Re: Open Letter to Lee Crocker

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 22 Jul 1999 10:28:25 -0700 (PDT)

> Nobody holds your dogmatism against you either, as it is a common
> behavior amongst high-IQ young people. Just because I don't believe
> in psychic powers either, does not mean I must dogmatically believe
> they don't exist because of insufficient evidence. The only rational
> choice left is *to not believe in anything*.

The idea that one should never believe anything is just as dogmatic and far less useful than the expedient, practical method of believing what is likely to be true until shown otherwise. I freely admit, for example, that I believe all psychics are frauds. Is this because I have spent a lot of time examining various claims, or because I blindly follow James Randi or because I want to be part of the "in" crowd of skeptics? No; I simply think it is the most likely case given what I know, and until I see more evidence it is quite rational and practical to live with that belief. It prevents me from wasting money on 900 numbers, and encourages me to make decisions based on something more substantial.

Pathological open-mindedness is a kind of cowardice. To live effectively, one must make commitments--to people, to moral values, and yes, even to beliefs. Some will be wrong, but that's life. When you discover that, you change--often with some pain. Until then, there's no sense crippling your ability to accomplish things in life by not having beliefs.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC