What you are about to witness in our community is a manifestation of citizens’ mistrust that public officials, politicians and journalists can perform their duties in an unbiased manner.

Citizens are about to fill these pages, Facebook posts, emails, tweets and conversations with two dangerous phrases. Those phrases are “I think” and “I believe.”

“I think” and “I believe” are dangerous because the speakers/writers and the listeners/readers usually don’t really understand what these statements mean. “I think” and “I believe” mean: I don’t know.

The hideously violent crime committed at The Great Frederick Fair is the sort of thing that rightfully shocks a community. This crime must be investigated in an unbiased, fair and purposeful way, and community members must allow this to happen. Whether this crime was premeditated, had a racial component, or could have been prevented may be revealed in the course of the investigation. At this point, we simply do not know. Only the facts of this crime should dictate the prosecution of the teens charged with the crime. “I think” and “I believe” have no place in the discourse that is to follow.

Mark Butt

Frederick

(32) comments

jerseygrl42

Mark , thats exactly how the lefties in Congress and most of the media speak

rikkitikkitavvi

https://www.newswars.com/must-watch-new-trump-2020-ad-exposes-democrat-impeachment-bs/

gary4books

I knew people who would say "I do not think. I know." and I thought that if I knew something, it was a thought - too. Not a big distinction in my mind. Really a narrow iew, in my opinion.

threecents

I think I believe that, but I am not sure.

Dwasserba

'“I think” and 'I believe' mean: I don’t know." In Journalism 101 we learned not to use either, it's redundant, just state what you think or believe. Write it, own it.

MD1756

"“I think” and “I believe” mean: I don’t know." This is not necessarily correct. If you say "I believe in God" does that mean you don't know? No. You are stating a belief you hold which may or may not be held by others. "I think the act was despicable" is stating an opinion, it doesn't mean "I don't know."

public-redux

Are you drawing a distinction between “knowing what you believe” and “knowing that what you believe is factual”? To take your example, someone might say, “I believe in Ganesh”. They know what they believe but they don’t know that Ganesh exists.

MD1756

I do know that I believe that the death penalty should be used in certain cases is indeed my true belief. It is not what I think to be true but is in fact true.

public-redux

You’re being tautological. Your example, in this case, is an opinion. In your first example, the assertion was unknowable.

FCPS-Principal

The answer to your question is Yes. When you say "I believe in God" it means you don't know, because you indeed do not know.

MD1756

Ok, let me try a different example for both of you. I believe the death penalty should be used to punish proven murderers. That is a factual statement of my belief. The language may not technically be needed, I could just state that "The death penalty should be used for proven murderers." Or I could state "The death penalty must be used for proven murderers." Both are statements of my opinion however one could mistake it for meaning what the law requires, so stating "I believe the death penalty ..." I'm being clear it is my belief and it is something I know not something I don't know. Just look up the definition of believe or think and "opinion" is included as one of the multiple definitions. I certainly know my opinions.

public-redux

So you were drawing the distinction I suggested. You know what you think. You don’t necessarily know that what you think is true.

MD1756

Going back to my first example, you certainly know if you state a belief and you believe that belief which was my original point. Whether God exists or not you may argue that point but to someone who believes, they know that is their belief. And in any event I've shown cases where I think and I believe don't mean "I don't know" and that was my original point (which included those terms as meaning an opinion) no matter how much you try to ignore it. The point was the writer was not entirely correct.

public-redux

I agreed with your original point. Not sure why you thought otherwise.

jakereed

How about "I SAW" a teenager murder an innocent man on video? Is that allowed?

neilyoungfan25

Good one Jake. The two videos I saw both showed a man violently attacked. Glad I don't like in Frederick City. Between what happened at the Fair and all the shootings, it will be a while till I return to downtown Frederick. And when I do, I'll be looking over my shoulder.

threecents

All the shootings??

FCPS-Principal

It's allowed but it would not be correct. You did not see that because it did not happen.

threecents

I feel like I should be allowed to say what I think. Thanks for telling us what you think.

DickD

But, Butt, what about the videos?

public-redux

A weeping and bleeding statue of the Virgin Mary in Japan was videotaped in 1973. People watched it live on TV. The blood and tears were tested. The blood was type B. The tears/swear was type AB.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Akita#CITEREFUnion_of_Catholic_Asian_News1988

threecents

Testing tears for blood type might be problematic. Back when I worked in a blood bank, the general test was to see if blood cells agglutinated (clumped) when mixed with antibody to A or B. There would not be anything to clump in tears, so they must have used a different test.

public-redux

I wondered which test they used. Be that as it may, a statue that has bodily fluids of two different blood types is miraculous indeed.

public-redux

And it is on video! So it must be true.

public-redux

And yet many people insist faith is a virtue. People are funny.

thump1202

The community has every right to express their thoughts and feelings after a violent death that was publically witnessed at a community event and widely distributed via video. People are not ruled by logic and rationality, these are things we train ourselves to use in order to reduce the influence of our emotions and find a common communication framework. This event was a shock to the community both in the casual disregard for life it exposed and the fact that it is not common nor do we want it to become common. Understand human nature a little better buddy.

BunnyLou

From the video, it is evident that the two perps need ti be locked up for a good long time. I THINK this would be an equitable arrangement for their callous behavior towards another human being. I BELIEVE anybody who thinks their socio-economic standing had something to do with their actions is insane.

Thewheelone

Good one Bunny; you really got the gist of Mr. Butts letter! [scared]

olefool

A moment of clarity for bunnyloo..... Yippee....

thump1202

I agree, the common tropes don't excuse a kid from full body launching himself to inflict harm at a stranger who, whatever happened in their contact, was walking away. It's clear there was no restraint in the assault and the laughter afterwards was particularly disgusting.

jerseygrl42

Well stated!

Dwasserba

Haha Bunny. Respect.

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