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Rationalizing

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  • Rami Rustom
    Why do people rationalize? ... Holding conflicting cognitions means having a conflict of ideas. And the act of reducing the importance of any one of the
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 2, 2012
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      Why do people rationalize?

      Cognitive Dissonance theory has an answer [from wikipedia]:

      > Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions) simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment.[1] The theory of cognitive dissonance in social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create a consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant elements.[1]

      "Holding conflicting cognitions" means having a conflict of ideas. And
      the act of "reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant
      elements" is rationalizing.

      So according to this theory, people rationalize when they feel the
      discomfort caused by a conflict of ideas.

      An example of cognitive dissonance is [from wikipedia again]:

      > An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke and knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change their feelings about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or they might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short term benefits. A general view of cognitive dissonance is when one is biased towards a certain decision even though other factors favour an alternative.[2]


      First of all, not all people rationalize. Why? Because not all people
      have the feeling of discomfort when they have a conflict of ideas. So
      what is the difference between people that get this feeling, and
      people that don't? A meme causes it. What meme?

      I think the meme is related to the relationship between mistakes and
      badness. A prevalent meme in most [all?] societies is that mistakes
      are bad and that if someone does a lot of mistakes, they are bad. And
      they link badness with negative feelings. Why? Because most people
      were punished for mistakes from their parents and school and even at
      work.

      A closely related meme is that changing ones mind quickly is bad. The
      people are labelled flipfloppers. Why do they think this is bad? I
      think its because people with this meme believe that changing ones
      mind means that I'm changing my mind from a mistaken idea to a
      non-mistaken idea. So accepting that someone changed his mind means
      accepting that he had a mistaken idea. And thinking about having a
      mistaken idea makes them feel bad because of the *I'm bad if I have a
      lot of mistakes* meme.

      You can see this meme in kids. A kid will change his mind about what
      he wanted to eat. But instead of saying that he changed his mind,
      he'll say that he was just kidding earlier. So he's already learned
      the meme that changing one's mind is bad, which is why he avoids
      admitting it. So he's already learned that having mistaken ideas is
      bad. These are anti-rational memes. I think these are the memes that
      cause people to rationalize. Claiming that you were kidding earlier is
      a rationalization [although he actually could have been kidding].

      So how do people stop rationalizing? Well they have to learn that they
      have this meme and that its a mistake, its false. So how do they learn
      that they have these anti-rational memes and that they are false?

      One way, as Elliot explained, is for the person to be presented with
      one or more problematic situations where his memes don't work [because
      almost all memes have limited reach]. So in these problematic
      situations, the person must now think outside the box [outside of his
      current set of memes]. He may create the idea that changing your mind
      is good because it means fixing past mistaken ideas. Because mistaken
      ideas are bad. These false ideas were causing problems in the person's
      life making his life worse. So changing your mind means making your
      life better. Hence changing your mind is good. And finding your
      mistakes is good. And having other people point out your mistakes is
      good. So having your mistakes pointed out doesn't cause a bad feeling,
      i.e. having two conflicting ideas doesn't cause a bad feeling, hence
      there is no emotion there to want to fix. Remember people rationalize
      because they are trying to relieve that bad feeling so not having the
      bad feeling means that you won't rationalize.

      Another way is for the person to learn this *pointing out mistakes is
      good* idea and *changing your mind is good* idea by reading Popperian
      philosophy from books and/or these email lists.

      What other ways are there?

      -- Rami
    • a b
      ... One example is when we want, or feel we need, to do something that violates our self image of what sort of person we are and what sort of things we will
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 3, 2012
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        On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > Why do people rationalize?
        >
        > Cognitive Dissonance theory has an answer [from wikipedia]:
        >
        > > Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting
        > > cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions)
        > > simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread,
        > > guilt, anger, or embarrassment.[1] The theory of cognitive dissonance in
        > > social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce
        > > dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create a
        > > consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance of any
        > > one of the dissonant elements.[1]
        >
        > "Holding conflicting cognitions" means having a conflict of ideas. And
        > the act of "reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant
        > elements" is rationalizing.
        >
        > So according to this theory, people rationalize when they feel the
        > discomfort caused by a conflict of ideas.
        >
        > An example of cognitive dissonance is [from wikipedia again]:
        >
        > > An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke and
        > > knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change their feelings
        > > about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or they
        > > might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short term
        > > benefits. A general view of cognitive dissonance is when one is biased
        > > towards a certain decision even though other factors favour an
        > > alternative.[2]
        >
        > First of all, not all people rationalize. Why? Because not all people
        > have the feeling of discomfort when they have a conflict of ideas. So
        > what is the difference between people that get this feeling, and
        > people that don't? A meme causes it. What meme?
        >
        > I think the meme is related to the relationship between mistakes and
        > badness. A prevalent meme in most [all?] societies is that mistakes
        > are bad and that if someone does a lot of mistakes, they are bad. And
        > they link badness with negative feelings. Why? Because most people
        > were punished for mistakes from their parents and school and even at
        > work.
        >
        > A closely related meme is that changing ones mind quickly is bad. The
        > people are labelled flipfloppers. Why do they think this is bad? I
        > think its because people with this meme believe that changing ones
        > mind means that I'm changing my mind from a mistaken idea to a
        > non-mistaken idea. So accepting that someone changed his mind means
        > accepting that he had a mistaken idea. And thinking about having a
        > mistaken idea makes them feel bad because of the *I'm bad if I have a
        > lot of mistakes* meme.
        >
        > You can see this meme in kids. A kid will change his mind about what
        > he wanted to eat. But instead of saying that he changed his mind,
        > he'll say that he was just kidding earlier. So he's already learned
        > the meme that changing one's mind is bad, which is why he avoids
        > admitting it. So he's already learned that having mistaken ideas is
        > bad. These are anti-rational memes. I think these are the memes that
        > cause people to rationalize. Claiming that you were kidding earlier is
        > a rationalization [although he actually could have been kidding].
        >
        > So how do people stop rationalizing? Well they have to learn that they
        > have this meme and that its a mistake, its false. So how do they learn
        > that they have these anti-rational memes and that they are false?
        >
        > One way, as Elliot explained, is for the person to be presented with
        > one or more problematic situations where his memes don't work [because
        > almost all memes have limited reach]. So in these problematic
        > situations, the person must now think outside the box [outside of his
        > current set of memes]. He may create the idea that changing your mind
        > is good because it means fixing past mistaken ideas. Because mistaken
        > ideas are bad. These false ideas were causing problems in the person's
        > life making his life worse. So changing your mind means making your
        > life better. Hence changing your mind is good. And finding your
        > mistakes is good. And having other people point out your mistakes is
        > good. So having your mistakes pointed out doesn't cause a bad feeling,
        > i.e. having two conflicting ideas doesn't cause a bad feeling, hence
        > there is no emotion there to want to fix. Remember people rationalize
        > because they are trying to relieve that bad feeling so not having the
        > bad feeling means that you won't rationalize.
        >
        > Another way is for the person to learn this *pointing out mistakes is
        > good* idea and *changing your mind is good* idea by reading Popperian
        > philosophy from books and/or these email lists.
        >
        > What other ways are there?
        >
        > -- Rami

