2000 Miles of excuses for running slow in the rain



The root of empiricism is the experimental method. The experimental method requires a kind of belief. One believes, for example, that running 100 miles a week for 6 weeks will make them a faster marathoner. In order to understand the value of this belief, one must carry it out, commit to it fully and completely and then measure its consequences. Experiment is impossible without a degree of belief. The empiricist understands that the value of a belief is measured according to its consequences upon implementation. Experience trumps ideas. The dogmatist takes his belief to have value in itself and condemns any experience that does not measure up to the belief. Ideas trump experience. The measure is reversed. The empiricist understands beliefs as actions to be undertaken. For the dogmatist, beliefs are standards according to which we condemn or praise certain elements of experience. The empiricist cannot live without the first sort of belief; the second sort poisons the experimentalism that is at the heart of any empiricism worthy of the name: it judges life instead of participating in it.