Friday, July 02, 2021

Getting permission to change your mind

People can't believe what they don't believe, and don't believe what they can't believe. I know; I've tried.

There have been times I really thought I should believe something I didn't believe. Either because I didn't like the implications of not believing, or because people I respected believed differently.

In those instances I was already primed to change my mind; any real reason could have nudged me over the line. Yet, in most cases, no one could give me good enough evidence to really change what I truly believed. No one could give me a good enough reason. No one could give me what was needed to actually change what I believed at a deep level.

I could lie and say I changed my mind, but why? There is no way for me to pretend to believe something I don't. I know it's not real to me. I won't act on it as though I believe it. (If I have any doubt, then I don't "believe" it anyway. I just lean that direction.)

This is something I can lose sight of when dealing with other people. Even realizing that they may be the same way I am when I'm in their shoes. If I expect them to change what they believe, I've got to give them a good enough reason to do so. Give them evidence. Maybe it won't help them change their mind, but if I don't give them at least that much, how could I expect them to change.

In the heat of a disagreement-- especially when the other person keeps pulling out insults and decides to call me a "mediocre white man" because I believe in liberty and rights for EVERYONE-- it's hard to not sink to their level. At least, I've never sunk to racism like they did, no matter how nasty they get.


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