Subject: Re: Comparing development effort : Lisp and functional languages versus Java. From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 10:27:57 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp,comp.lang.java,comp.lang.functional,comp.lang.scheme Message-ID: <email@example.com> * israel r t <firstname.lastname@example.org> | Is there any objective evidence for this statement? * email@example.com (Software Scavenger) > Can anyone even prove it's less than 100 to 1? * israel r t <firstname.lastname@example.org> | No. : | That would be patently absurd. Please try to figure out that your request for "objective evidence" has been shown to be nothing more than a hostile rhetorical device devoid of constructive value when you answered "no" to a question that should be much easier to prove on your part, "objective evidence" clearly being instrumental in a proof. When you cannot dish up any "objective evidence" for a counter-claim an order of magnitude stronger than the one you request it for, what is patently absurd is your initial request. People who are so ill educated in logic that they talk about "proof" and "objective evidence" in informal settings, fail to understand that what they are doing is simply being hostile idiots wielding a weapon that they do not understand. In a formal setting, "evidence" and "proof" derive their legitimacy on consensus and unanimity of both principles and premises of the field. Since this is clearly very useful and valuable in mathematics and physics, some people who do not understand _how_ it is valuable have instead been seriously confused and think that failure to "prove" something or failure to provide "objective evidence" is somehow a weakness of the other party to their discussion until one starts to think about how little of what we hold to be true that we can prove to a person who has signalled not only disbelief, but a requirement to believe in it that far exceeds any requirements satisfied by anything he already believes. Using "proof" and "objective evidence" in a rhetorical fashion like this is nothing more than evidence of a person's lack of ability to deal with his feelings of congitive dissonance -- the feeling of conflict between what he already believes and what he is asked to believe. What this is a good symptom of, is a person who has believed only the first thing he has heard basically without evidence or proof whatsoever, but when it needs to be disproven or replaced by another belief, he applies a standard of truth to it that is intended to show only two things: (1) that what he already believes remains unchallenged, and (2) that whatever challenged it did not stand up under scrutiny. This would not be so bad if people always believed true and proven things, but since they mostly believe a lot of nonsense, and only those who believe a lot of nonsense use "proof" and "objective evidence" to fight off challenges (those who know that their own beliefs are true and proven, can simply provide some evidence of their own beliefs to counter unfounded claims), using the tools of logic in a petty and hostile reaction to things one does not want to hear is somewhat ironically a strong signal to their surroundings that they lack strength of conviction in their own beliefs. How should we then face new information that challenges our current beliefs? Assume it is true and see what follows. Of course, if we do this, idiots who fail to understand that the level of goodwill required by this methodology will waste a lot of our time. Idiots who refuse to back down from their false beliefs and/or sheer insanity, then become a source of flame wars and continued spurts of hatred on USENET. /// -- The past is not more important than the future, despite what your culture has taught you. Your future observations, conclusions, and beliefs are more important to you than those in your past ever will be. The world is changing so fast the balance between the past and the future has shifted.