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Is reasoning always reasonable?

Does anyone really know anything? Don't we all fall into belief due to the sheer impracticality of testing every hypothesis in a thorough, scientific way?

The question, then, is who are you going to believe, and why? Every person has a point of view, and his point of view colors what he believes, thus influencing the next person with whom he is communicating. Some people believe in supernatural beings and events, invisible worlds where spirits dwell. Many people believe in flying saucers from other worlds, alien beings taking people up to do bizarre sexual experiments on them, etc. Some are ardent conspiracy theorists, paranoid about everything in their lives. Others believe in a strict scientific world view, where anything that cannot be tested and confirmed in a repeatable way is to be rejected.

The problem is, which way of seeing the world is right? How is the truth to be known? Can truth be known? Are we as humans even capable of understanding what reality is?


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St. Augustine on Curiosity ***

There is another form of temptation, even more fraught with danger. This is the disease of curiosity... It is this which drives us to try and discover the secrets of nature, those secrets which are beyond our understanding, which can avail us nothing and which man should not wish to learn.

- St. Augustine

***10/5/2013 - Note: this is probably a misquote, for the purpose of defaming St. Augustine.  I published it without any research as to its veracity, and I regret it.  He is a revered figure in Christianity and western culture, and whether we subscribe to his philosophy and views or not, everyone deserves at least to be described accurately. - James Carr.

'Cause I'm the Tax Man

What's next? Is nothing sacred in this world?

From BBC:

Sweden targets strippers for tax

Sweden's tax authorities are seeking the bare facts about webcam strippers' income, estimating that hundreds of Swedish women are dodging the law.

The search involves tax officials examining websites that feature Swedish strippers, in an effort to identify them and chase them for tax returns.

The tax loss is estimated at about 40m Swedish kronor (£3.3m) annually.

Project leader Dag Hardyson said 200 Swedish strippers had been investigated so far. He said the total could be 500.

"They are young girls, we can see from the photos. We think that perhaps they are not well informed about the rules," said Mr Hardyson, head of the tax authority's national project on internet trade.

The investigation into strippers is part of a wider tax project that includes online poker and fake trader locations.

Detective work

Mr Hardyson told BBC News that the strippers could be liable to pay ab…