The Uncertainty Principle

Next time you have a disagreement with someone or think that a specific view is wrong, ask yourself the following questions:
• Does your opponent think that they are as right as you think that you are?
• Does your apponent think that you are as wrong as you think that they are?
• Does your opponent think that the facts support their views just like you think that they support yours?
• Does your opponent think that you have got all the facts wrong just like you think that they have?
• Does your opponent think that you are biased just like you think that they are?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ or ‘most likely’, then you are bound to realise that either of you must be wrong and that there is at least a 50% chance that it is you.

And before you tell me, “yes, but I just happen to be right”, think whether your opponent wouldn’t have said the same.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “The Uncertainty Principle

      1. Ok that’s not fair: most philosophers have probably *heard* of Scott Aaronson. They don’t however follow his work.

        The comment I made was before I met you on Facebook, by the way.

        Like

  1. I am not convinced. Consider the following example.
    Myself – an adult.
    My opponent: – a five year old child.

    My opponent sincerely believes that Santa Claus flew on his sleigh driven by reindeers led by Rudolph, entered his house via the chimney and delivered the presents left at the end of his bed. I believe this never happened and that the truth was that his parents left the presents at the bottom of his bed.

    The answer to each of the five questions (plus the additional one at the end) you pose above is “Yes.”

    It is a valid argument to make that one of us must be wrong, but the conclusion that there is “at least a 50% chance” that I am wrong does not follow from the premises.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s