Monday, April 14, 2014


Whenever I’m asked about whether I believe in something, I always say the same thing. I say that it makes no sense to believe in anything. When you say you believe in something, you are saying that you are 100% certain that this is the case. We can’t be 100% certain of anything in this existence. There’s always some room for doubt, no matter how small. Godel proved that with his incompleteness theorem (that says that we cannot know 100% of the information of a given system), as did Heisenberg with his uncertainty principle (that says that we cannot know 100% of the information of a particle). There’s always some amount of incompleteness or uncertainty in our knowledge, and since we can never be 100% certain of anything in existence, it makes no sense to say that we believe in anything. We have our best guesses and our best stories and our best bets on what’s going on, but they are just guesses and stories and bets. We can always revise those theories upon the receipt of new information. This is the scientific approach.

When I say this, sometimes someone responds that that is a depressing worldview. I don’t see it as depressing in any way. I see it as a sane and rational way to approach the world. It leaves us open for new information, and prevents us from falling into mental traps of rigid, orthodox thinking. It seems to me to be a better way to live, anyway.


Dave Roel.
Basic human contact - the meeting of eyes, the exchanging of words - is to the psyche what oxygen is to the brain.
- Martha Beck

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