Quora – False beliefs

What are the most popular false beliefs? Please specify which group(s) you’re referring to.

The idea that simple binary categories can be useful in all contexts.

It seems beyond all reasonable doubt (from vast sets of evidence) that human beings, and the reality within which we exist, are complex beyond the capacity of anything (human, AI, or whatever) to understand in detail.

Thus we all need to make simplifications in our models and understandings to make any sense of life.

Thus simple binary classifications can be extremely useful in contexts where rapid decisions need to be made on little evidence. So ideas like True/False, Right/Wrong, Good/Bad can be very useful simplifications in some contexts. But the idea that they are useful in all contexts is nonsense.

Reality is really complex.
People are really complex.
The idea that we can know either with absolute certainty is pure hubris – without basis in either logic or reality.

Sure, some things are really reliable, and our simplifications may have worked for us in every context we have encountered. Does that mean that they will always work? No!

The very idea of belief, the idea that any Truth may be known with absolute confidence, seems (beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt) to be false (not useful in all contexts).

So what does that leave us with.

A demand for a bit more humility.

A demand that we accept our useful approximations as just that, and accept that other people may have different ones.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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