Friday, November 19, 2010

Belief vs. Knowledge

Original Posting

In the course of certain debates, someone will probably bring up that once one has evidence, a belief becomes "knowledge." This often occurs (at least in my experience) when one debater tries to show how all or nearly all beliefs contain faith; by claiming that evidence changes the nature of a belief, you argue that you can attack faith-based claims without also undermining your own beliefs.

Fair enough, clearly a belief held with evidence is not the same as a belief held without evidence.

I do take one issue with this, though, which is that evidence is not just a matter of true and false or on and off. It simply isn't the way evidence works; you can't look at a premise, ask if it has evidence in its favor, and then receive a yes or no answer. Evidence comes in shades. Beliefs are not a matter of evidence vs. non-evidence, they are a matter of more evidence vs. less evidence.

Hell, nearly every belief must be accounted at least a modicum of doubt for the simple fact that what we perceive to be reality may, in fact, be an illusion.

So, I propose that beliefs should not be held to be either knowledge or faith, but rather every belief should be held as some ratio between the two. A belief supported by a great deal of empirical evidence should be held as consisting of mostly knowledge with a minimum of faith (the faith mostly consisting of having faith that you are not, in fact, insane, that reality is not an illusion, and that whatever logical presuppositions you had to assume in the course of forming a believe were correct). A belief that has very little empirical evidence should be held as consisting mostly of faith with a minimum of knowledge, or perhaps even no knowledge at all (it seems impossible for a belief to consist of complete knowledge, but it seems quite possible for a belief to consist of complete faith).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trying on Worldviews

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How much of our philosophizing in a matter of reason and how much is it a matter of feeling and emotion?

I got to thinking about my own worldview and how it's developed over the years, through several different shades of Christianity to my present agnosticism. Not to mention how I've tried on different approaches to ethics. I've noticed that there is, certainly, an element of reason when considering my worldview. I want the worldview to be consistent, and for that I test it with my reason to make sure that I'm not using any special pleading to squeeze in a belief I happen to like. Still, my predominant approach to these matters has to do with feeling and emotion; can I make myself love this philosophy? Can I reconcile myself to it in a way that keeps me from too much despair?

Now I wonder, does this indicate weakness on my part (as I've often believed) or is this just how humans do philosophy? Probably both, after all why not believe that the way humans do philosophy is weak?

Now, depending on the kind of philosophy, our reliance on emotion shifts, our emotional charge for a topic seems to me to be directly related to how much it affects how we view ourselves and our place in the world.

That's not to say that I (or anyone else) base my worldview strictly on emotion. If we care enough to think about things, we probably care enough to try to believe true things unless we've made a committed effort at some point to disregard the truth. However, what I'm describing is something like reconciliation. Once your mind sees the evidence going a certain direction, it seems that there is a period where the rest of you has to try it on. Your emotion and your will have to try to find a way to fit into the new belief you've found.

This is what I mean by "trying on worldviews." We don't adopt them strictly by reason, we have to find things that our whole being can commit to. This occasionally takes the form of someone constantly trying new beliefs and philosophies to see what fits comfortably.

This, of course, means that we aren't operating according to strict reason and evidence. It also means we're still human (you can decide if that's a positive or a negative). But I wonder what the exact proportions are. How much of our philosophizing is about examining evidence and following argument, and how much of it is about finding something we can live with?

Monday, November 8, 2010

On Happiness

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Everyone spends their life trying to avoid pain and pursue happiness. The perfect world would be a world full of many diverse pleasures, and pain (not just in a physical sense, but as everything that hinders our life of pleasure) does not exist or is at least brought down to its most most minimal point.

Is this true?

Is this really what we want?

Is this really the world that our common nature craves?

I don't think it is. I don't think that we want a world without pain. Not just because the existence of pain gives us an appreciation of pleasure, but because we were grown in a world with pain and suffering. It's what we crawled out of, it shaped our nature. To deny it would be to deny a fundamental aspect of life itself.

Life is happiness; life is also suffering.

Look at our art. When we are creative, what do we create? Do we create idealistic worlds of peace, harmony, and joy? No. We claim to want them, but we spend no time creating them. No, everything we create with a narrative (with the possible exclusion of bubblegum pop) always includes pain and suffering somewhere.

We grew up in it, we crave it.

