Re: virus: Core beliefs

D. R. Stenshoel (
Fri, 26 Dec 1997 09:05:40 -0600

As to belief and beliefs, I have always liked what Robert Anton Wilson
wrote in the preface to the new edition of "Cosmic Trigger":

"I DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING. This remark was made, in these very words
byJohn Gribbin, physics editor of New Scientist magazine, in a BBC-TV
debate with Malcolm Muggeridge, and it provoked incredulity on the part
of most viewers. It seems to be a hangover of the medieval Catholic era
that causes most people, even the educated, to think that everybody must
'believe' something or other, that if one is not a theist, one must be
a dogmatic atheist, and if one does not think Capitolism is perfect, one
must believe fervently in Socialism, and if one does not have blind
faith in X, one must alternatively have blind faith in not-X, or the
reverse of X.

My own opinion, is that belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as
one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops
thinking about that aspect of existence. The more certitude one
assumes, the less there is left to think about, and a person sure of
everything would never have any need to think about anything, and might
be considered clinically dead under current medical standards, where the
absence of brain activity is taken to mean that life has ended"

Wilson advocates in place of belief, "model agnosticism, which holds
that "any grid we use to organize our experience of the world is a model
of the world, and should not be confused with the world itself"

How about an agnostic COV, inclusive of multiple models?

D.R. Stenshoel