Finding Our False Beliefs

By definition, we believe that each of our beliefs is true. And yet, simultaneously, we must admit that some of our beliefs must be wrong. We can't possibly have gotten absolutely everything right. This becomes especially obvious when we consider the huge number of beliefs we have, the complexity of the world we live in, and the number of people who disagree with us. The trouble though is that we don't know which of our many beliefs are wrong. If we knew that, we should have stopped believing th...
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Truth Discernment Can be a Super Power

When we think of super powers, we usually consider things like invisibility, super strength and the ability to fly. Technology is bringing us closer to the realization of these dreams (for examples see invisibility, strength, flying). But there is a super power that has existed for much longer, which we might call "truth discernment". This is the ability to figure out what is likely to be true in hard, important, real world problems. There are difficult questions like the blue eyes logic puzz...
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The Interplay Between Your Reason and Emotions

It can sometimes be useful to think of yourself as consisting of multiple systems. You have an emotional system that constantly processes your sensory input and thoughts, and produces emotions like fear, anger, happiness and contempt based on this input. You also have a reasoning system, which is what you use when you are reasoning, planning, analyzing and consciously predicting. But the operations of these two systems are not independent. In fact, they each have the power to alter the operation...
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What’s So Special About Your Own Beliefs?

Suppose that Tom and Sally have a disagreement over a factual question (as opposed to one of values or preferences). She claims that the argument he is making has errors or is unconvincing, but Tom feels the same way about her argument. They debate the question for an hour, but afterwords are still each adamantly convinced that his or her own reasoning is sound while the other person's is flawed. In this instance, is each person really more justified believing in his or her own belief than he or...
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