Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No, YOU'RE Wrong, Fractally Wrong!!


15 comments:

  1. "but i have a right to my own opinion"

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  2. You can have an opinion that the Earth is flat. Belief in that makes one Fractally wrong.

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  3. Kant was totally a fractal. Think about it...

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  4. see, in college, jumco and keno spent many an hour drinking coffee in cafe basement, smoking pretentiously, and angrily protesting one's right to a wrong opinion. yeah. i suppose not much has changed. :)

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  5. btw, belief is irrational, wrong as it may be, one cannot reason a person out of it, as it is not based on reason to begin with (unless said person is superrational and will see the faulty logic - but then why did he fall for a belief in the first place?). opinion, on the other hand, is supposedly an educated one based in some semblance of logic - and IT can be wrong.

    and i am losing my mind and need to go back to work.

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  6. Who, in fact, is 'entitled' to a 'wrong opinion' when that opinion is already shown to be glaringly false or misinformed? Kesha and I both recommend Crimes Against Logic for a fuller explanation of our protests.

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  7. You've explained to yourself the protests of Kesha and I. People use the term "opinion" when actually attempting to muster a defense of their "belief:" Groundless claims based on nothing more than whim. So, when people say, "I am entitled to my opinion," more often than not they are debasing the language they use and more accurately mean, "I am entitled to my groundless and unreasoned beliefs. They are beyond your careful and reasoned attacks, as your attacks depend upon reason, and my beliefs do not."

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  8. the explanation was a response to omenshyne's comment that "you can have an opinion... belief...makes you wrong". i don't agree. beliefs disqualify you from an argument. opinions can make you fractally wrong.

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  9. First of all, fractal wrongness is REAL. Example:(I think, my opinion is, did you know)Barak Obama is a terrorist. This statement is fractally wrong and in no way can be true no matter the angle of approach. My post of the 'team building' picture was in jest. Katya's opposition in opinion is groundless because I made no point. Subsequently, Jumco's apt post does mirror my own feelings on the statement "...but i have a right to my own opinion."

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  10. One has a right to one's own opinion. But you do not have a right to your own facts.

    Statements of fact can be proven or disproven (at least theoretically --it is a matter of fact as to whether intelligent beings inhabit the planet Tralfamadore; we just don't happen to have the information right now); statements of opinion cannot be proven or disproven. I taught this at some length to my 8th grade class many years ago, in highlighting the distinction between truth or falsity. We cannot disagree about the facts (at least, not for longer than it takes to verify them). But we can, and do, hold divergent opinions, even about such things as what a particular set of facts means, or predicts.

    An unfounded opinion is one that does not appear to be supported by any facts; and the more relevant facts one can marshall in support of an opinion, the more compelling that opinion is likely to be. But if your facts do not convince me of the error of my opinion, then we each must just respectfully disagree.

    The probability that a perfect vacuum will be created spontaneously in my study is very low, but it is not zero. The fact that it has never been reported that all the molecules of gas in a room suddenly migrated to one side, leaving a vacuum on the other, does not mean that this is impossible.

    So with religious belief, or more precisely, belief in god. Such a belief is not supported by very many (if any) facts; but I know of no facts that would render such an opinion (however unlikely I think it to be) untenable.

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  11. Tony is correct (again). The point has a long and distinguished pedigree. It is known, in philosophic circles, and the incompatibility between "reason" and "revelation." Neither can disprove the other. Stated differently, the "principle of contradiction"-on which all logic and therefore science is based--is unhelpful in deciding the dispute. As for the relationship between opinion and knowledge, see Plato. It is a running theme. Stated simply, knowledge depends upon opinion. Our deepest understandings come from a refinement (through dialectic) of opinions. In fact, all knowledge starts as opinion, until contradicted by another opinion, which then identifies that opinion as a candidate for error, which creates further inquiry. Even Newtonian physics, once thought to be complete knowledge, turns out to have needed refinement, and thus comprised something akin to opinion, albeit very well reasoned opinion. Long story, but don't dis opinion. Opinion is the raw material of, and the starting point for, all philosophy.

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  12. A) Nothing I've read from Pericles or Tony disproves the notion that it is acceptable to continually harbor disproved opinions.

    B) Pericles, I've never thought of you as a Kantian. "In fact, all knowledge starts as opinion, until contradicted by another opinion, which then identifies that opinion as a candidate for error, which creates further inquiry." This appears to be awfully close to stating the Kantian, Hegelian, Heideggerian, cum Sarterian world view that experience, as it informs opinion and the dialectic, is necessary for knowledge itself. I always thought of you as more of an analytical, experiential evidence cannot contribute beyond self-identifying truisms, type of guy. Maybe I am wrong or you've been unclear.

    C) I'm really glad to see this discussion building, but as so many great things in life, much of this started as a joke. Katya was doing her best to use Omenshyne's post as an opportunity to mock Ken and me (yes, Ken and me is appropriate, as the sentence would read, "Katya...mock me,") for some of the more pretentious college cafe contentions we'd nod our heads in agreement over.

    D) For the record, I too hold that opinions of the informed and falsifiable sort are necessary for the advancement of knowledge. Call me a Popperian, I can take it. This being said, the argument I thought we were having was speaking to and denouncing the terrible misuse of "opinion" throughout the commons. This brand of uninformed, 'let me say whatever I want, because my words count too,' opinion is a cancer upon society. Such 'opinions' contribute heavily to a world lacking accountability and slowing the advancement and transmission of knowledge. If there is disagreement on these points, by all means, let's have at it.

    E) I do not dispute that belief and opinion are disparate and beyond reconciliation. In fact, I hold the rather extreme view that all belief is invalid belief. Thus, no belief is worthy of discussion because belief, by definition, lacks the underpinnings of the natural world and the reason that we use to examine it.

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  13. >>>This appears to be awfully close to stating the Kantian, Hegelian, Heideggerian, cum Sarterian world view that experience, as it informs opinion and the dialectic, is necessary for knowledge itself. I always thought of you as more of an analytical, experiential evidence cannot contribute beyond self-identifying truisms, type of guy. Maybe I am wrong or you've been unclear.<<<

    I have no idea what that you are taking about, but it sounds awfully fancy. When I was in school, we would have been pretty suspicious of such fancy talk. I surely must have been unclear. There is nothing in what I said that requires more than a freshman's copy of Plato's Apology--$0.99 used at Powell's.

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  14. I love how this post has fractally grown....

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