For me the most important thing is how to structure my beliefs. I will not fritter away my beliefs without adequate justification.The 5 principles that I can rely on are:
1. Occam’s Razor: All things being equal, the simpler theory is most likely the correct one. In helping me choose a theory from several competing theories, the concepts of Explanatory Scope, Explanatory Power, Ad Hoc Composition and Plausibility are extremely influential.
2. Bayes Theorem: The rational analysis of new evidence leads to the updating of ones earlier beliefs. “How should we modify our beliefs in the light of additional information? Do we cling to old assumptions long after they’ve become untenable, or abandon them too readily at the first whisper of doubt?” I recently came to realise that since Bayes Theorem depends on multiplication of Prior Probability. This means that if my prior were to believe that an event were impossible (prior = 0) then no amount of new evidence would be able to make me change my mind.
3. The scientific method: A theory must start with a hypothesis, it must make predictions and then compare them with available evidence. Any theory must withstand the rigours of scientific enquiry for me to accept it.
4. Blind Faith is a curse I am yet to be afflicted with.
5. My wife, the nonsensegirl and my Labrador, Abroozi are my two best friends. With them in my life, they inspire me to be a better person.