        One example is when we want, or feel we need, to do something that
        violates our self image of what sort of person we are and what sort of
        things we will and will not do. From my own parochial experiences the
        most abused principle relative to this list would be 'self defense'.
        It's very easy to rationalize an act of aggression is self defense.
      • Rami Rustom
        ... That suggests that a person s ideas are static. That a person can t change his ideas. Its false. ... Acting in self-defense on a philosophy list, where
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 3, 2012
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          On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
          > On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >> Why do people rationalize?
          >>
          >> Cognitive Dissonance theory has an answer [from wikipedia]:
          >>
          >> > Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting
          >> > cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions)
          >> > simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread,
          >> > guilt, anger, or embarrassment.[1] The theory of cognitive dissonance in
          >> > social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce
          >> > dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create a
          >> > consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance of any
          >> > one of the dissonant elements.[1]
          >>
          >> "Holding conflicting cognitions" means having a conflict of ideas. And
          >> the act of "reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant
          >> elements" is rationalizing.
          >>
          >> So according to this theory, people rationalize when they feel the
          >> discomfort caused by a conflict of ideas.
          >>
          >> An example of cognitive dissonance is [from wikipedia again]:
          >>
          >> > An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke and
          >> > knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change their feelings
          >> > about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or they
          >> > might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short term
          >> > benefits. A general view of cognitive dissonance is when one is biased
          >> > towards a certain decision even though other factors favour an
          >> > alternative.[2]
          >>
          >> First of all, not all people rationalize. Why? Because not all people
          >> have the feeling of discomfort when they have a conflict of ideas. So
          >> what is the difference between people that get this feeling, and
          >> people that don't? A meme causes it. What meme?
          >>
          >> I think the meme is related to the relationship between mistakes and
          >> badness. A prevalent meme in most [all?] societies is that mistakes
          >> are bad and that if someone does a lot of mistakes, they are bad. And
          >> they link badness with negative feelings. Why? Because most people
          >> were punished for mistakes from their parents and school and even at
          >> work.
          >>
          >> A closely related meme is that changing ones mind quickly is bad. The
          >> people are labelled flipfloppers. Why do they think this is bad? I
          >> think its because people with this meme believe that changing ones
          >> mind means that I'm changing my mind from a mistaken idea to a
          >> non-mistaken idea. So accepting that someone changed his mind means
          >> accepting that he had a mistaken idea. And thinking about having a
          >> mistaken idea makes them feel bad because of the *I'm bad if I have a
          >> lot of mistakes* meme.
          >>
          >> You can see this meme in kids. A kid will change his mind about what
          >> he wanted to eat. But instead of saying that he changed his mind,
          >> he'll say that he was just kidding earlier. So he's already learned
          >> the meme that changing one's mind is bad, which is why he avoids
          >> admitting it. So he's already learned that having mistaken ideas is
          >> bad. These are anti-rational memes. I think these are the memes that
          >> cause people to rationalize. Claiming that you were kidding earlier is
          >> a rationalization [although he actually could have been kidding].
          >>
          >> So how do people stop rationalizing? Well they have to learn that they
          >> have this meme and that its a mistake, its false. So how do they learn
          >> that they have these anti-rational memes and that they are false?
          >>
          >> One way, as Elliot explained, is for the person to be presented with
          >> one or more problematic situations where his memes don't work [because
          >> almost all memes have limited reach]. So in these problematic
          >> situations, the person must now think outside the box [outside of his
          >> current set of memes]. He may create the idea that changing your mind
          >> is good because it means fixing past mistaken ideas. Because mistaken
          >> ideas are bad. These false ideas were causing problems in the person's
          >> life making his life worse. So changing your mind means making your
          >> life better. Hence changing your mind is good. And finding your
          >> mistakes is good. And having other people point out your mistakes is
          >> good. So having your mistakes pointed out doesn't cause a bad feeling,
          >> i.e. having two conflicting ideas doesn't cause a bad feeling, hence
          >> there is no emotion there to want to fix. Remember people rationalize
          >> because they are trying to relieve that bad feeling so not having the
          >> bad feeling means that you won't rationalize.
          >>
          >> Another way is for the person to learn this *pointing out mistakes is
          >> good* idea and *changing your mind is good* idea by reading Popperian
          >> philosophy from books and/or these email lists.
          >>
          >> What other ways are there?
          >>
          >> -- Rami
          >
          > One example is when we want, or feel we need, to do something that
          > violates our self image of what sort of person we are and what sort of
          > things we will and will not do.

          That suggests that a person's ideas are static. That a person can't
          change his ideas. Its false.


          > From my own parochial experiences the
          > most abused principle relative to this list would be 'self defense'.
          > It's very easy to rationalize an act of aggression is self defense.

          Acting in self-defense on a philosophy list, where there is no
          opportunity for hurt, is the wrong attitude. So is acting in
          aggression.

          We are here to defend ideas, not ourselves. By defend I mean criticize
          criticisms of our ideas. And the goal is not to preserve our ideas.
          The goal is to seek out the mistakes in our ideas so we can improve
          them.

          -- Rami
        • a b
          ... Sorry - what I said wasn t very clear. I didn t mean that people on this list had rationalized aggression as self defense. I meant that self defense as a
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 3, 2012
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            On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:

            > **
            >
            >
            > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
            > > On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> Why do people rationalize?
            > >>
            > >> Cognitive Dissonance theory has an answer [from wikipedia]:
            > >>
            > >> > Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting
            > >> > cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions)
            > >> > simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread,
            > >> > guilt, anger, or embarrassment.[1] The theory of cognitive dissonance in
            > >> > social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce
            > >> > dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create a
            > >> > consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance of any
            > >> > one of the dissonant elements.[1]
            > >>
            > >> "Holding conflicting cognitions" means having a conflict of ideas. And
            > >> the act of "reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant
            > >> elements" is rationalizing.
            > >>
            > >> So according to this theory, people rationalize when they feel the
            > >> discomfort caused by a conflict of ideas.
            > >>
            > >> An example of cognitive dissonance is [from wikipedia again]:
            > >>
            > >> > An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke and
            > >> > knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change their feelings
            > >> > about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or they
            > >> > might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short term
            > >> > benefits. A general view of cognitive dissonance is when one is biased
            > >> > towards a certain decision even though other factors favour an
            > >> > alternative.[2]
            > >>
            > >> First of all, not all people rationalize. Why? Because not all people
            > >> have the feeling of discomfort when they have a conflict of ideas. So
            > >> what is the difference between people that get this feeling, and
            > >> people that don't? A meme causes it. What meme?
            > >>
            > >> I think the meme is related to the relationship between mistakes and
            > >> badness. A prevalent meme in most [all?] societies is that mistakes
            > >> are bad and that if someone does a lot of mistakes, they are bad. And
            > >> they link badness with negative feelings. Why? Because most people
            > >> were punished for mistakes from their parents and school and even at
            > >> work.
            > >>
            > >> A closely related meme is that changing ones mind quickly is bad. The
            > >> people are labelled flipfloppers. Why do they think this is bad? I
            > >> think its because people with this meme believe that changing ones
            > >> mind means that I'm changing my mind from a mistaken idea to a
            > >> non-mistaken idea. So accepting that someone changed his mind means
            > >> accepting that he had a mistaken idea. And thinking about having a
            > >> mistaken idea makes them feel bad because of the *I'm bad if I have a
            > >> lot of mistakes* meme.
            > >>
            > >> You can see this meme in kids. A kid will change his mind about what
            > >> he wanted to eat. But instead of saying that he changed his mind,
            > >> he'll say that he was just kidding earlier. So he's already learned
            > >> the meme that changing one's mind is bad, which is why he avoids
            > >> admitting it. So he's already learned that having mistaken ideas is
            > >> bad. These are anti-rational memes. I think these are the memes that
            > >> cause people to rationalize. Claiming that you were kidding earlier is
            > >> a rationalization [although he actually could have been kidding].
            > >>
            > >> So how do people stop rationalizing? Well they have to learn that they
            > >> have this meme and that its a mistake, its false. So how do they learn
            > >> that they have these anti-rational memes and that they are false?
            > >>
            > >> One way, as Elliot explained, is for the person to be presented with
            > >> one or more problematic situations where his memes don't work [because
            > >> almost all memes have limited reach]. So in these problematic
            > >> situations, the person must now think outside the box [outside of his
            > >> current set of memes]. He may create the idea that changing your mind
            > >> is good because it means fixing past mistaken ideas. Because mistaken
            > >> ideas are bad. These false ideas were causing problems in the person's
            > >> life making his life worse. So changing your mind means making your
            > >> life better. Hence changing your mind is good. And finding your
            > >> mistakes is good. And having other people point out your mistakes is
            > >> good. So having your mistakes pointed out doesn't cause a bad feeling,
            > >> i.e. having two conflicting ideas doesn't cause a bad feeling, hence
            > >> there is no emotion there to want to fix. Remember people rationalize
            > >> because they are trying to relieve that bad feeling so not having the
            > >> bad feeling means that you won't rationalize.
            > >>
            > >> Another way is for the person to learn this *pointing out mistakes is
            > >> good* idea and *changing your mind is good* idea by reading Popperian
            > >> philosophy from books and/or these email lists.
            > >>
            > >> What other ways are there?
            > >>
            > >> -- Rami
            > >
            > > One example is when we want, or feel we need, to do something that
            > > violates our self image of what sort of person we are and what sort of
            > > things we will and will not do.
            >
            > That suggests that a person's ideas are static. That a person can't
            > change his ideas. Its false.
            >


            > I'm not yet seeing your reasoning on this one. An instance of the example
            > I gave is easily a snapshot along what could well be a non-static evolution
            > of ideas on the part of the individual. He may change his ideas later
            > on...or may not. Perhaps you could develop your point some more.
            >
            >
            > > From my own parochial experiences the
            > > most abused principle relative to this list would be 'self defense'.
            > > It's very easy to rationalize an act of aggression is self defense.
            >
            > Acting in self-defense on a philosophy list, where there is no
            > opportunity for hurt, is the wrong attitude. So is acting in
            > aggression.
            >
            > We are here to defend ideas, not ourselves. By defend I mean criticize
            > criticisms of our ideas. And the goal is not to preserve our ideas.
            > The goal is to seek out the mistakes in our ideas so we can improve
            > them.

            Sorry - what I said wasn't very clear. I didn't mean that people on this
            list had rationalized aggression as self defense. I meant that 'self
            defense' as a concept was relevant to the philosophy advocated by this
            list.

