The Evolving Monkey

Why don’t you believe what I believe?

  • What is belief?
    • I assume there is a Truth.
    • I can’t prove this, but I believe it.
    • Beliefs are based on assumptions.
    • Assumptions are based on many things, much having nothing to do with Truth.
    • Such as your personality, a desire to fit in, a desire to be different and stand out, other assumptions about the world.
  • What beliefs are best?
    • Beliefs that work are the best.
    • But the judgments of what works and does not work are based on assumptions.
    • Assumptions which are based on our very narrow experiences from life.
Challenge Assumptions
  • What about factual evidence?
    • A belief that is best will not contradict factual evidence.
    • But factual evidence has to be evaluated, and that starts with assumptions.
    • Also, no evidence is ever absolutely certain, although the evidence can be judged highly likely.
    • Not everyone is going to support any one bit of factual evidence.
    • What is possible however is a consensus of experts in a field of study.
    • They can still be wrong, but a consensus of experts is better than the opinion of a non-expert.
    • The non-expert opinion still matters, but just like experts, they must give detail and learned opinions.
  • What about knowledge?
    • Knowledge is based on evidence and assumptions.
    • And of course, the interpretation of evidence itself is based on assumptions.
    • Knowledge is always uncertain to some degree, even if it is True.
    • A bit of knowledge might be absolutely true, but we can’t ever know that.
    • We cannot be certain another bit of knowledge will not come along to invalidate it.
    • We can only know that a bit of knowledge seems to always work.
  • So why don’t I believe what you believe?
    • We make different assumptions.

Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in while, or the light won’t come in. Alan Alda

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