What's the difference?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by StrangerInAStrangeLand, May 28, 2015.

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    But it is logically possible to not believe that God exists and to not believe that God does not exist at the same time.
    And if a person has no belief on the subject, does that person believe that God exists? No.
    There is simply no answer contrary to that that you can give (without it being mere arm-waving and evasion).
    So if a person says "no" to the question of "do you believe...?", how is that different to the person saying "I do not believe..."?
    And if a person who lacks belief says "I do not believe...", and a person who has belief in the non-existence of God also says "I do not believe..." there is clearly an ambiguity to the sentence "I do not believe..." that you have failed to identify, or at least fail to allow for.
    None of which alters the person's simple answer of "no" to the question of "do you believe...?"
    Q: "Do you believe that God exists?"
    A: "No, I do not believe that God exists?" - because they have no belief.
    By that answer, are they saying that they therefore believe that God does not exist? You seem to think so, despite accepting that the person may be without belief.
    But we have been round this all before and still it doesn't seem to sink in. Old dogs and new tricks, eh?

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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Not on the planet I inhabit. You may not have enough evidence to have an opinion on the subject, in which case you'd say,
    "I have no opinion on the subject because I find the evidence insufficient to support either the belief that God exists or the belief that he does not."
     
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  5. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    In other words, you do not believe that God exists - which, as you correctly acknowledge, is different to believing that God does not exist.
     
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  7. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

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    All well and good, but you have taken an elitist position in many of your posts in this thread, claiming superior knowledge of English language usage, belittling the backgrounds and comments of others, patronizing their attempts to explain to you the differences that everyone else sees, seeking to browbeat them into submission and generally acting like a smug, pretentious ass. Frankly, I think that is something you should lose some sleep over.
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Thanks for the advice.
     
  9. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

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    Thanks for the sarcasm.
     
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    There was an astronaut in the 1970s who "failed" a colour-vision test because he saw colours that he wasn't "supposed" to see. His question was, "Why am I the one who's colour-blind when I can see something that you can't see?"
     
  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    There are the Ishihara tests for colour blindness, and in one I saw a certain number, only to find out that this meant I had a type of colour-blindness... and "normal people" weren't supposed to see the number. I had the same question as the Astronaut! Admittedly I couldn't see what other people apparently saw quite clearly in many other slides.
    Apparently the "normal people" win.

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  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    The Ishihara test has some plates that are specifically designed so that people with normal colour vision see something different to people with a certain colour defect. In some cases, this means that people with the "defect" can see things that "normal" people can't see. In certain real-life situations, having "normal" colour vision is actually a handicap, but by and large colour vision is a benefit (which presumably is why it was evolutionarily selected for).
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I didn't mean it that way. I always appreciate constructive criticism, even if I don't ultimately take it to heart.
     
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Does this mean that these people have a fourth kind color receptor, like many birds and other creatures?

    It was recently discovered that many bird species have ultraviolet pigmentation in their feathers. This is why they can distinguish the males from the females, and why we think they all look alike.

    Some insects have as many as seven kinds of color receptors.
     
  15. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    .
    1 - All of those parents don't care much about their children's education.

    2 - Not all of those parents care much about their children's education.

    .
     
  16. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    1 - None do.
    2 - Some do, some don't.
     
  17. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    1 - All night, I tried to get her to talk about it.

    2 - I tried to get her to talk about it all night.

    .
     
  18. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    1 Because of your health, you cannot be turned down.

    2 You cannot be turned down because of your health.

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  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    "Some do, some don't." This is the correct answer. Nonetheless, it is an awkward sentence that will easily be misunderstood.

    The sentence you're looking for would be: "None of those parents care much about their children's education."
     
  20. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    What does "All of those parents" seem to mean to you?

    "All Muslims believe in Allah" clearly means no Muslim does not believe in Allah.
    Yet "All Muslims are not terrorists" does not just as clearly mean no Muslim is a terrorist???

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  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    That is correct. The sentence construction you're looking for is, "Not all Muslims are terrorists."

    "All Muslims are not terrorists" carries the same meaning, but it's not quite as clear as saying "Not all Muslims are terrorists."
     
  22. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    No. That is not correct. It does not mean 1 thing in 1 sentence yet something else in another. If we want to say "Not all Muslims are terrorists." then "All Muslims are not terrorists" is not only unclear, it is wrong.

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  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    You are making an assumption about the context and intent of the statement, such as: that it is intended to be taken as a statement of fact - and therefore you are assuming that the only logical interpretation is the one that confirms with fact.
     

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