I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

95. Truth, Trust, Probability, Decisions

Truth, Trust, Probability, Decisions
I have eliminated the word belief from my active vocabulary for the purpose of my reaction to claims, I only use this word when describing others.  I also am using the word truth with a lot of caution.   Some things of my own experience and perception are certain enough to be considered as true.   Yet there can be hallucinations or other distortions.  

I prefer to calculate probabilities.    This calculation is based on the rational plausibility and the trustworthiness of the source.   Rational plausibility means the accordance or contradiction to other knowledge, that I have previously given high probability and the presence of evidence including own experience.  

The probability of a claim is a function of the scientific validity of a claim and the reliability of the source.   

A few examples:

If I read about the result of a research in a scientific journal with enough information about evidence from a double blind study, then it gets high probability.
If I read a claim without any evidence on a forum, I give it a probability, that is derived from how much it is similar to other claims, of which I do have evidence.  
When I hear the same claim, appearing plausible but without evidence and coming from independent sources, I start to increase the probability.
Any claim, that is in contradiction to evidence, automatically gets a probability near zero, no matter, how often it is repeated.   The same with claims, which are by their own definition beyond the applyability of evidence.  
When something plausible is beyond the reach of evidence, like the subjective experience of someone, then I calculate the probability by that person's trustworthiness in the past.   A person, who has never lied, can make the claim to have a headache.   In spite of the lack of evidence to measure a headache, I give it high probability as being told the factual reality of another.   
Would a notorious liar claim a headache, I would calculate a lower probability, because I would suspect a lie with a purpose.  
When a trustworthy person claims to have seen a ghost, then of course I can calculate a very high probability of the person's experience being subjectively real, but the probability, that it was a ghost and not something else, is still near zero.  

Of course my estimation of probabilities can be wrong, because many times I have only insufficient information.   But life requires again and again to make decisions, and decisions are as good as the information, they are based upon.   
Calculating the probability of the existence of a god as practically zero allows me the sound decision to behave as if I have never heard even the word 'god' before.  
Calculating that the probability of a claim without evidence is not good, even if it has been repeated hundreds of times helps to avoid buying, what commercials want me to buy.
Calculating the probability by reading on the web the independent experiences of other buyers and users of a product and the absence of negative experiences helps to make a wise decision in buying something.  

Calculating probabilities helps to make rational decisions undistorted by emotions, gullibility and manipulation.