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the most nebulous word

by mennonite (no login)


what is the most dishonest word in the english language? (alternatively, what is the most nebulous concept in the english langauge?)

my entry: Proof.

the concept of "proof" will not protect the truth or shellac it into place. once the "truth" (whatever that could be) has been proven it will still be debated. even truth is challenged in the future. using the word "proof" will never ultimately protect anything from future scrutiny.

on the other hand, saying a lie has been "proven" to be truth may slow down someone saying "wait a minute, but that's not true at all..." after all, there's proof. and there's an "end" to it.

while i believe (to a limited degree) in the more honest idea of "evidence..." at least it carries the idea that there's a chance it is imperfect or might even be nothing at all... the idea of proof strikes me as extremely dishonest, like a man standing in front of a building with flames and smoke issuing from the roof saying "alright folks, nothing to see here."

well of course there's smoke and fire, what he means is "please ignore what's right in front of you, and *pretend* there's nothing to see here." in the case of a building that could fall over and harm you, sometimes it might be best for people to ignore it. however, it's still dishonest (at least, untrue) to tell people it's "nothing," and that's the whole point.

or if "proof" is not the most dishonest word in the english language, what is?

Posted on Jul 17, 2005, 6:08 AM

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Response TitleAuthor and Date
Re: the most nebulous wordGreenMan on Jul 17
 a couply replies to greenman's postmennonite on Jul 17
  The Difference Between Physics and Mathematics√•llipse on Jul 17
   while this is almost entirely another thread...mennonite on Jul 17
   Re: The Difference Between Physics and MathematicsGreenMan on Jul 17
    did he demonstrate this?mennonite on Jul 18

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