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  1. #1
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Default Infallible Beliefs

    I've decided that infallible beliefs are my mortal enemy. I will respect people's beliefs, but I'm convince that once people decide that their beliefs are infallible, it leads to closed mindedness and inevitable conflict.

    Once a person accepts that their belief is infallible, they usually become completely incapable of changing their minds. They become so drunk on the passion of their idea, that they automatically dismiss everyone else's beliefs, often by marking their beliefs as inferior. They then declare that people must respect their belief above all else. It becomes their duty in life to convert everyone to their way of thinking because it escapes their conception that what they believe is right, may not be universally right for everyone.

    Even science constantly tests established beliefs, with hopes of disproving them and discovering something new about what we thought we knew.

    In fact, I've decided that whenever a person accepts that their beliefs are infallible it displays a lack of cultural relativism and critical thinking on their part.

    Thoughts?
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Everyone has infallible beliefs. Without infallible beliefs people could not reach conclusions. The difficulty is finding infallible beliefs that everyone can agree upon. Here is an example of an infallible belief that I hold:

    The Reflexive Property of Algebra, i.e.

    A = A

    I hold that in an algebraic context A is always equal to A, and I will not change my view regardless of what you say, so there. Now shall we duel with pistols or rapiers?
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    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Everyone has infallible beliefs. Without infallible beliefs people could not reach conclusions. The difficulty is finding infallible beliefs that everyone can agree upon. Here is an example of an infallible belief that I hold:

    The Reflexive Property of Algebra, i.e.

    A = A

    I hold that in an algebraic context A is always equal to A, and I will not change my view regardless of what you say, so there. Now shall we duel with pistols or rapiers?
    Rapiers.

  4. #4
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I've decided that infallible beliefs are my mortal enemy. I will respect people's beliefs, but I'm convince that once people decide that their beliefs are infallible, it leads to closed mindedness and inevitable conflict.

    Once a person accepts that their belief is infallible, they usually become completely incapable of changing their minds. They become so drunk on the passion of their idea, that they automatically dismiss everyone else's beliefs, often by marking their beliefs as inferior. They then declare that people must respect their belief above all else. It becomes their duty in life to convert everyone to their way of thinking because it escapes their conception that what they believe is right, may not be universally right for everyone.

    Even science constantly tests established beliefs, with hopes of disproving them and discovering something new about what we thought we knew.

    In fact, I've decided that whenever a person accepts that their beliefs are infallible it displays a lack of cultural relativism and critical thinking on their part.

    Thoughts?
    This subject hits home in a big way for me. My parents love me and support me always but they are devout Christians and their (and my siblings) faith is paramount in their lives. A few years back when I told them I didn't know that I believed in God, it shattered them. We've had conflicts and debates over the years. My parents trying to convey to me how real God is to them and being frustrated with me being unable to see it or understand it. It's been very frustrating at times and though my parents and family make it clear that they have unconditional love and would do anything for me, it has left me feeling very alienated.

    So basically, I just wish it were easier for my parents to accept my use of rational logic when confronting faith and spirituality. I respect faiths of all kinds but cannot understand how it can consume a person and brainwash them so extremely. I claim that my beliefs (or lack of) are not infallible and that absolute truth cannot be obtained. Why does this have to be seen as a crime to some? It shouldn't be...

    I wish my lack of faith wasn't a burden for the only people I care about. Religion kills.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I've decided that infallible beliefs are my mortal enemy. I will respect people's beliefs, but I'm convince that once people decide that their beliefs are infallible, it leads to closed mindedness and inevitable conflict.
    This isn't an infallible belief of your own is it But I agree with your general thrust. I am always wary of people who cannot question their own beliefs from many different angles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Once a person accepts that their belief is infallible, they usually become completely incapable of changing their minds. They become so drunk on the passion of their idea, that they automatically dismiss everyone else's beliefs, often by marking their beliefs as inferior. They then declare that people must respect their belief above all else. It becomes their duty in life to convert everyone to their way of thinking because it escapes their conception that what they believe is right, may not be universally right for everyone.
    I still believe there are some things that can be universally right for people willing to look. It is not an "infallible belief" mind you, but it is something I find more true day to day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Even science constantly tests established beliefs, with hopes of disproving them and discovering something new about what we thought we knew.
    Yes. But we have to think, why is science trusted so much? If they were constantly changing their minds, I doubt that it would be also. You have to question and be skeptical of spurious results that fly in the face of principles. Only very repeatable observations of results that break principles are heeded. Experimenters make mistakes all the time. Sill, the Millikan oil drop experiment is a cautionary tale on the other side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    In fact, I've decided that whenever a person accepts that their beliefs are infallible it displays a lack of cultural relativism and critical thinking on their part.

