Willami

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What if we make better decisions when we trust our gut instincts? [Link]

It surely depends upon how knowledgable you are about the subject, maybe your gut feeling can know better than you what's the better choice, but if you're not informed enough, then it's not reliable.

Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011)

Hi everyone, my name is Wil, I live in the UK, I love Sci-Fi and how it inspires people to think differently or ahead of their time, and am a member of the working class but spend a lot of time on benefits, due to the effects of being rather strongly bipolar, having a very faulty short-term memory, and having intermittent extremes of varying states of mind that at times leads to sleeplessness and agoraphobia, which then gives me LOTS of time to think with very little else to do but read up online about the things that I've found myself thinking about, which is what led me here, so I'm a big fan of the internet as, at times, it's all I have to still feel connected to the outside world and attempt to add to it in any useful way.

I'm not that well educated or read and I'm currently in a manic state where I have a sort of 'everything is possible' interpretation of the world, and I've been getting some crazy ideas about quantum theory, and it's possible relationship to different theories of morphic resonance, and therein if it's possible that the two could be argued to be associated in scientific terms as we currently understand them, such as through quantum entanglement, and whether various religious beliefs could also find a basis therein, etc, and have been struggling to find anyone IRL who will talk to me anymore, especially when they're trying to watch X Factor, so thought I'd look about online for some possible discussion mates.

I can at times feel very slow and stupid and at other times feel very intelligent and clever, but I am aware I can also be completely deluded about my current reality and my abilities therein, but as is often said, insanity and genius can be a slim divide, so I thought there would be no harm in, when I feel I'm making more sense than not, just trying a few ideas out online with some intellectual types and seeing if anything I think might actually work for others, and not just me!

I tend to just leap in feet first but I am perfectly happy to be shot down for some faulty reasoning, as I've been made perfectly aware through-out my life that that's what creation gave me to work with, and besides, being proven wrong still makes me learn something, but sometimes I also feel I have an idea that has some merit if I just had some more knowledgable people about me to flesh out the details a bit better and fill in the gaps in my knowledge, and I go through stages of having a sort of 'inherent sense of philosophical realism' enabled where I just FEEL if something is right or wrong, then come out with a fully-formed theory as to why, that seems to appear from no where, and then find myself trying to work out WHY, which is a very odd way of working I know, but it's how my mind is sometimes, and I guess if I never have a go at trying to explain it to myself and others, then I'll never know if I might have something I can actually work with during these mad manic times.

Anyway I'm going to try and resist starting any threads for a while yet, even when I can, I'm just going to read a lot (which I have before joining today anyway) and try a few comments on threads I feel I can hopefully manage a reasonable attempt at providing some understanding of, or perhaps lay out some other interesting associated question that I'd like to lead the thread onto, and in effect, dip a toe in and see where it gets me.

Still currently trying to understand quite how the site works, every site always seems to have it's own unwritten rules too, so apologies if I'm running before walking or treading on any toes, but that's how I tend to understand everything, I try it and learn from my mistakes, and I'm afraid there will be days when I just won't make any sense at all, for which I can only apologise, but hopefully people will make it clear without being too cruel that I should just shut up and try again another day!

Be kind!

Are Your Enemies Innately Evil?

To me, it simply comes down to one thing: belief.

If you absolutely believe something, then no matter how implausible it may seem to others with other beliefs, to you, in your mind, it is evident truth, and that therefore is your reality, and anyone who thinks otherwise will often be irritatingly stupid to you.

People with absolute beliefs that just require faith can pretty much rationalise anything to fit them, and are amazingly good at ignoring obvious flaws in their beliefs, and at seeing any, even tiny, counter argument, as being 'evil' and taking the other side, they can seem, and often are, a bit of a threat to those of us with a little more rational.

That's actually OK if that's as far as it goes, or if the 'war' is fought with words or posturing, but when people with absolute beliefs decide to make others conform to those beliefs through force, that's when you start getting the problems that lead to wars and terrorism.

As a general world view of when differing people try to 'police' the others (and not counting direct threat and the need to defend yourself), I believe those who try to enforce their belief upon others through force and threat we can call the bad guys, and those who try to do it through wordy persuasion and their own example that it works, without feeling the need to try to directly enforce it upon others, essentially presenting a counter choice and giving them it as a choice, we can call the good guys, because THAT really works, just a really persuasive argument or excellent proposition or compromise can completely change your perception of others and your particular reality in relation to them, and as such, everyones behaviour, forever! Thinking 'they're too stupid/corrupted to think like us so we'll just have to use force to get what we want' is when you lose (think of the whole IRA terrorist affair as a good example).

Think of it as the difference between teaching your dog to behave because he wants to because he likes you and believes in you as a good and respectable alpha, or teaching it to behave by pure punishment, like taking away it's food then smacking him on the nose with a newspaper whenever he jumps up on the kitchen table looking for scraps, the latter may work while you're about, but the moment you stop directly enforcing these punishments for misbehaviour, that dog will jump on the table anyway, probably with unbridled joy that he now has the freedom to!

I personally can't see that anyone in the whole 'War Against Terror' are particularly blame free, and I include pretty much all that got involved in it in that statement, and I think there was and is too much stereotyping and meddling in others affairs in the world by the super powers, using too much stick and not enough carrot, and using threat and force to try and make other far away people conform to your personal reality rarely ends well, and frankly, it p*sses people off, and all your really doing is creating the 'they'll only behave for as long as you can control them' scenario as set out above, eventually something bad is going to happen when your back is turned, or one day you get too weak to keep a firm grip on that newspaper!

As an aside, on the subject of 'evil wrongdoers' in history and how we decide who was really 'the bad guys' when we review it through our contemporary eyes, I can't help but notice they very often carry a 'good book' and an agenda to use it to qualify their actions, though...