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Belief and Science

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Essorant
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0 posted 01-17-2006 02:47 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

How do we determine how accurate a belief or science must be?  If one intentionally uses fire, water, earth and air to represent the elements instead of a periodic table, even though it may be less accurate and he knows it is, why should he be blamed for less accuracy, if he doesn't seek or wish for more accuracy in his belief or science?


Skyfyre
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1 posted 01-17-2006 03:06 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

quote:
why should he be blamed for less accuracy, if he doesn't seek or wish for more accuracy in his belief or science?


My emphasis.

Let's start with belief.  As far as I know, you can believe whatever you like.  It doesn't mean anyone else will agree with you, but you're content to have your own religion, creed, whatever - good for you, so long as it doesn't violate any laws!

science n.  Any department of knowledge in which the results of investigation have been logically arranged and systematized in the form of hypotheses and general laws subject to verificaton.

I'm not sure it's in the nature of science not to be as accurate as possible.  If it defines itself by being subject to verification, I'm afraid its tenets are almost certainly subject to evolution as hypotheses are tested and proven false, and new hypotheses arise ...

However, you used the pronoun "his," so I am assuming you mean some personal interpretation or view on a science or sciences ... in which case we are back to belief.  



Essorant
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2 posted 01-20-2006 03:29 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Science n.  Any department of knowledge in which the results of investigation have been logically arranged and systematized in the form of hypotheses and general laws subject to verificaton.


They may like their hallways narrow, but that doesn't mean anything wider is not a hallway.    


Stephanos
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3 posted 01-20-2006 11:38 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant,

A hallway still has to fit the pattern of a hallway.  

You can't stretch the particular definition of science into something general like "belief", just because that's how you want it.  That's quite arbitrary of you isn't it?  That would be like me saying Blue is Red.  It wouldn't get me very far, practically speaking.


Do you believe that there any true beliefs which really conradict science?  I understand that there are a host of true beliefs which are not proveable by scientific method, but that doesn't make them unscientific ... perhaps nonscientific would be a better word for them.


There are however unscientific beliefs too, which are false.  One of them is the ancient belief that all things are composed of certain physical elements like water, or fire.  This is not less accurate, as you say, but inaccurate.  The only salvagable truth is that many things contain water.  But many things don't.  If a person refuses to progress, and revise his view, when real knowledge corrects, that person is shown to be wrong, and his knowledge is therefore unscientific.  I would also question someone's desire for truth, if they held on to something they "knew was less accurate", as you put it.  If they know it, then they know it, and are denying truth that they know.  


So I think you need to also recognize the "unscientific" ... and the existence of false knowledge.  But that doesn't mean you have to be an empiricist, and believe that all true knowledge comes from direct observation.  


I sum it up like this ...


Some knowledge is scientific knowledge.
Some knowledge is non-scientific knowledge.
No false knowledge is truth, scientific or otherwise.    


Stephen.
Essorant
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4 posted 01-22-2006 09:51 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"A hallway still has to fit the pattern of a hallway.                     "


True.  
But it doesn't take very much to do that.  
Buildings of all strengths, shapes and sizes may have hallways.  A house doesn't need to be specialized more than ordinary to have a hallway.  Even cavemen had hallways in caves.  A house made of mud and straw can have a hallway.  Make your igloo well enough, and it may have a hallway too.
If there are not infinite ways, there are at least more ways than any man may count that people may differently fullfill a same general "pattern".  

"You can't stretch the particular definition of science into something general like "belief", just because that's how you want it.  That's quite arbitrary of you isn't it?  That would be like me saying Blue is Red.  It wouldn't get me very far, practically speaking."


I'm not stretching it to a new meaning, Stephanos, but preserving the original and etymological one.  Science comes from Latin scientia "knowledge"  In the Latin Vulgate we find lignum scientiae boni and mali "Tree of the science of good and evil."  There is nothing in its roots that bind it only to meaning this much or that much knowledge, this kind or that kind, or in this way or that way. Science is rightly as wide as our native english word knowledge.   When people institutionalize a narrower meaning than the original, that is fair enough, but I don't agree when they now say it may only be that narrow, and now try to exclude anything it formerly was or, was and still is differently elsewheres.    

