671. I fly from here to a part of the world where the people have only indefinite information, or none at all, about the possibility of flying. I tell them I have just flown there from... They ask me if I might be mistaken. - They have obviously a false impression of how the thing happens. (If I were packed up in a box it would be possible for me to be mistaken about the way I had travelled.) If I simply tell them that I can't be mistaken, that won't perhaps convince them; but it will if I describe the actual procedure to them. Then they will certainly not bring the possibility of amistake into the question. But for all that - even if they trust me - they might believe I had been dreaming or that magic had made me imagine it.
672. "If I don't trust this evidence why should I trust any evidence?"
673. Is it not difficult to distinguish between the cases in which I cannot and those in which I can hardly be mistaken? Is it always clear to which kind a case belongs? I believe not.
674. There are, however, certain types of case in which I rightly say I cannot be making a mistake, and Moore has given a few examples of such cases.
I can enumerate various typical cases, but not give any common characteristic. (N.N. cannot be mistaken about his flown from America to England a few days ago. Only if he is mad can he take anything else to be possible.)
675. If someone believes that he has flown from America to England in the last few days, then, I believe, he cannot be making a mistake.
And just the same if someone says that he is at this moment sitting at a table and writing.
676. "But even if in such cases I can't be mistaken, isn't it possible that I am drugged?" If I am and if the drug has taken away my consciousness, then I am not now really talking and thinking. I cannot seriously suppose that I am at this moment dreaming. Someone who, dreaming, says "I am dreaming", even if he speaks audibly in doing so, is no more right than if he said in his dream "it is raining", while it was in fact raining. Even if his dream were actually connected with the noise of the rain.
Religious people confuse belief and especially belief held with certainty with knowledge. This is a fundamental mistake.