Thursday, April 18, 2013
While I did successfully finish a prototype, I decided that it would be best not to release the game so instead of a postmortem this week, I am going to get on my soapbox. Feel free to skip the rest of this post.
I have noticed that there seems to be an ever-growing number of people who don't seem to know the difference between facts and beliefs. I have written the following to help shed light on this issue.
Let us say that I had an invisible rock. It is just a regular rock with no special properties other than being invisible. Let us say that I believed this invisible rock was an invisible rock. My beliefs would be correct but without evidence they would still be just beliefs.
Let us say that you believed my invisible rock was an invisible pink unicorn. Your beliefs would be wrong. If you got together a number of friends who also believed the invisible rock was an invisible pink unicorn, the invisible rock would still not be an invisible pink unicorn. No matter how much you believed that the invisible rock was an invisible pink unicorn it would not change the fact that the invisible rock was just an invisible rock and not an invisible pink unicorn.
Let us say that everybody in the world believed that the invisible rock was an invisible pink unicorn. That would still not change the fact that the invisible rock was just an invisible rock.
Without compelling evidence a belief is just an opinion. Compelling evidence should be focused, as blindly tested as possible, independently repeatable, and statistically significant. Compelling evidence is sometimes hard to find and some things are simply not provable even if they may be true. If you can not back up your beliefs with evidence, then they are just your opinions.
In other words, when I say I think the invisible rock is an invisible rock, telling me that my denying the pink unicorn means that I am a follower of the nightmare and that will be denied from entering ponyville is probably not a very compelling argument. A rational response would be to provide evidence supporting your view. If the evidence doesn't exist (or worse, exists but doesn't support your beliefs) then the belief may need more scrutiny.