"Do you believe that there any true beliefs which really conradict science?"

No.
A belief corresponds to the science itself is based on.  If it contradicts other science, that is only because the person doesn't know about it, or if he does know about it, doesn't believe in it.  If I know about something that doesn't mean I must believe in it.  And if I have no knowledge  about it there's no knowledge in which any belief may spring at all.        


"There are however unscientific beliefs too, which are false.  One of them is the ancient belief that all things are composed of certain physical elements like water, or fire.  This is not less accurate, as you say, but inaccurate"

The reason you believe it is false is because you look at it too narrowly Stephanos.  Fire, water, earth and air don't just mean fire, water, earth and air, but they also represent the four states of being an energy, or liquid, a solid or a gas, and anything in those states which are all essential  to our world.   For example fire represents fire, but also represent anything like fire such as light, energy, electricity etc.  Water represents water but may represent any liquid or anything like water.  Earth represents earth but may represent any solid or anything like earth.  Air represents air but may represent anything gas or anything like a gas.  Just because it is not accurate according to the modern definition of "element" doesn't remove its accuracy regarding the qualties and states of being in nature.  


"So I think you need to also recognize the "unscientific" ... and the existence of false knowledge.  But that doesn't mean you have to be an empiricist, and believe that all true knowledge comes from direct observation."  

How may knowledge be "true" or "false"?

[This message has been edited by Essorant (01-24-2006 12:07 AM).]

Essorant
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5 posted 01-25-2006 10:28 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

As long as something uplifts life and respect with healthy richness and wisdom, comforts, strengthens in any way, giving people hope or a sense of wholeness, why should I care much how true or false it is to anything else, let alone not believe in it?
Stephanos
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6 posted 01-31-2006 01:32 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Because, there may be false comforts as well.  Explore the concept of false security- as one example.  


Stephen.
Essorant
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7 posted 02-05-2006 04:02 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

That's true.  But we can't know something is false until it proves itself false.  
Local Rebel
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8 posted 02-05-2006 04:07 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Not exactly.

Essorant
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9 posted 02-05-2006 04:08 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Not exactly"

That's not a very convincing argument.
Local Rebel
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10 posted 02-05-2006 04:41 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

you haven't proven it false

and you changed your previous post from;

"Everything is true until it is proven false."
Essorant
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11 posted 02-05-2006 04:50 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Sorry, Local.  You must've posted that while I was changing my words.

I edited because I didn't feel sure about that way of wording it.  Perhaps something may be false even though it isn't proven or acknowledged thus.

But if something seems true, and didn't prove itself as false, how or why should we treat as anything else?  
Stephanos
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12 posted 02-07-2006 02:35 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ess:
quote:
That's true.  But we can't know something is false until it proves itself false.

And many things have done that very thing.  Geocentrism proved itself false (actually someone proved it false, Copernicus & Galileo, to name a couple of them).  A person who still believes that is wrong ... period.  


At least you've moved off of your original proposition ... that nothing is false.  That was what I was trying to get you to say.  Next thread.


(just kidding ... I know we'll keep it going, it's the nature of philosophers to beat a dead horse) lol.


Stephen.
Essorant
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13 posted 02-07-2006 11:29 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"And many things have done that very thing"

The difference is that your willing to say beliefs and knowlege are the thing that are false.  I am still confused and not willing to blame knowledge and beliefs.  For example people truly knew things and truly believed in geocentrism according to as much knowledge as they had in their life.  I don't know how that can be false.  Our science and belief are only as much as we have as well too.  I think it defeats all approaches if everything is false just because something else is more accurate.   Because something else is always capable of being more accurate.  Specifications and language change as well, which shall make another manner of "accuracy" we shall always differ within.  Even when you've completly tired yourself and believe you made all the perfect specifications there are always different and more to make, and more "accuracy" available.   Just because you don't have that "accuracy" , to me, doesn't mean that what you do have is false, especially if your able to help you and others find wisdom and strength in life.  No matter how you refer to the sun it is still the same sun.  You can call it "the center" "the bottom" "the top" "the side" and it still remains the same sun.   I doubt that not knowing the sun is the center of the solar system really stood in the way of cultivating the farm.  What it did offer though was a way of expressing one's knowledge and belief so far, and some comfort and confidence, despite any imperfection.  The same thing stands in our knowledge and beliefs today.  Just because they are not more than what they are, and expressed perfectly, doesn't seem to me that they are "false".  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (02-07-2006 12:16 PM).]

