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Re: [ontolog-forum] Model or Reality

To: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 12:31:00 -0500
Message-id: <p06230914c2e0fe1a96b4@[]>
>On Aug 8, 2007, at 4:58 PM, Kathryn Blackmond Laskey wrote:
>>  I have known a few "true believers" who grew to question beliefs they
>>  had once considered unshakeable. In retrospect, they agreed that if
>>  their beliefs had really been all that unshakeable, they wouldn't
>>  have felt such a need to stamp out the opposition.
>>  It is those whose beliefs are NOT unshakeable, but who WANT them to
>>  be unshakeable because they are afraid of having their worldview
>>  turned upside down, who have a psychological need to marginalize or
>>  destroy those who don't agree with them.
>Fair enough, though I think that over time the beliefs in question 
>*do* become psychologically unshakeable, as the ability to think 
>critically is lost and one's worldview becomes fixed and ossified.  
>At that point the marginalization or destruction of "nonbelievers" is 
>no longer rooted in a fear of being wrong but rather in a sort of 
>hardwired irrationality.    (01)

I agree, though I don't think it necessarily 
takes very long. I once met an apparently 
reasonable, rational, intelligent western 
academic who had adopted Islam as an adult and 
who told me, as though it was the most natural 
thing in the world, kind of obvious really, that 
given the chance he would kill Salman Rushdie, 
because there was a fatwah on his head. Which 
meant that to kill him was God's will and any 
Muslim's holy duty. He was quite calm about it, 
but he wasn't joking. Then we went on talking 
about computer science and had lunch. So although 
true believers can lose their faith, the reverse 
can also happen.    (02)

Pat    (03)

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