Baxil (baxil) wrote,

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I am pretty sure that people gain a selective advantage from believing in things they can't prove. I am dead serious about this. People who are sometimes consumed by false beliefs do better than those who insist on evidence before they believe and act. People who are sometimes swept away by emotions do better in life than those who calculate every move. These advantages have, I believe, shaped mental capacities for intense emotion and passionate beliefs because they give a selective advantage in certain situations.

I am not advocating for irrationality or extreme emotionality. Many, perhaps even most problems of individuals and groups arise from actions based on passion. ... I am arguing, however, that if we want to understand these tendencies we need to quit dismissing them as defects and start considering how they came to exist.

-- Randolph Nesse, answering's question "What do you believe even though you can't prove it?"

This is actually surprisingly relevant to my personal approach to draconity (draconity in general, I can't speak for here).

The Inner Skeptic and I grapple all the time with the whole "can't prove it" deal. Ultimately, I have the choice to either accept the lack of proof and believe anyway, or to back away from it in favor of more uncertain but epistemologically solid ground. One of the many factors that has gone into that decision has always been a difficult-to-encapsulate but conscious recognition that it's healthier -- more advantageous -- for me to believe in this theory, which is imperfect (like all the others) and odd but nevertheless has given me the best framework yet for approaching my life.
Tags: draconity

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