virus: Definition of Belief

Reed Konsler (
Tue, 16 Apr 1996 15:22:06 -0400

Mon Apr 15, 12:52pm: ken sartor said


Many beliefs do not have tangible actions associated with them.
For instance, perhaps you believe in life on other planets.
Still your actions may not reflect this either because there is
nothing to be done or negative consequences follow if you act
on them (i.e., ridicule, appointment to a nasa position ;-)


I would argue that if an inidividual exibits no observable behavior then that
individual cannot be said to believe. One can say "I believe in Martians" and
then people in earshot may infer this is so. One can think to oneself "I
believe in Martians" and know this is so.

However, the theoretical person that "believes X" but never exibit's a single
behavior that is observable is like Shrodinger's cat. Once this person has
died there is no evidence of the belief, and thus one may conclude it never
existed; even as one can conclude that God (and Martians) don't exist because
there is insufficient evidence.