Topics I've Started
09.09.2013 @ 19:16Haven't had a philosophical discussion on here in a while, let's see if we can keep this clean.
A new study from Yale is getting comment. It shows that the more numerate (mathematically literate) people are, the more likely they are to falsely interpret information that goes against their political biases. This is true for people on both sides of the political spectrum, so it speaks to human nature and perception, not partisanship (little warning not to go there, in other words).
As someone in the comments section at Volokh law blog points out, Hume said that reason was a tool of passion and that our essential beliefs come from sentiments and feelings. The study would seem to bear this out, that the number of people who truly apply reasoned judgment to new information is small. Also it suggests to me that smart people are more entrenched in their biases, perhaps because they are overconfident in their assessment of issues. I imagine there is also a factor of social pressure. Intellectual types come under a lot of pressure from peers to conform to their worldview or else come under suspicion of being led astray or gullible. Ironically this pressure to conform to orthodox thinking prevents intellectuals from reacting with integrity.