September 8, 2017

"He who says, "Better go without belief forever than believe a lie!" merely shows his own preponderant private horror of becoming a dupe. He may be critical of many of his desires and fears, but this fear he slavishly obeys. He cannot imagine any one questioning its binding force. For my own part, I have also a horror of being duped; but I can believe that worse things than being duped may happen to a man in this world [...] It is like a general informing his soldiers that it is better to keep out of battle forever than to risk a single wound. Not so are victories either over enemies or over nature gained. Our errors are surely not such awfully solemn things. In a world where we are so certain to incur them in spite of all our caution, a certain lightness of heart seems healthier than this excessive nervousness on their behalf. At any rate, it seems the fittest thing for the empiricist philosopher."
William James, "The Will to Believe".
I have such a difficult time really absorbing this. My best model of my person epistemology and morality says there are two levels: the first of simple objective facts, the second of interpretation, goals, and "shoulds"... and that the second layer is vaporously thin, and I feel ill-suited to judge anything - except to that which seems to interfere with a clear view of the underlying objective layer. There I judge like a mo-fo. At least that's why I think I am like I am; sometimes I wonder if it's just me needing to be a perfect little beacon of truth for my ego's sake. But no... I think it's more accurate to say that accuracy about the basics is a hugely important thing for me. I am a proud member of the "reality-based community" Karl Rove mocks, and when Scott Adams says no, all that's important is persuasion, I'll try to persuade anyone I can that that attitude sucks.
Man, Florida's looking to get Chinese Hoaxed to pieces.