Why do some people cling so tightly to their beliefs?
Today I was poking around Science-Based Medicine
, which you should all read (thanks Scrym). I got thinking about how tightly some people hold onto their beliefs, even in the face of (perhaps overwhelming) evidence that suggests otherwise. Why do they do this? Are their preconceived notions so strong that they literally cannot change their opinion? Are they terrified of the possibility that what they believed for their entire life could be wrong? That their life's work is invalidated?
When presented with evidence that contradicts their view, they are inevitably quick to the defense, attempting to use sheer vehemence to overcome the fallaciousness of their arguments. No amount of well-reasoned, thought out debate will change their opinion. Why are these people incapable of being swayed by reason?
The catalyst for this was this thread
and the comments for this post
on Science-Based Medicine.