Stephanos
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14 posted 02-07-2006 12:33 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Alright Essorant,  

I still insist that the specific belief that all of the heavenly bodies revolve (literally) around the Earth, is false.  There's no getting around it. (was that a pun or what?)  The only reason that it didn't matter to mere farmers, is because the Earth still rotated around the sun, despite their erroneous belief.  The belief that they had right was that the sun was in some proximity to the Earth.  So, no, their beliefs were not all false.  But then again, I never said so.  The weakness of your argument, is that you don't even try and separate specific assertions bound up in any aggregated belief.  Your nebulous generality protects you from rigorous arguments.  


I can pose even harder examples for you to defend as truth, Essorant.  I literally had an uncle who believed that man never went to the moon.  It was all staged in a desert in Arizona somewhere.  How was his specific belief true?  Not the belief that men lie, or make films in the desert .... but the specific belief than a man NEVER went to the moon.  Is that right or wrong?  You are perpetually dodging the question, by pointing out that even erroneous beliefs have some truths surrounding them.  But I've already conceded that.  That is unavoidable.  But even with that very obvious understanding ... is that a justifiable reason for calling everything true?  My uncle, God love him, was wrong.       

(whinny, neigh, whinny, neigh)

Stephen.  
Ron
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15 posted 02-07-2006 12:35 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
For example people truly knew things and truly believed in geocentrism according to as much knowledge as they had in their life.

Essorant, what you're describing doesn't fall under the umbrella of knowledge and beliefs. What you are describing would be more correctly called presumptions, assumptions, and prejudices. Copernicus didn't "discover" the Earth was round, so much as he reasoned it must be from evidence that was available to just about everyone at the time. While everyone else was looking at the flat ground beneath their feet and assuming it represented the whole world, Copernicus and a handful of others were looking beyond obvious assumptions and seeing a different, more True view of their world.

If you are to insist that Flat Earthers were "right" and "true" because that was what they knew, then you must also insist that slavery, war, genocide, and racial elitism is right and true. Under your regime, Ess, there can be no progress, not for Science and not for the human spirit. You elevate bigotry at the expense of all.


Essorant
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16 posted 02-07-2006 01:31 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Stephanos,

"I still insist that the specific belief that all of the heavenly bodies revolve (literally) around the Earth, is false."


Why is it false to believe in that Stephanos?

Was Eve's belief about what the snake said false because the snake was deceiving her?  

I would say no.  She truly believed in what the snake said.  And Adam truly believed in what Eve said.  Their beliefs were true.  The deception of the snake doesn't remove that truth.  

Nor do the arrangment of the heavenly bodies mean that people's beliefs are false just because the heavenly bodies may not be exactly as they or we say.  People truly believe they are this way or that way.  If things are not this or that way to me it is no way the believers fault or the beliefs falseness.  

I ask again, if the belief seems true,  uplifts people in anyway, comforts, strengthens, life and honour, why should it be treated wrong for a specification that either is not known about, or possibly not even pursued by the person or a group of persons holding the particular belief or science?


"The weakness of your argument, is that you don't even try and separate specific assertions bound up in any aggregated belief. "

That's because the whole belief is not just a specific assertion.  It is much more.  I can't say the beginning or end of it, anymore than I may say the beginning or end of someone's mind.  I ask you, will you treat someone's whole mind as false just becuause it has some wrongful thought?  If not, why would you treat a belief that way?  

"Your nebulous generality protects you from rigorous arguments. "

That's because generalizations remain true, even if specifications aren't.  Just because a specific saying in a belief is not true, doesn't mean the general belief is not generally true.  What makes you think the believer/believers even pursue whatever specification you may be referring to?
If the specification is very important, then that is its own truth.  I don't think that makes the whole belief "false"

"I can pose even harder examples for you to defend as truth, Essorant.  I literally had an uncle who believed that man never went to the moon.  It was all staged in a desert in Arizona somewhere.  How was his specific belief true?"

