Why do irrational ideas endure?
I once was told that one surefire method of escaping jury duty, should one desire to, is to say something like this:
“I know that so and so, and I know he’s guilty, and once I make up my mind, nothing anyone says can change it.”
People can be stubborn, resolute, unwilling to look at contradictory information, even when such information is offered without a biased slant. Such a person, even when proven wrong with logic and reasoning continues to hold totally inaccurate viewpoints. Inflexible, unmoving, with information filtered to support held views, and contradictory information discarded.
Closed-minded, never considering anything new. Comfortable with the perspective presently held, unable, unwilling, to explore new frontiers, new ideas. Holding prejudiced opinions, practicing bigotry, hatred, and arrogance.
Not only does this describe someone “set in their ways”, it is indicative of someone who does not even realize just how uncompromising they have become. When confronted they offer repetitive reasons for their tightly held convictions, then their criticism is presented in an attack upon those who question. Like parrots, their diatribe is repeated to infinity. These people charge instead that it is you that is inflexible, unmoving, and prejudiced. If only you would open your mind, they exhort, you would see the error of your ways, and find yourself in agreement with them.
What these people really want is for you to open your mind so wide that your brain will fall out, for you don’t need that, to find agreement with them. You don’t need to think, you don’t need facts, or evidence, just listen with your heart. They and what they believe is all you need to know.
No thank you. Instead I will think for myself. I don’t need the rigidity of tightly held, unshakable belief in anything. I want to know everything that I can possibly learn in the brief span of time on this Earth. I want to experience every little piece of new knowledge, celebrate each new discovery, and see just how far this creature, this animal, born from primitive beginnings will progress. No, I won’t see what becomes of the human experience, as I have often stated, our lifespan is way too short, but even after I am gone, it is my wish that humankind reaches ever higher and glorious achievements. I hope ignorance falls by the wayside, and that knowledge replaces it. I hope that people will become more caring about their fellow human, and instead of believing suffering is good for the soul, alleviate it.