So What If We Don't Change at All…and Something Magical Just Happens?

A tweet with this cartoon reminded me of my post “The Unavoidability of Faith.” I believe that one of the first decisions one must make before putting forth effort is whether efforts are likely to make one’s life better. Since thinking hard is itself effort, there is no way the decision of whether beginning to make an effort at life-improvement has a high enough marginal product to be worthwhile can be made in a fully rational way. It takes faith. If you believe that making an effort at life-improvement is worthwhile (and perhaps by the actions that result, get some confirmation), expressing that faith to others who are just starting out might make a big difference in their lives.

Of course, there are many other things one might have faith in, instead: for example, the idea that even without any effort, everything might work out well because of something magical. What a pleasant belief! But will it work?