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Thread: Missing word related to secrecy and being known

  1. #1 Missing word related to secrecy and being known 
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    I think the language misses a word which would express the difference between knowing a concept and believing it.

    For example if you have an invention but no one knows anything about it then it is secret.
    And if everyone knows about it and believes it exists then it is known.

    But what if everyone knows your invention but does not believe in it? Is it secret because no one believes it? But that could mean that everyone talks about a secret, since they all know it and thus could talk about it.

    I think this is comparable to the concept of pseudonyms where you have an identity but not quite since it does not properly refer to you. So it is not anonymous but kind of since your real identity is safe.

    With pseudosecrecy something are known but still kind of secret since no one believes in it.


    Maybe this is covered by the fact that if something is known but people falsely believe it does not exist then one could say that the existence of it is secret.


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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyber View Post
    But what if everyone knows your invention but does not believe in it?
    Did you have an example in mind?
    I ask because I can't think of an example, thus - if there actually is no such example (i.e. it doesn't exist as a thing) - why would the concept be required in a language?


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyber View Post
    But what if everyone knows your invention but does not believe in it?
    Did you have an example in mind?
    I ask because I can't think of an example, thus - if there actually is no such example (i.e. it doesn't exist as a thing) - why would the concept be required in a language?
    I thought about this when someone implied that the Illuminati cannot exist because the Illuminati supposedly is competent and wants to stay secret, but nowadays many people have heard of them and they are quite common knowledge. However this argument fails because although everyone knows them, if they existed then they would still be secret in a sense since so few people believe in them (which ir probably what they would really care about).

    So basically I thought that our limited language prompted him into making this flawed argument. I thought that because he only considered the concepts of secret (where people know nothing about it) and known (where people do know it), he placed the Illuminati in the known category (since it fits there better out of the two since the concept of Illuminati is quite common knowledge) and thus concluded that if they exist they must have been very incompetent at keeping their existence a secret.
    But if there was a word that means known and existing but not (much) believed in, then believers in the Illuminati could describe the Illuminati using that word and this would prevent the mentioned flawed way of thinking since it would emphasize what some believers truly believe the Illuminati to be.

    Please note that I am not saying that the Illuminati exists. But I do say that we should have a vocabulary which allows us to discuss it (and similar things). Even if it is fictional we should still be able to hold proper arguments about it without being confused by the limits of our language into making flawed arguments.
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  5. #4  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyber View Post
    I thought about this when someone implied that the Illuminati cannot exist because the Illuminati supposedly is competent and wants to stay secret, but nowadays many people have heard of them and they are quite common knowledge. However this argument fails because although everyone knows them, if they existed then they would still be secret in a sense since so few people believe in them (which ir probably what they would really care about).
    Except that if the Illuminati did exist it would be a secret since what people know about them is next to nothing.
    I.e. what people know is the myth/ conspiracy theory - not a thing about the existence of the actual (were they to really exist) Illuminati.

    flawed arguments.
    Er, yeeeah.
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    My point is that some people would be able to better express themselves with such a word. And I illustrated this with an example. Should the language not be so that everyone can easily express their thoughts?
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyber View Post
    My point is that some people would be able to better express themselves with such a word.
    Some people would use a word to express a concept that doesn't actually exist? For what purpose? It certainly wouldn't make communication easier.

    And I illustrated this with an example.
    A deeply flawed example - no one knows about the Illuminati (what they think they know is hearsay and conspiracy theories) and the Illuminati don't exist (you even stated that you don't believe so).
    Ergo a word to to mean "something everyone knows but doesn't believe" is wrong: no one knows but many actually do believe.

    Should the language not be so that everyone can easily express their thoughts?
    "Should" doesn't apply to language: especially for concepts that have no meaning.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyber View Post
    My point is that some people would be able to better express themselves with such a word.
    Some people would use a word to express a concept that doesn't actually exist? For what purpose? It certainly wouldn't make communication easier.
    It does not exist according to you. You probably do not believe that God exists either. Should we scrap the word "God" out of the dictionary? That would make communication a lot easier, right? Why have a word that refers to something of which you do not believe it exists? Enjoy discussing religion without referring to God (or synonyms).

    A deeply flawed example - no one knows about the Illuminati (what they think they know is hearsay and conspiracy theories) and the Illuminati don't exist (you even stated that you don't believe so).
    Ergo a word to to mean "something everyone knows but doesn't believe" is wrong: no one knows but many actually do believe..
    I did not say anything about whether I think they exist. or not.

    "Should" doesn't apply to language: especially for concepts that have no meaning.
    Language is a tool with the purpose of allowing us to express ourselves so that is what it should do.
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  9. #8  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyber View Post
    It does not exist according to you.
    As far as evidence goes it doesn't exist.

    You probably do not believe that God exists either.
    Again, as far as the evidence goes...

    Should we scrap the word "God" out of the dictionary?
    The concept of "god" exists. So far you haven't managed to show that there's any need for for a word for a concept that has no meaning.

    Why have a word that refers to something of which you do not believe it exists? Enjoy discussing religion without referring to God (or synonyms).
    Missed points:
    1) It doesn't matter whether I believe or not - the concept exists.
    2) Your "concept" doesn't. (At least as far as you can show).

    I did not say anything about whether I think they exist. or not.
    My bad, I took "Please note that I am not saying that the Illuminati exists." to be a disclaimer. So I'll rephrase my comment: "you even stated that you don't claim the Illuminati do exist".

    Language is a tool with the purpose of allowing us to express ourselves so that is what it should do.
    And - again - so far there is no need for the word you're proposing. The concept itself has no validity, so what need is there for a word to express it?
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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