[extropy-chat] Changing Other Poster's Minds

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Apr 29 10:50:53 UTC 2007

Emlyn writes

> [Lee writes]
>> That *never* happens in deep political or philosophical discussions
>> because (a) emotions are involved (b) positions have been years or
>> decades in the making, and contrary information has during all that
>> time filtered out, and (c) even when our position is irrevocably
>> weakened, we rationalize in order to preserve the integrity of our
>> beliefs (i.e. wholeness of them), and in order to avoid losing face.
> I believe this occurs when there's no useful evidence for any of the
> positions in the subject in question. It's a good indicator that the
> entire subject area is essentially content free, and could be safely
> ignored until someone discovers something new.

On the contrary, I think that there is all sorts of good evidence.
Consider for example just the evidence about Niger yellow-cake
uranium.  The trouble is that both sides have their own rather
comprehensive explanations.

But then, 50 years ago both sides had their own comprehensive
explanations of whether Alger Hiss was a Soviet spy or not.
But the evidence finally became overwhelming.  Unfortunately,
no one ever did admit that they were wrong;  many people on
the left just shut up, and many others who did not just got old
and died.  I wonder if there are American conservatives still
alive who think that the Sino-Soviet split was just a smokescreen
to fool the west.  Same thing:  for the reasons *I* gave above,
despite mountains of evidence, people holding deep philosophical
or religious or political opinions can rationalize their way out of


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