• Could solve the honesty problems with politicians by forcing them to take regular doses of truth serum then I would give them a chance of being trustworthy. If every person on earth declaring themselves an atheist would make God get off his ass and announce his presence.. I'd believe.
  • Probably more than it should. I, like all humans, love the stability of my beliefs. Preserving those ideas takes on more importance than it should, and too much energy goes into convincing myself that they're right. So... I know this already, yes? I've known it for many years. I now see this as a permanent part of the human condition, rather than my particular malfunction. Humans cling to ideas, even in the face of contrary evidence. That's just the way it is. But, saying "that's just the way it is" does not let one off the hook for doing something about it. But what to do? You can't change the basic design of human personality: people like to be right, including me. We do not like having our ideas overturned, it disturbs the sense of security and confidence and complacent certainty that makes us comfortable. I don't think anybody can "cure" this disease. I think that growing up involves managing it, like you would manage diabetes or any chronic illness. What does management look like in this case? It looks like this: 1- Hold all ideas and philosophies as tentative. Treat them as tools, rather than as God's Own Truth™ 2- If a tool breaks, repair it or discard it. Don't keep clinging to it and claiming it still works. 3- Get proactive: go looking for embedded beliefs in your own mind, for habitual ways of thinking which force you to keep drawing the same conclusions over and over again, without ever really challenging the logic or evidence. 4- Listen. Put yourself in situations where multiple viewpoints are aired, and pay attention. 5- Get quiet sometimes. Spend at least some time each week just letting your mind settle without distractions or entertainment. The mind has a wonderful ability to integrate and connect disparate ideas if left alone on occasion. In short, one must promote oneself from "believer" to "manager of belief systems". One must supervise the machinery of the ego which wants to cling to beliefs and habits. Forever.
  • Proof.
  • My "long-held perceptions" as you put it, are the "stable data" that I rely upon to predict the future (the sun will come up tomorrow; it will be dark here in a half-hour; the dog's waiting for me at home). If you want to get me to change those ideas, then kidnap my dog, make the Earth rotate East-to-West instead of West-to-East (or Northward / Southward; that would be an interesting trick) or do something else to show me that my long held perception is incorrect.

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