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  1. #61
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post

    Well-intentioned external censorship of this nature can only be justified to the extent that its role is restricted to informing consumers of the nature of said information, so that people may choose to ignore certain sources of their own free will and control the environment in which their children are raised. Things like the V-chip or rating systems are examples of this.
    The question is do we treat the people in question as children or as responsible, self-sufficient adults. Your suggestion seems to be that the latter is more appropriate than former. My question to you is why? They cannot take care of themselves. Their lives are complicated by even the most basic of tasks that require independent thought and decision making, such as for example how we should respond to Dennett's book.

    Dennett is certainly in favor of treating people like rational, self-sufficient human beings. He exhorts them to think for themselves and that is part of the reason why he does not want them to believe in absurdities. What he is doing is forcing them to become adults or to take responsibility for their actions and their worldviews into their own hands. He insists that they should do so by pursuing the truth and avoiding self-deception. Unfortunately we are at a time where people do not want to think about the truth, nor personal responsibility. They are not prepared to carry the weight that he is burdening on their shoulders. They wish to be coddled like children and become irate when this comfort is denied them. They resemble the infant screaming in agony when exiting his mother's womb. It may be said that it is inevitable that the infant will exit sooner or later, therefore it is senseless for us to try to protect him from such pain.

    Dennett thinks that it is inevitable that these people will be forced to cease being ignorant, hence they are in the same position as the aforementioned infant. We know too much, the cat is already out of the bag he says. I beg to differ, my proposal, I think, shows that it is both possible and desirable for us to keep the simple folk ignorant. In short, the proposal is to cease publishing works that discuss new discoveries and the historical in public venues. This will doubtlessly divert the public attention away from such things and they will gladly cease thinking about them. They are uninquisitive by nature and will have few problems forgetting about what science and philosophy has taught them in the past if they are not reminded of it anymore. Hence, whilst Dennett's claim that we know too much may be true, it is not a substantial problem. Whatever it is that the simple folk know can be easily forgotten by them.

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    In one sentence, my question to you and Dennett is why should we treat those people as adults and share the knowledge of the truth with them. We certainly do not want to break the spell of Santa-Claus to small children, why should the simple, ignorant folk be any different?
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  2. #62
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    In regards to the op. I don't think it matters much if you inform them. Believers will still believe. Dennet is an example of that.

  3. #63
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank View Post
    In regards to the op. I don't think it matters much if you inform them. Believers will still believe. Dennet is an example of that.
    The problem is not that they will cease believing, but that they will experience confusion and inner conflict. Many religious communities are deeply distressed by secular authors, especially those who sound authoritative, such as the scientists and the philosophers. I do not want this for them.

    The bottom line is that although the writings in question may not cause a loss of faith for many believers, they certainly will trouble them. That is problematic enough.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  4. #64
    . Blank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    We certainly do not want to break the spell of Santa-Claus to small children, why should the simple, ignorant folk be any different?
    I want to break the spell of Santa Claus to children. It's traumatizing and should never have been cast in the first place.
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  5. #65
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    We certainly do not want to break the spell of Santa-Claus to small children, why should the simple, ignorant folk be any different?
    This is a good question.

    And the simple answer is given to us in the Bible which says that as a child I thought as a child, and as an adult, I think as an adult.

    But in the real world, it was adults with doctorates who flew the planes into the Twin Towers.

    They were adults who thought as children and believed in Jihad and martyrdom, the domination of dimmi and the conversion or killing of infidels.

    A two year old can have a tantrum and not do any damage, but as a twenty two year old, they can do a lot of damage particularly with aeroplanes, or bombs or machine guns, or biological or chemical agents, or nuclear weapons.

    So it is vitally important that they awaken from their two year old dream of Santa Claus and face reality - our shared reality.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Lucifer's Avatar
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    Can we keep hell? I'm quite fond of it.
    This world is mine - in time.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    The problem is not that they will cease believing, but that they will experience confusion and inner conflict. Many religious communities are deeply distressed by secular authors, especially those who sound authoritative, such as the scientists and the philosophers. I do not want this for them.

    The bottom line is that although the writings in question may not cause a loss of faith for many believers, they certainly will trouble them. That is problematic enough.
    In terms of religious beliefs you would have to have definitive proof in most cases to cause this inner conflict. Since that is impossible I think most would write you off as an evil-doer, sinner or whatever. Logic is useless in the face of blind or even circular reasoned faith.

  8. #68
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    The problem is not that they will cease believing, but that they will experience confusion and inner conflict. Many religious communities are deeply distressed by secular authors, especially those who sound authoritative, such as the scientists and the philosophers. I do not want this for them.

