Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

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Consul
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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by Consul » January 8th, 2018, 2:58 pm

Londoner wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 1:45 pm
Quite. To describe something as a 'belief' has the implication that one doesn't have absolute certainty. If I believed something with absolute certainty, such that I could not conceive that I could ever be wrong, then I don't think I would recognise it as a belief. It would be 'a priori'. For example, I wouldn't say 'I believe 2 + 2 = 4'
But you do believe that 2+2=4, don't you? Belief doesn't entail knowledge, but doesn't knowledge entail belief? It sounds very odd to say "I know that p, but I don't believe that p", doesn't it? As Wittgenstein says, "What I know, I believe." (On Certainty, §177)

Here's a list of statements all of which I think are true:

1. Belief doesn't entail knowledge.
2. Belief doesn't entail (subjective) certainty.
3. Belief doesn't entail (subjective) uncertainty.
4. Knowledge entails belief.
5. Knowledge-claims entail (subjective) certainty.
6. (Subjective) Certainty entails belief.
7. (Subjective) Certainty doesn't entail knowledge.

David Armstrong thought that knowledge (as opposed to knowledge-claims) doesn't entail (subjective) certainty, but I'm not quite sure this is true.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by ProgrammingGodJordan » January 8th, 2018, 3:03 pm

Consul wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 11:29 am
ProgrammingGodJordan wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 1:07 am

  1. Model i - belief:
    • Permits belief in science or evidence.
    • Also permits ignorance of evidence, but not only that, it generally permits ignorance of evidence. (i.e. frequent ignorance of evidence)
  2. Model ii - Non-beliefism:
    • Underlines that science prioritizes evidence.
    • Does not permit general ignorance of evidence.
Whether one has good reasons or (sufficient) evidence for one's beliefs is irrelevant to the concept of belief, because the fact or state of belief is one thing and its epistemic justifiedness or justifiability is another thing. What is important is that "belief" is not synonymous with "unjustified belief", especially as belief can amount to knowledge.

  1. Your response is demonstrably Incorrect.
    • By definition and research, belief is a model that generally permits ignorance of evidence.
  2. And also, modeling the world does not necessitate belief.
    • The simple difference between non-beliefism and belief, is that belief is a model that generally permits ignorance of evidence, whereas non-beliefism does not permit the general ignorance of evidence.
    • A model that permits the general ignorance of evidence (i.e.
      belief) contrasts science, which heavily prioritizes evidence.
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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by ProgrammingGodJordan » January 8th, 2018, 3:10 pm

Consul wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 11:13 am
Steve3007 wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 9:17 am
It is not necessary to abandon the concept of belief in order to accept the fact that new evidence can change what we believe to be true.
Of course, "I (now) believe that p" doesn't mean "I will always believe that p—come what may". There certainly is such a thing as belief change or revision.
  1. Yes, believers may update beliefs, but the update doesn't tend to be reliable:
    • Although beliefs are updatable, because belief is a model that generally permits ignorance of evidence, believers tend to adopt new distorted beliefs, even despite valid contrasting evidence. (See research and definition)
  2. In contrast, non-beliefism underlines, that "one may rank his/her presentations as incomplete expressions (susceptible to future analysis/correction), where one shall aim to hold those expressions to be likely true, especially given evidence, rather than believe, i.e. typically accept them as merely true especially absent evidence".
    • In this way, in discussion and learning, instead of constantly arguing on pre-conceived notions despite evidence, one may discover it easier to admit oneself as wrong, (for example on public discussion boards, parliament, etc) especially when new evidence arises.
    • In simpler words, non-beliefism better prepares/equips a mind to update prior expressions, in light of new evidence/continued evidence analysis.

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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by Consul » January 8th, 2018, 4:20 pm

Consul wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 2:58 pm
David Armstrong thought that knowledge (as opposed to knowledge-claims) doesn't entail (subjective) certainty, but I'm not quite sure this is true.
I think this is false if the KK-axiom of epistemic logic is true, according to which knowledge entails knowledge of knowledge: if subject S knows that p, then S knows that she knows that p. – If I know that I know that p, then I am (subjectively) certain that p.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by Consul » January 8th, 2018, 4:24 pm

Consul wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 2:58 pm
Here's a list of statements all of which I think are true:

1. Belief doesn't entail knowledge.
2. Belief doesn't entail (subjective) certainty.
3. Belief doesn't entail (subjective) uncertainty.
4. Knowledge entails belief.
5. Knowledge-claims entail (subjective) certainty.
6. (Subjective) Certainty entails belief.
7. (Subjective) Certainty doesn't entail knowledge.
I forgot something:

