Belief is Quantifiable, But Justification Isn’t


Belief is already quantifiable by the degree of risk you are willing to take to demonstrate it. It’s not justifiable, but it’s measurable. In most cases, belief is indistinguishable from self-signaling, and other-signalling, and signal vs risk explains the difference between reported belief, and demonstrated belief.

In other words, any use of the word ‘belief’ epistemically is either suspect or outright false, unless (like many conveniences) it’s short for “as far as I know”, and not “I am justified in my claim”.


  • I think I understand / I believe I understand / but it’s nt something I’d risk with my current understanding.
  • I can understand it but I don’t know if it’s possible. / I believe I understand but don’t know if it’s possible / and we shouldn’t do it if it’s costly.
  • As far as I know, it’s possible. / I believe its possible / hard to know if it’s possible/ we can try it if it’s not costly.
  • As far as I know, it’s likely or probable / I believe it’s likely / we might be able to do it / we can try to do it if it’s not too costly.
  • As far as I know, it’s pretty common. / I believe it’s pretty common / we probably can do this / we probably should do this.
  • As far as I know it’s hard to imagine otherwise. / I believe it’s pretty certain./ We should do this / we must do this.

There is no possible justification for belief.
There is possible justification for moral action according to norms.
There is possible justification for legal action according to laws.

But to conflate justification(knowable norms, laws, and axioms), with Truth (unknowns constantly open to revision) is to conflate excuse making, with warranty, the same way we conflate probability and guessing in the ludic fallacy.

Our language arose from local, in-group use. In-group members use moral language, and we use legal language as if it’s moral language.

But we live now in a SCALE of human organization far beyond the local, and we have not quite adapted our language, concepts, and institutions to correspond to the SCALE of human organization we live in. Very little of what we discuss is between people with common interests, kinship, knowledge, understanding, experience that was not artificially constructed through media propaganda.

(ASIDE: Just as an illustration, when you’re talking to people and they hesitate or stutter, or rephrase, listen for how often they’re trying to take a declarative martial language (Germanic) and rephrase it probabilistically with hedges, the same way we took and hedged martial language with deferential language as economic equality spread through society and hierarchy disappeared. It will shock you to see that not only does pronunciation migrate but so concepts as they work through our language.)

So to speak truthfully requires we no longer use the CONSTRUCTIVIST DECEIT: that we speak morally (with ingroup preference) and instead speak either in terms of justificationary axioms, morals, and laws, or we speak in critical (theoretical) epistemology of truths, and we leave behind the philosophical tradition of deception that circumvents costs when we discuss ingroup norms and policy, and include costs when we discuss external/outgroup policy, because we are now all members of outgroups thanks to the scale of our polities – especially in empire America.

If it sounds like I just cast most of philosophical discourse into a category along with theological discourse as a great deception….. I did.

Hence why I struggle daily to unite philosophy, science, and law into a single discipline with a single language, without room to engage in fraud. 😉


Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev Ukraine

Leave a Reply