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 Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Fri 26 Feb 2016, 09:55

To discuss invites one to examine all sides of a subject but rarely is that actually done. Mind set,  sometimes veiled, intrudes. Politicians hope to change opinion and sometimes do - but perhaps it is a change of electorate that makes effect; by which I mean voters abstain and don't change. That's just a thought. To change ones opinion - without material benefit or thrusting blade is a serious affair. Could we discuss this with some historical instances? Or perhaps our Gov-nord could re-word the topic better for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Fri 26 Feb 2016, 10:59

Or to quote someone from the latter US presidential elections, 'Don't confuse the issue with facts' - this might imho be a valid point in many discussions.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Fri 26 Feb 2016, 11:16

Since I really haven't a clue what the "topic" might actually be about I wouldn't dare change the title!

Changing someone else's opinion is relatively easy, I would have thought. Changing their mind-set throws up a whole different challenge, I think. But both can be achieved certainly without necessarily resorting to anything other than pure persuasion. No promise of material benefit or threat of violence has to be required, at least not in every instance. However I would maintain that this does not preclude all kinds of "benefit" - any rational person would weigh the benefit of adopting a new stance as a matter of course, and though it may not be material it is no less vital a consideration for all that.

The problem with finding historical examples of such persuasion is in choosing which of the several million examples that spring to mind deserve to be singled out. Bearing Nielsen's sage advice above in mind, had you also something in mind?
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Fri 26 Feb 2016, 11:26

I think people have mindset attitudes on racial issues, for instance. And people can have changes of opinion on matters of conscience such as penal code matters. Is my wording so awful - I wondered if you might take issue. I would have thought that there are  many instances of people considering where they stand on issues which to not affect them in any other way except for a change in society or for making a stand. Regardless of what I have in mind, I am a tad dismayed that you don't anything in mind. If it is as bad a topic as that perhaps I had better wipe it off. Doesn't mind set prejudice ever touch you? Am I getting into deep and hot water  with you yet again?
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Fri 26 Feb 2016, 11:42

I haven't a clue what type of water you're getting into. I still don't know what you're talking about.

@Priscilla wrote:
I would have thought that there are  many instances of people considering where they stand on issues which to not affect them in any other way except for a change in society or for making a stand.

Millions, I would say. In fact it's the default position everyone is expected to adopt when voting in a democracy, isn't it?
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sat 27 Feb 2016, 13:39

This, surely, could be an interesting and successful topic: Priscilla's threads after all do usually attract thousands of views for the site, even if, as some posters seem to think, it all happens by accident, or by fluke.

That said, I must confess that I too am a tad confused. Do you want us, Priscilla, to discuss persuasion - how opinion gets changed; or should we explore how influential people who have changed their minds and their policies are seen, regarded, judged? Do you want examples of great historical changes of minds, plus our comments? Can we chatter about all of these? I promise not to mention the R-word - or I'll try not to. I'm immediately thinking of Thomas Cranmer who famously recanted his recantation as he died - a dramatic change of mind if ever there was one, and a decision that was startlingly effective. He became a Protestant hero.

Would it be useful to define terms? What do we really mean when we talk about "opinion"? What exactly is "mindset" (a relatively modern term, I believe); and what about "cognitive bias"? I am also thinking - quite randomly - of other expressions possibly linked to the topic: "crossing the floor"; "change of heart"; "changing one's tune"; "apostate" (Julian the Apostate wasn't a complete disaster was he?).

A proclivity for changing one's mind - especially if done too frequently - is usually seen as a weakness, especially in a leader. No one admires or respects a woolly ditherer, and "inconsistent" is rarely used as a compliment. Wasn't it said of the Tsar of Russia (not sure which one) that Russian imperial policy depended on the opinions held by the last person he had spoken to? Not good. Yet intransigence can also be disastrous. And it must be said that chopping and changing can confuse the opposition with the most satisfying results. Elizabeth I was an expert at this, as indeed was her father.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sat 27 Feb 2016, 17:05

