“Is politically motivated reasoning rational?” A fragment …

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

“Is politically motivated reasoning rational?” A fragment …:

Heh. In which man-crush Prof. Dan Kahan violates Betteridge’s Law, because it turns out that the answer is yeah, believing wacky untrue things (like, climate change is a conspiracy, or GMOs are more dangerous than non-GMO foodstuffs, or ghosts/angels/Jesus are real entities with whom we can meaningfully interact) can sometimes confer benefits in terms of group identity and in-group status that outweighs any cost of being wrong about something so unimportant in the individual scheme of things.

I think it’s actually kind of cool that our brains have evolved the ability to do that, to believe untrue things, and go to some length to retain those beliefs in the face of conflicting evidence, at least when it’s in our individual interest to do so. It’s like our brain has a little Lizzy inside it, one who has no problem sending inconvenient truths packing like so many Lady Catherines.

I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.

You tell them, Lizzy. Screw them and their scientific consensus.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1zNY50E.