Saturday, February 8, 2014

New Lecture on Motivated Reasoning

2 comments: said...

I of course am aware of confirmation bias and biases in general. I agree that this is very important to consider when discussing issues. And appreciate you bringing this up and think you give very good advice.
But I never heard it called a fallacy. To some extent I think you may be close to a fallacy when you say someone makes detailed arguments but then you seem to dismiss them when you hear the person received money from banks. And you know it might be possible that someone thinks it is a good idea to deregulate banks and developed those beliefs from looking at the evidence in a neutral way. And then *after* this person reached this conclusion banks decided to support their campaign.
You might be surprised to learn that many atheists are very committed to their position with an almost religious zeal that turns off their brain.
It’s interesting that you take issue with Christians who are out to “prove Christianity” when your own blog is called “” You criticize defense lawyers but your book is called “Atheism and the case against Christ.” I don’t mind that you are out to “prove the negative.” I will still listen to what you (or defense attorneys) have to say. I don’t mind that you are out to prove a case. The process of your doing your best with your case can be a good way for me and others to learn.
But again I do agree with the issues about bias, I just think you’re a bit biased in your examples. 

From the title I was sort of hoping you would address pragmatic encroachment. (if not the doctrine in strict terms but just generally what you think of how consequences should influence our beliefs if at all.) It seems to me whenever we consider any volitional action if we are rational we should consider the consequences, not just the likelihood of the state of affairs being what we think. Although it’s debatable, I do think holding a belief does involve some volition on our part. I wonder if you agree.

I think this comes into play for Christians including especially myself when we adopt our way of life. I think it also comes into play for atheists when they consider questions like is there an objective morality out there in reality. What evidence do we have for it? Etc. The problem raised against nihilism is very rarely that there is just tons and tons of empirical evidence proving objective moral facts exist. It often has to do with the consequences of that belief. If I believe that then how do I act? What are the consequences of believing no objective morality exists? I am not sure that considering this is irrational. I think it is long overdue that such questions start entering the debate.

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