Re: THEORY: Are commands to believe infelicitous?
|From:||Joseph Bridwell <zhosh@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, May 26, 2005, 15:38|
> I propose that any imperative form of the
> verb "to believe" is infelicitous unless
> spoken to a computer.
In general, I agree if I ignore the issues of mental capability, and
what "believe" might or might not mean to someone else. "love" is a
similar verb for me.
> I propose that natural humans cannot consciously
> choose whether or not to believe certain
> propositions in the face of evidence to the contrary,
> nor in the absence of evidence in favor.
How are you defining "natural humans"? Those falling within the
means of mental & physical bell-curve? Being untouched by any
society and pressures? ?
I believe that the average man on the street does indeed "believe"
regardless of contrary evidence or absence of evidence. I myself do:
I choose to believe that consciousness survives death since to
believe otherwise implies to me meaninglessness to my actions past,
present and future. Thus, for me, "believe" and "need" have a closer
connection; and further, that solid evidence changes belief into
fact for whomever accepts the evidence.
> Does anyone know of various ways various
> languages have handled different versions
> of ideas similar to "to choose to believe"?
> Perhaps by different voices (middle voice
> maybe), different moods, or just different verbs?
IIRC, some Austronesian languages use evidence morphemes: e.g.
directly evident to anyone, directly experienced by the speaker,
told to the speaker by another, hypothetical/dreamed by the speaker,
> How is the commandment to believe, and/or
> the choice to believe, handled in various
> languages? How SHOULD it be handled in a
Should? However the creator of that conlang choses. Do you