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View Diary: 'Belief' in Global Warming? (27 comments)

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  •  In defense of "belief" (5+ / 0-)

    The expression “believe in” is often used in a religious sense.  To avoid that connotation, one should say “believe that,” as in “I believe that there is global warming.”

    In any debate where some proposition P is under dispute, it begs the question to say “P is a fact,” or “I know that P.”  A more reasonable approach is to assert, “I believe that P,” and then given reasons for holding that belief.  It shows respect for the other person’s point of view, which is important, if we wish to persuade him to our own.  Dogmatic assertions like “it is a fact” or “I know” will only make the person with whom you are debating more obstinate, and less amenable to reason.

    Of course, that presupposes that one wishes to persuade, and not merely express contempt for those who think otherwise.

    •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

      To move to words with even fewer connotations, might I suggest

      I think that...

      rather than

      I believe that...

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 12:27:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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