What would it take…

April 7, 2011

Let’s say that you get into a debate on the benefits of light bulbs.  You like lights, the other guy believes that they are bad.  What would it take for you to change your mind?  What kind of evidence would you require?

Would you need to see a scientific study showing the negative effects to the environment?  How about a study on the negative effects to our sleep patterns?  Or the detrimental effects of light pollution to astronomers?   Would it take just one study?  Five?  A thousand?

The Author Acting Irrationally

The Author Acting Irrationally

It’s worth asking yourself this question.  It forces us to reevaluate our own logic and reasoning and can uncover irrational thinking. It gives us insight in how stable our claims are.  It can also remind us about why we believe in certain things.

It’s also worth asking the person you’re debating the same question.  If the person you’re debating says, “there is nothing that can convince me otherwise”, then it’s probably time to walk away.  They are not being rational.  It doesn’t matter if they are correct since even the irrational are correct once in a while.  You can’t expect an irrational person to have a rational discussion.

But what if you ask yourself what it would take, and your answer is, “there is nothing that can convince me otherwise”?  Well then, you have a serious problem!

This might not matter when it comes to light bulbs, but there are many more important questions:  Is there a God?  Should I have this medical operation?  Who is the greater evil– Dr. Phil or Dr. Oz?

The God question is a good one to think about.  It doesn’t matter if you believe or not (in the context of this blog post).  What’s important is that you are rational and know what it would take to change your mind.



  1. The greatest evil is if Dr. Phil and Oz join forces…like some two headed cerberus beast spewing ‘knowledge’ and ‘advice’ upon the world. *shutters*

  2. […] Kessner's Soapbox My personal soapbox to rant about whatever is on my mind. « What would it take… Faith Is Irrational April 20, […]

  3. […] the spirit of my previous post, What Would It Take, I had to ask myself, “what would it take to convince me that the Power Balance bracelets […]

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