Re: God

David A Musick (
Sat, 10 Jan 1998 21:06:03 -0500

There has been some criticism to my original God post. Most of it was
directed towards the idea of not rejecting any theory that is not
logically inconsistent and does not conflict with experiential evidence.
The main objection to that was that there can be a huge number of
theories to explain any phenomenon, and none of us have the time to
consider all of them, so we must pick the sorts of theories which we
prefer, usually the simplest ones. This is perfectly true and rational.
We must pick and choose which theories we will pay attention to. But
just because we choose one theory, that doesn't mean we should reject or
deny the other ones. Ignoring them is rational, but rejecting them is
not. Rejecting a theory is asserting that it is not true, and unless the
theory is logically inconsistent or has evidence against it, then the
assertion of its falsity is unsupported.

I have no problem with people ignoring theories involving God, but I view
*rejecting* those theories as flawed thinking. Denying something without
evidence or reason is just as bad as asserting something without evidence
or reason.

This sort of thinking error is very common and generally involves other
issues besides God. People often settle on one explanation for something
and reject all other explanations. This makes it very difficult for them
to revise their thinking later when their understanding proves
inadequate. An explanation which they have rejected may be more
appropriate in consideration of information they receive later. It's
more difficult to "un reject" a possible explanation than to simply not
have eliminated it in the first place.

This sort of cognitive error also happens at the perceptual level. We
usually refer to it as only being able to see things from a single
perspective. People get stuck interpreting their sensory information in
a certain way and they have a difficult time seeing the world
differently. For example, many caucasian people perceive black people in
a very negative way. That is only one out of many, many ways to see them,
but deeply prejudiced people have rejected all the other ways of seeing
them and are fixated on their ways of looking at them.

Cognitive fixation slows down learning. In my opinion, all beliefs and
thoughts must be left subject to change. The mind and belief systems
must be in constant flux. This way, ideas and beliefs can be in constant
mutation and competition and in continual improvement.

David Musick (

- Constantly refining one's thinking leads to greater intelligence.