@Temperance wrote:
And it must be said that chopping and changing can confuse the opposition with the most satisfying results. Elizabeth I was an expert at this, as indeed was her father.
Except that his (and to a lesser extent her) chopping tended to be slightly terminal - for the choppee, at least.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sat 27 Feb 2016, 17:06

Ah yes, Temps. You have seen the breadth of the subject - so does it matter which aspect you want to discuss? And yes, sir, Gov, sir, millions do change their minds about voting, anyway. Mind set, I suppose to mean those whose opinion is unwavering and constant. I do not consider this an altogether healthy attitude. Well, thus the topic stands - I had hoped it could be better worded but that has been dismissed. So begin where you like......no else any thoughts? Is there a little emotion thingy for pussyfooting about in case of contention?
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sat 27 Feb 2016, 17:28

@Priscilla wrote:
I had hoped it could be better worded but that has been dismissed.

Not dismissed at all. In fact I strongly encourage you to do so, and sincerely wish you would.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sat 27 Feb 2016, 17:39

Not sure how to.So.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sat 27 Feb 2016, 18:34

If you go back to your first post and choose the green Edit button then you can edit the content and repost it. However as it's the first post you will see that you can also change the actual title too.

If I were you I'd do both. There's a "tad" too much breadth in the subject as it stands, and while Temp deserves your kudos for spotting same, I suspect that this isn't in fact the hard bit to spot. The actual point of the thread however is a considerably bigger test of eyesight as it currently stands.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sat 27 Feb 2016, 22:59

Oh dear. Of courseI know how it's done - don't be a lemon. I don't know how to reword it. So,
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 07:44

Could turn into a interesting discussion but why the suggestion to Priscilla to edit her first posting.

In doing so Priscilla is changing her mind and that is what the posting is all about.

People often change their mind because they are quick to part with THEIR opinion without thinking it all through.

As a matter of fact a example of such will be the next 4 months in Britain deliberating and talking about IN or OUT of the European Union.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 08:36

Dirk M wrote:
Could turn into a interesting discussion but why the suggestion to Priscilla to edit her first posting.

It wasn't my suggestion - it was her own and I was agreeing with it. I also thought she was asking advice about how one edits thread titles. But apparently she wasn't and now I am a lemon.

I agree with you in that the present debate in the UK about membership of the EU will appear to reveal quite a lot of mind changing on the part of a significant number of prospective voters. What a lot of this will be in reality is people who thought they held an opinion finding out that an uninformed opinion is difficult to maintain in debate.

Where this can (and likely will) become problematic is when a considerable number of them are in fact uninformable people anyway, either through complete apathy or sheer ignorance (either naturally disposed to be or rendered thus by a badly proposed option, as the EU referendum looks like being anyway). Persuasion counts for little with such people - the ignorant tend to retreat into their ignorance and declare it a virtue that they will proudly (and vociferously) defend. The apathetic go along with anything and nothing with equally tepid enthusiasm, meaning where their X settles on a ballot paper is anyone's guess, not really because they have changed their mind so frequently but because the more persuasive arguments they hear the less able to maintain an actual opinion they actually become.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 08:44

nordman wrote:
Persuasion counts for little with such people - the ignorant tend to retreat into their ignorance and declare it a virtue they will proudly (and vociferously) defend. The apathetic go along with anything and nothing, meaning where their X settles on a ballot paper is anyone's guess, not really because they have changed their mind so frequently but because the more persuasive arguments they hear the less able to maintain an actual opinion they actually become.

Yep, democracy can be a scary thing all right. Only yesterday I saw a sticker on a (dirty) white van which proclaimed:

Sod off, E.U.
Vote Leave.


It had several little Saint George flags stuck around it. An anonymous voter - who obviously agreed with the van owner's political argument -  had scrawled in the grime on the van an exhortation to Europe generally to go forth and multiply.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 09:30

That said, I am seriously concerned about the threatened E.U. kettle ban. What is this all about? Was there some obscure clause in the Maastricht Treaty that mentioned kettles? Did the UK in 1992 opt out of any such provision to ban kettles, if such a ban is ever deemed necessary in Brussels? I hope we did.



