Re: virus: Prisoners my Derrida!

David McFadzean (
Sun, 21 Mar 1999 14:40:07 -0700

At 12:19 PM 3/20/99 -0800, KMO wrote:

>Unless the Dali Lama is a Neo-cheater extraordinaire, pretending to
>value spiritual concerns and compassionate action simply becuase those
>are the trappings of his position of power, then I think that his
>religious sensabilities and convictions are a very significant part of
>his personal identity. If the only acceptable usage for the word "faith"
>in this forum is as a synonym for "rigid adherence to a falsifiable
>claim without evidence or even in spite of evidence to the contrary"
>then it may well be that the Dali Lama is a faithless man.

I concur with all of the above. Here's my simplistic analysis of the great faith debate so far:

Pro-side: "It is counter-productive to denigrate faith in general because the word has many meanings, some bad (and admittedly irrational) and some good, even necessary. If we want the CoV to appeal to a majority of the population, we have to accept faith."

Con-side: "It is counter-productive to use the same word for distinctly different meanings (at least in our own discussions) because it causes confusion, miscommunication, equivocation and generally wastes a lot of time and effort that could be better devoted to more relevant, interesting discussions."

Have I misrepresented either position? Are there any others?

>If that's the only definition that we can all accomodate, then I take
>back every word I ever wrote in defense of faith and propose a new word,
>"phaith." I think Eric provided us with a very useful starting
>definition for "phaith" as "the internalizing and embodying of a
>principle, (to which I would add) frequenlty resulting from an
>experience of boundary dissolution and/or seeming participation in a
>wider, more pervasive consciousness than is the accepted norm and
>integrating the principle and/or the effects of the experience into
>one's actions, perceptions, and decission making."

I fully support coming up with a new word for this profound concept, but would prefer one that could be used in spoken discourse in addition to writing.

I couldn't come up with anything based on the Latin /fides/ that I liked. Maybe we could borrow words from another language that makes the distinction?

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus