Seeking Evidence….

EvidenceIn science, you move closer to the truth by seeking evidence to the contrary. Perhaps the same method should inform your opinions as well.

SOURCE: “You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself”  (McRaney, David)

I have a lot of quotes from this book now residing in my database and will be bringing them out from time to time. I am a scientist so the words above ring very true to me. Being a scientist got me into trouble in the Christian church that I once belonged to.  I just questioned too much for those folks; it made them very uncomfortable asking questions that they didn’t have the usual firm answers for my inquiries.

I pride myself on being a contrarian. That is I often question things that others just take for granted. I am always looking for an alternative view of almost everything I come across. But I am also a realist; I know that there are many many people out there who seldom question any of their beliefs either spiritual or otherwise.  They just take whatever they are told that agrees with their current worldview as facts. There seem to be many around now who are proud Tea Party members even though they haven’t really considered the consequences of that affiliation. I am also a U.S history buff so I can look back and see similar groups in our history and know that they almost always do  more harm than they do good.

There are many who simply don’t want to be confused with the facts when it comes to their personal opinions/prejudices/bigotry.  Being that I seem to question everything I don’t really have any understanding of those who question nothing.  Are they simply too lazy to think for themselves? Are they too ingrained in their tunnel vision beliefs? Or are they simply not able to reasonably consider the alternatives?  I have no answers to these questions; I don’t know if I ever will.

But I kind of believe that this additional quote below from the book has much to do with some people’s views.

THE MISCONCEPTION: Your opinions are the result of years of rational, objective analysis.

THE TRUTH: Your opinions are the result of years of paying attention to information that confirmed what you believed, while ignoring information that challenged your preconceived notions.