            >
            > -- Rami
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • a b
            ... I m not yet seeing your reasoning on this one. An instance of the example I gave is easily a snapshot along what could well be a non-static evolution of
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 3, 2012
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              On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
              > > On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
              > >>
              > >>
              > >>
              > >> Why do people rationalize?
              > >>
              > >> Cognitive Dissonance theory has an answer [from wikipedia]:
              > >>
              > >> > Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting
              > >> > cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions)
              > >> > simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise,
              > >> > dread,
              > >> > guilt, anger, or embarrassment.[1] The theory of cognitive dissonance
              > >> > in
              > >> > social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to
              > >> > reduce
              > >> > dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create
              > >> > a
              > >> > consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance
              > >> > of any
              > >> > one of the dissonant elements.[1]
              > >>
              > >> "Holding conflicting cognitions" means having a conflict of ideas. And
              > >> the act of "reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant
              > >> elements" is rationalizing.
              > >>
              > >> So according to this theory, people rationalize when they feel the
              > >> discomfort caused by a conflict of ideas.
              > >>
              > >> An example of cognitive dissonance is [from wikipedia again]:
              > >>
              > >> > An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke and
              > >> > knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change their
              > >> > feelings
              > >> > about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or
              > >> > they
              > >> > might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short term
              > >> > benefits. A general view of cognitive dissonance is when one is
              > >> > biased
              > >> > towards a certain decision even though other factors favour an
              > >> > alternative.[2]
              > >>
              > >> First of all, not all people rationalize. Why? Because not all people
              > >> have the feeling of discomfort when they have a conflict of ideas. So
              > >> what is the difference between people that get this feeling, and
              > >> people that don't? A meme causes it. What meme?
              > >>
              > >> I think the meme is related to the relationship between mistakes and
              > >> badness. A prevalent meme in most [all?] societies is that mistakes
              > >> are bad and that if someone does a lot of mistakes, they are bad. And
              > >> they link badness with negative feelings. Why? Because most people
              > >> were punished for mistakes from their parents and school and even at
              > >> work.
              > >>
              > >> A closely related meme is that changing ones mind quickly is bad. The
              > >> people are labelled flipfloppers. Why do they think this is bad? I
              > >> think its because people with this meme believe that changing ones
              > >> mind means that I'm changing my mind from a mistaken idea to a
              > >> non-mistaken idea. So accepting that someone changed his mind means
              > >> accepting that he had a mistaken idea. And thinking about having a
              > >> mistaken idea makes them feel bad because of the *I'm bad if I have a
              > >> lot of mistakes* meme.
              > >>
              > >> You can see this meme in kids. A kid will change his mind about what
              > >> he wanted to eat. But instead of saying that he changed his mind,
              > >> he'll say that he was just kidding earlier. So he's already learned
              > >> the meme that changing one's mind is bad, which is why he avoids
              > >> admitting it. So he's already learned that having mistaken ideas is
              > >> bad. These are anti-rational memes. I think these are the memes that
              > >> cause people to rationalize. Claiming that you were kidding earlier is
              > >> a rationalization [although he actually could have been kidding].
              > >>
              > >> So how do people stop rationalizing? Well they have to learn that they
              > >> have this meme and that its a mistake, its false. So how do they learn
              > >> that they have these anti-rational memes and that they are false?
              > >>
              > >> One way, as Elliot explained, is for the person to be presented with
              > >> one or more problematic situations where his memes don't work [because
              > >> almost all memes have limited reach]. So in these problematic
              > >> situations, the person must now think outside the box [outside of his
              > >> current set of memes]. He may create the idea that changing your mind
              > >> is good because it means fixing past mistaken ideas. Because mistaken
              > >> ideas are bad. These false ideas were causing problems in the person's
              > >> life making his life worse. So changing your mind means making your
              > >> life better. Hence changing your mind is good. And finding your
              > >> mistakes is good. And having other people point out your mistakes is
              > >> good. So having your mistakes pointed out doesn't cause a bad feeling,
              > >> i.e. having two conflicting ideas doesn't cause a bad feeling, hence
              > >> there is no emotion there to want to fix. Remember people rationalize
              > >> because they are trying to relieve that bad feeling so not having the
              > >> bad feeling means that you won't rationalize.
              > >>
              > >> Another way is for the person to learn this *pointing out mistakes is
              > >> good* idea and *changing your mind is good* idea by reading Popperian
              > >> philosophy from books and/or these email lists.
              > >>
              > >> What other ways are there?
              > >>
              > >> -- Rami
              > >
              > > One example is when we want, or feel we need, to do something that
              > > violates our self image of what sort of person we are and what sort of
              > > things we will and will not do.
              >
              > That suggests that a person's ideas are static. That a person can't
              > change his ideas. Its false.

              I'm not yet seeing your reasoning on this one. An instance of the
              example I gave is easily a snapshot along what could well be a
              non-static evolution of ideas on the part of the individual. He may
              change his ideas later on...or may not. Perhaps you could develop your
              point some more
              >
              >
              > > From my own parochial experiences the
              > > most abused principle relative to this list would be 'self defense'.
              > > It's very easy to rationalize an act of aggression is self defense.
              >
              > Acting in self-defense on a philosophy list, where there is no
              > opportunity for hurt, is the wrong attitude. So is acting in
              > aggression.
              >
              > We are here to defend ideas, not ourselves. By defend I mean criticize
              > criticisms of our ideas. And the goal is not to preserve our ideas.
              > The goal is to seek out the mistakes in our ideas so we can improve
              > them.
              >
              Sorry - what I said wasn't very clear. I didn't mean that people on
              this list had rationalized aggression as self defense. I meant that
              'self defense' as a concept was relevant to the philosophy advocated
              by this list. >
            • Rami Rustom
              ... The idea of self-image is pointless. Why should anyone think of their self-image ? I think it doesn t make sense. I am my ideas, not more, no less. I can
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 3, 2012
              • 0 Attachment
                On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 12:52 PM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
                > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >> On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
                >> > On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
                >> >>
                >> >>
                >> >>
                >> >> Why do people rationalize?
                >> >>
                >> >> Cognitive Dissonance theory has an answer [from wikipedia]:
                >> >>
                >> >> > Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting
                >> >> > cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions)
                >> >> > simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise,
                >> >> > dread,
                >> >> > guilt, anger, or embarrassment.[1] The theory of cognitive dissonance
                >> >> > in
                >> >> > social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to
                >> >> > reduce
                >> >> > dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create
                >> >> > a
                >> >> > consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance
                >> >> > of any
                >> >> > one of the dissonant elements.[1]
                >> >>
                >> >> "Holding conflicting cognitions" means having a conflict of ideas. And
                >> >> the act of "reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant
                >> >> elements" is rationalizing.
                >> >>
                >> >> So according to this theory, people rationalize when they feel the
                >> >> discomfort caused by a conflict of ideas.
                >> >>
                >> >> An example of cognitive dissonance is [from wikipedia again]:
                >> >>
                >> >> > An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke and
                >> >> > knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change their
                >> >> > feelings
                >> >> > about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or
                >> >> > they
                >> >> > might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short term
                >> >> > benefits. A general view of cognitive dissonance is when one is
                >> >> > biased
                >> >> > towards a certain decision even though other factors favour an
                >> >> > alternative.[2]
                >> >>
                >> >> First of all, not all people rationalize. Why? Because not all people
                >> >> have the feeling of discomfort when they have a conflict of ideas. So
                >> >> what is the difference between people that get this feeling, and
                >> >> people that don't? A meme causes it. What meme?
                >> >>
                >> >> I think the meme is related to the relationship between mistakes and
                >> >> badness. A prevalent meme in most [all?] societies is that mistakes
                >> >> are bad and that if someone does a lot of mistakes, they are bad. And
                >> >> they link badness with negative feelings. Why? Because most people
                >> >> were punished for mistakes from their parents and school and even at
                >> >> work.
                >> >>
                >> >> A closely related meme is that changing ones mind quickly is bad. The
                >> >> people are labelled flipfloppers. Why do they think this is bad? I
                >> >> think its because people with this meme believe that changing ones
                >> >> mind means that I'm changing my mind from a mistaken idea to a
                >> >> non-mistaken idea. So accepting that someone changed his mind means
                >> >> accepting that he had a mistaken idea. And thinking about having a
                >> >> mistaken idea makes them feel bad because of the *I'm bad if I have a
                >> >> lot of mistakes* meme.
                >> >>
                >> >> You can see this meme in kids. A kid will change his mind about what
                >> >> he wanted to eat. But instead of saying that he changed his mind,
                >> >> he'll say that he was just kidding earlier. So he's already learned
                >> >> the meme that changing one's mind is bad, which is why he avoids
                >> >> admitting it. So he's already learned that having mistaken ideas is
                >> >> bad. These are anti-rational memes. I think these are the memes that
                >> >> cause people to rationalize. Claiming that you were kidding earlier is
                >> >> a rationalization [although he actually could have been kidding].
                >> >>
                >> >> So how do people stop rationalizing? Well they have to learn that they
                >> >> have this meme and that its a mistake, its false. So how do they learn
                >> >> that they have these anti-rational memes and that they are false?
                >> >>
                >> >> One way, as Elliot explained, is for the person to be presented with
                >> >> one or more problematic situations where his memes don't work [because
                >> >> almost all memes have limited reach]. So in these problematic
                >> >> situations, the person must now think outside the box [outside of his
                >> >> current set of memes]. He may create the idea that changing your mind
                >> >> is good because it means fixing past mistaken ideas. Because mistaken
                >> >> ideas are bad. These false ideas were causing problems in the person's
                >> >> life making his life worse. So changing your mind means making your
                >> >> life better. Hence changing your mind is good. And finding your
                >> >> mistakes is good. And having other people point out your mistakes is
                >> >> good. So having your mistakes pointed out doesn't cause a bad feeling,
                >> >> i.e. having two conflicting ideas doesn't cause a bad feeling, hence
                >> >> there is no emotion there to want to fix. Remember people rationalize
                >> >> because they are trying to relieve that bad feeling so not having the
                >> >> bad feeling means that you won't rationalize.
                >> >>
                >> >> Another way is for the person to learn this *pointing out mistakes is
                >> >> good* idea and *changing your mind is good* idea by reading Popperian
                >> >> philosophy from books and/or these email lists.
                >> >>
                >> >> What other ways are there?
                >> >>
                >> >> -- Rami
                >> >
                >> > One example is when we want, or feel we need, to do something that
                >> > violates our self image of what sort of person we are and what sort of
                >> > things we will and will not do.
                >>
                >> That suggests that a person's ideas are static. That a person can't
                >> change his ideas. Its false.
                >
                > I'm not yet seeing your reasoning on this one. An instance of the
                > example I gave is easily a snapshot along what could well be a
                > non-static evolution of ideas on the part of the individual. He may
                > change his ideas later on...or may not. Perhaps you could develop your
                > point some more