8. Subjective (psychological) certainty doesn't entail objective (epistemological) certainty: that I am certain that p doesn't mean that it is certain that p.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by Londoner » January 9th, 2018, 6:10 am

Consul wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 2:58 pm
Me: Quite. To describe something as a 'belief' has the implication that one doesn't have absolute certainty. If I believed something with absolute certainty, such that I could not conceive that I could ever be wrong, then I don't think I would recognise it as a belief. It would be 'a priori'. For example, I wouldn't say 'I 2 + 2 = 4'

But you do believe that 2+2=4, don't you? Belief doesn't entail knowledge, but doesn't knowledge entail belief? It sounds very odd to say "I know that p, but I don't believe that p", doesn't it? As Wittgenstein says, "What I know, I believe." (On Certainty, §177)
I wouldn't say I 'believed' 2 + 2 = 4 because I don't think it is a proposition, not in the way that assertions of a fact are propositions. I would say a belief has to allow the possibility of disbelief, but if somebody said they disbelieved 2 + 2 = 4 I'd say they didn't understand maths, or what the symbols '2' and '4' stood for. In other words, I think the sum is a tautology, it doesn't assert anything.

I would say more-or-less the same about the basic axioms of logic. I simply cannot conceive of them being wrong; I cannot imagine what a negation of them would involve. For example, if it was possible for P to be both true and not-true, then reasoning of any kind is impossible. Indeed, it would no longer be possible to talk of knowledge or say one believed or disbelieved in anything, because truth and falsity would no longer exclude each other!

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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by Consul » January 9th, 2018, 11:31 am

ProgrammingGodJordan wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 3:03 pm
  1. Your response is demonstrably Incorrect.
    • By definition and research, belief is a model that generally permits ignorance of evidence.
  2. And also, modeling the world does not necessitate belief.
    • The simple difference between non-beliefism and belief, is that belief is a model that generally permits ignorance of evidence, whereas non-beliefism does not permit the general ignorance of evidence.
    • A model that permits the general ignorance of evidence (i.e.
      belief) contrasts science, which heavily prioritizes evidence.
Image
No, my response isn't "demonstrably incorrect" because it isn't incorrect. The psychological state of belief as such is independent of its epistemological status, i.e. of whether or not it is (sufficiently) supported by evidence and thereby epistemically justified. Of course, in science evidentialism is a basic epistemological norm, with "faith-ism" (fideism) being rejected therein. Belief that is mere faith, i.e. belief unsupported or insufficiently supported by evidence, isn't tolerated in science.

See: The Ethics of Belief

"The “ethics of belief” refers to a cluster of questions at the intersection of epistemology, ethics, philosophy of mind, and psychology.

The central question in the debate is whether there are norms of some sort governing our habits of belief-formation, belief-maintenance, and belief-relinquishment. Is it ever or always morally wrong (or epistemically irrational, or practically imprudent) to hold a belief on insufficient evidence? Is it ever or always morally right (or epistemically rational, or practically prudent) to believe on the basis of sufficient evidence, or to withhold belief in the perceived absence of it? Is it ever or always obligatory to seek out all available epistemic evidence for a belief? Are there some ways of obtaining evidence that are themselves immoral, irrational, imprudent?

There is agreement among most analytic philosophers that belief is (roughly) a dispositional, affirmative attitude towards a proposition or state of affairs. To believe that p is to take it that p is true—to take it that the state of affairs described by the sentence “p” obtains. Note that this doesn't mean that the subject explicitly believes the proposition that p is true, however, since the latter is a different and higher order belief (mere belief that p doesn't require possession of the concept of “truth”, for instance, whereas the belief that p is true does). It is also widely agreed that the majority of our beliefs are not occurrent at any given time, and that belief comes in degrees of strength, confidence, or firmness.

Evidentialism of some sort is far and away the dominant ethic of belief among early modern and contemporary philosophers alike. The central principle, as mentioned earlier, is that one ought only to base one's beliefs on relevant evidence (i.e. evidence that bears on the truth of the proposition) that is in one's possession. Many Evidentialists (Locke, Hume, and Clifford, for example) add the condition that the amount of evidence in one's possession must be proportioned to one's degree of belief, and that one should only firmly believe on the basis of “sufficient” evidence (where “sufficient” involves the evidence being strong enough for the belief to count as knowledge if true)."
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by Consul » January 9th, 2018, 11:51 am

ProgrammingGodJordan wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 3:03 pm
[*] And also, modeling the world does not necessitate belief.
There are philosophers who argue that there are propositional attitudes which are similar to but weaker than belief: acceptance, assumption, supposition, presumption. But it's not easy to spell out the alleged difference between these and belief.

