Wednesday 4 August 2010

My world-view is up for renewal next month.

As an open minded skeptic I thought that rather than just blindly re-subscribing to rationalism for another 12 months, I’d use one of those newfangled world-view comparison websites, just to make sure I couldn’t get a better deal on my ideology.

Here are the results:



VeroniqueD said...

What a wonderful post!! You have just made my day.

Many thanks

Unknown said...

The Stalin thing is priceless!

@jaclong said...

Loved it!
Inspired me to check out the competition though...

Take a look at


Michael Kingsford Gray said...

Utterly brilliant!
How do you keep coming up with these marvelous ideas?

Anonymous said...

My ancestors did not fight in the crusades to help you find Cheap Belief systems!

Paul said...

Deserves to be printed out and put through every letterbox in the country.

PJZen said...

Simply brilliant once again.

Obi-Mom Kenobi said...


Brian Macker said...

I'm a rationalist and I find that I do not use peer review very much in my thought processes. Not the kind of peer review some use to blunt criticism of their beliefs. I've never had to say to someone, "You are wrong because your beliefs aren't peer reviewed". It would be pretty hard to go to a committee run by a journal to determine for me what I should think.

Many of the valid scientific theories that I have accepted, like evolution, were not primarily error corrected by journalistic peer review. Many of the ones I reject use journalistic peer review to gate keep against rational criticism.

Brian Macker said...

Also as a rationalist my central tenets are not scientific theories. Belief in those are the results of my central tenets which are philosophical. It is the philosophy of science not individual theories (like Lamarckism) that are my central tenets.

Michael Kingsford Gray said...

Brian Macker:
I am truly sorry to hear that you base your life rationale upon sophistry and straw-men, rather than facts.

Brian Macker said...


I'm so sorry you think that science is based on sophistry and straw men. I tend to think otherwise.

Scientific theories aren't "facts". If that's what you are thinking then you are mistaken. They are models. You've made a category mistake since the discussion is tenets.

I think you have made that category mistake because I was objecting to categorizing scientific theories as central tenets (or even as tenets), to which you respond as if I am against "facts". Seems as if in your misunderstanding of my position you thought I was against well established scientific theories like evolution, but wanted to label them as "facts".

Well theories are not facts.
That's why scientists and people who understand science structure their sentences like ... "evolution is a fact and natural selection is" either "the theory that explains that fact" or "a plausible explanation of how it happened." or "one of the most observed, validated and empirically backed-up theories ..." or some other similar phrase. Google the first sentence and you will see.

The philosophical part of science is the most important part. It consists of the central tenets. Tenets like "We assume as a tentative theory that all humans are fallible, and that we know we are since we make mistakes, and therefore require some methodologies to reduce error", and "We accept all our theories tentatively".

I'm also using rationalism very loosely here, as the author of the article is. Actually, I'm not truly a rationalist by the strict definition. Strictly speaking classical rationalism is wrong.

I'm a pan-critical rationalist in the spirit of William Warren Bartley, III. Bartley was in the spirit of Popper and fixed some of the flaws in his theory of scientific philosophy, refining it. I started with Bartley and have refined further.

So exactly how to you get these "facts" you claim are your central tenets (a category confusion if you ask me)?

What tenets guide you when different rationalists claim different "facts" (which you seem to use as a label for theories? For example, when Stephen Jay Gould claims that Puncuated Equilibrium is a true representation of the way the world operates, and Richard Dawkins says it isn't.

Brian Macker said...

To explain the philosophy a little further, or at least the geneology of the philosophy. Rationalism is a defunct philosophy of science. It has a problem in that it contains the fallacy of induction. Popper corrected that problem partially by assuming falsification as the main principle of science, and calling this critical rationalism.

However there were problems with Popper which I won't get into, and Bartley corrected those and called it pan-critical rationalism.

Other philosophers criticized Bartley and he accepted that criticism as valid. I am under the impression that Bartley died with this belief. However his origin Pan-Critical Rationalism didn't actually contain the flaw. The problem was that he failed to recognize a flaw in their reasoning. They had equivocated on the use of the term "criticism".

Don't follow the following link till you read the rest of this comment.

I have corrected that flaw.

The fellow who uses the tag Constant in the comments is a guy I really respect. I gave him the opportunity to independently arrive at my conclusion and he was able to do so. Read the article and see if you are philosophically sharp enough to figure it out before you read the answers in the comments.

Brian Macker said...

Being a pan-critical rationalist I apply critical rationalism to everything. That includes religions. I've found every mainstream religion I have examined to be false. I've said that so you don't mistake me for a fundamentalist again, because that's what I think you did.

I've also found the following ideologies also to be false, as presented by others: Marxism, Socialism, Objectivism, Anarcho-capitalism (market anarchism), Minarchism. This doesn't mean that any ideology might contain some truths or might not be vastly superior to another. I'm saying they are false because they contain core claims that can be shown to be false. In so doing they overreach.

For some, like Marxism the entire basis of the ideology is flawed. For others, like Minarchism it is minor portions. I'd much rather live with the Minarchist truth of property rights and the falsity of "taxes are theft" than the Marxist truth of "people get exploited" and the falsity of "property rights are theft."

Brian Macker said...


I don't get the humor in the spoof comment from "Joe" you created for your photoshop that says, "I'd been with the communist party for years, but thanks to I was able to get myself a much better deal by switching to totalitarianism ..."

You said "the communist party" which is an organization that advocates totalitarianism. They aren't like the Hutterites who advocate voluntary communism. Instead they advocate Marxist communism which is a mandatory communism and is a form of totalitarianism. One that has lead to the deaths of around 100 million. It is also a non-rationalist faith based ideology, that unfortunately claims to be rationalist.

If you were trying to mock Marxism then I would have gotten the joke if it was worded: "I'd been with the same socialist party for years, but thanks to I was able to get myself a much better deal by switching to Marxist communism (a brand of socialism) and saving a lot of time and effort by regulating every aspect of my life, instead of just some aspects, in my expanded authoritarian regime. Sure 60 million have died under the control of the communist party but they weren't all members in good standing."

Are you a Marxist, or did you just not think that joke through? It comes off like you think there is something to Marxism. Also it seems to make a category error yet again. I'd blame it on Joe but he's a fictional character and

Normally I wouldn't nit pick a humor site, which this obviously is, but you are making fun of people for not being rational, which makes these mistakes in your humor ironic.

Irony can be a form of humor too so maybe this is intentional. Maybe this is a spoof site and you are a creationist? I hope you don't turn out to be like the fellow from The Raving Atheist humor site, which also made fun of the irrrational while not being wholly rational.

kazoo said...

I liked it.

Neil Davies said...

Yeah Crispian, think your jokes through FFS!!!111! :P

Unknown said...

Oh PLEASE build the website for real!

Martin_z said...


You are taking this WAAAAY too seriously.

Crispian - excellent. I think you should at least grab the website, in case you decide to actually build the site properly!

Ronan said...

I liked the "What our customers say" part.

Jonathan said...

This was my favourite post of 2010. You have to be careful not to get flamed, don't you?! Judaean People's Front and all that...