Level 2 chaos, risk communication, and faith

In communities which value reason and evidence, atheism is the norm. The core reason seems the rejection of faith. There is no evidence of God and there more plausible theories for why the world is as it is (e.g. evolutionary theory, Big Bang). Yet, theists remind each other that it is important to believe anyway, to have faith.

Faith is an odd concept in the paradigm of rationality and truth-seeking. It seems the opposite of the most common definition of knowledge: well-justified belief. But, faith has been dismissed too quickly; it still …

What I, a classical utilitarian, learned from suffering-focused ethics

I recently attended a retreat focused on suffering-focused ethics. It is the new “umbrella term for views that place primary or particular importance on the prevention of suffering,” encompassing also negative utilitarianism and, by implication, anti-natalism. Although my skepticism about these views was not relieved, I found the retreat very valuable: I learned a lot and I made new allies in the mission to improve the long-term future. I think …

Everything follows the path of least resistance

Everything follows the path of least resistance. And when I say “everything” I don’t mean “most things”, I mean everything.

People who are lazy are sometimes described as taking the path of least resistance. Of course, I agree (because I believe that everything takes the path of least resistance). However, this implies that hard-working, conscientious people are taking a more difficult path. They’re eschewing the path of least resistance. That’s wrong. Hard-working people …

Ethics does more than reduce your options

Many people value freedom, and rightly so. However, I think this has the negative consequence in how people view morality. It seems to mainly constrain one’s options: it is forbidden to do this, it is forbidden to do that. A moral life seems a boring and constrained life. Supposedly, a moral saint doesn’t have children, never takes an airplane, donates everything they don’t need to survive to charity, never lies, is a vegan, and never makes a mocking joke. Not an attractive life, is it? There are multiple issues …

Ambition is empty without direction

I used to find ambition a dirty word. It’s something for Slytherins: calculating, egoistic people who want to be successful and want high status and who want to be powerful. My opinion has changed gradually over time, and I have now arrived at an almost opposite position; I believe ambition is enormously important for the good of the world, and I want to understand it better. Here is …

A schematic display of conversation

This is my first attempt of externalising the ideas I have built I through having many conversations, primarily by those with my best friend, Justin. Regularly, when we talk, we take a sort of meta perspective: we look at or discuss the conversation from a distance. We’ll say things such as: “how did we get to this topic?” or “let’s go back a bit”. This is not at all unique to us, but …

On Blogging

Blogging is hot. It would surprise me if you don’t know a single person who maintains or has maintained his/her own blog. I have decided to start one as well. It seems to fit the self-centeredness of the current generation. But is it self-centered? And if so, is that a bad thing? I think it is self-centered. Blogging is personal. People share their stories, their ideas, their values. Nevertheless, that …