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April 06, 2005


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How can someone take issue with your assertion the imagined is highly unlikely to be true??? I can imagine a lot of things, that doesn't necessarily make them so...

Good job debunking these poor misguided people.

I thought it was most instructive that she equated the "truth" of her discipline with mythology and fiction.

This was really just a politician's answer. Talk quite a bit without actually addressing the real question. People like that try to throw piles of words, especially if they're words that most people have to look up, at people in order to obscure that fact that they have no answer to the question. I've seen this time and again on various forums, and it's begun to wear me down somewhat. How does a person who purports to be educated and intelligent totally ignore facts and reason and yet still claim any credibility. Amazing.

I'd also like to say that science is in fact still the only paradigm, and is the sole custodian of truth. What she's trying to say here is that 'you can't say it's not true just because I made it up, things are as true as I want them to be.' Well, crap, things are only true if they're verifiable and internally consistant. Just wanting something to be true, and saying over and over that it is true, does not in fact, make it true. I can say that my left foot is pure gold all I want, and the belief might persist so long as I don't look directly at the foot, but it's not gold! Sometimes I just want to scream at people to wake up. Look, it's just a foot you moron.

Great posts, as usual. Basically it all comes down to the old "Science can't explain everything either nyah nyah nyah!" Well, science might not be able to explain everything, but astrology explains nothing so I know which side I'd rather be on.

Although I total agree with you on this (and everything else I read on your - rather good - blog) I think you'd come of more fair and balanced if you just posted the other parties whole reply, rather that just the bit's you're taking the piss out of. Or at least linked to a page with it on or something.

As someone who is profoundly in love with both fiction and mythology (without laying claim to either of them as my field) I'd just like to say that what she has to say about truth is both true and utter garbage.

Actually, it would be truer (ha!) to say that it's equivocation.

Mythology and fiction can be 'true' in the sense that it can resonate with the reader or hearer on a (culturally conditioned) level where it acquires meaning and therefore a kind of 'truth'; this is in the sense of 'beauty is truth and truth, beauty'. Since much of our experience of life is subjective, some kinds of 'truth' are also subjective.

This is wholly different from 'true' as in 'real', though. I can cheerfully (and justifiably) say that (for example) there's a lot of truth in the legends about Maui; if I were to imply by that that they were in any factual sense real or true, though, I'd expect to see the inside of a nice soft-walled bedroom.

And the jackass spammers attack!! Now you know this site is popular! Funny they try to peddle their bunk on a skeptics blog...

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