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View Poll Results: How blindly do you trust superior entities?

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  • Not at all

    2 10.53%
  • Very little

    3 15.79%
  • Slightly

    10 52.63%
  • A good amount

    4 21.05%
  • Completely

    0 0%
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Results 1 to 10 of 42

  1. #1

    Default How blindly do you trust superior entities?

    How blindly do you trust superior entities?

    How much time and effort will you put in to change your mind to match what a superior entity output?

    I'll clarify the poll options here:
    1. Not at all. I only trust the superior entities in as much as they agree with what I believe, perceive, ...
    2. Very little. I only trust the superior entities if I can come to understand and change my mind to agree with them.
    3. Slightly. If I cannot understand or change my mind to agree with what the entity says, I will tentatively give the entity the benefit of the doubt, given that some sanity checks are passed. I will try to come around, but if upon further investigation, I still disagree, then I will no longer give the entity the benefit of the doubt.
    4. A good amount. I will give the entity the benefit of the doubt, and will continually search for ways to modify my understanding, perception, etc. to come to their point of view. However, if after a long amount of time, I cannot understand, perceive, ... what the superior entity does, I will revert to my own positions.
    5. Completely. I will give complete authority in the appropriate domain to the superior entity. I will try my best to modify my own thinking to match the entity's. This could be a life long pursuit.


    I am asking this in a very abstract sense. If the answer is that it depends on what the entity is, how it is superior, and what is meant by the word "blind", then please expound. What are the critical factors that would change your answer? IOW, if the answer is "it depends", then what does it depend on, and how do these factors incluence the amount of trust?

    Presuppositions:
    1) You genuinely believe the entity in question is superior in a particular domain.
    2) The statements from the entity (whether it is advice, instruction, answers, or whatever) do not make sense to you.
    3) Trust in this case is meant regarding the veracity of the output of the superior entity. There may be situations where despite lacking veracity, you still act in accordance with what the superior entity outputs.

    ---------
    To give an idea on how abstract the question is meant to be, I will give some concrete examples to show a variety of specifics I believe the question can cover.

    Scenario 1:
    The use of a calculator or computing device to calculations. How blindly to you trust the answers spit out?

    Scenario 2:
    Someone that you, yourself, believe to be more wise and worldly gives you advise about a situation where you believe (s)he has superior judgement. How blindly do you trust him/her?

    Scenario 3:
    An alien comes to Earth and explains how to create world transforming technologies (specifically in space travel and inter-species communication).

    Scenario 4:
    Someone that you know is better at processing emotions gives you advice about how to handle an emotional situation.

    Scenario 5:
    Someone you know to be more knowledgeable about a particular field tells you some facts about the field.

    Scenario 6:
    Someone you believe to be significantly better informed about medical issues (perhaps a doctor or nurse) gives you medical advice.

    Scenario 7:
    Someone significantly more knowledgeable and experienced in business, finance, and money gives you financial advice.

    Scenario 8:
    A health advisory board, that you have come to trust, puts out advice on diet.

    Scenario 9:
    A science advisory board, that you have come to trust, puts out a booklet about what it believes is true about a subject.

    Scenario 10:
    Someone you believe to be more spiritually aware and wise in that sense gives you advice in matters of the spirituality.

    Scenario 11:
    A source of spiritual doctrine (perhaps a pastor or biblical scholar reading from the Bible, a rabi quoting the Torah or Talmud, or a guru quoting the Gitas or the Vedas, or a Mullah quoting the Quran), that you have come to trust, tells you what ought to be done for spiritual reasons.

    Scenario 12:
    An organization that makes food, that you trust to make good food, gives you food to eat.

    Scenario 13:
    A mechanic you trust, and you believe knows more about cars than you, tells you what needs to be done with your car.

    Scenario 14:
    An organization you trust to make "ingredients" for your work gives you a product that it claims meets certain specifications.

