To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Thursday, January 31, 2002
I've often wondered if there's a connection between reality and belief, as some pychologists seem to say. Here's a quote that offers some dope --

"Another commonly heard defense of paranormal claims goes like this: `Reality is relative. If I decide to believe in astrology, then it becomes real in my own reality and works for me.' In other words, belief determines the structure of reality. An extreme version of this rather silly position is held by parapsychologists who try to explain their critics' repeated failures to find any evidence confirming the existence of ESP (extrasensory perception) by saying that the critics don't believe the phenomenon to be real and, therefore, for the critics, it isn't. We'll see that a much better explanation is that the critics conduct better, more tightly controlled experiments than do the believers. In any event, this position that belief determines reality puts its proponents in a rather unpleasant position. In Nazi Germany millions of people really believed that Jews were sub-human. If belief determines reality, then the belief must really have been true. This is an absurd position and those who hold that belief determines reality have never bothered to think their notion through to the repellent consequences of its logical conclusions. The point is that truth is independent from belief. When the proponents of a pseudoscientific claim maintain that belief determines reality, it's a safe bet that they can't prove their point using legitimate rules of evidence. The examples of the witch delusion and the Nazi horrors show the great damage done by the uncritical acceptance of pseudoscientific claims. Both might have been avoided if the public had been educated in critical scientific thinking and had simply asked, `What evidence is there that what you are telling me is really true?' "
--Terence Hines

More skeptics' quotes