                The idea of self-image is pointless. Why should anyone think of their
                "self-image"?

                I think it doesn't make sense. I am my ideas, not more, no less. I can
                change any one of my ideas, if I find a mistake in it [or somebody
                else persuades me that one of my ideas is mistaken]. So in this
                context, what is my self-image?


                >>
                >> > From my own parochial experiences the
                >> > most abused principle relative to this list would be 'self defense'.
                >> > It's very easy to rationalize an act of aggression is self defense.
                >>
                >> Acting in self-defense on a philosophy list, where there is no
                >> opportunity for hurt, is the wrong attitude. So is acting in
                >> aggression.
                >>
                >> We are here to defend ideas, not ourselves. By defend I mean criticize
                >> criticisms of our ideas. And the goal is not to preserve our ideas.
                >> The goal is to seek out the mistakes in our ideas so we can improve
                >> them.
                >>
                > Sorry - what I said wasn't very clear. I didn't mean that people on
                > this list had rationalized aggression as self defense. I meant that
                > 'self defense' as a concept was relevant to the philosophy advocated
                > by this list. >

                Rationalizing that an act is one of self-defense, when it is actually
                aggression, means that someone wants to commit an act of physical
                force and he knows that it is an act of aggression rather than
                self-defense, but he also knows that acts of aggression are bad, and
                he doesn't want people [nor himself] to think he is bad, so he lies
                and says that his act is one of self-defense.

                The lie is the rationalization. He is fooling himself.

                You said that its "easy" to do this. Sure its easy. Buts a mistake.

                All you have to do is make sure that the act is not one of aggression.
                That means guessing that it might be, and then criticizing that guess.
                And the criticism must be a good explanation. And then to also guess
                that it might be for self-defense, and then to try to criticize that
                guess.

                The guess left uncriticized is the truth.

                -- Rami
              • a b
                ... You don t think a self-concept or ego is part of human makeup? Is it possible do you think, to find a way to restate basically the same point in terms of
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 5, 2012
                • 0 Attachment
                  On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 7:11 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 12:52 PM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
                  > > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >> On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
                  > >> > On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...>
                  > >> > wrote:
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> Why do people rationalize?
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> Cognitive Dissonance theory has an answer [from wikipedia]:
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> > Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting
                  > >> >> > cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions)
                  > >> >> > simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may feel
                  > >> >> > surprise,
                  > >> >> > dread,
                  > >> >> > guilt, anger, or embarrassment.[1] The theory of cognitive
                  > >> >> > dissonance
                  > >> >> > in
                  > >> >> > social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive
                  > >> >> > to
                  > >> >> > reduce
                  > >> >> > dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to
                  > >> >> > create
                  > >> >> > a
                  > >> >> > consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the
                  > >> >> > importance
                  > >> >> > of any
                  > >> >> > one of the dissonant elements.[1]
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> "Holding conflicting cognitions" means having a conflict of ideas.
                  > >> >> And
                  > >> >> the act of "reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant
                  > >> >> elements" is rationalizing.
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> So according to this theory, people rationalize when they feel the
                  > >> >> discomfort caused by a conflict of ideas.
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> An example of cognitive dissonance is [from wikipedia again]:
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> > An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke
                  > >> >> > and
                  > >> >> > knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change
                  > >> >> > their
                  > >> >> > feelings
                  > >> >> > about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or
                  > >> >> > they
                  > >> >> > might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short
                  > >> >> > term
                  > >> >> > benefits. A general view of cognitive dissonance is when one is
                  > >> >> > biased
                  > >> >> > towards a certain decision even though other factors favour an
                  > >> >> > alternative.[2]
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> First of all, not all people rationalize. Why? Because not all
                  > >> >> people
                  > >> >> have the feeling of discomfort when they have a conflict of ideas.
                  > >> >> So
                  > >> >> what is the difference between people that get this feeling, and
                  > >> >> people that don't? A meme causes it. What meme?
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> I think the meme is related to the relationship between mistakes and
                  > >> >> badness. A prevalent meme in most [all?] societies is that mistakes
                  > >> >> are bad and that if someone does a lot of mistakes, they are bad.
                  > >> >> And
                  > >> >> they link badness with negative feelings. Why? Because most people
                  > >> >> were punished for mistakes from their parents and school and even at
                  > >> >> work.
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> A closely related meme is that changing ones mind quickly is bad.
                  > >> >> The
                  > >> >> people are labelled flipfloppers. Why do they think this is bad? I
                  > >> >> think its because people with this meme believe that changing ones
                  > >> >> mind means that I'm changing my mind from a mistaken idea to a
                  > >> >> non-mistaken idea. So accepting that someone changed his mind means
                  > >> >> accepting that he had a mistaken idea. And thinking about having a
                  > >> >> mistaken idea makes them feel bad because of the *I'm bad if I have
                  > >> >> a
                  > >> >> lot of mistakes* meme.
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> You can see this meme in kids. A kid will change his mind about what
                  > >> >> he wanted to eat. But instead of saying that he changed his mind,
                  > >> >> he'll say that he was just kidding earlier. So he's already learned
                  > >> >> the meme that changing one's mind is bad, which is why he avoids
                  > >> >> admitting it. So he's already learned that having mistaken ideas is
                  > >> >> bad. These are anti-rational memes. I think these are the memes that
                  > >> >> cause people to rationalize. Claiming that you were kidding earlier
                  > >> >> is
                  > >> >> a rationalization [although he actually could have been kidding].
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> So how do people stop rationalizing? Well they have to learn that
                  > >> >> they
                  > >> >> have this meme and that its a mistake, its false. So how do they
                  > >> >> learn
                  > >> >> that they have these anti-rational memes and that they are false?
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> One way, as Elliot explained, is for the person to be presented with
                  > >> >> one or more problematic situations where his memes don't work
                  > >> >> [because
                  > >> >> almost all memes have limited reach]. So in these problematic
                  > >> >> situations, the person must now think outside the box [outside of
                  > >> >> his
                  > >> >> current set of memes]. He may create the idea that changing your
                  > >> >> mind
                  > >> >> is good because it means fixing past mistaken ideas. Because
                  > >> >> mistaken
                  > >> >> ideas are bad. These false ideas were causing problems in the
                  > >> >> person's
                  > >> >> life making his life worse. So changing your mind means making your
                  > >> >> life better. Hence changing your mind is good. And finding your
                  > >> >> mistakes is good. And having other people point out your mistakes is
                  > >> >> good. So having your mistakes pointed out doesn't cause a bad
                  > >> >> feeling,
                  > >> >> i.e. having two conflicting ideas doesn't cause a bad feeling, hence
                  > >> >> there is no emotion there to want to fix. Remember people
                  > >> >> rationalize
                  > >> >> because they are trying to relieve that bad feeling so not having
                  > >> >> the
                  > >> >> bad feeling means that you won't rationalize.
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> Another way is for the person to learn this *pointing out mistakes
                  > >> >> is
                  > >> >> good* idea and *changing your mind is good* idea by reading
                  > >> >> Popperian
                  > >> >> philosophy from books and/or these email lists.
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> What other ways are there?
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> -- Rami
                  > >> >
                  > >> > One example is when we want, or feel we need, to do something that
                  > >> > violates our self image of what sort of person we are and what sort
                  > >> > of
                  > >> > things we will and will not do.
                  > >>
                  > >> That suggests that a person's ideas are static. That a person can't
                  > >> change his ideas. Its false.
                  > >
                  > > I'm not yet seeing your reasoning on this one. An instance of the
                  > > example I gave is easily a snapshot along what could well be a
                  > > non-static evolution of ideas on the part of the individual. He may
                  > > change his ideas later on...or may not. Perhaps you could develop your
                  > > point some more
                  >
                  > The idea of self-image is pointless. Why should anyone think of their
                  > "self-image"?