    The bottom line is that although the writings in question may not cause a loss of faith for many believers, they certainly will trouble them. That is problematic enough.
    While I initially pointed out on the first page that faith carries benefits to those who believe, I don't see the problem with "troubling" them. That's the price they pay for living with an interpretation of truth that doesn't quite match reality. Additionally, faith tends to resist change and only adapts when forced, so challenging faith with secular reasoning is what keeps technology and culture progressing forward.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    The problem is not that they will cease believing, but that they will experience confusion and inner conflict. Many religious communities are deeply distressed by secular authors, especially those who sound authoritative, such as the scientists and the philosophers. I do not want this for them.

    The bottom line is that although the writings in question may not cause a loss of faith for many believers, they certainly will trouble them. That is problematic enough.
    if a third party's probing is enough to raise doubt's in one's beliefs, those beliefs need to be re examined and explored further

  10. #70
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Explain how meaning can be generated by virtue of something other than concept formation.
    What I meant is that meaning goes beyond the act of mere concept formation. Concepts are neither true nor false, whereas judgments have the potential to be either true or false. Judgments are meaningful, and judgments aren't identical to concepts; therefore, the act of making a judgment is also an act that generates meaning.

    Judgments would then be 'conceptual notions' and therefore meaningful according to the definition below. Perhaps I should stop splitting hairs?

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    For example if I believe that the Earth is flat, my belief is meaningful. Correct?
    correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    What you said is that in some cases, but not in all, I can believe in false propositions if I do not understand them. An example of this is an analytic statement. Or a statement, the truth of which can be ascertained by mere unpacking or an overview of its intrinsic essence. I can only regard a true analytic proposition as false if I misunderstand the analytic proposition in question. If I believe in something that is false, namely that an umarried male is not a bachelor, I do not understand what an umarried male is.

    Implication: Because I do not understand what an unmarried male is, does it follow that my view has no meaning? I am inclined to say that it does not follow because I have some kind of a concept with regard to what an unmarried male is. It is a false belief which does have a conceptual notion or meaning. It does not seem to be tantamount to a concept that is devoid of meaning.

    Definition of meaning: A conceptual notion of any kind.

    Additional note: The most conventional notion of meaninglessness is non-sense, or simply notions that do not convey a coherent concept. For instance, A and not A, or simply FDIOFSIOSFDHOFOHIFDSHOFDS.

    On that note, I wish to suggest that unless a proposition is incoherent or does not form a concept, there is no reason to regard it as meaningless. With regard to this thread, I challenge your point that people who have false beliefs lack meaning. I would agree that some people who lack true beliefs lack meaning as they believe in non-sense (as exemplified above), however, many of them do have meaning as they disbelieve in non-sense. Moreover, I wish to raise the following issue; even if they do believe in non-sense, is it desirable for them to stop? In other words, surely they lack meaning, but is that truly a problem?
    It seems we're close to being on the same page--if we're not on the same page.

    I never meant to imply that a person with a merely false belief lacks meaning. That belief must be clearly false in order for the person believing it to lack meaning. It's not the proposition that lacks meaning: it's the person.

    Is this a problem? Depends. Do you want to lead a meaningless life?

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I see that the system is false, but I do not understand how it is meaningless. Earlier you have maintained that some false propositions may be meaningful. From this it follows that the false propositions that Frege had in mind may be meaningful. In order to show that his views are meaningless you must show that some propositions can be legitimately regarded as meaningless and how specifically that is to be done. The onus is on you to do that.
    Frege's system was meaningless because it was incoherent. The individual concepts and judgments that compose his theory may be meaningful when considered alone, but when considered simultaneously they're as meaningful as a square-circle.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    With regard to this discussion, the question is, if Frege died ignorant of Russell's paradox, would his beliefs be any more or less meaningful than they were when he discovered Russell's paradox? Similarly, would a religious person ignorant of the falsity of his religious views hold views that are any more or less meaningful than the views of the religious person who was convinced by Dennett to abandon religion?
    As I said, a person may be more or less conscious of, and consistent in, his beliefs. Frege's beliefs about set theory were inconsistent, but he wasn't conscious of this. When Russell pointed out this inconsistency, this meaningless (set of) belief(s) of Frege's, Frege repented--so to speak--and his knowledge of sets, his acquaintance with the meaning of set theory, was deepened.

    As for abandoning religious belief and whether this leads to more or less meaning: it depends on what replaces the belief. It's possible to drop one set of meaningless beliefs only to adopt another meaningless set of beliefs.

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