April 29, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:49 am

A while ago I posted on things I used to believe, but have since discarded.  I intended to follow-up the next day with things I did believe.  However, I got a bit derailed because my concept of what it means to accept something as true has changed so much, the things I have replaced those postulates with are not even of the same nature.  Without going on a long-winded  exercise of describing and justifying that, I’ll just toss out some of my current beliefs and call it good.

Interdependent arising sounds compelling.

Paradox is unavoidable.

Descartes was right, but accept the external world anyway.

I am highly impacted by cognitive dissonance.

There is such a breadth to humanity, we don’t even agree on what the big questions are, much less the answers.

Hedonic adaptation is a big deal.

I am very bad at predicting which of the things I want will actually promote my own happiness.

Index funds are a really good idea (at least for me).


  1. “we don’t even agree on what the big questions are, much less the answers”

    Maybe we don’t agree 100% on what the big questions are, but just like almost all advanced primates “obsess” about nourishment, sex, social status and other fundamentals, humans seem to have a universal need for meaning. All neurologically intact humans, except a few who got PhD’s in the humanities, would probably agree that it is essential to make sense of it all.

    Comment by P — May 2, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

  2. @P – “…humans seem to have a universal need for meaning”. That’s an interesting idea. There certainly are schools of thought that require a lot less meaning than others, and cultures that de-emphasize the need for meaning, but I think the point you wish to emphasize is that the question is being asked.

    It does certainly seem like we have a universal need to ask questions, and seek for answers. The angle I wished to highlight is that while we have a universal tendency to ask, *what we are actually asking* seems highly variable.

    For example, even the question: Does my life have meaning? Seems much less common in other parts of the world. In some religions, you would be told that is the wrong question entirely (for various reasons). The completely redefined definition of self contained in my first item illustrates why that question would be meaningless in that world view.

    Is there a certain subset of questions that is asked cross-culturally? I don’t know and haven’t seen any credible research on the topic (haven’t looked all that hard). Perhaps that line item should be rephrased as: ‘The big religious questions that North Americans tend to ask are not cross-cultural.’

    Comment by Matthew — May 4, 2010 @ 9:14 am

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