    I am sure you can come up with more scenarios.
    Last edited by ygolo; 09-03-2012 at 11:30 AM. Reason: clarifications

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #2

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    I only trust in the judeo-christian God because of the history recorded in the bible, the progressive relationship with humankind beginning originally with the Israelites/Jews and then with the incarnation as Jesus and life among humankind that relationship changing or at least being properly revealed as embracing everyone.

    I may have reason to believe in the existence of God besides all that but what I'd mean by God would be something different and I may believe in God's existence but I would not believe in God or trust God.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I only trust in the judeo-christian God because of the history recorded in the bible, the progressive relationship with humankind beginning originally with the Israelites/Jews and then with the incarnation as Jesus and life among humankind that relationship changing or at least being properly revealed as embracing everyone.

    I may have reason to believe in the existence of God besides all that but what I'd mean by God would be something different and I may believe in God's existence but I would not believe in God or trust God.
    What about other scenarios? Like trusting a computational device's computations, the ingredients of things used for work, medical advice, financial advice, etc.?

    What are the key features that make you more trusting in one scenario vs. another? Or are you equally trusting in all the scenarios that the abstract question may cover?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    What about other scenarios? Like trusting a computational device's computations, the ingredients of things used for work, medical advice, financial advice, etc.?

    What are the key features that make you more trusting in one scenario vs. another? Or are you equally trusting in all the scenarios that the abstract question may cover?
    I do seek corroborating evidence most of the time, when I was younger I had terrible problems with math because I never trusted my working out and not always the answers which calculators would provide either, I also couldnt remember standard equations or times tables too and for some pretty deep philosophical reasons too but that didnt matter then, or now pretty much.

    Medical advice and financial advice I'd look for second opinions when I can, although in the main I trust the expertise of people who have worked in their field and have expertise that they can display through conversation. I think you have to have a degree of trust in those situations, without being incautious or attributing miraculous powers, because you will naturally, usually have less perfect knowledge than those professionals you're interacting with.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I do seek corroborating evidence most of the time, when I was younger I had terrible problems with math because I never trusted my working out and not always the answers which calculators would provide either, I also couldnt remember standard equations or times tables too and for some pretty deep philosophical reasons too but that didnt matter then, or now pretty much.

    Medical advice and financial advice I'd look for second opinions when I can, although in the main I trust the expertise of people who have worked in their field and have expertise that they can display through conversation. I think you have to have a degree of trust in those situations, without being incautious or attributing miraculous powers, because you will naturally, usually have less perfect knowledge than those professionals you're interacting with.
    What are the salient differences between trust in these cases and trust in the case of the bible? Or do you follow the same process in all these cases?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    What are the salient differences between trust in these cases and trust in the case of the bible? Or do you follow the same process in all these cases?
    I'd say it is similar, although the archetypes or provided from earlier in life, the family usually if you're fortunate for the trust relationship with God. It is different you're right.

  7. #7
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    A good amount since we must mix wonder with skepticism as we cannot immediately assume everything we perceive is true but however we also cannot immediately assume that everything we perceive is not true so we kind of have to wiegh the pros and the cons euqally on the scale of truth to discern the good from the bad.

  8. #8
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    People are just people.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    People are just people.
    Yes. But I'm not sure I follow the relevance.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  10. #10
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    I cannot place a calculator in the same position as a spiritual entity. One you can crosschck the answers while the other has few checks and balances that are measurable. For one, the jeopardy of the outcome is low, the other could be massive. So my degree of willingness to trust or follow one over the other is variable and dependant upon the specific advice and and circumstances at hand.

    I am not a natural leader though, I prefer to follow. At the same time I am always very critical and skeptical of any leadership. Thinking about it now though, my decisions about whom to trust and when boil down to nothing more than the irrationality of how I feel about it in the moment. There is very little that is rational about me to be honest. Intense levels of paranoia dominate my thinking and cloud my judgement. I am sure I should be living a better life than I do right now but I am trapped by the limitations of my own mind. I. That respect a wise being would be a welcome addition to my acquaintance.

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