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Re: [ontolog-forum] Model or Reality

To: "[ontolog-forum] Chris Menzel , " <"cmenzel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"@ontolog.cim3.net>, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Duane Nickull <dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 09 Aug 2007 14:25:02 -0700
Message-id: <C2E0D43E.55B0%dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>

On 8/9/07 1:23 PM, "Chris Menzel" <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx> wrote:    (01)

> On Thu, Aug 09, 2007 at 11:41:37AM -0700, Duane Nickull wrote:
>>>  ...
>>>> but it helps to be able to differentiate fact from story.
>>> Indeed.  It strikes me that on your view, everything is story.
>> DN: It may well be my story that I see the benefit of separating fact from
>> opinion.  I hope this is also what ontology and logic are somewhat about.
> This seems to have missed my point: I do not see what basis you have in
> your way of thinking for distinguishing fact from story, as it appears
> *everything* is story.    (02)

I'll elaborate/provide definitions to quantify my statements:    (03)

Fact = a concept whose truth can be proven
Story = an inferred thought based on a belief system from observing a given
situation or context.    (04)

Things like "right", "wrong", "immoral", etc are opinions bestowed upon a
situation by a human based on their own belief system.  If I assume my set
of values is right, then something contradicting those sets of value surely
must be wrong *explicitly judged by my own values*.  If I am not aware of
the situation, it is not wrong in a void.  There are an underlying set of
facts and until someone forms the opinion that something is wrong, there is
no right or wrong.    (05)

Ontologist's attempting to capture this model have their work cut out.
>>>> "The person has lost their ability to think critically" = someone's
>>>> opinion, not fact.
>>> Nonsense.  Anyone who is no longer willing or able to consider that a
>>> given contingent belief -- especially a belief about gods and what
>>> they expect of us -- might be false and hence ought not to be
>>> believed has by definition ceased to think critically.  Pat's lunch
>>> companion was obviously such a person.  It is a fact therefore that
>>> the person had, at least with regard to his beliefs about his
>>> obligation to kill Rushdie, lost or given up his ability to think
>>> critically.
>> DN: I disagree. 
> I frankly do not see how that is possible unless you believe that one
> can be a critical thinker and yet be unwilling/unable to consider that
> one's beliefs about gods and what they expect of us might well be false.
> In which case you are not using the words "critical thinking" the way
> the rest of us do.    (06)

DN: Still story.  You are making the following assumption:    (07)

"Pat's (friend?) did not consider whether or not his belief about gods and
what they expect of us might well be false"    (08)

We do not know either of this to be factual. The only way is probably to ask
him.  Labeling that un-critical thinking without knowledge of the facts
surrounding his thinking process is (forgive me) not critical thinking in
itself.  (Gah!  I just had an unpleasant realization).    (09)

I will agree that if he gave no consideration at all to the fact that his
beliefs about Allah and what Allah expects of him might be driving him
towards a conclusion other than what he normally would have done, that could
certainly qualify as an example of not thinking critically (given your
earlier definition).    (010)

>  I'm willing to agree
> (though it's a stretch) that one could rationally arrive at the
> conclusion that one is obligated to kill Rushdie.
DN: That is all I was asking that it be considered.  If it can be proven in
a given situation that a person did not use reason, then yes - perhaps it
qualifies as "irrational".  Without knowing that, irrational could also be a
mere label applied based on a conflicting value/belief system or context.
Consider the logic and inference of the following statements:    (011)

1. Most people in the US believing the killing of another human is wrong.
2. A government representing the values of the majority of people in the US
and/or certain states within voted to condone killing of other humans under
the assumption is justified (death penalty, those who voted to go to war in
Iraq etc.)    (012)

These two statements seem to infer that belief systems can in fact be very
powerful in making determinations regarding human life.  Does this make the
current leaders of the US irrational for thinking the taking of human live
is justified based on a set of beliefs?    Is the pattern far removed from
Pat's acquaintance who also determined the taking of a human life based on a
set of beliefs to be justified?    (013)

Beliefs can be very powerful things my friend.    (014)

"Speaking only for myself"
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