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Aaron
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PostSubject: Labels   Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:27 pm

In my opinion labeling is a key tool of logic and empiricism therefore it is also a key tool of reason, and by extension, reason based spirituality.

I was just discussing this with someone and their opinion was that the need to label things is an unnecessary need that humans have developed over the years that distracts us from truly experiencing life.

I was wondering what your thoughts were on the subject? Is labeling things just a distraction or is it a necessary tool of any reason based approach?

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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: Labels   Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:00 pm

Aaron wrote:
In my opinion labeling is a key tool of logic and empiricism therefore it is also a key tool of reason, and by extension, reason based spirituality.

I was just discussing this with someone and their opinion was that the need to label things is an unnecessary need that humans have developed over the years that distracts us from truly experiencing life.

I was wondering what your thoughts were on the subject? Is labeling things just a distraction or is it a necessary tool of any reason based approach?

I understand why some people don't like to be labeled (pigeon-holed) by others. But I don't see why someone would object to using labels for their own purposes. I think it was Confucius who said, "the beginning of wisdom is calling things by their right names". A name is just a label (shorthand definition) to identify what we are talking and thinking about.

The "label problem" arises when we call things by the wrong names. But who decides which labels are right or wrong; the labeler or the labelee, or a third party? Because of the prejudicial potential of labels, it's generally considered non-PC to label individuals with a group designation.

However, I have been directly and obliquely labeled as a Moron (or worse) in some forum threads for expressing unorthodox opinions. I don't take it personally, but some people do take such pejorative labeling as a literal insult. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but labels can't hurt my feelings, unless I allow them.

I have worn many labels in my life: Evangelical Christian, Secular Humanist, Agnostic Seeker, etc. Some still stick, but most are like pasted-over travel stickers on my luggage, merely a sentimental record of where I've been---not where I am now, or where I am going.
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Labels   Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:16 pm

Quote :
In my opinion labeling is a key tool of logic and empiricism therefore it is also a key tool of reason, and by extension, reason based spirituality.

I agree with you on labels.

For sure labels can be misused, but so can anything.

You know that old joke, my dad used to say that figures don't lie but liars do figure.

By extension then because liars may lie with figures, doesn't make figures bad.

The same with labels. Used with reason, I agree that they're indespensable.

Take this back to your friend.

Ask him if had a 100 in coins or even cash if he might not find it easier to organize if they are labelled by their values.

On the other hand if there's no labels than for sure I can't be labelled an idiot lol!
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Paul Anthony

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PostSubject: Re: Labels   Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:53 am

This is what I've had to say about labels:

You may call yourself a Catholic, or a Democrat, or an environmentalist or any number of other names. Those labels describe part of what you stand for, but they donít come close to defining you!

Are you a Catholic who practices birth control? An environmentalist who is in favor of nuclear energy? Your true beliefs may lie somewhere in between what the labels say about you.

The problem with joining or supporting a movement is that the world will see you as a person who stands for everything that label implies! But is that true? Usually, no.

IMO, more misunderstandings are the result of misinterpreted labels.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Labels   Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:57 am

Paul Anthony wrote:
IMO, more misunderstandings are the result of misinterpreted labels.

I agree. I think it's because people often confuse the label for the thing in itself.

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