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Most social science research about beliefs excludes atheist participant samples . . .
Posted: 02 January 2013 09:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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advocatus - 02 January 2013 11:55 AM

The part I didn’t understand was the section on random emotions.  I’ve suffered with depression most of my life, and I’m going through a difficult time right now.  But what does that have to do with my worldview?


Those emotion questions were used to to investigate various hypotheses.  I’d say more, but I don’t want to influence future responders from this board

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Posted: 02 January 2013 09:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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jj - 02 January 2013 08:03 PM
TromboneAndrew - 02 January 2013 09:37 AM
jj - 02 January 2013 06:06 AM

Biggest problem is the word “believe”.

Some of us “conclude, based on evidence”, as opposed to “believe”.

I had no problem. Concluding based on evidence is a form of believing. You’re just being a prissy atheist. tongue laugh

Actually, I’m being a pedantic research scientist, but yeah ...

The concern with the word belief is fair.  A few other secular folk disliked that wording too.  Keep in mind that these items were taken from previously validated psychological scales, so if I messed with the wording then the results become questionable as they are not exactly comparable to past findings.  Thus, I had to keep things untouched.  Additionally, the use of words like belief can be seen as a pragmatic decision for both the purposes of recruiting and for choosing questions that are easily understandable to a diverse population of mixed educational and intelligence levels.  I’m dealing with a wide array of participants here, a one size fits all approach was the goal but I was aware that some items would not capture the nuances and be ideal. 

Thanks for participating

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Posted: 03 January 2013 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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jj - 02 January 2013 06:06 AM

Biggest problem is the word “believe”.

Some of us “conclude, based on evidence”, as opposed to “believe”.

Exactly, believe means to accept something as true, or false, without sufficient evidence.

So “belief” is stupid by definition.

That wording does not allow for deliberately thinking in terms of probability instead of true or false.

psik

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Posted: 03 January 2013 08:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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psikeyhackr - 03 January 2013 03:26 PM

Exactly, believe means to accept something as true, or false, without sufficient evidence.

So “belief” is stupid by definition.

That wording does not allow for deliberately thinking in terms of probability instead of true or false.

psik

Not quite:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/believe?s=t

be·lieve [bih-leev]  Show IPA verb, be·lieved, be·liev·ing.
verb (used without object)
1.
to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so: Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully.
verb (used with object)
2.
to have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story, etc.); give credence to.
3.
to have confidence in the assertions of (a person).
4.
to have a conviction that (a person or thing) is, has been, or will be engaged in a given action or involved in a given situation: The fugitive is believed to be headed for the Mexican border.
5.
to suppose or assume; understand (usually followed by a noun clause): I believe that he has left town.

‘without sufficient evidence’ is not the same as ‘without absolute proof’. Sufficient evidence is allowed.

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Posted: 04 January 2013 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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What is the difference between a “proof” and an “absolute proof”?

What is the difference between a “belief” and a “strong suspicion with high probability”?

If I think a dictionary definition is stupid I treat it as such, I don’t use it and try to think with it.

People usually say believe or know, they rarely say “suspect”.

psik

[ Edited: 04 January 2013 09:15 AM by psikeyhackr ]
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Posted: 04 January 2013 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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If I look out my window and see a bear running by my house, I can say, “I believe I just saw a bear.” Perfectly fine usage, backed up by sufficient evidence.

Has the usage of this word changed in recent years, to become less broad? :confused:

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Posted: 04 January 2013 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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If I look out my window and see a bear running by my house, I can say, “I believe I just saw a bear.” Perfectly fine usage, backed up by sufficient evidence.

Has the usage of this word changed in recent years, to become less broad? :confused:


But where do you “suspect ” the bear is going? What do you “suspect” is his motive for being in your yard in the first place? Also perfectly fine usage!

 

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Posted: 04 January 2013 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 04 January 2013 10:33 AM

If I look out my window and see a bear running by my house, I can say, “I believe I just saw a bear.” Perfectly fine usage, backed up by sufficient evidence.

Has the usage of this word changed in recent years, to become less broad? :confused:

So you don’t think there is a difference between “believing” and “knowing”

Do you “believe” that you have 4 fingers and a thumb on your right had or do you “know”?