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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 10:02

There is no ban, threatened or otherwise. There is commission funded research into standardising high wattage devices so that they meet the environmental standards already implemented in Europe, even in Britain, under British law. What British (or indeed most EU countries') laws) do not cover is selling devices which contravene the standards produced either whole or in part outside the EU.

In the case of kettles this applies to elements which wastefully employ more current than is transferred into heat, even though they boil the water fractionally quicker than most low-watt compliant elements and on that basis are marketed as "super". Big manufacturers such as Philips, Dimplex and the like all avail of the fact that they now manufacture in the Far East to get around the existing legislation and sell what are in effect kettles that eat your electricity at double the rate of a compliant device while boiling your water a few seconds earlier. You might be interested in knowing that one kettle manufacturer in the UK sticks completely to the legislation and in fact - according to Which magazine - also conserves electricity while boiling water fastest of all, thanks to a well designed element. Burco, completely British still.

This is what I mean by uninformed opinion. All who read the widely syndicated "EU wants to ban our kettles" stories rife in yesterday's UK press would be forgiven for thus not actually learning that such a ban on badly built elements would in fact place the UK, at least temporarily, as one of the leading compliant manufacturers of that particular device.

However it is so much easier to concoct headlines with "EU" and "Ban" in them, and what better way than to deliver the associated "story" in a xenophobic slurry of indignation whipped up over something that isn't actually happening at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 10:09

I was joking you know, nordmann.

Good old Daily Express. This is actually old news:


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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 10:19

You may have been joking - but it is still a very good example of how "opinion", without actual knowledge supporting it, is hardly worth holding by the individual (who in this case ends up persuaded to willingly spend a fortune in electricity bills which the legislation would be designed to have helped them to avoid), but is most definitely worth engendering by media organs intent on financial profit from sales of newspapers, as well as by politicians whose currency is the power and wealth they accrue from appointment to public office.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 10:23

@nordmann wrote:
However it is so much easier to concoct headlines with "EU" and "Ban" in them .... ,

... with some admittedly good puns: Brussels pulls the plug to take the steam out of Bexit ... Brussels in hot water ... kettle ban is toast ... EU waffles while toast burns, etc Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 10:27

Very Happy

(Oh dear, MM's and Temp's gleeful children/adolescent ego-states are here responding to nord's strict, controlling parent ego-state. )

Yes, I was aware of all that, nordmann.

It will be the migrant, not the kettle, issue that decides things here. And the sod off response to being dictated to that is very English, I'm afraid.

But the whole debate is certainly getting people talking about things other than potholes in the lanes.


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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 11:01

The "migrant" non-issue, surely? I can't see Britain (or should that be England & Northern Ireland?) getting a better deal than Norway (the EU needs Norwegian gas to prevent it being even more beholden to President Putrid's oligarch mates),and guess what? Norway had to sign up to the "free movement" provisions.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 11:24

Just to return briefly to the kettle issue, there is a long and complex discussion here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/unitedkingdom/comments/47ujgc/eu_pauses_plans_to_ban_superstrength_kettles_out

I'm afraid the following comment from a poster in Yorkshire rather sums up the attitude of many British voters:

"yeah dont f**k with the tea" (sic)

Ok, back to serious discussion of the migrant non-issue now.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 11:31

Exactly Gil, the 'migrant' non-issue is spot on. I've been following the Brexitbrat's tantrums over the last while and I don't think I've ever seen a bigger load of codswallop spouted as fact in quite a while. Especially the whinge about 'loss of sovereignty' coming from Little Engerlanders in one breath and the next expounding the rise of the Empire and a return to the glory days again. The irony of it seems to completely escape these people, if it werent' so serious a matter it would be hilarious.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 11:35

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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 13:08

But is this talk of kettles (my fault) and migrants actually what Priscilla had in mind when she started this topic? It is all too easy - and tempting - for people to slip into a pub-type "discussion" about the referendum, especially as it offers great opportunity for us to laugh at ourselves - which we English do all the time, believe it or not.