                  You don't think a self-concept or ego is part of human makeup? Is it
                  possible do you think, to find a way to restate basically the same
                  point in terms of explanations and ideas?

                  >
                  > I think it doesn't make sense. I am my ideas, not more, no less. I can
                  > change any one of my ideas, if I find a mistake in it [or somebody
                  > else persuades me that one of my ideas is mistaken]. So in this
                  > context, what is my self-image?

                  In that context I suppose you just stated it. Though I would imagine a
                  lot of self-image is also implicit.

                  >
                  > >>
                  > >> > From my own parochial experiences the
                  > >> > most abused principle relative to this list would be 'self defense'.
                  > >> > It's very easy to rationalize an act of aggression is self defense.
                  > >>
                  > >> Acting in self-defense on a philosophy list, where there is no
                  > >> opportunity for hurt, is the wrong attitude. So is acting in
                  > >> aggression.
                  > >>
                  > >> We are here to defend ideas, not ourselves. By defend I mean criticize
                  > >> criticisms of our ideas. And the goal is not to preserve our ideas.
                  > >> The goal is to seek out the mistakes in our ideas so we can improve
                  > >> them.
                  > >>
                  > > Sorry - what I said wasn't very clear. I didn't mean that people on
                  > > this list had rationalized aggression as self defense. I meant that
                  > > 'self defense' as a concept was relevant to the philosophy advocated
                  > > by this list. >
                  >
                  > Rationalizing that an act is one of self-defense, when it is actually
                  > aggression, means that someone wants to commit an act of physical
                  > force and he knows that it is an act of aggression rather than
                  > self-defense, but he also knows that acts of aggression are bad, and
                  > he doesn't want people [nor himself] to think he is bad, so he lies
                  > and says that his act is one of self-defense.
                  >
                  > The lie is the rationalization. He is fooling himself.
                  >
                  > You said that its "easy" to do this. Sure its easy. Buts a mistake.

                  Rationalizing probably quite often involves mistakes in the popperian
                  sense. A question would be whether the philosophy results in less,
                  more or no difference in the occurence. I know what it says on the
                  label...but there's a possible downside to believing you are
                  exceptionally moral and rational, that you wholly respond to criticism
                  and so on, and that would be if it creates a 'self image' that
                  actually makes you worse at giving up ideas and more likely to
                  rationalize when your behaviour falls short of your ideals. It's a
                  possibility. Bearing in mind we're talking about those ideas most core
                  and dear to us, not the peripheral stuff which actually pretty much
                  everyone is willking to give up.
                • Rami Rustom
                  ... That is a subset of a person s ideas. ... I think I did already. A person *is* his ideas. Some of their ideas influence most of their other ideas, and so
                  Message 8 of 10 , Aug 5, 2012
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On Aug 5, 2012 12:44 PM, "a b" <asbbih@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 7:11 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 12:52 PM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
                    > > > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
                    > > >>
                    > > >>
                    > > >>
                    > > >> On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
                    > > >> > On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...>
                    > > >> > wrote:
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> Why do people rationalize?
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> Cognitive Dissonance theory has an answer [from wikipedia]:
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> > Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting
                    > > >> >> > cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions)
                    > > >> >> > simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may feel
                    > > >> >> > surprise,
                    > > >> >> > dread,
                    > > >> >> > guilt, anger, or embarrassment.[1] The theory of cognitive
                    > > >> >> > dissonance
                    > > >> >> > in
                    > > >> >> > social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive
                    > > >> >> > to
                    > > >> >> > reduce
                    > > >> >> > dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to
                    > > >> >> > create
                    > > >> >> > a
                    > > >> >> > consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the
                    > > >> >> > importance
                    > > >> >> > of any
                    > > >> >> > one of the dissonant elements.[1]
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> "Holding conflicting cognitions" means having a conflict of ideas.
                    > > >> >> And
                    > > >> >> the act of "reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant
                    > > >> >> elements" is rationalizing.
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> So according to this theory, people rationalize when they feel the
                    > > >> >> discomfort caused by a conflict of ideas.
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> An example of cognitive dissonance is [from wikipedia again]:
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> > An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke
                    > > >> >> > and
                    > > >> >> > knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change
                    > > >> >> > their
                    > > >> >> > feelings
                    > > >> >> > about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or
                    > > >> >> > they
                    > > >> >> > might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short
                    > > >> >> > term
                    > > >> >> > benefits. A general view of cognitive dissonance is when one is
                    > > >> >> > biased
                    > > >> >> > towards a certain decision even though other factors favour an
                    > > >> >> > alternative.[2]
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> First of all, not all people rationalize. Why? Because not all
                    > > >> >> people
                    > > >> >> have the feeling of discomfort when they have a conflict of ideas.
                    > > >> >> So
                    > > >> >> what is the difference between people that get this feeling, and
                    > > >> >> people that don't? A meme causes it. What meme?
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> I think the meme is related to the relationship between mistakes and
                    > > >> >> badness. A prevalent meme in most [all?] societies is that mistakes
                    > > >> >> are bad and that if someone does a lot of mistakes, they are bad.
                    > > >> >> And
                    > > >> >> they link badness with negative feelings. Why? Because most people
                    > > >> >> were punished for mistakes from their parents and school and even at
                    > > >> >> work.
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> A closely related meme is that changing ones mind quickly is bad.
                    > > >> >> The
                    > > >> >> people are labelled flipfloppers. Why do they think this is bad? I
                    > > >> >> think its because people with this meme believe that changing ones
                    > > >> >> mind means that I'm changing my mind from a mistaken idea to a
                    > > >> >> non-mistaken idea. So accepting that someone changed his mind means
                    > > >> >> accepting that he had a mistaken idea. And thinking about having a
                    > > >> >> mistaken idea makes them feel bad because of the *I'm bad if I have
                    > > >> >> a
                    > > >> >> lot of mistakes* meme.
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> You can see this meme in kids. A kid will change his mind about what
                    > > >> >> he wanted to eat. But instead of saying that he changed his mind,
                    > > >> >> he'll say that he was just kidding earlier. So he's already learned
                    > > >> >> the meme that changing one's mind is bad, which is why he avoids
                    > > >> >> admitting it. So he's already learned that having mistaken ideas is
                    > > >> >> bad. These are anti-rational memes. I think these are the memes that
                    > > >> >> cause people to rationalize. Claiming that you were kidding earlier
                    > > >> >> is
                    > > >> >> a rationalization [although he actually could have been kidding].
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> So how do people stop rationalizing? Well they have to learn that
                    > > >> >> they
                    > > >> >> have this meme and that its a mistake, its false. So how do they
                    > > >> >> learn
                    > > >> >> that they have these anti-rational memes and that they are false?
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> One way, as Elliot explained, is for the person to be presented with
                    > > >> >> one or more problematic situations where his memes don't work
                    > > >> >> [because
                    > > >> >> almost all memes have limited reach]. So in these problematic
                    > > >> >> situations, the person must now think outside the box [outside of
                    > > >> >> his
                    > > >> >> current set of memes]. He may create the idea that changing your
                    > > >> >> mind
                    > > >> >> is good because it means fixing past mistaken ideas. Because
                    > > >> >> mistaken
                    > > >> >> ideas are bad. These false ideas were causing problems in the
                    > > >> >> person's
                    > > >> >> life making his life worse. So changing your mind means making your
                    > > >> >> life better. Hence changing your mind is good. And finding your
                    > > >> >> mistakes is good. And having other people point out your mistakes is
                    > > >> >> good. So having your mistakes pointed out doesn't cause a bad
                    > > >> >> feeling,
                    > > >> >> i.e. having two conflicting ideas doesn't cause a bad feeling, hence
                    > > >> >> there is no emotion there to want to fix. Remember people
                    > > >> >> rationalize
                    > > >> >> because they are trying to relieve that bad feeling so not having
                    > > >> >> the
                    > > >> >> bad feeling means that you won't rationalize.
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> Another way is for the person to learn this *pointing out mistakes
                    > > >> >> is
                    > > >> >> good* idea and *changing your mind is good* idea by reading
                    > > >> >> Popperian
                    > > >> >> philosophy from books and/or these email lists.
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> What other ways are there?
                    > > >> >>
                    > > >> >> -- Rami
                    > > >> >
                    > > >> > One example is when we want, or feel we need, to do something that
                    > > >> > violates our self image of what sort of person we are and what sort
                    > > >> > of
                    > > >> > things we will and will not do.
                    > > >>
                    > > >> That suggests that a person's ideas are static. That a person can't
                    > > >> change his ideas. Its false.
                    > > >
                    > > > I'm not yet seeing your reasoning on this one. An instance of the
                    > > > example I gave is easily a snapshot along what could well be a
                    > > > non-static evolution of ideas on the part of the individual. He may
                    > > > change his ideas later on...or may not. Perhaps you could develop your
                    > > > point some more
                    > >
                    > > The idea of self-image is pointless. Why should anyone think of their
                    > > "self-image"?
                    >
                    > You don't think a self-concept or ego is part of human makeup?

