It is written that rationalists should win , but in order to craft an Art of Thinking, a Winning Way, there has to be some criterion that specifies what counts as a Win. Aspiring rationalists are obligated to give up their their most cherished beliefs and plans if and only if they are wrong, but what's to stop a human from cheating, from saying, "Well, I meant to do that"? The answer is that you must have something to protect , some value that you need to defend at any and all cost. If your only goal is to be certified as "rational" , then you have every incentive to cheat: even for the pure of heart, it may be too tempting in your darkest hour to plead, "But I did everything the Great Teacher told me to do!" Whereas the true student of the Way, the one who has something to protect will ask, "What have I been doing wrong ?"—and will strive to answer the question.