I'm not saying we're all masochists or that we all want to sit around torturing ourselves. What I am saying is that any conception of a good life or a good world without suffering is a concept that doesn't understand human nature. It's listening to humanity's mouth rather than its actions.

We desire pleasure, fun, and joy; but deep down we wouldn't be happy without pain, suffering, and a little anguish.

So, if you are altruistically inclined, by all means work to make the world a more pleasurable place. Try to remove the pain in the world. But you better hope the pain isn't completely removable, otherwise you might go too far and fuck up the world.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Rambling Bullshit That I Could not Have Not Written

So there I am, sitting at my laptop, clicking the Stumble! button for my StumbleUpon app, happily neglecting to provide anyone anything of value, when I came across this article. It's about free will in the face of determinism, or rather it's about us being a part of the universe, following the rules of the universe, and therefore leaving no room for free will.

Up to this point, I am mostly in agreement. The idea of free will as "could I have done differently than I did," seems to be debunked by our knowledge of determinism and the fact that we too are a part of the chain of cause and effect.

The article seems to be using the fact that the body can be made to act in certain ways by stimulating certain parts of the brain, to highlight the fact that we are just machines. By "machines," he seems to mean that we are organisms that respond in deterministic ways to stimuli. He argues that the illusion of free will arises from the fact that we deal with a large number of competing stimuli and have a large number of possible output (all determined, though, of course), all this variety gives us the illusion that we have free will.

However, I think the article fails to play up the fact that we are still making choices. We are faced with options, and we are only actually capable of choosing the option that we do in fact choose (due to determinism), however it is still the result of the values, preferences, internal chemistry, psychology, environmental factors, and any other relevant factors competing internally to make up our character.

Our will is by no means undetermined, but it is still no less ours. Our decisions may not be capable of being anything other than they are, but there is something that can be called "me" that is a part of that chain of causation. My will is the cause of my actions, even though my will is itself the effect of earlier causes.

Perhaps I just resent the idea that we are merely machines, but I think what I truly take issue with is the often unstated, but seemingly presumed, idea that determinism removes will. It does not, my will is still very much existent, it simply is not free, my will is itself the result of a multitude of competing influences.

And besides, what would free will be anyway? Would you call randomness freedom? No, you think of free will as being the freedom to want what you want. It's classically thought of as "the ability to do otherwise," but I don't think that's really what most people think about when they conceive of free will. They conceive of it as the ability to have desires. Determinism doesn't take that away, it merely explains that the desires are themselves the result of causes.

This is nothing shocking, we've always known that people raised one way will will differently from people raised another. And this is just a simplistic example of determinism.

The article has the professor being interviewed saying, "I still seem to decide what films I go to see, I don't feel it's predestined, though it must be determined somewhere in my brain." To which I respond, that he did decide what films he went to see, and it was determined in his brain somewhere, because he is his brain.

Alternately, maybe I've completely misrepresented the current view of determinism in modern neuroscience and have therefore attacked a strawman that only exists in my head. It doesn't matter, I couldn't have done otherwise.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Life Has an Expiration Date

Original Posting

If there is no afterlife, then there is a termination to your life. There is a point at which you will no longer exist. You will see nothing, you will feel nothing, you will know nothing. Positivity and negativity give way to absolute neutrality. All these facts about death are meaningless to dead men, because they can't know them or be moved to feeling by them. The fact of death can only affect those still alive.

The fact of death creates an opportunity cost for everything we do; because the fact that life will one day end means that we don't have infinity moments. Every moment we spend on an activity (or inactivity) is a moment that can't be spent doing anything else. The time you spend reading this blog is gone forever, there might be a million better things you could do, but you didn't do them, you did this instead. For a few moments, reading this blog was your greatest priority, because for a few moments that's where your focus was.

The only way we stay sane is by taking life one day at a time, maybe with long term goals, but mostly with our focus on the things we have in front of us. That's why we don't feel the loss when we spend thirty minutes watching an old rerun, or the loss of waiting on someone else, or the loss you feel after spending sixteen hours on the internet with nothing to show for it. Because we know that we've got another day coming, and it feels like we'll never run out of those days.

But you will.

Does this change anything? Maybe, maybe not. After all, once you're dead, you can't feel regret. You'll only regret wasting your life while you're still alive, once you're dead it can't matter to you anymore.

