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Re: THEORY: Are commands to believe infelicitous

From:Sai Emrys <saizai@...>
Date:Thursday, June 30, 2005, 2:49
> Eeek. No, no. My life is chaotic enough without the aid of Eris.
Perhaps it's *with* her blessing that it is so? :-P
> IMO, whether or not it is ethical isn't something for debate here > unless that influences a conculture and through that the language(s) > of that conculture.
Well, it goes together with "preparatory felicity" for me. Why wouldn't you ask someone to do something you know they can't do? Because it's unethical. That's distinct from "because it's infelicitous", because that is not a reason to do or not do something (like making that request), whereas ethics is. But I don't claim my ethics are necessary truths. ;-)
> Okay, so there can be a temporal limit where infelicitous become > felicitous.
Or you have to extend it to whether you're willing to include the command to *become* capable of doing X, if not currently. At which point it becomes a question of whether it is *possible* to be capable of doing X... in which case we've got at least a couple anecdotal points that it is. :-)
> Yet societies do this all the time. E.g. telling persons that they > must believe in a particular god or view of that god; telling Gays > that they must be straight; telling citizens that they must believe > in justness of this or that war. And these aren't instances of > persuasive argument, but are backed up by anything from > ostracization to making a person's life hell-on-earth to death.
Sure. And I consider them to be completely unethical, in addition to being (rather obbviously) ineffectual. *shrug* The only plausibly effectual argument I can see is to demonstrate that one can develop the capability, and then to argue that a) you should develop it and b) you should implement it. But I think that's a bit more hardcore metaphysical than most of your "Be Normal, Or Else" folk are likely to get. And of course, there's the sidestep - which is what seems to be actually requested / desired in most cases - which is that it is not actually a request for belief (or whatever), but a request for behavior *as if* there is that belief. I.e. to "act straight" etc. And that, indeed, can be a very effective and convincing argument, as well as a lot more easily implemented.
> > felicitous; but, with me and not-so-much-with-Joseph, these cases > > do not form a majority, but rather a very small minority. > > Even though Sai says himself that he can do it?
Muh? I think we're definitely a very small minority... - Sai