If he generally or specifically believed in that then his belief was true.  The fact being different, doesn't change that truth.

"is that a justifiable reason for calling everything true?"

No, I already expressed doubt about everything being true.   I just can't believe that beliefs and knowledge are false.  Whatever belief or knowledge is in my brain is belief and knowledge.  I don't see how any tallness or shortness of it it may make it false, anymore than tallness or shortness may make a human "true" or "false"

[This message has been edited by Essorant (02-07-2006 02:48 PM).]

Essorant
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17 posted 02-07-2006 01:54 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Essorant, what you're describing doesn't fall under the umbrella of knowledge and beliefs. "

Can you tell me where belief and knowledge begin and end?   How aren't presumptions, asssumptions, prejudices, part of the their spectrum?  

I would argue that you are right to make the distinction of presumptions, assumptions, and prejudices, but I don't believe that those are seperate from belief and knowledge, or that they make the belief or knowledge false.

"Copernicus didn't "discover" the Earth was round, so much as he reasoned it must be from evidence that was available to just about everyone at the time. "

I agree.  

But how is that not an expression of belief and knowledge?


"If you are to insist that Flat Earthers were "right" and "true" because that was what they knew, then you must also insist that slavery, war, genocide, and racial elitism is right and true."

I can't agree.  How do you put believing in a flat earth on the same level committing a wrongful deed?  

I completly agree that beliefs inspire our actions.  Beliefs themselves are actions.  They include us behaving a certain way about things.  I don't see how believing the earth is flat harms or dishonours anyone.   Why is it wrong?  If you can't get to sleep because I believe the earth is flat, then I would say that it is something in what your doing to yourself is the "wrong"  Not my belief.  


Ron
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18 posted 02-07-2006 03:32 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
How do you put believing in a flat earth on the same level committing a wrongful deed?

Who says slavery and war are wrongful deeds, Essorant? If you believe in their underlying foundation, they aren't wrong, just inevitable. Your own logic justifies them as truths that must be accepted.

Pragmatically, there seems to be only one Universal crime. Even in the 21st Century, sooner or later, ignorance is inevitably fatal.

quote:
... but I don't believe that those are seperate from belief and knowledge, or that they make the belief or knowledge false.

But I do believe it, Essorant. Therefore, you have to accept it as true.




icebox
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19 posted 02-07-2006 05:18 PM       View Profile for icebox   Email icebox   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for icebox

...so, Phlogisten is or is not still the basic glue that holds all matter together???
Essorant
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20 posted 02-07-2006 06:18 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Who says slavery and war are wrongful deeds, Essorant?   If you believe in their underlying foundation, they aren't wrong, just inevitable. Your own logic justifies them as truths that must be accepted."


I disagree.
We may fully believe in the underlying foundation of war and slavery without accepting the wrongful means used to build upon that foundation.  
To me beliefs are never false foundations.  But the way we build upon them may be false houses.  The houses don't unjustify the goodness of their foundations: it is always right to believe.  But when we build upon that foundation in harmful or degrading way, we must judge the house by the house itself, and not blame it for having a foundation.

Slavery and war are not "houses" without harmful and degrading ways.  That's why we renovated them into something we call "democracy"  So that people have the right to choose to be slaves at some workplace.  Or choose to go to fight and be violent as officers or as soldiers.  And choose many other things, for the pursuit of the hope and protection of our life.   The "house" is better.  That's because it had and still has true underlying foundations, not false ones.


"But I do believe it, Essorant. Therefore, you have to accept it as true."


No I do not have to!  I will gladly accept your belief is true though    

Stephanos
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21 posted 02-07-2006 07:49 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Do I smell keepsake cake?

Essorant,

You didn't address my example about man never going to the moon.

How would that specific belief be true?


And another question Essorant:  Did Adam and Eve believe the deception itself? (I don't mind if you grant them everything that was true which surrounded the lie).  

If you say "yes", then a specific belief was wrong.

If you say "no", then they weren't deceived.  And talking about "deception" is pointless.

Stephen.
Essorant
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22 posted 02-08-2006 06:52 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Stephanos

"How would that specific belief be true?"