                    That is a subset of a person's ideas.


                    > Is it
                    > possible do you think, to find a way to restate basically the same
                    > point in terms of explanations and ideas?

                    I think I did already. A person *is* his ideas. Some of their ideas
                    influence most of their other ideas, and so those ideas influence
                    their actions, emotions, habits, etc.

                    Say a girl believes that women are emotional beings. That means she
                    believes that *being emotional* is a personality trait and that
                    personality traits are static things about people. Because of these
                    beliefs [i.e. ideas], she doesn't think about changing her emotional
                    habits, and so of course her emotional habits don't. Its like a
                    self-fulfilling prophecy.


                    > >
                    > > I think it doesn't make sense. I am my ideas, not more, no less. I can
                    > > change any one of my ideas, if I find a mistake in it [or somebody
                    > > else persuades me that one of my ideas is mistaken]. So in this
                    > > context, what is my self-image?
                    >
                    > In that context I suppose you just stated it. Though I would imagine a
                    > lot of self-image is also implicit.

                    Do you mean subconscious and inexplicit? That is true but only because
                    those people haven't learned what the mind really is. They haven't
                    learned Popperian philosophy. They have learned how learning works.
                    How habits form. How personality traits form. And how these things
                    change.


                    > >
                    > > >>
                    > > >> > From my own parochial experiences the
                    > > >> > most abused principle relative to this list would be 'self defense'.
                    > > >> > It's very easy to rationalize an act of aggression is self defense.
                    > > >>
                    > > >> Acting in self-defense on a philosophy list, where there is no
                    > > >> opportunity for hurt, is the wrong attitude. So is acting in
                    > > >> aggression.
                    > > >>
                    > > >> We are here to defend ideas, not ourselves. By defend I mean criticize
                    > > >> criticisms of our ideas. And the goal is not to preserve our ideas.
                    > > >> The goal is to seek out the mistakes in our ideas so we can improve
                    > > >> them.
                    > > >>
                    > > > Sorry - what I said wasn't very clear. I didn't mean that people on
                    > > > this list had rationalized aggression as self defense. I meant that
                    > > > 'self defense' as a concept was relevant to the philosophy advocated
                    > > > by this list. >
                    > >
                    > > Rationalizing that an act is one of self-defense, when it is actually
                    > > aggression, means that someone wants to commit an act of physical
                    > > force and he knows that it is an act of aggression rather than
                    > > self-defense, but he also knows that acts of aggression are bad, and
                    > > he doesn't want people [nor himself] to think he is bad, so he lies
                    > > and says that his act is one of self-defense.
                    > >
                    > > The lie is the rationalization. He is fooling himself.
                    > >
                    > > You said that its "easy" to do this. Sure its easy. Buts a mistake.
                    >
                    > Rationalizing probably quite often involves mistakes in the popperian
                    > sense.

                    Absolutely people can make mistakes in the process of trying not to
                    rationalize. Most people though don't even try to prevent it. Some
                    people don't even know what rationalizing is, so its especially hard
                    for them. And most people don't know how they create ideas, meaning
                    that creating ideas is a function of the person's current set of
                    ideas. And then even with this knowledge, one must actively try to
                    make sure that his guesses are not rationalizations. Why must we do
                    this? Why do we have to second-guess our own intentions?

                    There is no way to be sure why you guessed an idea. What is for sure
                    is that a person creates his guesses from his ideas. And since he
                    hasn't yet discovered all his ideas [meaning some of them are known
                    subconsciously], that means that some of his guesses were derived from
                    ideas that I'm he's not aware of [yet]. So when he creates an idea,
                    that idea could be a rationalization or not. So its important to guess
                    that it is, and criticize that guess, and then to guess that it isn't,
                    and criticize that guess.

                    Once somebody has done this enough times, they will have discovered
                    all of their ideas that cause him to create rationalizations. And he
                    will have learned that those ideas are bad/mistaken. Those ideas are
                    memes that he learned from childhood. They are related to his attitude
                    towards mistakes, and believing that mistakes mean you are bad, and
                    thinking about other people thinking bad of you if a mistake of yours
                    is pointed out, and so on.


                    > A question would be whether the philosophy results in less,
                    > more or no difference in the occurence.

                    If someone is actually learning the philosophy, then the occurrence
                    rate of rationalizations decreases. But if he doesn't fix those
                    mistaken memes that cause the rationalizations, then he'll continue
                    making rationalizations.


                    > I know what it says on the
                    > label...but there's a possible downside to believing you are
                    > exceptionally moral and rational,

                    There is no need/reason to think about how moral or rational you are.
                    Who does that? Why do they do it? I think that if someone is thinking
                    of this, then they are not very moral/rational. Why? Because they are
                    focusing on the wrong stuff. They are focusing on themselves rather
                    than on the content of the ideas [that they currently believe to be
                    true]. If you instead focus on the ideas, then you'll be seeking out
                    errors in them. But if you focus on yourself, then how will you seek
                    out errors in your ideas?

                    If you focus on yourself, I think this is what people mean by
                    self-image. Its pointless. Better to focus on the content of ideas,
                    not your past history of how well you find errors in your ideas. Your
                    history [of how well you found errors in your ideas] doesn't matter at
                    all. It has no worthwhile purpose. So should anyone do it?


                    > that you wholly respond to criticism
                    > and so on, and that would be if it creates a 'self image' that
                    > actually makes you worse at giving up ideas and more likely to
                    > rationalize when your behaviour falls short of your ideals. It's a
                    > possibility. Bearing in mind we're talking about those ideas most core
                    > and dear to us, not the peripheral stuff which actually pretty much
                    > everyone is willking to give up.

                    Like what stuff are most core to us?

                    -- Rami
                  • Brett Hall
                    ... You do indeed keep typing this. It s quite false. A person is still a person...even if they have no ideas. I am a person...even when not thinking. So, for
                    Message 9 of 10 , Aug 5, 2012
                    • 0 Attachment
                      On 06/08/2012, at 5:16, "Rami Rustom" <rombomb@...> wrote:

