belief

When I stopped believing in ___ (ongoing)

Inspired by Scott Adam's Skeptical Journey, I decided to write me own list of realisations and moments of clarity, in chronological order. As Adams writes, a rational mind needs regular maintenance. One of the maintenance systems I employ is to remind myself of things I used to be sure about and later discovered to be untrue. A healthy rational mind needs regular doses of humility, as well as introspection.

Here is the approximate age at which I stopped believing in different stuff.

Age 5-10

  • Mickey Mouse (We call it "Topolino" in Italy) and cartoons in general as real people
  • Santa Claus (Babbo Natale)
  • Tooth Fairy
  • Dragons
  • Most people aren't mean and cruel

Age 10-15

  • God
  • Angels
  • Miracles
  • Money isn't important for happiness
  • Ghosts
  • Superior human races exist
  • Looks don't matter

Age 15-20

  • Reincarnation
  • People will understand if things are explained well enough
  • Nationalism isn't really that bad
  • College is always good for you
  • Memories are generally accurate
  • Alcoholism is a choice
  • School reputation doesn't matter
  • History as taught in school is generally accurate
  • You can do anything you set your mind to
  • Aliens are visiting us/have visited us already
  • Politicians know what they are doing
  • Money has inherent value
  • The planet is too big for man to fuck it up
  • Ceteris paribus, the better option will be implemented
  • State controlled socialism works

Age 20-25

  • Gay is a "choice"
  • Most adults know what they're talking about
  • Don't swim soon after eating
  • Free market capitalism works
  • The government isn't controlled by big money
  • Hard work is almost always rewarded
  • Anybody can make if they try hard enough
  • Environment doesn't matter as much as genetics
  • A calorie is a calorie
  • Germs are bad
  • Talent and hard work will carry you farther than personal connections in your career
  • All drugs are bad
  • Humans are more likely to be real than artificial/software
  • The stock market is mostly legitimate
  • You can win an argument with facts

Age 25-today

  • Elections can work, we just need a good party to vote for
  • Wealth doesn't make you more attractive
  • If you're doing something wrong, the people around you will always let you know in a timely fashion
  • Genetics doesn't matter as much as environment
  • Most People avoid overt self-destruction.
  • The golden rule works
  • Everything can be explained to a person if you explain it the right way
  • Being clever and intellectual is always a good thing
  • Vaccines aren't safe
  • The universe follows simple rules that humans can easily understand
  • Vitamin supplements are backed by science
  • Indefinite lifespan is impossible
  • Drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for you
  • Free will
  • Management is a science
  • Solving your problems can bring you lasting happiness
  • Some men don't watch porn
  • When somebody informs me of a quirk or a flaw I have, I'll be prompt to understand it and act accordingly. (Corollary: I need a minimum of 7 diverse people from different contexts and at different times.)

Feel free to comment and add your own below. This list will be updated as time goes.

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