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Traveller comments on Belief in Belief - Less Wrong

66 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 29 July 2007 05:49PM

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Comment author: Traveller 11 September 2008 08:44:27AM 3 points [-]

"There's something that makes beliving and knowledge quite different, and that’s truth which isn’t inside one person head but out there, in reality."

Ehm, let me ask you this: Are you 100% sure that the sun will come up tomorrow?

All evidence points that way, yes. We have a fair idea of what is going on yes. But that's where the ball stops - we will never know with 100% certainity.

When we stop acknowledging that the science of tomorrow may produce evidence that will turn our whole world-view upside down, is when Science becomes Religion.

I'm not saying that we need to start taking mediums seriously and base our lifealtering decisions on numerology. I'm merely saying that the things you take seriously today, the things you'd base your lifealtering decisions on today may be falsified tomorrow, redeemed the week after, only to be shot down again with the latest research come this time next year.

The 'Truth' may be out there, but it needs to be approcached empirically with a clear understanding of the fact that even repeated measurements of the same thing will only ever give us circumstancial evidence that may be influenced by our abilities to measure and reason. I don't think we ever posess true knowledge. Instead we have beliefs that can or cannot stand up to empirical scrutiny. Beliefs that *must* still be challenged on a regular basis, and acknowledged for what they are.