There is a problem with lack of precision in language and there is a further problem of people not using language to the degree that it is precise.  That is why I did not finish his survey.  I was disgusted with reading it before I finished the first page.  What are the important things in life.  What do the answers mean if the respondents don’t agree on what that means.  It is vague BS.

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Posted: 04 January 2013 08:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 04 January 2013 10:33 AM

If I look out my window and see a bear running by my house, I can say, “I believe I just saw a bear.” Perfectly fine usage, backed up by sufficient evidence.

Has the usage of this word changed in recent years, to become less broad? :confused:

If you just saw a bear, why can’t you say “I just saw a bear?”  Where do beliefs come in?  Now I’m confused.

Chris

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Posted: 05 January 2013 01:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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No, apparently I’m not being clear.

“Knowing” is a word which fits inside “believing”, like in a circle graph having one circle being entirely encompassed by another. “Believing” has a much broader definition, and apparently a number of people want to think of the word more strictly and less broadly than I do. Hence my inquiry about the word usage changing.

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Posted: 05 January 2013 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 05 January 2013 01:41 AM

No, apparently I’m not being clear.

“Knowing” is a word which fits inside “believing”, like in a circle graph having one circle being entirely encompassed by another. “Believing” has a much broader definition, and apparently a number of people want to think of the word more strictly and less broadly than I do. Hence my inquiry about the word usage changing.

Well we have a problem with what we mean by these words.  I regard them as separate states of mind with believing being inferior.

Knowing requires a high degree of evidence while believing may not require any.  Many times belief is nothing but accepting what one was told as a little child and that is why these religions propagate through generations and are local to cultures.

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Posted: 05 January 2013 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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psikeyhackr - 05 January 2013 10:10 AM

Well we have a problem with what we mean by these words.  I regard them as separate states of mind with believing being inferior.

Knowing requires a high degree of evidence while believing may not require any.  Many times belief is nothing but accepting what one was told as a little child and that is why these religions propagate through generations and are local to cultures.

psik

Oh, I don’t know. I’ve seen many people use the word ‘know’ without a high degree of evidence.

But, I can appreciate your word usage. It’s just one of those things that needs to be discussed to come to agreement on what we’re talking about. It would be interesting to go to a Christian forum and see how they think of the word ‘believe’, if they use it closer to my definition or closer to yours.

Which brings me to a possibly interesting question for Jtmoor:

Is it more important on these psychological surveys to retain the specific wording of questions even when different groups think they as different things, or is it more important to accede to the various groups and attempt to frame unique questions per group so that they mean, as much as possible, the same thing between the different groups?

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Posted: 05 January 2013 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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This brings up the issue, “to what extent does language determine thinking?”

http://www.angelfire.com/journal/worldtour99/sapirwhorf.html

I struggled through most of Korzybski’s “Science and Sanity” decades ago.  But I later found that Robert Heinlein and A. E. van Vogt were paying attention to his ideas in the 40s.  So some of this stuff was incorporated into science fiction I was reading in grade school without my knowing anything about it. 

But I found the words and concepts of atheism and agnosticism in those books though no adults ever used them.  So using different words and thinking different thoughts from other people became the norm for me.

In a way I think the idea of Vulcan Culture is one of the greatest concepts of science fiction and it may be confronting our society now.  I don’t think advanced science is possible without civilization but what we currently call culture may be somewhat inimical to science.  This global warming issue may be the best example.  The Laws of Physics do not care about culture or language.  They are going to work the way they work.  We have to conform to them because they are not going to conform to us.  A scientific Culture where most people can think accurately about the workings of reality would be very different from any existing culture.  All of this talk about “critical thinking” is just so much rubbish.

So if we screw up the planet to the point of causing starvation that is just too bad.  Our language and inaccurate thinking will not help us solve the problems no matter what we “believe”.

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Posted: 05 January 2013 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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I think that in another thread a little while ago we ended up briefly discussing this, and I still recommend you check out Stephen Pinker’s book “The Stuff Of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature”. From what I understand (and I agree) his take is that the human brain influences language much more than language influences the brain. But there is a bit of both.

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