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HUMOUR-RESEARCH  December 2008

HUMOUR-RESEARCH December 2008

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Subject:

Re: Re; Humor and not humor

From:

"[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Humour-Research <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 4 Dec 2008 20:34:01 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (101 lines)

Jim,

I saw more "politics" in the academic world than in politics, but I 
understand your concern for finding complex truth. Anyway, my model of 
argument for truth is not a political debate but a continuous trial by 
court, where evidence is sought under oath. And whatever we do we cannot 
prevent prejudice for preconceived ideas, we have to show flexibility. I 
am not religious about The Tickle but if you can't cite a reference 
situation of humor, a standard measure if you like, then please say so 
and lets cooperate to define one, but we got to have a measure if we are 
doing science. Being partially subjective doesn't mean being unscientific.

Finally, I would appreciate it if you could call me by name, it is more 
friendly.

Have a good holiday.

Faisal



Jim Lyttle wrote:
> Quoting "[log in to unmask]" 
> <[log in to unmask]>:
>
>>  ... I don't see anything  wrong with taking sides in an
>> argument, or else how are we going to reach the truth?
>
>
> I cannot explain this better than the Blind Men story, but I will try 
> anyway because it is absolutely essential.
>
> It is literally impossible (well, almost) to arrive at truth, if we 
> begin with a "position" (in other words, we already think XYZ is the 
> truth). We have seen many cases of police trying to pin a crime on 
> someone who they feel is likely guilty. We have seen religious cults 
> and UFO groups find evidence that supports what they already believe 
> ... it is nonsense.
>
> Debate is a good way to tackle political issues, because there is no 
> scientific way to "settle" opinions (or, at least, rarely). Should we 
> have more freedom, so citizens can express themselves and grow and 
> feel diginity ... or should we have more control so that conventions 
> are not challenged and we have security for our citizens? What is the 
> right balance between these? There is no right answer to such a 
> question, so we can invite a speaker on each side of the issue. They 
> can yell "Hooray for our side" in a variety of ways. People can decide 
> for themselves who "won" the debate, and that may even be useful. At 
> the very least, it should raise food for thought from people who care 
> about the issue. But this depends on whether the best spokesperson was 
> selected for each side, whether the moderator enforced fairness, 
> whether all sides of the issue were represented, whether there really 
> is a more-or-less equal debate, and so forth.
>
> Any attempt to do science like that is out of order. Imagine the 
> following "fair and balanced" debate. One scientist from a local 
> college is invited to argue in favor of gravity and one Transendental 
> Meditator is invited to argue for "yogic flying." What possible use is 
> this debate? What possible truth can be found by seeing who can argue 
> best? What possible benefit is there in discovering which debator 
> forgot a comma in their argument? This is assinine and leads to 
> utterly ridiculous conclusions (to put it harshly).
>
> Where we are actually seeking truth, instead of just excitement and 
> frolic, we have to adopt a scientific method of inquiry (science, of 
> course, means knowledge). First, we cannot take up sides. Only a fool 
> is committed to the outcome of a process that has not even begun 
> (unless it is a soccer game ...).
>
> Second, we must represent each others' positions as charitably as 
> possible, so they can potentially be combined into a comprehensive 
> result. In religion, for example, it is common for people to compare 
> the values and ideals of their religion against the practice of 
> someone else's religion. A child can see that this is ridiculous. 
> Compare the ideals, or compare the practices. When there is fair 
> dialogue among views, there is the possibility of synthesizing them in 
> some way and moving closer to truth. This could easily take several 
> decades. But, when there is "Hooray for our side," we can expect fun 
> and acrimony and competition and several good things - but absolutely 
> no science (knowledge) whatsoever.
>
> In short, taking up sides is the diametric opposite of searching for 
> truth.
>
> Some old saying, perhaps Irish, goes something like this:
>
> Please God, surround me those who seek the Truth.
> And deliver me from those who have found it.
>
> ------------------
> JIM LYTTLE, Ph.D.
> 139 E HIGH ST APT 9
> POTTSTOWN, PA 19464
> BB: (610) 850-5050
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
>

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