But isn't the serious question that Priscilla wanted us to examine more about how opinion is formed - and the rather worrying idea that discussion is really of very little actual use? Has any contributor here actually changed his or her mind about anything as a result of what other posters have said or argued? I have, but I, probably like many others, am pretty wary of admitting too much. Changing one's mind, after all, is all too often seen as weakness - and an admission of "defeat". Priscilla herself hinted at such - can't access her comment now, but will look for the relevant remark in a moment.



EDIT 1: Here it is:


@Priscilla wrote:
 Mind set, I suppose to mean those whose opinion is unwavering and constant. I do not consider this an altogether healthy attitude.



But you must admit it can be unhealthy. "Unwavering and constant" - mmm, all right as a sentiment on a Victorian Valentine card, I suppose, but a bit of a worrying attitude for any self-respecting postmodern thinker.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 23:03

Priscilla, 'umble, 'umble apologies. I misread your comment. I thought you had posted: "I do not consider this an altogether unhealthy attitude."

I was baffled - thought you meant that refusing to consider differing versions of "truth" was possibly a good thing!

Sorry.

I do hope I haven't killed this thread: I was in a somewhat facetious mood earlier, but above was a genuine mistake.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sun 28 Feb 2016, 23:15

I'll soon have enough lemons to make Limoncello - or whatever that Italian stuff is called. However, how opinions are formed and affected is as good a starting place as any for a broad reaching thread romp - even if the title is not precise enough for the Guv. 'e 'ad 'is chance to make a be''er wun.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Mon 29 Feb 2016, 08:13

@Priscilla wrote:
even if the title is not precise enough for the Guv. 'e 'ad 'is chance to make a be''er wun.

It is not my role here to edit other people's posts for them. If you have posted something that you are dissatisfied with you are free to edit or delete the content, or even just admit it as a bad job and start another more lucid thread if you wish. If I am a "guv" here it is solely in the matter of keeping the site functional and keeping the various forum categories more or less integral to their stated themes. Other people's content is not my concern, and nor should it ever be, except of course as material which might prompt a discussional reply from me - just as from any other member of the site.

Your assessment of my role here - which in the past has included allegations that I am behaving dictatorially - now seems to include that I should unilaterally take it upon myself to alter the texts, intentions and meaning of other people's contributions, including your own. You have in fact stated in the past that you suspect I do this furtively. I actually find that presumption offensive and cannot think of anything on my part which could prompt such a blatant misrepresentation of both my intentions and my actions here.

I have endeavoured to assist you many times in your perceived problems with this site's functionality, and would like to think that I managed to succeed each time. Being called a "lemon" for this, and being presumed to underhandedly or overtly edit other people's content, makes me wonder if the bloody thing is worthwhile pursuing at all.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Mon 29 Feb 2016, 08:46

Priscilla called me a lemon, too - bloody cheek.


5. slang a person or thing considered to be useless or defective


I won't try to make a joke of it all - much as I am tempted - because I too was somewhat mortified - and I had indeed been something of a lemon yesterday.

I will, therefore, leave you two to sort yourselves out - which I sincerely hope you will do.

May I repeat that this thread - defective wording notwithstanding - could be really good. Well, I think so.

PS A completely irrelevant aside: the word "lemon" was first recorded in English (meaning a fruit, not a complete idiot) in the late 16th century - surprisingly late, as surely lemons were used in cooking before then. Shakespeare mentioned the fruit only once, in Love's Labour's Lost. The first ever recorded use of "lemon" in literature was in a 10th century Arabic text.


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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Mon 29 Feb 2016, 09:06

I know I shouldn't, but I can't resist:










Sorry, nordmann - I know you are p*ssed off; but this made me laugh.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Mon 29 Feb 2016, 11:26

Oh dear! Apologies all round. I happen to like lemons. It was only that my idea for this thread probably lacked the skill to word the title and text well enough. I'll retire gracefully - or disgracefully - for a tad. and not open old wounds. Perhaps that will relieve a sensed mindset against me, nordmann, sir. And yes, you have helped me out over  difficulties which are appreciated - and hopefully voiced at the time - so my invitation to reword the original notion to be more succinct meant in words, here, and not diddling about with the set and the lighting back stage. (Tippy-toes out stage right trying not to knock over the prompt, director, stage hands and applecart. Close stage door silently) Fade to dimmers. Bring on the chorus.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Mon 29 Feb 2016, 13:49

Oh dear, this is dreadful; can't we all be friends again? There is so much I want to discus here.

