Basic rules to go by

In my life I have noticed that people often make errors in logical thinking due to some of the following fallacies:

— Just because two things appear to have a correlated relationship, doesn’t mean that they necessarily have a causal relationship. In other words, if two things happen close to each other, that is not by itself prove that one has cause the other.

— Just because an authority figure says it’s so does not automatically mean that it is true. Experts are often right, but they are also often wrong, which should motivate us not to always take everything that they say at face value, especially when our own personal experiences contradict them.

— Just because most people believe it’s true, doesn’t necessarily make it true. History is full of examples of the masses being absolutely convinced in something that turned out to be utterly false. The ultimate standard of truth is true empiricism, not whether an idea is popular or not.

— Just because something makes us feel good, reassures us, appeals to our motions or is what we want to hear, does not make it true. Things are true because they are true, not because we want them to be true.

-As a general rule I find Occam’s razor to be true. While it is a generality — and not always correct it is still a good rule to keep in mind.– I often find that we do not recognize what is clearly obvious to us due to our prejudice and bias.  Often the answer is much simpler and clearer than we want to recognize it as being.


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