17 comments posted · 4 followers · following 0

15 years ago @ The Apple of Doubt - Check Label for Instru... · 0 replies · +1 points

I like that definition for humanism. Yet, it doesn't quite explain all of my feelings. Because while I "affirm our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment..." I also recognize how frequently people eschew that ability and responsibility. Like this fellow:

I think "cynical humanist" probably fits me best.

15 years ago @ -DB - Obama: We are not a Ch... · 0 replies · +4 points

"Or is their real concern that they know deep down inside their hearts that their faith is a myth like everything else they grew up believing?"

I have come to the conclusion that this indeed is the answer. Deep down, they know it's bullshit. That's why they fight back so hard, to mask their own doubt.

15 years ago @ The Apple of Doubt - Defining Belief · 1 reply · +2 points

“There is simply no need to re-engineer the word.”

I’m not advocating re-engineering/redefining, just replacing it. And I’m not saying we need to do it as much as we ought to do it.

“Third, think is incredibly ambiguous. It can mean to deliberate, it can mean guess, conceive, etc.”

‘Deliberate’ and ‘conceive’ may be alternate meanings but I don’t see the great confusion that creates. The situation is less clear with ‘guess.’ However, I would argue that stating “I think evolution is true” connotes guessing less than “I believe in evolution” connotes religious-like faith and supernatural concepts. And even if you don't buy that the connotation is stronger, the confusion with faith is worse than the confusion with guessing because faith establishes a foundation for new strains of faulty logic. "Belief" is so strongly associated with religious faith, that even highly intelligent people (much less rabid dissenters and lazy ‘undecideds’) frequently conflate the two, and then begin to draw faulty conclusions based on the conflation.

In a Safire-esque sense, your defense of belief, on its own, stands. But if the goal is to convey that you think that a particular proposition is true in a public forum, “think” is rhetorically advantageous to “believe."

(As you may have guessed, I have had the opposite experience as the one you noted in the addendum.)

15 years ago @ The Apple of Doubt - Defining Belief · 3 replies · +1 points

I was thinking of doing a post on the word "belief," so it's kind of coincidental that I see you have recently touched on that very subject. Yet, I would have said something similar to what the Jim Walker piece you linked to argued.

If reducing confusion and ambiguity helps better communicate ideas, we should be as clear and precise as possible. As I can't think of a situation where saying "I think X" is inferior to "I believe X" and it's agreed that "I believe X" results in unnecessary sidetracking, I think we should simply use "think" in the place of "believe."

15 years ago @ -DB - Pope: Condoms Not The ... · 0 replies · +2 points

When I think of public health problems, I always turn to clergy. For instance, when I think of obesity, I think of Rick Warren.

15 years ago @ -DB - Meghan McCain: A Repub... · 0 replies · +2 points

It's becoming apparent that they don't want to rid themselves of the Limbaughs of the world or incorporate diverse positions. Perhaps we should hope for the GOP to collapse, if only to speed up the day when we have a legitimate 2nd party.

15 years ago @ -DB - Obama VS Jindal · 0 replies · +3 points

I totally agree about Obama getting his sea legs. His confidence was palpable.

15 years ago @ -DB - Evolution Poll and Top... · 1 reply · +1 points

It shouldn't be 48% overall. That's just scary.

15 years ago @ THE LIBERAL JOURNAL - Lindsey Knows Best · 0 replies · +1 points

sorry DB for whatever reason this comment was filtered for moderation and I didn't notice it until now...still working out the kinks...

15 years ago @ THE LIBERAL JOURNAL - "Marxist, Socialist, C... · 0 replies · +1 points

It just gives you the warm and fuzzies, doesn't it?