False beliefs that are useful

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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Stuart » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:12 pm

I place some belief in Mo, maybe he's in my top 10. Is that belief false and will it prove useless; now that is up to Mo, not me; I'm not going to try to will him into use and truth; not that I could anyway.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby MechanicalMonster » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:22 pm

I should point out the obvious, it seems, that this topic is about false beliefs that are useful. The topic is not about false beliefs that are not useful.
"He who would not sacrifice his own soul to save the whole world, is, as it seems to me, illogical in all his inferences, collectively." --Peirce
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Moreno » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:01 am

MechanicalMonster wrote:I should point out the obvious, it seems, that this topic is about false beliefs that are useful. The topic is not about false beliefs that are not useful.
I Think, then, that a case could be made that a false belief that the thread is about false beliefs that are not useful could be useful belief, since it generates an potentially intersting line of discussion. Just to bring things back on topic.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Moreno » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:11 am

von Rivers wrote:In the days of yore, it was once an actual practice to decide some question by poisoning a chicken. If the chicken died, the answer was 'yes'. If the chicken did not die, the answer was 'no'. Something along those lines. And there was some system of beliefs about spirits that gave this a foundation. I am not saying that believing in spirits is false, only that this particular belief system in those particular spirits seems to be false.

Oh, sure, you will say... "but Mo, this belief system got them outdoors, gave them some exercise, etc, etc". Yes, indeed. But the belief system was still useless because it had less use to them than abandoning it would have. Because people still practice the poisoned chicken system I believe, and some will eschew actual medicine because of it.


I would also like to add to the list everything that Stu-bones believes.

I wouldn't call that a belief system. that sounds like a belief. It is likely part of a broader belief system, perhaps involving deities, ideas about causation, time, perhaps chickens, Life,
but that's more what I meant by system. It may not have been MM's intention, but I took 'system' to be something more complex, a network of ideas tied together and believed as a whole.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Stuart » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:16 am

I get it now, "false beliefs that are useful", ok, why don't you, MM, give us an example or two..
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby MechanicalMonster » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:32 am

god, satan, death, evil, will, spirit, justice, rights, free will, heaven, hell, truth, life
"He who would not sacrifice his own soul to save the whole world, is, as it seems to me, illogical in all his inferences, collectively." --Peirce
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Moreno » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:19 am

Stuartp523 wrote:I get it now, "false beliefs that are useful", ok, why don't you, MM, give us an example or two..

newton's belief in absolute space and time.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Faust » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:01 am

mm -
I should point out the obvious, it seems, that this topic is about false beliefs that are useful. The topic is not about false beliefs that are not useful.


Any number of false beliefs can be useful. Nietzsche was chiefly concerned with the comparison of two paradigms - the (non-Humean) "philosophical" method of attempting to ascertain an immutable metaphysical truth and then deducting all manner of nonsensical claims vs the odds-narrowing series of approximations used in science and in the commonsense rules of thumb utilized by many grandmothers.

That's it, in a nutshell.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby von Rivers » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:09 am

If you are a pragmatist about 'truth'---i.e., you think that 'truth' = what works---then a false belief that is useful is a straightforward contradiction.



Boom.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Faust » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:13 am

Nietzsche was not a pragmatist.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Moreno » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:14 am

von Rivers wrote:If you are a pragmatist about 'truth'---i.e., you think that 'truth' = what works---then a false belief that is useful is a straightforward contradiction.
Boom.
Or you consider those beliefs true.
That newton was right about absolute space and time and Einstein was right when he said it was not the case. Pragmatists would be like Sharks, moving forward, Always moving.
(this doesn't actuallly contradict what you said, however. If they are discussion the issue in the abstract I would Think they would have to agree with you, though they might find it a kind of wrongheaded discussion. But once we got into specifics, I Think they would then say, but it was true, then. I say 'they' though I suppose I am partly a pragmatist.)

(there are also different kinds of truth here. For pragmatists it is more or less what happens when one works with the truth. For others is is often a container of truth - the assertions contain truth.

and then I would just to add that there need not be a binary truth/falsehood. We could have kinda truths. Or stuff that is true given that a primate brain is like X.)
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby von Rivers » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:33 am

Faust wrote:Nietzsche was not a pragmatist.


Nietzsche has said explicitly that he was a pragmatist. Not only that, but I have given you multiple direct quotes before, referenced in various places. The only time that Nietzsche is not a pragmatist about 'truth' is when he is talking about other people's conceptions of 'truth', or else historical ones.



Told.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Faust » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:37 am

Gimme a quote.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby von Rivers » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:47 am

1. "We simply lack any organ for knowledge, for ‘truth’: we ‘know’ (or believe or imagine) just as much as may be useful in the interests of the human herd, the species; and even what is here called ‘utility’ is ultimately also a mere belief, something imaginary, and perhaps precisely that most calamitous stupidity of which we shall perish some day". (Gay Science, Aphorism 354)

2. "The falseness of a judgment is for us not necessarily an objection to a judgment; in this respect our new language may sound strangest. The question is to what extent it is life-promoting, life-preserving, species-preserving, perhaps even species-cultivating". (Beyond Good and Evil, 4)

3. Over immense periods of time the intellect produced nothing but errors. A few of these proved to be useful and helped to preserve the species: those who hit upon or inherited these had better luck in their struggle for themselves and their progeny (Gay Science, 110).
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Faust » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:52 am

Riv - I could only ask that you familiarize yourself with pragmatic theories of truth.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby von Rivers » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:55 am

Faust wrote:Riv - I could only ask that you familiarize yourself with pragmatic theories of truth.


