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What's credulism?

  • Credulism is a radical, and counterintuitive, new theory about how beliefs form.
  • The concept of belief involves a subject - the believer - and an object of belief - a claim.
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    • Objects of belief can range from the profound - such as 'There's an afterlife' - to the mundane - such as 'There are eggs in the fridge'.
  • Of course, if we believe a claim, then that claim exists in our mind, and in order for it to exist in your mind it must have entered our mind at some point.
  • And claims enter our thought processes as the product of one of four possible mental processes: we can generate them via our reasoning or imagination, or recall them, or comprehend them, when we read them or hear them.
    • A claim that we generate via our senses, about the world around us - such as 'There are eggs in the fridge' - is the product of an analysis of the content of our senses, and is therefore actually the product of reasoning, albeit reasoning that’s often so basic, and brief, that the claim may seem to be a direct product of our senses.
  • Credulism states that, as a matter of logic, the mere entrance of a claim into our thought processes, by whichever process, involves believing it.
  • This theory may seem obviously false - indeed, such disbelief may itself seem to disprove it.
  • We seem to be able to generate a claim using our imagination, or recall, or comprehend, one, without necessarily believing it - that is, if we don't already believe such a claim, then it seems that we'll only do so subsequent to it entering our thought processes, upon us assessing it to be true.
  • And regarding a conclusion of our reasoning, it seems obvious that we believe such a claim because it's the product of that reasoning, rather than merely because it has entered our thought processes.
  • However, credulism is actually a logical implication of certain fundamental truths.
  • And, upon analysis, it actually isn't contrary to our experience.


The certainty of belief

  • A second radical, and counterintuitive, new theory about the psychology of belief, which concerns the nature of belief rather than how beliefs form, is 'the certainty of belief'.
  • It states that belief is certainty, contrary to our apparent experience of being able to hold beliefs with different levels of confidence.
  • Like credulism, the certainty of belief is actually a logical implication of certain fundamental truths, and, upon analysis, isn't contrary to our experience.


Our beliefs are the core of our psychology, and so credulism, and the certainty of belief, are radical theories not just in their departure from the current understanding of the formation, and nature, of beliefs, but also in their profound implications for the whole field of psychology. Also, the centrality of our psychology to our lives means that those profound implications also extend into any field that's concerned with how we live: ethics, politics, law, economics, sociology, anthropology, business, management, physical and mental healthcare, and so on.

What's credulism.com?

  • credulism.com is a research startup, which launched on 1 January 2016.
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  • Its primary aim is to undertake, present, and promote, research into credulism, the certainty of belief, and their implications for psychology, and beyond, using an online collaboration platform that’s open, and free, to all.
  • Its secondary aim is to provide related paid services - not yet determined - for individuals and organisations, in order to generate revenue.
  • The website uses the wiki software MediaWiki, as used by Wikipedia.
  • As with Wikipedia:
    • anyone is welcome to contribute - anyone can edit pages, and create new pages
    • the site's content should be comprehensible to the average person.
  • Unlike Wikipedia:
    • contributors must be logged-in - see top-right - and have confirmed their email address
    • the site has a chief editor, who has the final say about the content, and functioning, of the site. See also: Protected pages.
  • All previous versions of a page are viewable via the 'View history' link in the top-right, and it's possible to view a comparison of any two versions, with the differences highlighted.
  • credulism.com was founded by Derrick Farnell, who developed the theoretical arguments for credulism and the certainty of belief.


Core reading:

The certainty of belief    >    Why belief can't be the product of an assessment of truth    >    The theoretical argument for credulism    >    Objections to credulism    >    The evidence for credulism


Example topics:


A full list of topics is accessible via the 'contents' link in the side menu.