But everyone spends a little time wondering what the entirety of their life will look like. What kind of a man will you be, what will you spend your life doing, what will you value in life? And the potentially horrifying thing is that you have limited moments to put into defining yourself. Do you want to be a fiction writer? Are you prepared to give up the moments that you could otherwise use to become a historian? Or give up the moments needed to be a programmer? Did you know that there are people who have dedicated their life to being the best at Street Fighter 2? Really consider that: they have a life, and they have chosen to live their life for Street Fighter 2.

And why shouldn't they?

How we spend our time defines us as a person. You won't regret it at the end, because you'll be dead, it's all a question of what you want to be while you're actively defining yourself. Because there aren't infinite do-overs, and you can't be everything, you have only so many moments with which to create your character.

And you never feel this, because you take everything one day at a time. And wasting your life doesn't hurt so long as you piss it away one day at a time.

This is your life. Every moment defines you as a person. So make every moment count... or don't. Like I said, it doesn't matter, it's all the same once you're dead. It's all a question of what you want to be while you're still alive.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Facts, Preference, and Intellectuals

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We all have our given talent in life; for some people it's charisma, for some people it's physical strength, and for some it's intelligence. These talents tend to color our approach to the world, and can become pretty powerful biases. When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Similarly, if all you have is charisma, every problem is about persuasion. If all you have is strength, every problem needs to be punched. And if all you have is intelligence, every problem is about facts and education.

What I'm driving at, is that we tend to see all the problems of the world through the lens of our dominate trait. That's why feminists blame men for war and potheads think weed will bring about world peace; those are the traits they define themselves by. People who identify as intellectuals tend to fall into the same bias, they think that all (or at least most) of the world's problems can be solved through education. They think that problems only occur because people don't have all the facts, if they really understood reality, then there would be no need for disagreement or conflict.

This is bullshit.

For the simple fact that we don't live life according to facts, we live life according to preference. People don't get degrees and then get jobs because it's a fact that they must, they do it because they prefer employment to non-employment. They are guided by the facts, but the facts are there to show the means to their ends, which are determined by their preferences.

Even if the intellectual understands this, there is a tendency to resist it. Because this undermines the value of knowledge. So some among them continue to believe that the answer to society's ills is more facts, more knowledge. That's why you'll hear people suggest that racism can be defeated by education; as though racists only exist because they don't have all the facts. Or why you'll hear that the tobacco industry can be defeated by educating people about the dangers of smoking, as though smokers are not already bombarded with information about the dangers of smoking.

What makes preference so dangerous is that the only way one man can obtain power over another man's preferences is through charisma or force, not logic. If a man prefers vanilla to chocolate, you can try to make chocolate seem more appealing with smooth talk, or you can beat his face in until he agrees to act as though chocolate is better, but you can't prove to him that chocolate is more desirable since desire is based upon his preferences to begin with*.

If our values aren't backed up by the facts, how can we say that people who disagree with us are wrong? And if we can't do that, what good is the intellectual? We can't have a Philosopher King without an objective, factual good for him to grasp.

*you can prove that more people prefer chocolate to vanilla (this is an example, I don't know if it is true), but not that chocolate is inherently better to vanilla.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Creating Meaning in the Search

Original Posting

I just finished watching a film I like a few hours ago, and throughout the film I remember constantly asking myself: "what does this mean? How does this reveal the character's worldview. How does this reflect how he sees the world?" And after asking the question, I would try to provide an answer, "this reflects his inherent egotism, and this shows how he feels his masculinity is threatened, and this is a result of his class consciousness." My explanation always felt like it was a bit of a stretch, like it was something you would not think of if you were not watching a movie.

Because when you are consuming fiction, you expect everything to be significant. The idea that something was just inserted arbitrarily seems like lazy viewing (or lazy reading), so we want to find out the significance of every line and every scene.

It then occurred to me, that since we're expecting to find all kinds of significance and meaning in the work we're viewing/reading, we begin creating significance for the events. You feel like an idiot if you can't find the significance in a scene, because that means that the scene was lost on you. If you've got an ego to protect (as I do), then the idea that there is no deeper meaning in what you're watching becomes hard to swallow. So you have to make something. You have to fit the scenes together and find the pattern that was placed there by the director or the author.

And most of the time, this seems appropriate. The human mind derives pleasure from finding patterns, and movies are made by human minds and with the goal of pleasuring other human minds being a goal. But then, I have to wonder, how difficult would it be to write something with no greater significance in mind? If you made it sound as though there were important insights to uncover in the text, then people would go searching for subtext, symbolism, meaning, and philosophy where there is none.

