Re: In an RDBMS, what does "Data" mean?

From: Leandro Guimaraens Faria Corsetti Dutra <leandro_at_dutra.fastmail.fm>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 12:51:54 -0300
Message-ID: <pan.2004.05.31.15.51.54.218470_at_dutra.fastmail.fm>


Em Mon, 31 May 2004 14:55:06 +0000, Alfredo Novoa escreveu:

>>	This is OT

>
> I disagree.

        Too bad, as one of the luminaries of this newsgroup you've just given permission for me to argue.

>> but there is such a thing as rational faith.  You
>>use it everyday to function in society.

>
> No, faith is irrational by definition. If it is rational then it is
> not faith. It is deduction based on incomplete information.

        You are messing the concepts of religion and faith.

        Religion is, quite by definition, based on faith. But there are quite a lot of other instances of faith besides religious ones, even if you don't differentiate institutional from spiritual religion.

        The reason for this is the long association of faith and religion, or more generally spirituality and authority, so as to change even the dictionaries carry only the contaminated definition.

        Faith originally was not opposed to reason, but to vision. One has faith not necessarily because one accepts another's authority, but because one continues to believe something even without presently seeing proof of it.

        For example, I have no real assurance the building I am working in won't crumble while I write these lines. But based on its apparently solid form, the fact that buildings don't usually crumble without first showing some signs as cracks and shifts, and that the municipality has taken some reasonable steps to check the engineers' work, I have a reasonable faith in being able to leave for home unharmed from falling bricks.

        In another example, I have no way to reasonably prove the meal my wife serves me isn't poisoned. But I have faith in her, and good indications in her past behaviour and my knowledge of her psiche, that it isn't.

        To carry this into the Informatics realm, I can't really remember all the time all the proofs of why we need RDBMSs. But I've seen the proof, and based on my admittedly partial remembrance of them I have faith this is the way to go.

        Without faith, even Science wouldn't be possible. A scientist has faith his reason is reasonably functioning, and so is his colleagues'. He can't keep all the proofs of this all the time at his conscience.

        The erection of Science as independent of the very basis of human reasoning is sub-scientific, and ultimately dangerous to Science itself.

        Well, I still maintain all this is OT. But sure Philosophy 101 isn't lost time.

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Received on Mon May 31 2004 - 17:51:54 CEST

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