Mitchell, your comment about belief being primarily a mechanism by means of which to store information (in simplified form) is clearly the central thesis of your argument, and a thesis with which I concur. We know the brain evolved under conditions of scarcity in which "good enough" was the determining factor. Beliefs serve to replace the complex and energy-intensive cognition that otherwise would have to occur, and as you rightly say, we generally operate on the basis of beliefs. Not only that, but we almost never pause to examine the formal content of those beliefs, nor consider whether many of our beliefs are in fact mutually incompatible. There's an amusing irony that always surfaces whenever we study the operation of the human brain: at one and the same time we learn about astonishing complexity of construction & operation, yet we also learn how crude and error-prone our higher-level cognitive functions really are.

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