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Question #92

How can you possibly decide if you are right about the nature of the universe?

Just askin'


  1. As for me, I cannot. But I can decide what is more likely than not. I am ok living with uncertainty. It seems to be that nature is designed to always be somewhat unknown, otherwise we wouldn't have any spirit of exploration. Maybe I am certain of this--that life has to be mysterious enough to get us out of the house

  2. To me decision is usually unnecessary or premature. There's usually plenty to go on to choose what to do, without there being any reason or benefit to deciding things about thus-far unattainable levels of reality.

    Now having said that, the scientific method, or more generally, skepticism (defined by me as to suspend judgment in the absence of evidence, and to proceed on the best available theory in the meantime) is a very useful approach, as long as one takes care not to elevate skepticism itself to some fundamental principle.

  3. Or to have so little wonder that skepticism is raised to the level of a fetish. Some people I know instantly snap to disbelief regardless of subject, and call it skepticism.

    I agree that there is a need to leave some stones unturned, because if you don't, then why are you here?

  4. I think besides the tangible scientific approach, one can also rely on faith. We don't need to see gravity to know it exists. But how we relate to what we feel and believe (i'll refrain from saying know because one might argue that faith =/= knowledge, but that is a theoretical discussion for another day) is how we relate to the universe. It can almost be likened to the allegory of the cave, which is one of my favorites. In it, the shadows on the wall were the only universe those chained captives knew. Are they wrong? Not for themselves as they believe nothing else.


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Question #2

Why does everyone assume that ghosts, robots, zombies, or aliens are always interested only in destroying us and all we hold dear? If they were nice when not dead or undead, or if they were programmed by nice people or have an advanced civilization on their planet, why are they automatically going to be nasty to us when they get here/are turned on/rise from the grave? Just askin'