RE: virus: Logic

Ken Kittlitz (
Sun, 19 Oct 1997 14:55:19 +0000

At 09:25 AM 10/17/97 -0700, Richard B. wrote:

>What makes you think that following the advice of a horoscope would lead
to poor choices of actions?

If the advice of a horoscope is really based on positions of planets etc.,
then I think it is more or less random relative to things that actually
have effects on our lives. Take my example of cancelling an important
business trip because of a horoscope's advice of not to travel... now,
there may be good reasons for cancelling the trip (perhaps I don't trust
the airline's safety record), but I don't think that there's any evidence
that planetary positions will affect that or any other factor of the trip.

Unless I let them, of course. A horoscope can certainly affect me if I
believe in it. I completely agree with your position that how "well" (by
whatever criteria) we do in many areas of life, perhaps most areas, is
strongly influenced by the attitudes and perspectives we bring to them.

However, there are these pesky regularities in the universe that don't
really care about our goals and the belief sets we use to pursue them. I
think it is fair to say that rationality has done better than other belief
sets in terms of allow us to understand and, to some extent control, these
regularities. Since these regularities have a big effect on us, I think
that rationality is a valuable tool for achieving goals, life purposes, etc.

>> I guess all I was trying to get across is that beliefs have
>> effects/consequences, and sometimes it's not easy to reap the benefits
>> without suffering the drawbacks.
>Well said! The rational/skeptical set of beliefs included!

Yes, it would be a tall order for one belief set to be "best of breed" in
all situations. However, I think rationality/skepticism is often the most
applicable, if only because of those darn regularities in our universe we
have to put up with.

Ken Kittlitz
Kumo Software Corp.