Why do I want to believe this?


Following up to “I’ve learned a lot from blogging“, “Stop being reasonable“, “Journey out of error“, “You can’t reason someone out of something they weren’t reasoned into“, and “How to challenge your own beliefs?“.

According to this

The problem is that, at heart, we are not rational creatures. We are intensely emotional creatures. Our beliefs are of an emotional nature; it is only when we try to convince others of the superiority of our ideas that we try use reason. But it is even more complicated than that. Most of our emotions are hidden from us. Yes, we are aware of those few emotions that break through to our conscious awareness, but they are just the tip of our emotional iceberg, the great bulk of our emotional entity is hidden below awareness. So we are at the mercy of forces we cannot even directly measure.

But, judging by advertisements and Republican political campaigns, if you really want to convince someone, reason is not actually a very effective tactic. We should apply reason, not against other people’s beliefs, but against our own.

Because we tend to believe what we want to believe, don’t ask yourself “Why do I believe this?”, but instead “Why do I want to believe this?” On the surface, maybe it seems, “No, I don’t want to believe that, I’m forced to by the reality of this world.” Look harder, and you’ll realize that it’s seldom the case. We believe things for motives.

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