Anything can be a belief. A person can believe that the sun orbits the earth or that trolls live under bridges. One can believe that a bearded man in a red suit flies from the North Pole and in one night out of the year gifts all the good children of the world with presents. Alchemists once were convinced of the possibility of turning lead into gold. The vast set of the believable also includes the idea that there was once a reserve of oil which was only supposed to last a day, yet it lasted…Continue
We always act on some mixture of facts and beliefs. It's just a question of how rich the mixture is with facts.
Life being the way it is, though, there is probably no issue that doesn't involve some element of belief because just thinking that we have all of the facts in a given case is itself a belief that is a part of the fact-belief mixture.
But as convoluted as the issue can become, there are commonsense rules to apply -- a prime one being that the more fundamental the…Continue
i'm reposting this for three reasons:
1. i think it is an interesting observation that did not get much notice
2. it's been on my mind a lot lately
3. many of the blog posts have been weak lately. not to belittle anyone else's efforts, but many are more appropriate for discussions or simple status updates than a blog post, IMO. anyway, i'll also post the few comments that were made.
"facts are true whether you believe them or not" - Adam Savage (from the Reason Rally)
sadly, it is possible that Mr. Savage was wrong. sure, on the face of it a statement like that is a no-brainer. however, in today's world we are seeing a strange phenomena where facts are only as useful as a person wants them to be. facts are now up for debate. facts depend on the source from which you acquire them. lastly, facts are no longer facts if someone chooses not to believe…Continue
“A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition.” ~José BergamínMany people mistakenly believe that dictionary definitions tell us what words mean. But it’s the other way around. We, by our actual usage of words, tell dictionary lexicographers how to define words. English is a fluid… Continue
Added by Demopoly on April 15, 2010 at 12:42am — No Comments
I wrote a book called "Belief in Science and the Science of Belief." Here's a blurb about it:
"Our selective abandonment of reason to belief compromises our fundamental decision-making capacity, both in small personal matters and in critical public policy. This book will give you the insights and techniques you need to apply scientific rigor to your everyday decision-making. It will help you to understand how to verify facts, avoid logical pitfalls and belief-driven biases,…Continue
Added by Planetologist on February 5, 2009 at 11:02am — No Comments
A friend of mine sent me a link to a news story this morning about Red Bull Energy Drink. For him, reading that article was enough to keep him from ever drinking Red Bull again. However, I was skeptical and did some research. I feel that being skeptical and checking information before simply believing it is important.
Added by Neece on August 15, 2008 at 6:57pm — No Comments