Re: beliefs

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Mon Sep 24 2001 - 13:32:27 BST

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: Dawkins was right all along"

    Received: by id OAA05025 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Mon, 24 Sep 2001 14:13:10 +0100
    Subject: Re: beliefs 
    Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 08:32:27 -0400
    x-mailer: Claris Emailer 2.0v3, Claritas Est Veritas
    From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
    To: "memetics list" <>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
    Message-ID: <[]>
    Precedence: bulk

    On 09/23/01 22:46, TJ Olney said this-

    >but do the thought experiment. Would that
    >wolf-raised person have beliefs? Do beliefs require language?

    In my thought experiment, no and yes. And it would probably not survive,
    although it would be a very smart wolf.

    >Most people believe that the sun goes down in the west.

    Once 'belief' is used as a word to mean 'convinced of the usual pattern'
    it becomes a semantic quabble, and one I don't make. I only use belief to
    mean a faith in an unproven thing. I don't believe the sun rises- I'm
    just pretty sure it should, based on what we know.

    To have a belief in a god (or any other non-evidence based theory, like
    homeopathy), I don't need to be pretty sure it's there- I need a good
    story told to me by a trusted authority or figure, like a parent or
    community leader, and it's always a learned thing, this belief. And, yes,
    I also need brain-washing, or any of the techniques thereof.

    But, being pretty sure the sun will come up is experiential, and

    If you want to use 'believe' to mean 'pretty sure' and pattern-based,
    fine. I don't, that's all.

    I'm not arguing that infants and children don't become pretty sure of
    things. That wolf child would become pretty sure about pain pretty quick,
    because in my thought experiment, it gets eaten, early.

    - Wade

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Sep 24 2001 - 14:28:15 BST