Friday, June 15, 2007

Razões psicológicas para dogmas e crenças

Why Bad Beliefs Don't Die de Gregory W. Lester

Because beliefs are designed to enhance our ability to survive, they are biologically designed to be strongly resistant to change. To change beliefs, skeptics must address the brain's "survival" issues of meanings and implications in addition to discussing their data.

Because a basic tenet of both skeptical thinking and scientific inquiry is that beliefs can be wrong, it is often confusing and irritating to scientists and skeptics that so many people's beliefs do not change in the face of disconfirming evidence. How, we wonder, are people able to hold beliefs that contradict the data?

This puzzlement can produce an unfortunate tendency on the part of skeptical thinkers to demean and belittle people whose beliefs don't change in response to evidence. They can be seen as inferior, stupid, or crazy. This attitude is born of skeptics' failure to understand the biological purpose of beliefs and the neurological necessity for them to be resilient and stubbornly resistant to change. The truth is that for all their rigorous thinking, many skeptics do not have a clear or rational understanding of what beliefs are and why even faulty ones don't die easily. Understanding the biological purpose of beliefs can help skeptics to be far more effective in challenging irrational beliefs and communicating scientific conclusions.
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