And they won't be content, so they'll make some up. They'll create all the depth for you.

And as I write this, I realize, that books and movies that take advantage of this would be the most effective books. It allows the reader/viewer to take whatever they care about and project it onto the art. That way a single story can be about gender studies to a feminist, economic imbalance to a communist, the importance of faith to a theist, and so on. It does not comment, it just provides a vessel for people to dump their own preoccupations.

Is this desirable? Well, it provides wonderful opportunities for mental masturbation. It would make it difficult for an artist to effect social change, but if the work is successful enough, then the critics will provide the interpretations necessary to turn it into social commentary. Besides, coming to a conclusion is always more fun than having a conclusion thrust upon you; needless vagueness and obscurity ensures that people can interpret you a way that tickles their confirmation bias. That leads to more popularity and more money.

Next time you're talking about the significance and depth of a work, perhaps you should stop and wonder if you're discovering the significance, or creating it. Then, just keep right on ahead, because there is no reason that should get in the way of the fun.

P.S. The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs from South Park says this same thing in a funnier way. Or maybe I just created that interpretation because I didn't want to believe I was just watching a cartoon about Sarah Jessica Parker's appearance.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Bother With the Truth?

Original Posting

My last blog was all about what I perceive to be a bias in favor of pessimistic assertions as opposed to optimistic ones. It ends by asking you to evaluate your own thinking and determine whether or not you accept weak pessimistic assertions more easily than weak optimistic assertions. There's a presupposition here, though, which is that you should believe things because they are true.

And why should we?

I have always tried to value truth, I've always tried to say that believing an ugly truth is better than believing a lovely lie. Part of clinging to the truth, however, is recognizing that the value of truth is not an absolute fact. We implicitly believe that you should try to believe the truth, but it's not hard to imagine situations where you would rather believe a lie. Our films are full of such situations because believing a lie is counter-intuitive, and therefore, dramatic, but still understandable and believable, and therefore, realistic.

So, here's the point. Why do you care whether or not something is true? Certainly it's not always for the value of the truth itself, sometimes the truth is only valuable as a means to something else (for example, having accurate beliefs about which pedal is the brake is valuable for the sake of safety, were it not for the fact that you need to know this information to remain safe, would the truth about the matter still be valuable?). So, remove all examples wherein the truth is valuable for the sake of something else, and ask yourself how valuable the truth is to you, and why.

Truth, for truth's own sake; believing twice two equals four simply because twice two equals four. How much do we really care about it? We demand that people think rationally (particularly when they disagree with us), but why not think irrationally? More specifically, why not base our thinking on something else? Why not base it upon pleasure instead? Whatever leads to us feeling good is what we believe, and we will cling to the truth only whenever it leads to more pleasure than an untruth (i.e. in the case of our brake pedal). Or what about power, whatever thoughts lead to us being more powerful and capable are what we believe (ignore the fact that you're not qualified to lead a family of four to table three; you're a natural, take-charge leader and a beautiful man!), whatever furthers your ambition is what you hold to be true.

Hell, let's give religion it's nod, why not something like fideism? Why not say faith is more important than reason or sound thinking? Perhaps it is a true sign of our devotion to God to sacrifice our pursuit of truth to focus on our pursuit of Him?

Clearly, there are alternative standards that we can judge our beliefs by. So, again, why use truth as the standard? This is a question that I believe, like all questions of value, comes down to a question of the individual's preference.

Assume one life, no reincarnation, no afterlife, just one, approximately 67 year ride. Would you be happy to know, as you approach the end of your life, that you lost pleasure for the sake of believing the truth? Would you be happy to know that you did not accomplish as much as you could have because you let the truth get in the way of being ambitious?

I, for one, believe I would.

Would you?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Original Posting

Optimists are wrong, this is my conviction. The idea that life is a good ride that's just going to keep getting better seems to be based on excluding a lot of available information. Of course, not every optimist exists at the blissfully ignorant extreme of the gradient, but, in my experience, the more optimism in a worldview, the more wishful thinking and less realism.

But that's not what this Bullshit is about.

This one is about the other extreme, which I've come to find we're just as likely to compromise realism for. Pessimism. There is a part of us that wants to believe we live in a world of shit, surrounded by monsters wearing human skin, and believing that wherever you turn something malicious is waiting to consume you. This too, it seems, is not the case.

