Stathis P wrote:1-14-07:

John,

So if a child comes to you and asks what shape the Earth is, will you
reply that some think it's flat, and some think it's spherical, and for the
sake of not being thought ignorant by the majority maybe he should
say it's spherical, but in fact there is no reason to prefer one theory
in this regard over another?

Stathis

Cute, I certainly would consider the mental level of the "child" and give an
appropriately formulated  information not contradictory to my (your) present
2007AD cognitive (science?) inventory.
I think your question arose from the controversy upon my (poorly expressed)
liberal stance about   considering everybody's belief system as his
own/entire mental world, maybe different from mine (or yours) and in most
cases impenetrable from another belief system because the values and even
the concepts (e.g. evidence?) are differently formulated, accepted and
understood. Our today's scientific mindset IS a belief system - more than
just one, this list is a good example for that.

I did not reflect to questions like "which one is good, better, worse,
because value systems are identified within the belief system and I would
not 'judge' the values of another system based upon the values in my system.
A missionary may do so, or a fascist dictator..

. Some may hold it as an ethical norm to 'help/protect' others,  while in
another 'culture' to help someone into "salvation" may be the ultimate good
- no matter by what means. "Not to hurt"? depends what one considers
hurting. Exorcists have quite different ideas about it. I may disagree with
them, but accept that they are part of the human varieties. Right or wrong
(for me).

Reasons to prefer one position over the other? of course. I pretend to be a
pretty well trained so called *natural* scientist (although I dislike the
term) and formulated my views about the (physical?) world during the 2nd
part of the 20th century. I am still a 'member' of this reductionist
worldview, however I question some fundamental concepts (terms?) as
originating from conclusions in a model based observation and applied to a
wider view.

Best regards

John.

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