The same way as a specific love for choclates is true by specifically loving choclates.  A specific belief that man never went to the moon is true by specifically believing that man never went to the moon.  Not saying that believing such may be perfectly healthy, but then again choclate isn't, and almost everyone I know still loves choclate.  At least, as far as I know, believing that man never went to the moon, or that the earth is flat, never made anyone's teeth rot       


"Did Adam and Eve believe the deception itself?"

How could they have a belief about something they didn't even know about, and if they did know about it why would they believe the snake?  

Stephanos
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23 posted 02-08-2006 11:36 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant:
quote:
The same way as a specific love for choclates is true by specifically loving choclates.  A specific belief that man never went to the moon is true by specifically believing that man never went to the moon.


slowly ... one more time.  I think we're using "true" in a different sense.  What do you mean by "true"?


Of course the person's love for chocolate is "real", and the belief that my uncle has about the moon is "real".  But that's not what I mean by "true".  I'm asking if the claim that no one went to the moon, is right or not.  If what he believes correlates with actuality and history.  


Let me ask you another question Essorant:

If someone indeed travelled to the moon, would you be right in saying that they really didn't go?


That's what I mean by "true".  


quote:
Stephen: Did Adam and Eve believe the deception itself?"

Ess: How could they have a belief about something they didn't even know about, and if they did know about it why would they believe the snake?


You've got it backwards.  That which they "didn't know about", was the truth, not the deception.  They believed what was told them, the untruth.  


When someone tells a lie, they are covering something up.  It is the truth which is not apprehended, and the lie which is believed.  


So again, I'll ask you:  Did Adam and Eve believe the deception?  Remember, I'm not asking if Adam and Eve believed they were being decieved.  I'm asking if they believed the deception itself.  


Stephen.  

Essorant
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24 posted 02-09-2006 05:01 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Stephanos,

"slowly ... one more time.  I think we're using "true" in a different sense.  What do you mean by "true"?"


When I say "true" I do mean "actual" "real".  To someone that believes everything is real and actual this is a bit idle on a general sense.  But on a specific sense, it emphasizes a particular distinction about what is being referred to.   For example, that the expression of a belief truly betokens the actual belief in someone's heart rather than just something he or she will say because everyone else says and believes it, but doesn't really believe it him or herself.  Does that make sense?


"I'm asking if the claim that no one went to the moon, is right or not.  If what he believes correlates with actuality and history. "

People can't remember all the facts of history let alone use them and believe them all in the same way.   I have no doubt that your uncles belief was based on actuality and history.  Correlating to actuality and history, however, still doesn't mean we all end up believing in the same thing.   Would you rather he just reiterate what others said and believed?   Would that then truly be his true belief?  

"If someone indeed travelled to the moon, would you be right in saying that they really didn't go?"

No.   But how are you wrong for believing he didn't go?   Believing may be blind indeed.  But if you ask for someones belief, and he said otherwise than what he believed in, how is that that a true belief?  No, it may not be true to the way it is widely held as a fact in institutional and historical expressions and by folks, but it is still a belief about those facts, how is it not a true belief for being what one truly believes in?
You wouldn't say someone's love for someone or something is false if they truly showed love for that person or thing.  If love is truly in someone's heart, how can it not be a true love?  Similarly if a belief about something is truly in someone's heart, how can it not be a true belief?  I admit that both belief and love may be blind, but how does that make them false?  


"You've got it backwards.  That which they "didn't know about", was the truth, not the deception.  They believed what was told them, the untruth. "

I don't know how you say that, Stephanos.  How can they believe in the deception of their own selves?  If they knew about that they wouldn't believe in it.  Both the truth and the deception are hidden under other truths.  They believe in the other truths, not the things that are hidden.  They didn't even have the knowledge of evil when committing the "sin" so how do you say  what they didn't know about was not the deception?


"When someone tells a lie, they are covering something up.  It is the truth which is not apprehended, and the lie which is believed."

I don't agree.  I think the lie is what is hidden.  Why would anyone fall in with a lie, if the lie was not hidden or covered up in truths?  To me it is those truths in which the lie is hidden that are believed in, not the lie.  

"Did Adam and Eve believe the deception?"

No.  


[This message has been edited by Essorant (02-09-2006 06:58 AM).]

 
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