    Thoughts?
    Again, this isn't an infallible belief of your own is it

    I've spent a lot of time with evangelical Christians. Most of the ones I met believe Darwin was wrong, and that evolution is "just a theory" with intelligent design as being equally valid. I even knew a chemistry professor (and pastor) who held this belief. He was certainly capable of critical thinking.

    He posed a rather plausible(to me) separation between micro-evolution and macro-evolution with pointers to the fact that cross phylum evolution is not a viable thing, let along cross kingdom. It is a point-of-view I still consider, but in light of homeobox genes and punctuated equilibrium (a phenomenon exhibited in genetic algorithms on the computer too), I decided (tentatively) that evolution is the same process whether it was micro or macro.

    Still, this chemistry professor, and pastor holds a fairly literal interpretation of the bible, and I cannot call what he believes irrational nor lacking in critical thinking because it seems quite reasonable (to me).

    I still don't consider the intelligent design arguments believable and believe they shouldn't be taught in school, but explaining why that is, would be a serious derail of your thread.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Thoughts?
    Both "relativism" and "infallibilism" are uncritical, and fail to promote "critical thinking". The first because it permits no standards by which criticism can be conducted, and the second because it permits no criticism at all. Foruntately, the dilemma is false. It is possible to tentatively hold critical standards without being dogmatic, by holding those standards open to criticism and rejection.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  7. #7
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    Both "relativism" and "infallibilism" are uncritical, and fail to promote "critical thinking". The first because it permits no standards by which criticism can be conducted, and the second because it permits no criticism at all. Foruntately, the dilemma is false. It is possible to tentatively hold critical standards without being dogmatic, by holding those standards open to criticism and rejection.
    You are late to the show nocture. I created the Objectivism vs. Relativism thread for that very reason.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  8. #8
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I have to say, when Descartes said "I think, therefor I am" I couldn't really disagree with him.
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    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I have to say, when Descartes said "I think, therefor I am" I couldn't really disagree with him.
    Well a rock can't think, so does that mean it doesn't exist? Or does the rock exist because we can percieve it? Or does it exist outside of our perception and regardless of its ability to think?
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    ...I still don't consider the intelligent design arguments believable and believe they shouldn't be taught in school, but explaining why that is, would be a serious derail of your thread.
    ID doesn't even really make an argument, honestly. In short, it says:

    1. We don't understand how life could have developed on its own.
    2. Therefore God must have created it.

    That's ID, in a nutshell.

    There's nothing there to prove, show, test, or experiment with.

    Worse, the typical progression over the centuries has been religious people making the exact same argument ... and science resolving it when enough knowledge had been gained. This particular argument can be traced to a book published in the very early 1800's... and today's ID'ers basically just swipe the basic argument for their own use.

    As technology (i.e., computer speed/capability and laboratory practices) improves, we are going to gain even deeper understanding about mutation and natural selection because it allows evolution to be used as a process by which problems are solved and products created. The concepts of evolution have already been used to create products, resolve problems, etc. (Instead of trying to design a particular drug, for example, to counter a particular disease/bacteria, the chemists will set things up and let the drug essentially develop itself.)

    The only place evolution is seriously questioned on a broad scale, as far as I know, is in the United States... and only really because of religious reasons, not because of the reasoning used to develop it. The whole ID movement is really just a religious objection that couches itself in scientific terminology. It has no other alternative to the evolutionary processes that have been shown to occur, except, "Well, God made this." Which, again, cannot be shown.

    ID thus should be categorized among religious theories, not among "science." Since it is not testable.

    To tie this back in, scientific theories by nature test themselves. They are set up in ways to be testable. ID is not testable. I think it is fine to strongly promote ideas that are testable... because they can be challenged and then changed if need be. Religious doctrines that are promoted as certain truth do not have any sort of mechanism by which to weed themselves out. SO they can become destructive and dangerous.
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