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Thank you for your response.

--- In [log in to unmask], Herman Miller <hmiller@I...> wrote:

> I like the idea of a "dreamed by the speaker" evidential; I think
I'll
> steal that for one of my Zireen languages. (Some Zireen cultures
have a
> belief that the dream world is a real place.)

Suzette Haden Elgin's La`adan fictlang has an evidential for facts
revealed to the speaker in a dream.

My understanding of the Australian Aborigine "DreamTime" is that it
is at once all of (1) the time of the ancestors (hence real though
legendary ancient Australia) (2) the time-and-place where myths
occur/occurred (3) the time-and-place where dreams occur (4) the
time-and-place where stories occur.

> Joseph Bridwell wrote:
> >
> > I believe that the average man on the street does
indeed "believe"
> > regardless of contrary evidence or absence of evidence. I myself
do:
> > I choose to believe that consciousness survives death since to
> > believe otherwise implies to me meaninglessness to my actions
past,
> > present and future. Thus, for me, "believe" and "need" have a
closer
> > connection; and further, that solid evidence changes belief into
> > fact for whomever accepts the evidence.
>
> I think you're on to something; anything for which it's not yet
possible
> to find any evidence for one way or the other is something that
one can
> choose to believe or not to believe. Some people also seem to have
the
> capacity to ignore evidence that would (if accepted) require them
to
> question their beliefs. But there are some things that have to be
> accepted as axiomatic, such as whether or not there is such a
thing as
> free will, since no one yet knows how to test these ideas. I
choose to
> believe in free will since it makes things more interesting to
think
> about, and I can't see how I have much to lose if I turn out to be
> wrong. (If there is no free will, choice is an illusion in any
case.)
>
> Whether consciousness survives death is an idea that could in
principle
> be tested, if it's possible for disembodied spirits to leave
messages.
> Alternatively, if spirits are reincarnated, memories of previous
lives
> would be evidence for survival. However, it's always possible that
> spirits can never go back to our world or affect it in any
meaningful
> way, so the absence of convincing evidence doesn't mean anything
one way
> or the other.
>
> But besides evidence as a basis for belief, there is also trust.
> Whenever someone says something like "believe me, running a
marathon is
> strenuous", it seems like they're really asking you to trust them
based
> on their personal experience or observation. It'd be interesting
to see
> if other languages use the equivalent of "believe me" or if they
have
> other ways of translating this expression. But this does seem to
me to
> be a valid use of "believe" as an imperative, at least in English.
>

Maybe this should be seen as a request or as advice rather than as a
command.  I still think the command to believe is infelicitous.  But
I think you have a point that this use of "Believe me, running a
marathon is strenuous" is most easily categorised as a felicitous
use of an imperative form of "believe".  "Imperative" covers
utterances that aren't "commands".

Thanks,

-----

Tom H.C. in OK