Re: virus: Thinking clearly about faith
Mon, 15 Feb 1999 18:32:02 EST

In a message dated 2/14/99 7:45:45 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< The first sentiment is plain enough, but what does it mean to trust someone despite reasons not to?

It could mean that you have other reasons to trust them in addition to the reasons not to trust them. And on the balance, you reasonably decide to trust in spite of the reasons not to. Or it could mean that you are walking into the polar bear pit with a hot dog, having faith that a voraciously hungry polar bear will end the feast with only your hot dog.

>>it brings to my mind the idea that by giving trust
one can generate trust; similar to the idea that giving responsibility can be a catalyst for generating responsible behavior.<<

It depends on how much trust you are giving, what you are risking, and on what basis you think that it will generate reciprocal or otherwise desired behavior. These can all count as reasons to trust in addition to other reasons not to trust. Trusting on those considerations is not faith. Of course I would never trust a hungry polar bear to stop with only a hot dog. I could only characterize that kind of trust as faith.

>>The complex feedback and feedforward of social dynamics...extremely hard to
fit into the tiny boxes of a "rational" world view...<<

Perhaps you need to provide bigger boxes for your rational world view. Complexity is not a real problem, unless you prefer to think mystically about it. Of course thinking rationally about it is harder work, but in my experiences the payoff is worth it. You can trust me on that.

>>.I have no idea if this is anything like what Richard intended to convey,
but this is what I got!<<

I am still not sure what Richard intended. He is saying some things that seem contradictory and unclear to me. Though he is stepping out somewhat on a few of the things I mention, he is still acting a little mystical IMO. Perhaps deflecting a pot shot by placating referrences to my "powerful, mature attitude", but not yet embracing sense. What was that about me being merely a poor confused "Level 2" kinda guy, because I could "only hold one selfconsistent world view"? I felt like my self-esteem was supposed to plummet, but I wasn't sure why.

Perhaps the bodhisatva will come down from the mountain again (is it "level 3" or "level 4" up there in the heavens?) and explain that one to us. Do you get medals or insignia when you make it to the next higher level? When do you get to the "level beyond human"? And will I make it in time for the next spaceship?

I personally don't think it is sanely possible, or even desireable to hold and operate on inconsistent world views. But maybe that is just the rationality talking. I can quit anytime. And then I will take it . . . one day at a time. Maybe Brodie can be my sponsor. Assuming he hasn't strangled me by then.