If this poor, wretched thread really has been strangled at birth, it won't really matter if I bring up religion, will it?

I need to say that I have had my opinion changed by reading and thinking about what nordmann has posted in his many exchanges with Tim. I am not sucking (no lemon pun intended) up to nord here - I am simply trying to be honest. I have been woefully ignorant about many of the issues they discussed - or argued about - and, having now read a fair bit, I must concede that my old ideas were based on that ignorance, rather than on honest scholarship.

I have been reading Bart D. Ehrman's book, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Preacher From Galilee, this weekend, and there are a couple of things I should like to have confirmed. Ehrman ( a theologian/historian whom Tim has often mentioned, but whose work I have never read before this Saturday) is in a position which seems very similar to my own. Ehrman was a convinced, fundamentalist Christian (I never was that); became a liberal Christian (whatever that means, but that was, I suppose, how I should have described myself); but is now an agnostic. We both seem to be slipping down the ladder of belief: some would say, I suppose, we are hurtling down, not a ladder, but a snake - and to our own destruction. So be it.

Ehrman writes: "I receive a lot of e-mails from people who are concerned that I lost my faith. Many of them tell me that I must never have had a personal relationship with Jesus; obviously my faith was all intellectual and I "reasoned" my way out of it."

"Reasoned my way out of it". There's an interesting assessment for you. But it is possible, surely, not so much as to "reason" one's way out of something, as to think about it in a new way? Isn't that a good - and a healthy - thing?

I should also like to ask a question - from a squawking, fledgeling historian's angle - about how texts which purport to be "historical", should be tackled. Ehrman mentions three criteria we should have in mind when thinking about the historicity of the New Testament writings:

1. the criterion of independent attestation;
2. the criterion of dissimilarity;
3. the criterion of contextual credibility.

Are these still the accepted criteria, or have things changed?

Some will argue - rightly? - that faith has nothing to do with "scholarship" - but getting facts quite wrong is never helpful. Or rather what is not helpful is asserting as factual that which is opinion or belief only.



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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Tue 01 Mar 2016, 07:27

So there you have it. The history has won. Yet not quite. Before I disappear, I must add this - that my faith in a transcendent Higher Power – whose messenger was Jesus of Nazareth – remains unshakeable. And that is something it's impossible to debate or discuss or analyse.

Crazy maybe - sad even - but there you have it.

Over and out.

PS Just for Priscilla - my good and sane friend: GGG!
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Tue 01 Mar 2016, 08:24

Temp wrote:
And that is something it's impossible to debate or discuss or analyse.

Because it defies analysis and discussion per se, or because you won't allow it?
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Tue 01 Mar 2016, 11:30

@Temperance wrote:
So there you have it. The history has won. Yet not quite. Before I disappear, I must add this - that my faith in a transcendent Higher Power – whose messenger was Jesus of Nazareth – remains unshakeable. And that is something it's impossible to debate or discuss or analyse.

Crazy maybe - sad even - but there you have it.

Over and out.

PS Just for Priscilla - my good and sane friend: GGG!

There's a worrying ring of finality about that, Temp, I hope I'm reading too much into it and you are only departing this thread - and only temporarily.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Tue 01 Mar 2016, 14:32

@ferval wrote:


There's a worrying ring of finality about that, Temp, I hope I'm reading too much into it and you are only departing this thread - and only temporarily.


That's really kind of you ferval - thank you. I am pretty depressed at the moment, but I'll bounce back. Too much religion and a bitter east wind isn't good for the soul. It's milder today and We Speak No Treason - a nice easy novel about Richard III - has arrived this morning, so I'll soon cheer up.


@nordmann wrote:
Temp wrote:And that is something it's impossible to debate or discuss or analyse.
Because it defies analysis and discussion per se, or because you won't allow it?


