You can't take realistic conclusions out of un realistic circumstances

Author: Mohammed Nazari

All beliefs and decisions must be backed up with some sort of reasoning, I recommend the following sequence:
A: Science, If not enough science available or not applicable , then
B: Statistics, If not enough statistic available or not applicable, then
C: Logic and Common sense, which can get tricky
D: Emotions and feelings, to be left for last

The reality is, we do not have the absolute science, knowledge or statistic in a variety of fields. As well the scientific findings may change as more discoveries happen.

Then what is the process of decision making?

We have to make decisions all the time, which maybe of major or minor in nature. And there should be a process that one can follow all the time. In my opinion the best way is "reasoning based on the best science and statistic available plus logical thinking"

A: Science:

When it comes to science, we never question the fact that 2 multiplied by 2 becomes 4, regardless of where, when and what. This is an absolute answer. However most of the questions and decisions to be made in life do not have absolute scientific answers.

B: Statistics:

When it comes to statistic we can use "Nutrition" as an example. Science on nutrition is not absolute, which leaves us with no option but relying on the statistic. In nutrition there are some basic facts that are non negotiable, such as fatty food increases your cholesterol level which can lead to a heart attack, however some other parts of nutrition are not quite proven one way or the other.

It is not proven that being a vegetarian is better than the otherwise. This is a field where there are some proven facts, however there are some not so absolute facts which leaves room for variety of opinions.

 Another example is When it comes to belief in how we should live as an individual or as a society, we lack more of the absolute facts and that is why there are a lot  more variety of points of views. In these cases in order to prove our point of view, we rely on examples and case scenarios.

When it comes to statistics we should take into consideration that there are "rules", "exception to the rules" and "Fabricated stories and Unrealistic examples"


You go to university and get educated in "a field that there is a demand for". You have more chances of finding a job with better pay. This is a RULE.

Exception to the Rules:

Follow your passion and you can become successful like, Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs was an exception to the rule. Frequently people use the most well known individuals who have done extraordinary things, as an example where they have only been “exceptions to the rules”. If following the passion was the key to success, then most people who take Art or Music at the university would become really successful, but reality proves otherwise, except some exceptional cases, the same as winning the lottery, which is another “Exception to the Rule”.

Fabricated stories and Unrealistic examples:

When I was around 10 years old, my dad told me a story, this is how it went:

Once upon a time, a tailor and a butcher made a bet that their sons, of the same age, could defeat the other one’s son in a wrestling match. So they set a date for the match, three months from the day,  so there was enough time to prepare.

The tailor made nice clothes for his son and encouraged him to be clean and to take showers, while the butcher fed his son with more meat.

Then my dad asked me, “which one do you think won the match?” I replied, “I don’t know”. My dad answered, “The tailor’s son, because his son took showers and kept clean, so he became stronger.“ This was one of the weirdest stories I’ve ever heard. My dad was trying to encourage me to take shower more frequently. I didn't like taking shower then, because the water was cold and we did not have a good heating system. I do take showers more frequently now though, I promise:) and it is not because of my dad’s story, it is because I have hot water.

My dad’s story did not sit well with me; I knew there was something wrong. Two days after I went back to him and said, “If you wanted me to eat more meat, would you change the story and say that the butcher’s kid won the match?” My dad was not quite impressed.

Well the above was a completely fabricated story where my dad could decide how the story ends, something like Hollywood movies. You cannot take realistic conclusions out of unrealistic examples, since you can change it at anytime, anyway.

Do you know of any other examples where one tries to support their opinion with unreasonable and fabricated examples? Please share it with me.

You can’t take realistic conclusion out of unrealistic examples or "exception to the rules"

C: Logic and Common sense, which can get tricky

Although people may have different logic or common sense, the fact that they are trying to be logical is helpful. There are ways to persuade one another to think differently when persona is logical. Often the main reason for having different logic or common sense is lack of information or viewing a matter from own angle instead of seeing it through someone else's eyes. By providing more information and looking at a subject from all angles help people to share the same Logic and Common sense.

D: Emotions:

Using Emotions in decision making should be left as a last resort, and after all the above three steps are exhausted. As well one must not hold a strong position on the part of the decision that is made "emotionally".

Impulse shoppers are good examples. They buy emotionally and later on try to justify rationally:(

Strong opinions are more frequently due to lack of knowledge than abundance of knowledge.

This is one reason often uneducated individuals have stronger opinions in different areas, have opinions just about anything, from politics to religion, from medicine to space science and .....
At times, one may get emotional when they cannot back up their beliefs scientifically, statistically or logically. The reason can be because there is no science or statistic to support their belief or simply they are not aware of those science or statistic
In either case…

One should not become a strong believer till there is a scientific or statistical way of backing up a belief. This leads to having a much calmer and peaceful life.

Often the kinds of beliefs that cannot be supported one way or another are a part of the religion or culture. This is when a belief can become a part of a "  person’s identity" and they feel they must believe in it and/or promote it. Disagreeing with their beliefs means attacking their identity, this is how majority of problems and wars start.