RE: virus: Re: Definition of belief again

David McFadzean (
Thu, 16 May 1996 16:08:37 -0600

At 09:33 AM 15/05/96 -0700, Richard Brodie wrote:
>I apologize for coming in late on this discussion, but why are we trying
>to come up with a definition for "belief"?

The thread started last month when I replied to Marek's message:

>At 03:58 AM 14/04/96 +0200, Marek Jedlinski wrote:
>>In fact, belief is only possible AS LONG AS there is no possibility
>>of knowing. If we could KNOW whether there is a God, we would no
>>longer have to BELIEVE; indeed -- belief would be no longer an option.
>I'm not sure if I agree with your definition of belief here (that certain
>knowledge is different from and obviates belief). Let me know if my own
>(admittedly informal) definition differs from your idea:
>To hold a belief X is to act as if X is true.

And thus started the downward spiral. The discussion has had many
interesting tangents into the nature of knowledge, existence and
evidence, but I'm not sure we are any closer to figuring out what
constitutes a belief.

I still think it is important to pursue this further, I'm just a
little burned out on it now. But if we could reach some kind of
concensus on what a belief is, I imagine it would help in discussing,
for instance, whether it virtuous to allow other people to hold
incorrect beliefs: "live and let live".

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus