Truth

Emotions

The Ethics of Honesty and Openness

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, September 14 2022

“Honesty is the best policy.”  “Always tell the truth; that way, there’s less to remember.”  Everyone spouts the benefits and importance of honesty.  But is it really ethical to be open and honest all the time?  No, no it’s not.  Let me explain. There are two factors at play in this: ethics and emotions.  Ethics are rules you follow to minimize har...

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Truth

If Your Beliefs Don’t Benefit You, Change Them

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 1 2022

A belief is anything that you assume to be true.  A subset of beliefs is knowledge, which are things that you know to be true because you have proven them in your reality.  Ideally, people want to bring their beliefs in line with reality to prevent harm, pain, and disappointment.  However, all beliefs that something is not possible when it actually...

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Emotions

No One Cares (and That’s a Good Thing)

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 25 2022

Humans are a social species.  As such, they are naturally drawn to human interaction.  Small talk, for example, is the ultimate example of picking inconsequential topics to discuss to begin conversations and develop relationships with others.  As people get to know each other, they can then move into more sensitive or in-depth topics with a greater...

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Emotions

“Your Feelings Never Lie to You” vs. “Your Feelings Are Always Right”

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 11 2022

Roger Ebert is famously quoted as saying, “Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.”  This is an important point about feelings because your emotions are giving you critical feedback about three things: your experiences (e.g., “AHHHH!!!  I’m on fire!”), your desires (e.g., “I really could go for a cheeseburger right...

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Planning

Dying Before You Are Recognized

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, December 29 2021

Everyone dreams of getting recognized for what they’ve done or the kind of person they are.  Many people throughout history inspire people today for all that they’ve done for humanity.  However, there is one depressing reality about many of those people who are revered for their accomplishments: so many of them never achieved even remotely the leve...

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Truth

Freedom vs. Safety: The Ultimate Trade-off

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, October 6 2021

Would you rather be safe or free?  Obviously, people want to say both, as many people use “free” and “safe” interchangeably when, for example, they claim that they want to be “free to go outside” during a pandemic or when a criminal is on the loose when they really want to be safe when they go outside.  But freedom and safety are opposing goals mos...

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Suffering

What Is Causing Your Existential Crisis?

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, August 11 2021

Humans have advanced cognitive abilities that allow them to think about themselves and the world around them.  That gives them greater survival capabilities, but it also allows them to wallow in despair.  The question is, what causes the latter to occur?  In other words, why are you questioning your existence?

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Suffering

Use Cognitive Dissonance to Your Advantage

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, July 14 2021

Cognitive dissonance occurs when there is a conflict between a belief you hold and a behavior, new information, or a conflicting belief.  The "dissonance" in this case causes discomfort, necessitating a change in the person's behavior or beliefs to alleviate it.  The most famous example in history is the Aesop fable of Sour Grapes.  In the fable, a...

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Suffering

Believing What’s True vs. What Benefits You

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 26 2021

This seems like it should be the shortest blog post ever: “Should you believe what’s true or what benefits you?  What’s true, of course!  What a stupid question!” Okay, well what if someone just had the greatest failure or disaster of their lives and the truth is that their life will never be the same again?  What if their dog, friend, or family me...

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Choice

Facts, Conclusions, Recommendations, and Actions

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 19 2021

As I spoke about two weeks ago in my post, Conflating Science and Ethics, people like to find ways to conflate concepts so they can either get others to agree/comply with them or avoid having to put up an actual compelling, convincing argument for their position.  After all, you can argue with an opinion and weigh facts differently, but you can’t a...

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