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The fundamental question of rationality is not, despite widely held opinion, "why do they believe what they believe?" but rather "why do I believe what I believe?" This is closely related to the notion of a stack trace, and can be abbreviated by asking the question "whence?"

Other questions about beliefs:

  • Do I endorse the process that formed this belief?
  • What are the consequences of holding this belief?
  • Does holding this belief make me exploitable?
  • If I didn't already have this belief, would I press a button to install it?
  • What am I precluded from doing as a result of this belief?
  • What is this belief made of? (images, words, felt senses, relations)
  • How much would I be willing to bet on this belief?
  • Is this belief falsifiable?
  • If the belief were wrong what, concretely, would I expect to see in the world?
  • What values am I trying to express with this belief?

Surprising beliefs elicited by belief reporting are especially good targets for these questions.