Re: Any strong belief is a chain.

Robin Hanson (
Tue, 22 Dec 1998 09:58:30 -0800

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
>Of late, the opinion has been expressed that it's okay to believe
>strongly in something as long as you have evidence for it - in other
>words, "dogma" describes a belief that is held strongly in the absence
>of evidence. I disagree. Any strong belief is a chain. ...
>Any strong belief causes the opinion to persist in and of itself and
>slows reaction to new information. Translation: It makes you stupid
>and slow.

Bayesian decision theory gives a nice account of how one's degree of belief in some claim should vary as evidence accumulates. It allows for assigning probabilities close to one when the evidence is strong. I presume you mean something else by "strong belief."

Robin Hanson   
RWJF Health Policy Scholar             FAX: 510-643-8614 
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 510-643-1884