Saturday 24 June 2023

Being Wrong is an Important Part of Being Right.

People like Dillahunty SHOULD have the strength to say, "I know this is stupid and bad and wrong and I'm doing it anyway out of weakness".

This is parallel to admitting that you know alcohol causes brain damage but you're drinking it anyway (out of weakness, in brief).  Don't try to offer an insincere (or pseudoscientific) argument that alcohol is harmless, or that the harm is less than the benefit (and BTW, why do we hear so little critique of alcohol from someone like Cosmic Skeptic, who is concerned about the waste of even a single dollar that could be donated to a hypothetical humanitarian cause in Africa, but who apparently cares nothing about the self-inflicted brain damage incurred by his expensive cocktail habit, in his eminently utilitarian "pleasure-pain calculus"?).

Instead, he (Dillahunty) has to insist that the very apogee of rationality and philosophy is to make excuses for an atheist Christmas.

In parallel, I've never paid to sleep with a prostitute, but if (in future) I did, I wouldn't make an ideology out of it as Dillahunty does, I'd just admit it was a sort of weakness on my part, etc., and I wouldn't insist that sex work is "a net positive" for society as a whole, etc.

Are we supposed to pretend that we learn nothing from being wrong?

Being wrong is an important part of being right: if you can't admit that you're wrong about anything, it doesn't count for much to go around boasting that you're right.  The two are reciprocal and dynamically inter-related.  Practically everything I'm right about now I can remember being wrong about (at some point) in the past, and that memory helps me to sympathize with people who are still wrong now.

Sympathy is an analytical tool; self-righteousness is merely a fashion statement.