Andreas Johansson scripsit: > I would make make a three-way distinction between to believe in > something, to disbelieve in something, and to have no certain > opinion on the matter. "To doubt something" could be used for the > third alternative, but might perhaps better not, since it's usage in > not-technical speech tend to suggest being closer to disbelief. To take a simple concrete example: I believe that (either there is life on Jupiter or there isn't); it is false that I believe there is life on Jupiter; it is false that I believe there is no life on Jupiter. I don't think this can reasonably be called either doubt or disbelief; rather it is simply a condition of having no opinion whatsoever. > "To not doubt something", in normal speech, does indeed mean to believe it, > illogical as that may be. The participants in this debate should go and learn a loglang forthwith; then they may still not understand what is meant, but there will be no doubt about what is said. > > Disbelieving is believing something does *not* exist. Doubting is merely > > being unsure, and seeing no compelling evidence to believe. I think that this is an unusual use of "doubt"; it is rather unbelief but not absolute unbelief. I doubt that there are fairies; I believe that there are no fairies, but I am willing to be convinced by evidence otherwise. It would be absurd to say that I doubt that 2+2=5, and misleading to say that I doubt there is life on Jupiter, since that would suggest that I am weighted toward believing there is none, which is not the case. -- John Cowan <[log in to unmask]> http://www.reutershealth.com http://www.ccil.org/~cowan Yakka foob mog. Grug pubbawup zink wattoom gazork. Chumble spuzz. -- Calvin, giving Newton's First Law "in his own words"