Pragmatism: 'truth' = what works. That's it in an nutshell.

I just gave you 3 quotes of Nietzsche saying either that we do, or should, consider 'true' what works. And I gave them to you off the top of my fucking head, page numbers an all. Recognize it. There is MUCH MUCH more.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Tyrannus » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:59 am

MechanicalMonster wrote:If a belief system that is false (or which we have good reason to believe to be false) is in fact useful somehow, which is to say gives something that cannot be gotten elsewhere (perhaps peace of mind, or emotional stability, or happiness, etc.) or gives more benefit than detriment (assuming we can even know that to be the case), would a person be justified in adopting that belief system?

Nietzsche asked this question in a similar but opposite-like manner, as: what is the value of truth? And are not lies also valuable at times, and even necessary? Nietzsche points to the fact that blind and unconditional devotion to truth and against falsehood might not be justified. But in what sense could this be (or not be) so?


Modern moral utilitarianism.

Justified in adopting that system? More like forcing people to adopt a system at gun point.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Tyrannus » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:03 am

Basically all of morality and ethics are built upon lousy assumptions or complete contradictions ending in indefinite hypocrisies, however because it is a useful delusion or fiction by those in power to control otherwise managing the entire population that is why governments everywhere demand their obedience anyways.

In the end is it all fictitious absurd bullshit? Absolutely, but for those in positions of power it is useful absurd bullshit in the consolidation of power therefore, it becomes necessary to perpetuate and continue the usual absurd bullshit as long as those in authority can until utter limitations are breached.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Faust » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:03 am

Pragmatism: 'truth' = what works.


That's how the unenlightened talk. It's common, in every sense of the word.

I do philosophy here. We do not speak the same language.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby von Rivers » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:05 am

Faust wrote:
Pragmatism: 'truth' = what works.

That's how the unenlightened talk. It's common, in every sense of the word.

I do philosophy here. We do not speak the same language.


Don't be a jerk.

William James himself defined pragmatism as, "what would be better for us to believe". That's a direct quote from his essay "What Pragmatism Means", which you can google and read online. Please.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Tyrannus » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:11 am

Morality in a nutshell: You will do this or else. Where's your justification to tell us what we can or can't do, a person might say.

Those in authority will answer that the justification is at the end of a barrel of a gun and that since enforcing this fictitious scheme works regardless that it is complete utter bullshit that nobody should question it or at the very least undermine it otherwise they will be facing the same end of that barrel.

Of course, it becomes necessary to baffle the majority of idiots with bullshit so propaganda comes in with fantasy concepts like equality, fairness, and social utopia paradise on earth in order to stupify the simpletons.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby von Rivers » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:12 am

Tyrannus wrote:Morality in a nutshell: You will do this or else. Where's your justification to tell us what we can or can't do?


Read a fucking book, my friend.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Tyrannus » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:16 am

von Rivers wrote:
Tyrannus wrote:Morality in a nutshell: You will do this or else. Where's your justification to tell us what we can or can't do?


Read a fucking book, my friend.


I read every fucking day. Go pester somebody else.
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby Tyrannus » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:26 am

von Rivers wrote:
Faust wrote:
Pragmatism: 'truth' = what works.

That's how the unenlightened talk. It's common, in every sense of the word.

I do philosophy here. We do not speak the same language.


Don't be a jerk.

William James himself defined pragmatism as, "what would be better for us to believe". That's a direct quote from his essay "What Pragmatism Means", which you can google and read online. Please.


Of course when the say "us" they don't mean everybody equally. :lol: 8)
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Re: False beliefs that are useful

Postby MechanicalMonster » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:45 am

Tyrannus wrote:
MechanicalMonster wrote:If a belief system that is false (or which we have good reason to believe to be false) is in fact useful somehow, which is to say gives something that cannot be gotten elsewhere (perhaps peace of mind, or emotional stability, or happiness, etc.) or gives more benefit than detriment (assuming we can even know that to be the case), would a person be justified in adopting that belief system?

Nietzsche asked this question in a similar but opposite-like manner, as: what is the value of truth? And are not lies also valuable at times, and even necessary? Nietzsche points to the fact that blind and unconditional devotion to truth and against falsehood might not be justified. But in what sense could this be (or not be) so?


Modern moral utilitarianism.


I would call it non-thinking, yeah.

Justified in adopting that system? More like forcing people to adopt a system at gun point.


Yes, that too.
"He who would not sacrifice his own soul to save the whole world, is, as it seems to me, illogical in all his inferences, collectively." --Peirce
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