.

The reason for my self-doubt is simple: I make mistakes. I don't like making them because it generally leads to inconveniences if not problems, but I like making them in the sense that each one can be transformed into a lesson, thus turning them into something valuable. From my mistakes I have learned different things in different areas, but they all point to one obvious notion: I make mistakes. And since I make mistakes, I can never take any notion in my mind as an infallible truth, because the minute I do I will be exposing myself to finding out that I was wrong, when I least expect it.

The reason why I insist on my self-doubt is because I don’t want to be believed; I only aim at being understood.

I do appreciate your very kind words, and I hope this is not a rude way to react to them, but I must confess that compliments have always made me feel rather uncomfortable; I hardly ever deserve them. But I did like your remark about my purported eloquence, especially coming from a native English speaker. I’m happy if I can get past the language barrier.

Sooooo… nothing to say about the actual topic? Big Grin

Have a great weekend.
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25-04-2014, 05:03 PM
RE: Believing versus believing
(25-04-2014 09:50 AM)living thing Wrote:  Hello Dom, how are you? I'm sorry, I skipped your post.

(24-04-2014 07:02 AM)Dom Wrote:  This is interesting to me. When I deconverted (age 10 ) one of the things I thought about is "the believing business". Not "believing" was the most despicable thing on earth according to the nuns.

To me the word meant: "I have no knowledge but I choose to think that...." It wasn't til much later that I ran into different interpretations, but that is the meaning I attached to it then, based on what I heard and saw from the nuns.

I still have that meaning as primary definition in my head, and I tend to "believe" nothing. The case of "I believe I am going to go to the store later" translates to me as "I think I am going to the store later".
So would you say that you now use the verb with the meaning "taking a notion as a truth" when it appears in negative sentences (e.g., I don't believe in ghosts), and with the meaning "suspecting without certainty" in positive sentences, like the example you provided?

Cheers!

Why would I make a difference between positive and negative? It simply means: "I don't know, but I assume that..."

Your options don't work for me.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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25-04-2014, 05:37 PM
RE: Believing versus believing
(25-04-2014 05:03 PM)Dom Wrote:  Why would I make a difference between positive and negative? It simply means: "I don't know, but I assume that..."

Your options don't work for me.
Maybe they don't, and please don't let me tell you what you mean, because you know better than I do, but I'd say that "I don't know, but I assume that..." is pretty much the first option in the poll; you have enough reasons to make an assumption, but you are not sure of its certainty.

However, I don't think that when you say that you tend to believe nothing you mean that you tend to assume nothing; everyone I've met needs to make some assumptions in the course of their daily lives and you're unlikely to be an exception. So when I read your claim, I interpret it as "I do not assume anything unless I have some evidence that suggests it, especially if other evidence appears to contradict it", which is more or less the negative form of the second option in the poll. That is why I suggested that you may use one meaning in positive sentences, and the other in negative sentences.

But I'm not saying that the options do work for you, I'm simply explaining why I mistakenly thought that they might. I'm still not quite sure how they don't, but it is not something I wish to argue about, although every clarification will be welcome.

Thanks Dom, have fun!
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25-04-2014, 06:57 PM
RE: Believing versus believing
(25-04-2014 05:37 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(25-04-2014 05:03 PM)Dom Wrote:  Why would I make a difference between positive and negative? It simply means: "I don't know, but I assume that..."

Your options don't work for me.
Maybe they don't, and please don't let me tell you what you mean, because you know better than I do, but I'd say that "I don't know, but I assume that..." is pretty much the first option in the poll; you have enough reasons to make an assumption, but you are not sure of its certainty.

However, I don't think that when you say that you tend to believe nothing you mean that you tend to assume nothing; everyone I've met needs to make some assumptions in the course of their daily lives and you're unlikely to be an exception. So when I read your claim, I interpret it as "I do not assume anything unless I have some evidence that suggests it, especially if other evidence appears to contradict it", which is more or less the negative form of the second option in the poll. That is why I suggested that you may use one meaning in positive sentences, and the other in negative sentences.

But I'm not saying that the options do work for you, I'm simply explaining why I mistakenly thought that they might. I'm still not quite sure how they don't, but it is not something I wish to argue about, although every clarification will be welcome.

Thanks Dom, have fun!

It's the word "enough" that bothers me here. I may have reasons to make the assumption, but I would likely make an assumption even with insufficient reasons if there is no evidence to the contrary and I have to find some theory to base things on.

I believe it's going to rain, so I will wear my rain coat. What are enough reasons for me to assume it would rain? Well, there are two small but dark clouds in the sky, not near enough to base a reasonable assumption on. But I hate getting wet, so I am going to err on the side of assuming that it will rain and make sure I stay dry.

To me, belief is more of a "leap of faith", often assuming something on very flimsy or no evidence in order to be able to have something to base my actions on..

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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