                      > On Aug 5, 2012 12:44 PM, "a b" <asbbih@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 7:11 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 12:52 PM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
                      > > > > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
                      > > > >>
                      > > > >>
                      > > > >>
                      > > > >> On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
                      > > > >> > On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...>
                      > > > >> > wrote:
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> Why do people rationalize?
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> Cognitive Dissonance theory has an answer [from wikipedia]:
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> > Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting
                      > > > >> >> > cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions)
                      > > > >> >> > simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may feel
                      > > > >> >> > surprise,
                      > > > >> >> > dread,
                      > > > >> >> > guilt, anger, or embarrassment.[1] The theory of cognitive
                      > > > >> >> > dissonance
                      > > > >> >> > in
                      > > > >> >> > social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive
                      > > > >> >> > to
                      > > > >> >> > reduce
                      > > > >> >> > dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to
                      > > > >> >> > create
                      > > > >> >> > a
                      > > > >> >> > consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the
                      > > > >> >> > importance
                      > > > >> >> > of any
                      > > > >> >> > one of the dissonant elements.[1]
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> "Holding conflicting cognitions" means having a conflict of ideas.
                      > > > >> >> And
                      > > > >> >> the act of "reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant
                      > > > >> >> elements" is rationalizing.
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> So according to this theory, people rationalize when they feel the
                      > > > >> >> discomfort caused by a conflict of ideas.
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> An example of cognitive dissonance is [from wikipedia again]:
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> > An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke
                      > > > >> >> > and
                      > > > >> >> > knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change
                      > > > >> >> > their
                      > > > >> >> > feelings
                      > > > >> >> > about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or
                      > > > >> >> > they
                      > > > >> >> > might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short
                      > > > >> >> > term
                      > > > >> >> > benefits. A general view of cognitive dissonance is when one is
                      > > > >> >> > biased
                      > > > >> >> > towards a certain decision even though other factors favour an
                      > > > >> >> > alternative.[2]
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> First of all, not all people rationalize. Why? Because not all
                      > > > >> >> people
                      > > > >> >> have the feeling of discomfort when they have a conflict of ideas.
                      > > > >> >> So
                      > > > >> >> what is the difference between people that get this feeling, and
                      > > > >> >> people that don't? A meme causes it. What meme?
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> I think the meme is related to the relationship between mistakes and
                      > > > >> >> badness. A prevalent meme in most [all?] societies is that mistakes
                      > > > >> >> are bad and that if someone does a lot of mistakes, they are bad.
                      > > > >> >> And
                      > > > >> >> they link badness with negative feelings. Why? Because most people
                      > > > >> >> were punished for mistakes from their parents and school and even at
                      > > > >> >> work.
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> A closely related meme is that changing ones mind quickly is bad.
                      > > > >> >> The
                      > > > >> >> people are labelled flipfloppers. Why do they think this is bad? I
                      > > > >> >> think its because people with this meme believe that changing ones
                      > > > >> >> mind means that I'm changing my mind from a mistaken idea to a
                      > > > >> >> non-mistaken idea. So accepting that someone changed his mind means
                      > > > >> >> accepting that he had a mistaken idea. And thinking about having a
                      > > > >> >> mistaken idea makes them feel bad because of the *I'm bad if I have
                      > > > >> >> a
                      > > > >> >> lot of mistakes* meme.
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> You can see this meme in kids. A kid will change his mind about what
                      > > > >> >> he wanted to eat. But instead of saying that he changed his mind,
                      > > > >> >> he'll say that he was just kidding earlier. So he's already learned
                      > > > >> >> the meme that changing one's mind is bad, which is why he avoids
                      > > > >> >> admitting it. So he's already learned that having mistaken ideas is
                      > > > >> >> bad. These are anti-rational memes. I think these are the memes that
                      > > > >> >> cause people to rationalize. Claiming that you were kidding earlier
                      > > > >> >> is
                      > > > >> >> a rationalization [although he actually could have been kidding].
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> So how do people stop rationalizing? Well they have to learn that
                      > > > >> >> they
                      > > > >> >> have this meme and that its a mistake, its false. So how do they
                      > > > >> >> learn
                      > > > >> >> that they have these anti-rational memes and that they are false?
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> One way, as Elliot explained, is for the person to be presented with
                      > > > >> >> one or more problematic situations where his memes don't work
                      > > > >> >> [because
                      > > > >> >> almost all memes have limited reach]. So in these problematic
                      > > > >> >> situations, the person must now think outside the box [outside of
                      > > > >> >> his
                      > > > >> >> current set of memes]. He may create the idea that changing your
                      > > > >> >> mind
                      > > > >> >> is good because it means fixing past mistaken ideas. Because
                      > > > >> >> mistaken
                      > > > >> >> ideas are bad. These false ideas were causing problems in the
                      > > > >> >> person's
                      > > > >> >> life making his life worse. So changing your mind means making your
                      > > > >> >> life better. Hence changing your mind is good. And finding your
                      > > > >> >> mistakes is good. And having other people point out your mistakes is
                      > > > >> >> good. So having your mistakes pointed out doesn't cause a bad
                      > > > >> >> feeling,
                      > > > >> >> i.e. having two conflicting ideas doesn't cause a bad feeling, hence
                      > > > >> >> there is no emotion there to want to fix. Remember people
                      > > > >> >> rationalize
                      > > > >> >> because they are trying to relieve that bad feeling so not having
                      > > > >> >> the
                      > > > >> >> bad feeling means that you won't rationalize.
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> Another way is for the person to learn this *pointing out mistakes
                      > > > >> >> is
                      > > > >> >> good* idea and *changing your mind is good* idea by reading
                      > > > >> >> Popperian
                      > > > >> >> philosophy from books and/or these email lists.
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> What other ways are there?
                      > > > >> >>
                      > > > >> >> -- Rami
                      > > > >> >
                      > > > >> > One example is when we want, or feel we need, to do something that
                      > > > >> > violates our self image of what sort of person we are and what sort
                      > > > >> > of
                      > > > >> > things we will and will not do.
                      > > > >>
                      > > > >> That suggests that a person's ideas are static. That a person can't
                      > > > >> change his ideas. Its false.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > I'm not yet seeing your reasoning on this one. An instance of the
                      > > > > example I gave is easily a snapshot along what could well be a
                      > > > > non-static evolution of ideas on the part of the individual. He may
                      > > > > change his ideas later on...or may not. Perhaps you could develop your
                      > > > > point some more
                      > > >
                      > > > The idea of self-image is pointless. Why should anyone think of their
                      > > > "self-image"?
                      > >
                      > > You don't think a self-concept or ego is part of human makeup?
                      >
                      > That is a subset of a person's ideas.
                      >
                      > > Is it
                      > > possible do you think, to find a way to restate basically the same
                      > > point in terms of explanations and ideas?
                      >
                      > I think I did already. A person *is* his ideas.
                      >

                      You do indeed keep typing this. It's quite false.
                      A person is still a person...even if they have no ideas. I am a person...even when not thinking. So, for example, while driving...and just daydreaming. Or playing video games and in the zone. Or meditating.

                      So long as I am conscious...I am a person. I am not my ideas. I am not identical to my ideas. Not to the set of them, or any subset of them.

                      Certainly my ideas are important to my identity - essential even. But this is quite different to saying "I am my ideas". That is absurd.

                      I am no more my ideas than I am...my tastes. Or any experience. Or any thought. I am not any part of my consciousness.

                      I am consciousness.

                      I am *conscious of* my ideas.

                      Right?
                      > Some of their ideas
                      > influence most of their other ideas, and so those ideas influence
                      > their actions, emotions, habits, etc.
                      >

                      Yes. This makes ideas important. Like...organs are important. My eyes are important. But they're not me. My digestive system is important. But I am not to be identified with any of that.

                      Now you might want to be saying that ideas make up something like your personality...your tendency to be a certain way in the world. That's fine. The way a person acts and what decisions and choices they make...that depends on the ideas they have. Different people behave differently as they have different experiences and ideas.

                      But the fact you are anything at all - that you can *be* a person - that's not because you are your ideas. We could replicate the set of your whole ideas elsewhere - and yet we wouldn't have you. We would just have some instantiation of your ideas. But not you. Not a person.

                      Brett.

