"People are afraid of changing their minds.
Changing your mind is a door you don't want to open, because you're afraid of what's behind it.
Changing your mind means losing all your friends.
Changing your mind means a complete revolution in your life.
Changing your mind means publicly admitting you've been wrong.
...People don't want to change their mind." ~ Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher Hitchens)
I think this is interesting insight. Why arguments go crazy and why people, even in defeat hold so fervently to their beliefs.
This quote reminded me of a recent thread here (actually I think it is still sputtering along, though no where as feverishly as it was), that I participated little in, but did the popcorn munch most of the time. The OP's sentiments and arguments in this thread was so utterly destroyed and dismantled and flatly abused that there was absolutely no recovery from it. I think it was the most thorough destruction of a particular argumentation I had ever seen that only by purposefully diluting yourself, it wouldn't be completely obvious. The opponent dismantled every single point to a fine powder in which there was nothing left for the OP to hang on to. And it is the most obvious case I have ever seen where the sheer force of logic and the argumentation could not be denied.
I mean, I have seen occasions of winning and losing but none so totally complete and obvious as this one.
The OP conceded nothing. Presiding over a smoldering heap of ruin that was his point, unwilling to concede anything in the face of it's utter destruction. It bewildered me because of the thoroughness of it. It bewildered me that the opponent, in the face of ample opportunity generally steered clear of ad hominems, and the OP was tossing them out left and right. The sheer force of brutal logic, he wouldn't budge from his position. Why?
I listened to an interview of Peter Hitchens who did go through a complete change of mind, precisely for the reasons I listed. The arguments against him were so strong as to not be able to be ignored. But then he explained what it means to change one's mind, and he said the above. I made sure I got it verbatim because I think he put it perfectly. It means more then conceding a point. The downstream effects are a personal revolution.
So when you are arguing out there (and I think most of us know already), you are fighting a lost cause. Most people are not willing to pay the price of being wrong and changing their minds...
Let me conclude by saying, I am far from perfect. I may be wrong on somethings and have wavered on those things I think vulnerable to change. Say like the Iraq War. I have been both for and against it and not totally sure where I stand now, though I am currently leaning more towards it, despite popular opinion. That's a personal example though, I certainly do not mean the topic to be about the Iraq War, but about changing your mind and what it means.
Anybody have experiences of changing their minds and the consequences there of?