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Comment author: Alice 06 October 2008 03:47:00PM 0 points [-]

I take your point...if your point is 'we gotta start somewhere'. Nontheless, the use of 'obviously' is problematic and misleading. To whom is it obvious? To you? Or perhaps you and your friends, or you and other people on the internet who tend to think in the same way as you and with whom you generally agree? Don't get me wrong, I have a very clear idea of what I think is crap (and I strongly suspect it'd be similar to yours) and I'm just as keen to impose my vision of the 'uncrap' on the world as the next person. However, I can't help but be troubled by the thought that the mass murder of jews, gypsies, the mentally retarted and homosexuals was precipitated by the fact that Hitler et al thought it was 'obvious' that they were crap and needed fixing.

Comment author: Alice 06 October 2008 02:15:00PM 1 point [-]

The request that we should 'fix the world' suggests that a.)we know that it is broken and b.)we know how to fix it; I am not so sure that this is the case. When one says 'X is wrong/unfair/undesirable etc., one is more often than not actually making a statement about one's state of mind rather than the state of reality i.e., one is saying 'I think or feel that X is wrong/unfair/undesirable'. Personally, I don't like to see images of suffering and death but I'm not sure that my distaste for suffering and death is enough to confidently assert that they are wrong or that they should be avoided. For example, without the facility for pain that leads to suffering we probably wouldn't make it past infancy and without death the world would be even more overpopulated than it is currently. No matter how rigorous and free from preconditioned religious thinking our reasoning is, 'what we would like to see' is still a matter of personal taste to some extent. Feeling and reasoning ineract in such an intricate and inseparable way that, while one may like to think one has reached conclusions about right/wrong/good/bad/just/fair etc. in a wholly dispassionate and rational way, it is likely that personal feelings have slipped in there unnoticed and unquestioned and added a troublesome bias.

In response to Belief in Belief
Comment author: Alice 06 October 2008 12:43:20PM 2 points [-]

Does the idea that it is a good thing to subject our beliefs (and even our belief in belief) to logical and analytical scrutiny count as belief in itself or is it so justifiable as to count as knowledge? If so, what is the justification?