Oh, I'll talk about anything, me. But what's the point of trying to explain the inexplicable? I'll sound stupid; you'll run rings round me; and ferval and MM will be bored rigid.

I'm sticking with my version of a quotation from Benjamin Jowett - the great Victorian classicist at Oxford and an expert on Plato. The original saying, quoted by Margo Asquith, was:

"My dear child, you must believe in God, despite what the clergy tell you."

My version is: "My dear child, you must believe in God, despite what the clergy - and nordmann - tell you."

I suppose the interesting word is "child".

Here is the old chap giving us all a stern look.

Sorry, Benjy, you've got to go.


Last edited by Temperance on Tue 01 Mar 2016, 14:48; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Tue 01 Mar 2016, 14:37

Smile


Careful with Getty Images - they actually employ people to trawl the net looking for copyright breaches and threaten dire revenge (I assume ear-lopping and the like).

This one of Benjy is alright to use (though he looks a right sanctimonious twat in it compared to the Getty one):

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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Tue 01 Mar 2016, 14:39

He does rather.

Should I remove my pic then?
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Tue 01 Mar 2016, 14:45

I would - our legal fund is rather low at the minute. I used it all on the wallpaper.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Tue 01 Mar 2016, 15:26

@Temperance wrote:

Oh, I'll talk about anything, me. But what's the point of trying to explain the inexplicable? ..... and ferval and MM will be bored rigid.

Actually, Temp, I have found all the discussions about the historicity and mythology of Christ and St Paul, all very interesting and informative. I rarely contribute because I really don't have anything much to say, though I do wish I knew more. It's just all rather inexplicable to me too.


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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Tue 01 Mar 2016, 16:25

Why on earth would I be bored, rigid or otherwise? The historicity and mythology are, as MM says, fascinating and I look forward to each new contribution, in fact I'm probably responsible for a high percentage of the 'views' on this thread.

As you were then, how about continuing Temps point from yesterday's post which I could - provocatively - interpret as Is faith that is amenable to reason not really faith?


ps, I argue most with my dearest friends, that's what being friends permits.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Wed 02 Mar 2016, 11:43

Well, to be honest I'm more concerned now with the history of it all: like old Bart I am no longer obsessed with the theological question of how God became a man, but with the historical question of how a man became God. It is fascinating stuff; I'm glad you and MM think so too. I always thought I could hear groans from you two whenever I posted anything about religion - and I occasionally thought MM wanted to bash me over the head with his frying pan.

But arguments - a scrap! a scrap! -  are what get the views, I suppose, rather than polite and rational discussion!  Smile

I should like to return to this later, especially as I have just read something in my book which I don't understand. It is about "objectivity" and religion. But I want to go back first to Henry VIII wiping his bottom with my message from 1588.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Wed 02 Mar 2016, 14:22

But then, perhaps wiser not to ask questions about philosophical terms such as "objectivity" and "reality" and "reason".


@nordmann wrote:
  Smile


The smiley looks so nice and friendly, doesn't it? But I fear nordmann even when he posts a smiley. Is he laughing with me at what I wrote and my picture of Benjamin J.? or, perchance, laughing at me, and my optimistic mention of scholarship?   Smile

Mmm. Good debate here between Bart Ehrmann and Cambridge classicist, Simon Gathercole. Gathercole is no duckegg, but he does duck about a bit. He and a couple of others have written a book refuting Erhmann's argument in  How Jesus Became God. I've just ordered it. Gathercole's book is How God Became Jesus.

They witter on a bit at the beginning: real interesting part of the discussion starts around ten minutes in. Two very intelligent men in a friendly and interesting exchange of (differing) views. Very civilised.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH5C8hWsXyo
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Fri 04 Mar 2016, 07:22

Priscilla said earlier that she had had some problems with the wording of the topic title here. I remembered that a while ago she had started a similar discussion. Like all P.'s threads, it was a good one. May I resurrect it here? Here is a link to the old topic. Please don't be put off by the word "confessional": the thread was not an invitation to discuss just religious matters.


https://reshistorica.historyboard.net/t682-the-confessional


Here is the title post:


@Priscilla wrote:
In truth I think this topic will quickly fade. It comes from thinking about truths and also from insights into some strong opinion that surfaces on this and other forums. Most historians would baulk at  being called bigots yet sometimes that is an impression I get on occasion. Do historians ever have a change of mind? It seems that most don't. Counter argument must be very strong to wobble my own judgment but it does happen but that is more to do with my professions than stance over historical matters. Following everything being presented about WW1 everywhere however has dislodged quite a few notions I had. Any takers like to make remark here?



