I don't "know" a right position from a wrong one either, I'm only trying to 
make the best guess I can given the evidence. Sometimes I really have no idea, 
like choosing which way a tossed coin will come up. Other times I do have 
evidence on which to base a belief, such as the belief that the world was not 
in fact created in six 24-hr days. It is certainly possible that I am wrong, 
and the evidence for a very old universe has either been fabricated or grossly 
misinterpreted, but I would bet on being right. Wouldn't you also, if something 
you valued depended on the bet?
Stathis Papaioannou

From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeDate: Wed, 7 
Feb 2007 18:28:25 -0500

And you, Stathis, are very kind to assume that I "know' a right position from a 
wromng one. I may be in indecision before I denigrate...
On the contrary. if someone 'believes' the 6 day creation, I start speculating 
WHAT "days" they could have been metaphorically, starfting before the solar 
system led us to our present ways of scheduling. Etc. Etc. Accepting that 
whatever we 'believe' is our epistemic achievement, anything 'from yesterday' 
might have been 'right' (maybe except the old Greeks - ha ha). in their own 
Sometimes I start an argument about a "different" (questionable?) belief just 
to tickle out arguments which I did not consider earlier. But that is my dirty 
I am a bad judge and always ready to reconsider.
John M

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Stathis Papaioannou 
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 5:54 PM
Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life
John,Some people, including the mentally ill, do have multiple inconsistent 
belief systems, but to me that makes it clear that at least one of their 
beliefs must be wrong - even in the absence of other information. You're much 
kinder to alternative beliefs than I am, but in reality, you *must* think that 
some beliefs are wrong, otherwise you would hold those beliefs! For example, if 
you say you don't personally believe the earth was created in six days, but 
respect the right of others to believe that it was, what you're really saying 
is that you respect the right of others to have a false belief. I have no 
dispute with that, as long as it is acknowledged.Stathis Papaioannou

From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeDate: Tue, 6 
Feb 2007 11:07:52 -0500
no question about that. What I was trying to stress was the futility of arguing 
from one belief system (and stressing its solely expanded "truth") against a 
different "truth and evidence" carrying OTHER belief system.
BTW: don't schyzophrenics (maybe multiple personalitics) accept (alternately) 
ALL the belief systems they carry? (=layman asking the professional). 
IMO we all (i.e. thinking people) are schizophrenix with our rather elastic 
ways of intelligence. Beatus ille qui est "onetrackminded"..(the 9th 
To your initial sentence: do you believe (in YOUR criteria of your beliefs) 
that TWO people may have absolutely identical beliefs? I am almost certain that 
as your immune system, DNA, fingerprint and the other zillion characteristics 
are not identical to those of other animals, the mental makeup is similarly 
We are not zombies of a mechanically computerized machine-identity (Oops, no 
reference to Loeb). Duo si faciunt (cogitant?) idem, non est idem. 
John M

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Stathis Papaioannou 
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:38 AM
Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life
John,You shouldn't have one criterion for your own beliefs and a different 
criterion for everyone else's. If Christians said, "those old Greeks sang songs 
about their gods' miraculous exploits, really seemed to believe in them, and on 
top of that were pretty smart, so I guess everything in the Iliad and Odyssey 
must be true", then they would be consistently applying the standards they 
apply to the Bible. Of course, they don't: other peoples' religious beliefs are 
subjected to rational scrutiny and (rightly) found wanting, but their own 
beliefs are special. Stathis Papaioannou

Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 09:17:57 -0500From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: 
Re: The Meaning of LifeStathis:is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one 
set of belief system ONLY with a person who carries two (or even more)? I had a 
brother-in-law, a devout catholic and an excellent biochemist and when I asked 
him how can he adjust the two in one mind, he answered:"I never mix the two 
together". Tom is an excellent natural scientist and has brilliant arguments in 
it, as long as it comes to his 'other' belief system - what he, quite 
inderstandably - does not want to give up. We all have 'second belief bases' in 
our multiple schizophrenia of intelligence. Some have 'Platonia', some 
'primitive matter view' - it is your profession. Do you really think you can 
penetrate one by arguments from another?John 
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