Rules for rationalism

–Beliefs may be true or false. If the latter, they are delusions.

–One may either knowingly or unknowingly subscribe to delusions. The former may leads to cognitive dissonance. There is an internal conflict between two ‘avatars’ that represent differing beliefs, that are at war with each other. The one that ‘wins’ is accepted by observer as ‘reality’.

–When you subscribe to delusions, you willingly deprive yourself of understanding.

–Such delusions lead to disillusionment when they fail to materialize, as well as rationalizations, such as “Why isn’t the economy/dollar crashing?” “We need to wait longer, then it will happen.” “Just give it more time, and it will happen..any day now”

–Wishful thinking and eschatological ‘doom and gloom’ are forms of activism, in that it’s an attempt of the activist to impose his or her personal will/values on to society and or make society conform to them.

–In an epistemological sense, empiricism and rationalism are both useful. It’s not like one must be forced to choose between either.

–Acting on delusions can imperil your financial, physical, and emotional health (such as shorting the stock marker on the belief that the economy is a bubble or doomed, or getting arrested or injured at a rally).

–Once can have personal/internal wants and desires, but such desires should not conflict with one’s understanding of reality and attainment of such understanding, nor should such beliefs be construed as facts or truths. One should be able to delineate a belief from a fact.

–There is a conflict between facts and beliefs. For an atheist, for example, such a conflict is between phenomena that can be explained by science (the ‘material’ realm) and that which cannot. This, however, does not imply that theists reject science. Rather, that science has inherent limitations and that truth may always be unknowable in a scientific sense.

–By knowing the outcome, one need not understand the points in between. This can save a lot of time. This is similar to the concept of potential energy, in which the path is irrelevant (only the parameters matter):

–As discussed discussed in earlier posts, the systems-based approach can be fruitful. If one understands the system, that is analogous to a mathematical or physical system, then everything else falls into place afterwards. Such systems can be modified with the introduction of new information, but this doesn’t happen often, and systems tend to remain stable for years at a time.