Re: virus: A clearer definition of faith.

George Sulea (
Tue, 02 Feb 1999 05:43:26 -0000

I agree on the following, People who propagate the "trust no one" idea make it easier for the Machine to USE them, even if they don't want to be used.


**Reality is like an opinion, everybody has one, and they're all different.**

On Mon, 1 Feb 1999 20:15:54    MemeLab wrote:

>Ok folks, here it is! Dr. Jake to the rescue!!! If you stick to this, the
>rest of it should become clearer. Otherwise, it's all murky word games - fun
>for memeticists to watch, but no good for making sense. Trust me! (but don't
>have faith in me!). I am RIGHT on this!
>(I know, I know, Brodie will jump me again for being "arrogant", but so what?
>Why pretend that I might be wrong when I know that I am not? If I am proven
>wrong, . . . well that's what good sense of humor is for.)
>This is from a thread I am involved in on AOL. "JakePrime" is my other screen
>name that I use for strictly AOL stuff. So here goes.
>Subject: thinking for yourself vs. thinking by yourself
>From: (Jake Prime)
>Date: 01 Feb 1999 17:57:50 EST
>In article <>,
>(RaggTopp4) writes:
>>Simple, I trust no one. That doesn't mean I think wrong of everyone, it just
>>means that the first time I hear something I'll doubt it until I find a
>>reoccurance of it and at least some other information on it. Preferably an
>>opposing view. Understanding a situation is best when you tackle it form
>>BOTH sides.
>>>How does using an investigative approach become our method of coming to
>>By opening our minds and thinking, "Gee, maybe this ISN'T right after all?"
>>Doubt is the great firestarter, the kindling for the fire of freethinking.
>You trust no one? The opposite of faith is not paranoia.
>I think that you portraying rational thinking as necessarily paranoid
>thinking. This is not just thinking for yourself, this is thinking by yourself
>too. We all trust other people. On most issues, we have no choice. People
>tell me the Earth is round. I have never travelled around the Earth, nor have
>I ever sought out the opinion of a flat-earther to determine whether I should
>believe people when they represent to me that the Earth is essentially round.
>Certainly doubt is a useful tool, but we do not have the luxury of it for
>every case. What we can do, however, is rationally criticize all of the
>representations that we do have for inconsistency and thus apply doubt to
>those situations where conflict occurs. That way, I can reasonably decide
>that something deserves doubt, even when most people confirm it - like the
>existence of benevolent "God" thingies and supernatural "souls". I can also
>reasonably decide to accept something even when many people doubt it or
>certain aspects of it, like evolution through blind variation and natural
>And I can do this rationally without having to go out and personally view the
>evidence myself in each of these cases, or even listen to every point of view
>either. I can save the fieldwork for the really important things where
>rational criticism just isn't satisfactory, and where there really are two
>competing points of view that both seem reasonable on their face. And for
>most everything else, I have a rational method of selecting things where I can
>reasonably feel comfortable relying on other people to supply me with
>information. With my handy BS meter in hand, I can decide whether to trust
>what I am hearing or not, without having to double check everything myself.
>Many people say that faith means accepting things without evidence. If we are
>talking about faith, the way that religious people have faith, that is not
>true. For the religious, faith means in principle not holding certain
>representations (or beliefs) open to rational criticism. We all accept things
>without evidence, but the religious accept things IN SPITE of the evidence.
>What is the story of Job about anyway? Belief in a benevolent, ominscient,
>omnipotent "God" thingy in spite of apparently overwhelming evidence in
>contradiction to such a thing.
>To accept things in spite of the evidence is to not hold those things either
>in principle or in practice open to rational criticism. If I were to say
>that, "I believe in God, only until I have evidence to the contrary." very few
>religious people would think that this position represented faith at all.
>That would be because, although I might be expressing belief without some
>evidence, I would be holding that belief in principle subject to rational
>If I liked believing in some "God" thingy, this kind of belief without
>evidence, might represent some hope, but certainly not faith. If I believed
>in the "God" thingy without evidence because I am a child and my father tells
>me it is so, then that would be trust. But it still isn't faith unless I was
>willing to believe even in spite of evidence to the contrary.
>Although I certainly have done my share of hoping and trusting in my life, I
>don't recall EVER having faith at any moment in my life. I think people have
>to be trained to do that, and my parents never did train me for faith. The
>result is that I am an atheist even though they are less sure about religious
>things themselves than I am (they had some faith training, where I had none).
>Nothing is "mere".
>"Arrogant" as ever.
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