                      > _,___
                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Rami Rustom
                      ... We ve had this discussion before and it ended with me criticizing your criticism of my guess. If you weren t persuaded, then why didn t you continue the
                      Message 10 of 10 , Aug 6, 2012
                      • 0 Attachment
                        On Aug 6, 2012 2:30 AM, "Brett Hall" <brhalluk@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > On 06/08/2012, at 5:16, "Rami Rustom" <rombomb@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > On Aug 5, 2012 12:44 PM, "a b" <asbbih@...> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 7:11 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 12:52 PM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
                        > > > > > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...> wrote:
                        > > > > >>
                        > > > > >>
                        > > > > >>
                        > > > > >> On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM, a b <asbbih@...> wrote:
                        > > > > >> > On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM, Rami Rustom <rombomb@...>
                        > > > > >> > wrote:
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> Why do people rationalize?
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> Cognitive Dissonance theory has an answer [from wikipedia]:
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> > Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting
                        > > > > >> >> > cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions)
                        > > > > >> >> > simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may feel
                        > > > > >> >> > surprise,
                        > > > > >> >> > dread,
                        > > > > >> >> > guilt, anger, or embarrassment.[1] The theory of cognitive
                        > > > > >> >> > dissonance
                        > > > > >> >> > in
                        > > > > >> >> > social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive
                        > > > > >> >> > to
                        > > > > >> >> > reduce
                        > > > > >> >> > dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to
                        > > > > >> >> > create
                        > > > > >> >> > a
                        > > > > >> >> > consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the
                        > > > > >> >> > importance
                        > > > > >> >> > of any
                        > > > > >> >> > one of the dissonant elements.[1]
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> "Holding conflicting cognitions" means having a conflict of ideas.
                        > > > > >> >> And
                        > > > > >> >> the act of "reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant
                        > > > > >> >> elements" is rationalizing.
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> So according to this theory, people rationalize when they feel the
                        > > > > >> >> discomfort caused by a conflict of ideas.
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> An example of cognitive dissonance is [from wikipedia again]:
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> > An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke
                        > > > > >> >> > and
                        > > > > >> >> > knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change
                        > > > > >> >> > their
                        > > > > >> >> > feelings
                        > > > > >> >> > about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or
                        > > > > >> >> > they
                        > > > > >> >> > might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short
                        > > > > >> >> > term
                        > > > > >> >> > benefits. A general view of cognitive dissonance is when one is
                        > > > > >> >> > biased
                        > > > > >> >> > towards a certain decision even though other factors favour an
                        > > > > >> >> > alternative.[2]
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> First of all, not all people rationalize. Why? Because not all
                        > > > > >> >> people
                        > > > > >> >> have the feeling of discomfort when they have a conflict of ideas.
                        > > > > >> >> So
                        > > > > >> >> what is the difference between people that get this feeling, and
                        > > > > >> >> people that don't? A meme causes it. What meme?
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> I think the meme is related to the relationship between mistakes and
                        > > > > >> >> badness. A prevalent meme in most [all?] societies is that mistakes
                        > > > > >> >> are bad and that if someone does a lot of mistakes, they are bad.
                        > > > > >> >> And
                        > > > > >> >> they link badness with negative feelings. Why? Because most people
                        > > > > >> >> were punished for mistakes from their parents and school and even at
                        > > > > >> >> work.
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> A closely related meme is that changing ones mind quickly is bad.
                        > > > > >> >> The
                        > > > > >> >> people are labelled flipfloppers. Why do they think this is bad? I
                        > > > > >> >> think its because people with this meme believe that changing ones
                        > > > > >> >> mind means that I'm changing my mind from a mistaken idea to a
                        > > > > >> >> non-mistaken idea. So accepting that someone changed his mind means
                        > > > > >> >> accepting that he had a mistaken idea. And thinking about having a
                        > > > > >> >> mistaken idea makes them feel bad because of the *I'm bad if I have
                        > > > > >> >> a
                        > > > > >> >> lot of mistakes* meme.
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> You can see this meme in kids. A kid will change his mind about what
                        > > > > >> >> he wanted to eat. But instead of saying that he changed his mind,
                        > > > > >> >> he'll say that he was just kidding earlier. So he's already learned
                        > > > > >> >> the meme that changing one's mind is bad, which is why he avoids
                        > > > > >> >> admitting it. So he's already learned that having mistaken ideas is
                        > > > > >> >> bad. These are anti-rational memes. I think these are the memes that
                        > > > > >> >> cause people to rationalize. Claiming that you were kidding earlier
                        > > > > >> >> is
                        > > > > >> >> a rationalization [although he actually could have been kidding].
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> So how do people stop rationalizing? Well they have to learn that
                        > > > > >> >> they
                        > > > > >> >> have this meme and that its a mistake, its false. So how do they
                        > > > > >> >> learn
                        > > > > >> >> that they have these anti-rational memes and that they are false?
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> One way, as Elliot explained, is for the person to be presented with
                        > > > > >> >> one or more problematic situations where his memes don't work
                        > > > > >> >> [because
                        > > > > >> >> almost all memes have limited reach]. So in these problematic
                        > > > > >> >> situations, the person must now think outside the box [outside of
                        > > > > >> >> his
                        > > > > >> >> current set of memes]. He may create the idea that changing your
                        > > > > >> >> mind
                        > > > > >> >> is good because it means fixing past mistaken ideas. Because
                        > > > > >> >> mistaken
                        > > > > >> >> ideas are bad. These false ideas were causing problems in the
                        > > > > >> >> person's
                        > > > > >> >> life making his life worse. So changing your mind means making your
                        > > > > >> >> life better. Hence changing your mind is good. And finding your
                        > > > > >> >> mistakes is good. And having other people point out your mistakes is
                        > > > > >> >> good. So having your mistakes pointed out doesn't cause a bad
                        > > > > >> >> feeling,
                        > > > > >> >> i.e. having two conflicting ideas doesn't cause a bad feeling, hence
                        > > > > >> >> there is no emotion there to want to fix. Remember people
                        > > > > >> >> rationalize
                        > > > > >> >> because they are trying to relieve that bad feeling so not having
                        > > > > >> >> the
                        > > > > >> >> bad feeling means that you won't rationalize.
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> Another way is for the person to learn this *pointing out mistakes
                        > > > > >> >> is
                        > > > > >> >> good* idea and *changing your mind is good* idea by reading
                        > > > > >> >> Popperian
                        > > > > >> >> philosophy from books and/or these email lists.
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> What other ways are there?
                        > > > > >> >>
                        > > > > >> >> -- Rami
                        > > > > >> >
                        > > > > >> > One example is when we want, or feel we need, to do something that
                        > > > > >> > violates our self image of what sort of person we are and what sort
                        > > > > >> > of
                        > > > > >> > things we will and will not do.
                        > > > > >>
                        > > > > >> That suggests that a person's ideas are static. That a person can't
                        > > > > >> change his ideas. Its false.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > I'm not yet seeing your reasoning on this one. An instance of the
                        > > > > > example I gave is easily a snapshot along what could well be a
                        > > > > > non-static evolution of ideas on the part of the individual. He may
                        > > > > > change his ideas later on...or may not. Perhaps you could develop your
                        > > > > > point some more
                        > > > >
                        > > > > The idea of self-image is pointless. Why should anyone think of their
                        > > > > "self-image"?
                        > > >
                        > > > You don't think a self-concept or ego is part of human makeup?
                        > >
                        > > That is a subset of a person's ideas.
                        > >
                        > > > Is it
                        > > > possible do you think, to find a way to restate basically the same
                        > > > point in terms of explanations and ideas?
                        > >
                        > > I think I did already. A person *is* his ideas.
                        > >
                        >
                        > You do indeed keep typing this. It's quite false.

                        We've had this discussion before and it ended with me criticizing your
                        criticism of my guess. If you weren't persuaded, then why didn't you
                        continue the discussion? Are you holding back your criticisms? Or do
                        you not have any? If you don't have any criticisms, then you should
                        consider my idea as the truth. Otherwise you are thinking
                        irrationally.

                        And why do you think I would be persuaded if you didn't reply with
                        criticisms? Do you think I'm going to accept your idea as the truth
                        just because you claim that my idea is false? If I did do that, I
                        would be thinking irrationally. I prefer to think rationally.


                        > A person is still a person...even if they have no ideas. I am a person...even when not thinking. So, for example, while driving...and just daydreaming. Or playing video games and in the zone. Or meditating.

                        You have a lot of ideas in your mind. Whether or not you are currently
                        thinking about them does not mean that you don't *have* those ideas.


                        > So long as I am conscious...I am a person. I am not my ideas. I am not identical to my ideas. Not to the set of them, or any subset of them.

                        What do you mean by "identical"? This is your word, not mine.


                        > Certainly my ideas are important to my identity - essential even. But this is quite different to saying "I am my ideas". That is absurd.

                        I'm saying that a person's ideas are the only relevant part of him.
                        Why is it absurd?

                        What else do you think is relevant to a person?


                        > I am no more my ideas than I am...my tastes.

                        Do you mean preferences? Preferences *are* ideas.


                        > Or any experience.

                        When we experience an event, we are interpreting that event using our
                        ideas. The ideas are the relevant thing.


                        > Or any thought.

                        A thought is an instantaneous thing that passes through your
                        consciousness [I mean the medical meaning of consciousness, not the
                        philosophical one]. That thought was generated using your ideas. And
                        if you considered that thought important [as judged using your ideas],
                        then you'll save that thought in your long-term memory, thus becoming
                        an instantiated idea.

                        So the ideas are the important thing. A thought is one of your ideas
                        passing through your consciousness [the medical meaning here again].


                        > I am not any part of my consciousness.
                        >
                        > I am consciousness.

                        What does this mean? How is this different than "I am my ideas."


                        > I am *conscious of* my ideas.

                        Thats false. Some of your ideas are known subconsciously.


                        > Right?
                        > > Some of their ideas
                        > > influence most of their other ideas, and so those ideas influence
                        > > their actions, emotions, habits, etc.
                        > >
                        >
                        > Yes. This makes ideas important. Like...organs are important.

                        Organs are not relevant. They don't affect my thinking, my actions, my
                        habits, or much of anything else. Why do you think organs are
                        relevant?


                        > My eyes are important. But they're not me.

                        You are comparing an organ to my complete set of ideas. Why is one of
                        my organs relevant to how I act? If I had bad vision, I could do a
                        surgery to solve that problem. Then that problem is gone, forever, no
                        longer affecting me.

                        I could have brain damage to the point of not being able to think,
                        i.e. to create ideas or recall any of my instantiated ideas. And I
                        would cease to be me.


                        > My digestive system is important. But I am not to be identified with any of that.

                        Why is that important in the relevant sense? I can have a surgery and
                        solve a major problem I had with my digestive system. I could take
                        medicine to alleviate some minor problems. Does this affect my life in
                        a relevant way? Does my digestive system affect anybody else's life in
                        a any important way?


                        > Now you might want to be saying that ideas make up something like your personality...your tendency to be a certain way in the world. That's fine. The way a person acts and what decisions and choices they make...that depends on the ideas they have. Different people behave differently as they have different experiences and ideas.

                        Experiences don't matter directly. The ideas do. Note that when you
                        interpret your experiences, you are using your ideas to do it.


                        > But the fact you are anything at all - that you can *be* a person - that's not because you are your ideas. We could replicate the set of your whole ideas elsewhere - and yet we wouldn't have you.
                        >
                        > We would just have some instantiation of your ideas. But not you. Not a person.

                        A complete instantiation of my ideas plus the ability to create ideas
                        [the act of which is using my ideas], *is* me. That includes my
                        personality traits, my emotional habits, my preferences, my interests,
                        my knowledge of the physical world, etc. What other things are
                        relevant? And in what sense is it relevant?

                        -- Rami
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