What's the point here, apart from the fact that I need to bullshit something in the next 80 minutes or this blog will fail before it gets started?

It seems, however, that we tend to give pessimism a pass; someone who says something cynical is more likely to have their statement accepted at face value whereas someone who says something optimistic is more likely to meet skepticism and accusations of naiveté. Perhaps this is because we don't imagine people wanting a bad situation, so we presume that someone who sees the world as poorly sculpted shit is not basing his worldview on his biased desires. Is this really the case, though? Don't we really want to believe that the world is a terrible place, perhaps even just for the fact that we've managed to thrive in the world regardless of it's difficulties?

Single cells that turn into men in a terrible world are more glorious than cells that turn into men in a world made for our happiness.

Now, I haven't included any arguments for or against an optimistic or pessimistic view of the world, I leave that for you, dear reader, to examine for yourself. My only concern here, is with the fact that we seem to consistently hold pessimism to an lighter standard than optimism. This matter can only be solved, it seems to me, with a little internal reflection. Do you find anything within you that would prefer an ugly world? Do you find yourself tending to agree with pessimistic assertions based on the same evidence as optimistic assertions you would disregard?

So ask yourself, when you sit back and talk about how corporations are raping the world, no one cares about anyone else, humanity is going to bomb itself out of existence, and/or politicians are all self-serving crooks, are you describing the world as it is, or have you let your thinking succumb to a pessimistic bias?

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Subjective Layer

Original Posting

It is impossible to live without values. Without values and preferences, all we could do is sleep and lay in bed waiting to sleep. Actually, not even that, since we would have to prefer inactivity to activity in order to spend all day in bed. We could kill ourselves, but first we would have to prefer nonexistence to existence. Action is only made possible by having preferences and values, whether implicit or explicit, and life is only made possible by being capable of actions.

If values and morality are not objective facts about the world, as I hold, then we are forced to add a subjective layer to the objective facts of the world. We all do this, often without reflection. People are, objectively, a collection of atoms. Rocks are, objectively, a collection of atoms. Without reflection or argument, we generally say that there is nothing wrong with bashing rocks with a hammer while bashing people with a hammer is wrong. This is our subjective layer at work.

In general, our subjective layer is tied to emotion, pragmatism, and the expectations of those around us. We unreflectively prefer things that make us feel good as opposed to things that make us feel bad. We choose things conducive to our goals as opposed to things that hinder them. As social animals we feel societal pressure to like the things our peers like (in some people this is reversed, they hate the things that our peers like. This is still value based upon societal pressure, though). It is my belief that we can transcend these and base a system of value upon pure will, but what I exactly mean by that and whether or not anyone would desire to do so will have to wait for another time.

A problem arises from the fact that because these things are subjective they only matter to the person creating them. This would be fine except for the fact that we have to live in a society with all of these people and all of their subjective layers on the world. We have to create policies that everyone is expected to live under regardless of their preferences. Not only that, but these subjective layers often come into conflict, and any war between two subjective layers can only be solved by force because it is impossible to appeal to any objective facts to settle the matter through reason.

The only way we avoid oppression in society is by making no claim to objectivity in subjective matters. As soon as we claim that the subjective is objective we have a claim to power. For example, if I like Shakespeare, but I don't claim Shakespeare is objectively good, then everyone can read whatever they like; if I like Shakespeare and I claim Shakespeare is objectively good, then I have cause to force others to read Shakespeare in order to objectively improve them. This is a tame example, I could always come up with a few examples that relate to Godwin's law.

However, in order to balance all of these subjective layers in society, we have to have common ground. Not only that, but in order to preserve society we must actively fight against those who do not prefer society. Further, there are often situations where we would prefer to oppress a person rather than allow them to follow their preferences (child molesters, for example). We all force our subjective layer on other people, and yet we almost all say that this is wrong. We usually overcome this contradiction by not focusing on the subjectivity of our beliefs whenever we want to force them on others, we pretend that they are facts about the world. This, however, is dishonest, and therefore it is an option only available to those who do not value truth and understanding.

So, to what degree should we force our subjective layer on others? This too is subjective. Go too far and you're a fascist. Too little and you're an anarchist. Since we're on the topic of subjectivity, I'll give my subjective answer.

