I’ve noticed I get really worked up when challenged on issues like, say, global warming, vaccinations, and health care reform. I always assumed it was because I had good reason, but maybe (in the immortal words of Marcellus Wallace) “that’s just pride, f***ing with [me].”
From an interview with Robin Hanson of Overcoming Bias,
a thinker I really admire one of my favorite bloggers (even if I find him just a tad smug self-satisfied at times):
“When our pride isn’t on the line or we’re working together on a project and we need to achieve something – maybe our job is at stake – we’re much more likely to be reasonable. But when we talk about politics or religion or whatever we talk about on these radio shows, that’s when we’re much more likely to not be reasonable and to find it more enjoyable to speak than to listen.”
I liked this, too:
“It’s a common point in almost every person’s life when they see people around them who have beliefs they don’t quite understand and they decide for themselves that, “Well, I must just be more honest than those other people. I must be trying harder.” That’s the easiest way to explain your disagreement with other people. We do disagree, and it does bother us; we know, at some level, that something’s not right about that, and we’re eager to find explanations. The easiest explanation that usually comes to mind is just our own superior sincerity or honesty. It’s just quick and easy. We’re not very honest about considering that explanation.”
I definitely agree that people who disagree with me need to be more honest with themselves about how wrong they are.
Read the rest.
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