See: Belief and Acceptance

"Belief has been utterly dominant in most epistemological discussions of cognition, but it is not the only cognitive attitude that raises epistemological questions or is appraisable in relation to justification or supporting grounds. There are attitudes weaker than belief in the degree of conviction they imply, yet strong enough in that psychological dimension to guide thought and action. Some philosophers have taken acceptance in this way. Accepting a scientific hypothesis, in this terminology, does not imply believing it, but it can commit one to using the hypothesis—say, that a certain illness is caused by a particular chemical—as a premise in (tentative) reasoning and in guiding one’s day-to-day actions."

(Audi, Robert. Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge, 2011. p. 326)

"Belief that p is a disposition, when one is attending to issues raised, or items referred to, by the proposition that p, normally to feel it true that p and false that not-p, whether or not one is willing to act, speak, or reason accordingly. But to accept the proposition or rule of inference that p is to have or adopt a policy of deeming, positing, or postulating that p—i.e. of including that proposition or rule among one's premisses for deciding what to do or to think in a particular context, whether or not one feels it to be true that p. The standard way to discover whether you yourself believe that p is by introspecting whether you are normally disposed to feel that p when consider the issue. And you answer another person's question whether you believe that p by reporting whether you are so disposed. But you answer the question whether you accept that p by forming or reporting an intention about the foundations of your proofs, arguments, reasonings, or deliberations. By acquiring new beliefs you widen the range of feelings that you are disposed to have. By acceptance you increase your stock of premissable data and employable rules of inference. So belief that p can coexist in your mind with acceptance that p. But it is not conceptually tied to doing so.
There you have the heart of the matter. That is where the concepts of belief and acceptance need to prised apart from one another. That is how you can carve them at the joint. Belief is a disposition to feel, acceptance a policy for reasoning. 'Belief' carries no conceptual implications about reasoning, 'acceptance' carries none about feelings."

(pp. 4-5)

"Perhaps it will be objected that at least two standards of proof are commonly found in contemporary courts—a higher one for criminal cases and a lower one for civil cases. So we need, it will be said, to relate verdicts to a state of mind that comes in degrees. And belief does this while acceptance does not. You can believe strongly, or weakly, that p, but you either adopt the policy of premissing that p or you do not."
(p. 124)

(Cohen, L. Jonathan. An Essay on Belief and Acceptance. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.)

"Acceptance, as I shall use this term, is a broader concept than belief; it is a generic propositional-attitude concept with such notions as presupposing, presuming, postulating, positing, assuming and supposing as well as believing falling under it. Acceptance is a technical term; claims I make about acceptance are not intended as part of an analysis of a term from common usage. But I do want to claim that this technical term picks out a natural class of propositional attitudes about which one can usefully generalize. Belief is obviously the most fundamental acceptance concept, but various methodological postures that one may take toward a proposition in the course of an inquiry or conversation are sufficiently like belief in some respects to justify treating them together with it.
To accept a proposition is to treat it as a true proposition in one way or another—to ignore, for the moment at least, the possibility that it is false. One may do this for different reasons, more or less tentatively, more or less self-consciously, with more or less justification, and with more or less feeling of commitment."


(Stalnaker, Robert C. Inquiry. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984. p. 79)

"Another obvious contrast is with respect to degrees. We can believe more or less strongly in a proposition, and some have proposed ways of measuring degrees of belief. Acceptance, on the other hand, seems all-or-nothing, for we are faced with the choice of either accepting a proposition, rejecting it as false, or refusing to accept or reject it on the basis of there being insufficient evidence. This all-or-nothing character of acceptance is obscured by the fact that often it is directed towards probabilities. On the basis of weather reports I accept now that there is a 80% chance of rain tomorrow, that is, accept the probability of rain to be .8; tomorrow I may accept that there is a 30% chance for the day following. It is not that I accept the first more strongly than the second, but rather I assign a higher probability to the rain occurring tomorrow than to it occurring the day after. In both cases acceptance is definite, though if the statistical evidence is insufficient, I may want to withhold acceptance of any probaility proposition about rain"

(Clarke, David. "The Possibility of Acceptance Without Belief." In Believing and Accepting, edited by Pascal Engel, 31-54. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 2000. pp. 35-6)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by ProgrammingGodJordan » January 9th, 2018, 2:08 pm

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  1. Crucially, non-beliefism does not underline that we have to access all the evidence possible, to avoid belief.
  2. Easily, we can see that there is a successful model that enables humans to prioritize evidence, without looking at all possible evidence. (Science is that model, Science is something that permits this everyday)
    • So, non-beliefism is simply a way to underline what is already possible, scientific thinking. (By clearly identifying a popular and not typically scrutinized paradigm, i.e. belief, and showing why belief contrasts scientific thinking)

