RE: virus: Prisoners my Derrida!

carlw (
Mon, 22 Mar 1999 01:10:39 -0600

I suspect I am as virulent a "con-side" as there is on the list. While I still think that we can live better without Phaith[i] (defined below), I can see the need for the inclusion of it. Speaking for myself, I can easily live with the ideas proposed here.

If I understand the proposal correctly, what has been suggested is that we will accomodate people with any level of "belieph" from irrational (phaith[i])to rational phaith (phaith[r]). I hope (my extention) that we will ultimately provide a route from phaith[i] to phaith[r] for those who choose to take that path. Maybe even a reverse route, though I would need a great deal of persuasion that that could be valid, except as a "brainstorming" tool. In order to accomplish this goal, I would suggest leaving the belieph/rationality ratio of phaith undefined (phaith[?] maybe), and that 'phaith' on its own be used to handle the ambiguous case. I and other con-sides would then be able to accomodate 'phaith', simply as that level of trust in ones modus which is necessary to function in an uncertain world.

As an aside, I agree (what is the world coming too?) with Prof Tim that a word which can be used in discussion and which identifies itself as having a "special meaning" would be useful, and also that the deliberate creation of a jargon is not a step to be lightly undertaken. While 'phaith' is cutesy and highly saleable to people who have already taken a step in the direction of CoV (and in phact, it appeals a great deal to me), it may be that it is too cutesy for people who are still uncomfortable unless wrapped in the arms of "phaith" and who might fear that we are laughing at them. 'Faith' derives from "fides "(Latin), and the Latin word has much less of the 'belief' element and much more of a 'trust', 'confidence', 'reliance' connotation. So for example, "bona fides" or "in good faith" meaning that something is done with good intent (trustable). I would like to suggest that a perfectly rational alternative to 'phaith' would be to revert to the use of fides, which provides us with a word which is not as overloaded with implied meanings. Fides has the advantage of being "belief neutral" and I suspect would be more acceptible to the non-virian. The Latin root also has the benefit over Greek-stema in that most people likely to use it could recognise it without requiring a new definition. We would therefore not be creating a new "jargon term" but using a generally accepted root word in an appropriate fashion and with a great deal of historical precedent. If when writing or speaking, 'fides' were to be used for the rational use, 'phaith' for the ambiguous term, and 'faith' for the irrational use, then I think we would have a recipe which would be fully acceptable to the non-virian, and where any suspicion of laughter would appear to be directed at the people least likely to be offended by it.

TheHermit <acknowledging the need for this step and congratulating the originators of the concept>

PS Prof Tim, while I like your 'dicarefide' more than the other suggestions, that would only be appropriate for the "religious faith" usage and in my opinion, "faith" used by itself already carries that implication in most peoples minds. While suggesting words, 'praefides' for the rational usage (prae being "in comparison to" so "comparitive faith" implying the rational use of it); fides for the ambiguous; and faith for the religious usage, might also work if 'phaith' were to be turned down for whatever reason. The downside being that 'praefides' would need to be defined for most people, while 'fides' is, I think, generally recognisable.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf
> Of Tim Rhodes
> Sent: Sunday, March 21, 1999 10:28 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: virus: Prisoners my Derrida!
> David McFadzean wrote:
> >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."
> I like it. (Although I agree with KMO that "accommodate"
> might be better
> than "accept" in the first case.) And when phrased in those
> terms I can
> come down equally on either side of the debate. Although I
> have no way of
> knowing (yet) if all those on the "con-side" see it in the same way.
> I'm not a big fan of group-specific jargon--unless it's
> easily adopted by
> the "common people" and just group-specific as the first stop
> on its way to
> becoming culturaly pervasive. "Phaith" has some advantages
> in that regard.
> By its similar spelling to phat and Phish (and Phranc--is she
> still making
> records?) it invokes that whole hipster counter-culter vibe
> that sells so
> well with the kiddies these days:
> "Keepin that old-school phaith alive."
> "What's so funny about phaith, love and understanding?"
> "Back off, Holmes! Ya' best not be steppin' on my phaith,
> muthafucka!!!"
> "Virions don't have <God>, they just have phaith."
> "Phaith protect me!"
> "Shi-i-i-t, that's right--you know, I can do a-a-all things through my
> phaith, baby."
> It's sheer marketing genius!
> Speaking of which: David, is the frames based CoV page
> Steven Atkins did
> still up somewhere? I can't seem to find it at
> >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.
> "psycognate"? "dicarefide"? "prefidemise"?
> -Prof. Tim