A paranoid explanation can be created for anything.  I have an unemployed friend who suffers from paranoia.  I tried to help him with a problem he was having and was unsuccessful.  He then concluded that I was unsuccessful deliberately.  In order to explain why I took the steps I did to help him, he came up with a complex convoluted theory which made it in my interest to pretend that I was trying to help him. 

   I told him two things.  I asked him if he had ever heard of Occam's razor and he said that he hadn't.  I explained that Occam's razor says that if there are several explanations the simplest is the most likely to be true.   I also told him that you need to have faith in people. 

   Aside from Occam's razor how do we know that the paranoid explanation is not correct?  On occasion it is correct.  Logic may help us but we may be able to find a plausible logical way to explain logical challenges to the most paranoid beliefs.  The problem is paranoid beliefs although highly improbable are possible.  Supposing we ran into an aquaintance who feels bad and claims it is because aliens poisoned his system.  We could suggest he get blood tests to prove to himself that he isn't poisoned and he might do so and the labs doing the testing might find nothing.  He could argue that the labs are in cahoots with the Aliens or that the Aliens are so sophisticated that they designed a poison that ordinary human labs are unable to detect.  Although his explanations are highly improbable they are possible.   The simplest explanation is that it's all in his mind and according to Occam's razor that is the most likely explanation.  On the other hand the simplest explanation isn't always the correct one.  Sometimes we need to rely on our faith in others to lead us to the correct explanation.


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