First one should decide whether or not they value society. If you answer 'no,' the courteous thing to do would be to find a remote island somewhere, and leave those who value society to have their society (of course, that's only if you value courtesy). If you answer 'yes,' then you can value force insofar as it is necessary to make society exist. Take note of the fact that I said 'exist,' not 'excel' since excelling would require a subjective conception of the good for the society to aspire to, and this would involve more force than I like.

From here, I think a minarchist system is best for accounting for the diversity of subjective layers. We must force our wills on others in order to preserve society, which means that we must keep people from harming each other. Apart from that, though, we would be stepping beyond the goal of preserving society, and therefore should (heh, “should” in a subjective statement) not proceed further.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Prostituting High School

Original Posting

Someone could make a fortune creating fake high schools, where people could go back and relive their glory days, or maybe live as someone they always wished that they could be.

People who were popular in High School and then experienced an adulthood of disappointment could return and have actors pretend that he's still a big shot. Intelligent underachievers could go back and have teachers consistently praise them for their brilliant work. Ugly girls could go back and have actors leer at them as though they were a beautiful chunk of jailbait. I imagine that you can come up with an example for every high school clique; some wanting to relive some of the best years of their life and some wanting to recreate some of the worst years of their life.

Perhaps the best part of such an endeavor is that many of the customers could probably be persuaded to become actors themselves, simply by offering discounts to customers who agree to gratify other customers. For example, one of the people who are there to have their work praised by a teacher could get a ten percent discount if he agrees to stare at the ugly girl and awkwardly ask her out, and then receive another discount if he agrees to make a bully feel intimidating, and so on. It's possible that some would even volunteer to act as teachers, due to whatever need they may have, and therefore cut the cost even further.

By starting the fees as prohibitively expensive, and then offering discount upon discount in exchange for agreeing to satisfy other patrons, the owner of this endeavor would be getting paid without needing to hire a large staff. If he's careful and intelligent, he could eventually arrange the customers so that they all begin satisfying each others needs in exchange for discounts. It would be necessary to rent the location or to purchase a location for the campus, and of course it would probably be necessary to hire at least a few actors in order to keep control of the situation, and a few security guards to keep the peace, but apart from that you could just sit back and collect 'tuition.'

And they would come. The people who were disappointed by life and look back at High School as their paradise would begin signing up. Classes would probably take place at night, so that students could work during the day. They could get together and roleplay, and it would be pathetic, and they would be mocked, and the man who thought of it would become rich.

If anyone out there has enough money to purchase or rent a campus, all I request is ten percent of the profits in exchange for coming up with the idea.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Why Value Truth?

Original Posting

Keeping with my belief that value is created by human beings, I ask whether it is wise to value truth.

Truth, here, is defined as holding beliefs that conform to reality. This is specifically about truth as it relates to human beliefs.

I'm not really asking why we should value truth, because asking why you should value something only makes sense when something is valued for the sake of something else. This blog assumes that truth is valued for it's own sake, and not for the sake of something else. Mostly, I want to bring up an inherent problem of valuing truth, and then to ask whether it's wise to continue valuing it.

The problem is the fact that it's unattainable. Human beings view reality through very narrow, very subjective slits. We have our senses, we have our reason, and we have instruments that we can use to feed data to our reason that would otherwise be unattainable for our senses. However, there is much that we can't perceive due to weakness (i.e. things that can be perceived, just not with our current equipment) and there may be some that we can't perceive by nature (i.e. things that simply cannot be detected by humans at all). Even leaving aside the possibility that there are things we can't perceive by nature, the fact of the matter is that everyone is placing bets on beliefs without all of the available evidence, and there seems to be no other way.

For one, there is often a great deal of information available, and it's difficult to take it all in. For two, there may be a great deal of information unavailable, which will be impossible to take in until we become capable of accessing it. For three, I don't see how we would know when we have acquired all of the relevant information, how do we know when we've uncovered everything? These are all practical problems to truth, which I think presents a challenge to those of us who value truth.

Why value something that you can't have?

Many people believe that it's counter-productive to point out a problem without offering a solution. Those people, however, can kiss my ass since it's my blog and I can point out whatever the hell I want. I don't really have a solution to this problem, but I'm certainly not bringing it up out of some sense of support for people who want to drop reason. I bring it up simply to illustrate that people who love truth are loving something that they will never absolutely have, they can only experience it in shades.