Sunday, August 16, 2015

How do you know that's right?

> The question, "How do you know that's right?" is a bad question. It's inherently bad. It begs for an authoritarian answer. And, worse, it drops the proper context. 
> (A little like how "Who should rule?" begs for an authoritarian answer, like Karl Popper explains. Questions can be bad and designed to prompt bad answers. Sometimes you have to dispute the question itself.) 
> A good reply is, "You got a better idea?" 

hmm. sometimes I ask, "how do you know that [is right]?"

but i'm not asking for their justification. i'm asking for their reasoning so that i can criticize it.

like say somebody says "when people are in deep sleep, that means they are dreaming". and i ask, "how do you know that [is right]?" Am i asking a bad question?

what i'm getting at is this: "did you look for rival theories and rule them out? what were those theories and what criticisms did you use to rule them out?"

if he says to the 1st question, "i don't know [how]." then i'm ok to reject his theory.

or if he says to the 2nd question, "i didn't look for rival theories." then i'm ok to reject his theory.

now if someone replied, "you got a better theory?" i could say, "no i don't currently have a better theory, but it doesn't make sense to accept your theory without having vetted it against rival theories and criticisms, and it surviving."


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