[extropy-chat] Changing Other Poster's Minds
lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Apr 29 10:50:53 UTC 2007
> [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
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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