Is to wobble to be weak?
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Fri 04 Mar 2016, 17:15

Oh dear, am I bumping this thread again? I suppose so, but only because I really do want to add a couple of questions.

Priscilla uses the word "bigot" - a distressingly emotive word, and perhaps not one appropriate here. Is to hold fast to an opinion always the hallmark of a "bigot"; or is it rather indicative of a strong personality who is absolutely sure of his or her facts? However, is it wise in a postmodern world (whatever one's discipline) ever to declare oneself to be sure of facts - of "truth" - of "inviable laws"? After all, ideas (laws even?) even in science, change all the time.

This is the passage from Ehrman's book which I said mentioned above as having confused me: I'm not trying to talk about religion here - just want some clarification about what we mean by "objective truth" in today's world.


"...more than almost any other group on the planet, conservative evangelicals, and most especially fundamentalist Christians, are children of the Enlightenment...When I say (this) I mean that more than almost anyone else, thinkers among these groups are committed to "objective truth" - which was precisely the commitment that led to the demise of Christianity in the modern world in the first place, especially in Europe. And so this evangelical commitment is ironic. Or maybe it's a case of trying to fight fire with fire. But the reality is that modern Christian apologists stress the importance of objectivity and champion it more than anyone - much more than most other educated people in our world. University intellectuals almost never speak of "objectivity" any more, unless they happen to live on the margins of intellectual life."


Priscilla's mentioning historians and their arguments made me remember those pages and pages and pages and pages of argument - all very interesting - between Minette and her great opponent, the Cambridge Fellow, Andrew Spencer. As many here will remember, they were debating the life and times of our favourite monarch, Richard III. A few others, including myself, chipped in now and again. Did either Minette or Andrew move an inch? No. Was anyone else inclined to change his or her opinion about Richard as a result of the Great Debates? I don't think so. However, I must add that I was chuffed to bits that Andrew Spencer admitted I had made him think again about the role of Ireland and France in Richard's story. My great intellectual triumph of the last decade that was; however Andrew was probably just being nice.


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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Fri 04 Mar 2016, 18:07

Historians ought be bringing useful thought to the table of EU membership but I see little evidence of that. It is no use saying its always about finance. wealth and power - most thing usually boil down to that. Mindset about past events does not appear to readily take firm root in opinion about history in the making. Are historians chicken flawed? Perhaps I do not have enough knowledge of historians who get stuck in but it appears that they only do so when someone else has shoved things along; for better or for worse. In either case historians  soon leap in, take a stance and hold stuff up to the clearer light of hindsight. My opinion can often waver and it's a slippery affair - like trying to tickle trout.

Sorry Temps, I digress from your higher level of applied thought here. I am battling with thoughts about opinion and opinion makers..... and when I ought to be doing ironing; about which I have strong opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: Mind set and Changing Opinion - Discuss   Sat 05 Mar 2016, 08:54

@Priscilla wrote:
My opinion can often waver and it's a slippery affair - like trying to tickle trout.

Sorry Temps, I digress from your higher level of applied thought here. I am battling with thoughts about opinion and opinion makers..... and when I ought to be doing ironing; about which I have strong opinion.



Higher level of applied thought - I wouldn't call it that myself.  Smile

I had quite a high thought this morning. I wondered if Pontius Pilate with his famous question was actually the first postmodernist - all those years ago. I idly googled what I thought was a ridiculous question and discovered that Terry Eagleton and I can actually agree on something. In his book The Illusions of Postmodernism Eagleton writes*: "Perhaps in this respect Pontius Pilate was the first postmodernist..."

Well I never...

* Can't copy the quotation.
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