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Re: Unconscious Convolutions

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Posted by John Morgan Powell on February 6, 2001 17:46:48 UTC

B.L. Nelson,

You wrote:

> . . . people who believe they are right see
> no need for such scrutiny.

Right. However, someone who changes their mind has probably done more self-scrutiny than someone who has continually held to the same view. Most atheists and agnostics probably came from a religious background (since the majority of the planet is religious), so they have probably scrutinized their views more than most religious people have. There are some former atheists or agnostics who have become believers who should also be in this "highly self-scrutinizing" group.

I would think the need for self-scrutiny decreases as it is done. In other words, after you've carefully considered the alternatives, you don't have as much of a need to reconsider those failed alternatives unless new information suggests they should be re-examined, like suspects in a crime or the discarded theory of continuous creation of hydrogen.

> But making this realization [the need to
> self-scrutinize and change our behavior
> accordingly] is the first step toward
> correcting moral biases. The second step
> is to discount moral indignation.

You have made some important comments. I'll have to think some more about them.

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