Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hark's Rule

Hark's Rule: When given two opposing arguments (with data or without) on any subject decide your conclusion based on which one will cause you less harm if it is true.

For Example: fake sugar found in most things but especially diet sodas. It is either fine or it may be horrible for you. Numerous studies show either (actually most studies show it is ok*). I really have no idea. Apply Hark's rule and realize that you do not need zero-calorie sugar to live and it did not exist in the human diet until recently (relatively) so why take the chance- I no longer drink zero-calorie sweeteners.

And yes, I named it after myself- If it is not my original idea (and I doubt it is) please let me know- I based this on Pascal's wager. But please, if you do start using it go ahead in your own life and refer to it as Hark's rule. I would also accept Hark's law, but I think referring to it as a "rule" is more appropriate.

* denotes that I have no idea what the scientific studies state- please comment and tell me I am wrong. I don't care my conclusion is not based on data


Raphael Grella said...

could just be considered utilitarianism

Math said...

I go with my instincts in this case: sugar tastes better!

Math said...

To elaborate, my instincts regarding food--while not always right--have kept our species alive for a long time. I don't know exactly how they work but I do know that they work. On the other hand, when examining the arguments that oppose my instincts, I see that they are based on a belief that artificial sweeteners have fewer calories and that they are safe. Numbers of calories can be easily verified, however, believing that they are safe is more difficult. The multinational corporations that profit from the sale and consumption of artificial sweeteners as well as the FDA both say that they are safe. The FDA and these multinationals have practically zero credibility compared to my instincts.

rocketsciencesense said...

Awesome comments! So we are agreed on Hark's rule. The diet soda argument was more of an example. Without government oversight corps do have less than zero credibility in my book. Examples are everywhere. With government oversight capitalism and corporations are extremely valuable to the general good.