[ExI] Motivated Reasoning

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon Feb 3 14:28:00 UTC 2020

On Sat, 1 Feb 2020 at 00:55, William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> Worry about things we can do nothing about among highly intelligent people concerns me.  It is an irrational thing that causes stress and wastes people's time.  Playing what-if games, a prominent past-time of worriers, may be interesting, but again, without some rational concern about the actuality of the bad things that could occur, it cause needless stress.
> If you are concerned rather than worried, then please offer some hard data about the scenarios you think could occur.  No hard data?  Then it's worry, not concern.  Don't you have better things to do with those big brains of yours?
> bill w

Regrettably our big brains get terribly confused by our emotions.
As Spock said -
“May I say that I have not thoroughly enjoyed serving with humans?
I find their illogic and foolish emotions a constant irritant.”
- Star Trek, season 3, episode 7 (“Day of the Dove,” 1968)


The fact-checker’s dilemma: Humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that
don’t fit their worldview
“Human cognition is inseparable from the unconscious emotional
responses that go with it.”
By Adrian Bardon Jan. 31, 2020,

Human cognition is inseparable from the unconscious emotional
responses that go with it. Under the right conditions, universal human
traits like in-group favoritism, existential anxiety and a desire for
stability and control combine into a toxic, system-justifying identity

When group interests, creeds, or dogmas are threatened by unwelcome
factual information, biased thinking becomes denial. And unfortunately
these facts about human nature can be manipulated for political ends.

This picture is a bit grim, because it suggests that facts alone have
limited power to resolve politicized issues like climate change or
immigration policy. But properly understanding the phenomenon of
denial is surely a crucial first step to addressing it.


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