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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by Consul » January 9th, 2018, 4:29 pm

ProgrammingGodJordan wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 3:10 pm
  1. Yes, believers may update beliefs, but the update doesn't tend to be reliable:
    • Although beliefs are updatable, because belief is a model that generally permits ignorance of evidence, believers tend to adopt new distorted beliefs, even despite valid contrasting evidence. (See research and definition)
  2. In contrast, non-beliefism underlines, that "one may rank his/her presentations as incomplete expressions (susceptible to future analysis/correction), where one shall aim to hold those expressions to be likely true, especially given evidence, rather than believe, i.e. typically accept them as merely true especially absent evidence".
    • In this way, in discussion and learning, instead of constantly arguing on pre-conceived notions despite evidence, one may discover it easier to admit oneself as wrong, (for example on public discussion boards, parliament, etc) especially when new evidence arises.
    • In simpler words, non-beliefism better prepares/equips a mind to update prior expressions, in light of new evidence/continued evidence analysis.
Psychologically speaking, belief-formation or -revision needn't be and often isn't guided by (scientific) rationality, but there is nothing about the concept of belief as such that prevents people from being rational and "epistemically virtuous" believers who properly form or revise their beliefs on the basis of and in proportion to the evidence available to them.

Regarding your statement that "one shall aim to hold those expressions to be likely true…rather than believe, i.e. typically accept them as merely true…", there is a distinction between truth and probability of truth, and we can attribute both truth-values and probabilities to propositions. But what does "to hold p to be likely true" stand for if not for a probabilistic belief, a belief in a certain probability of p('s truth)?
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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by Consul » January 9th, 2018, 4:54 pm

Londoner wrote:
January 9th, 2018, 6:10 am
I wouldn't say I 'believed' 2 + 2 = 4 because I don't think it is a proposition, not in the way that assertions of a fact are propositions. I would say a belief has to allow the possibility of disbelief, but if somebody said they disbelieved 2 + 2 = 4 I'd say they didn't understand maths, or what the symbols '2' and '4' stood for. In other words, I think the sum is a tautology, it doesn't assert anything.

I would say more-or-less the same about the basic axioms of logic. I simply cannot conceive of them being wrong; I cannot imagine what a negation of them would involve. For example, if it was possible for P to be both true and not-true, then reasoning of any kind is impossible. Indeed, it would no longer be possible to talk of knowledge or say one believed or disbelieved in anything, because truth and falsity would no longer exclude each other!
By "proposition" I don't mean an assertion or a suggestion (both of which are speech-acts) but (the meaning of) a declarative sentence.

(For the philosophical concept of a proposition, see: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/propositions/)

For a mathematically competent person it is rationally indubitable that 2+2=4, but the concept of belief doesn't require that what is believed be dubitable or possibly false.
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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by ProgrammingGodJordan » January 10th, 2018, 1:30 am

Consul wrote:
January 9th, 2018, 4:29 pm
But what does "to hold p to be likely true" stand for if not for a probabilistic belief, a belief in a certain probability of p('s truth)?
Recall that one need not belief to observe probabilities. (Probabilities may be valid, regardless of belief)
  1. In fact, all things around us emerge from probabilities (Heisenberg uncertainty principle) and nobody needs to believe in Heisenberg uncertainty principle, for it to be valid!

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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by Londoner » January 10th, 2018, 6:07 am

Consul wrote:
January 9th, 2018, 4:54 pm
For a mathematically competent person it is rationally indubitable that 2+2=4, but the concept of belief doesn't require that what is believed be dubitable or possibly false.
I would have said that it did. But now we are arguing over how a word is used so we might as well look at the dictionaries, since they will record usage (in all its inconsistencies!)

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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by Hereandnow » January 10th, 2018, 3:22 pm

Much of this assailable once you remove the premise "P is true: from the traditional analysis of knowledge:

1. Belief doesn't entail knowledge.
2. Belief doesn't entail (subjective) certainty.
3. Belief doesn't entail (subjective) uncertainty.
4. Knowledge entails belief.
5. Knowledge-claims entail (subjective) certainty.
6. (Subjective) Certainty entails belief.
7. (Subjective) Certainty doesn't entail knowledge.

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Re: Belief (not just religious belief) ought to be abolished!

Post by Consul » January 10th, 2018, 3:40 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
January 10th, 2018, 3:22 pm
Much of this assailable once you remove the premise "P is true: from the traditional analysis of knowledge:
You cannot do so without destroying the concept of knowledge: you can't know what ain't so!
(This is certainly not to say that you cannot know that not-p if p is false; you just cannot know that p if p is false.)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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