Re: [bostonatheists] (Yet another) plea for tolerance

From: Paul G. B.
Sent on: Thursday, August 23, 2012 9:54 AM

 I'm with Angelo. Off the top of my head I can think of several things I've changed my mind about; utility of nuclear power, existence of true love, the genius of Fred Hayek. 

 I wrote a review of Daniel Khaneman's "Thinking Fast and Slow" for the Skeptical Inquirer's July Edition (Shameless plug: http://www.csicop.org/si/), and one of the points DK made in the book was intriguing. 

 Basically, if you ask people "Have you changed your opinion about X?", they will usually, like Zach and Eric, tell you "No." But when you enquire over time about their beliefs you discover that their minds have, in fact, changed. Not by much, and rarely quickly enough to register as an epiphany. Instead it seems that we "change our minds" not consciously, but as our mental model of "how the world works" gradually evolves. Over time, these changes can be profound. But because the change isn't fast and dramatic, we don't consciously register it. 

 ( I thoroughly recommend the book, btw. ) 

On Aug 23, 2012, at 6:31 AM, Angelo wrote:

I'm not sure I agree with this statement. I will be 41 years old in September, I can say with honesty and sincerity that my mind has changed a lot through the years. I now feel I was wrong about many things I believed , through experiences or through talking to other people. Things I thought were true, and things I thought were false, indeed both.

From: "Zachary Bos" <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Thursday, August 23,[masked]:22:00 AM
Subject: Re: [bostonatheists] (Yet another) plea for tolerance

"... even the most progressive person, myself included, is too pig headed to ever have their mind changed from what they already believe. So any new information is just rationalized into their own already set framework."


This is a good way of stating the problem, though it's pessimistic to assume that it is a chronic condition without any treatment.





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