Contradictory beliefs

As an early fan of Ayn Rand, I grew up hating contradictions.

I’m now less sure that one shouldn’t hold contradictory beliefs. The world is a complicated place and people are unpredictable – a little contradiction is bound to pop up, no?

For example, I’m firmly elitist (though I prefer hierarchical), but I agree completely with this.

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2 Responses to Contradictory beliefs

  1. AMcguinn says:

    The Right Answer should not have contradictions. However, I see no evidence that anyone else has the right answer, so we’re choosing between different wrong answers, all of which have contradictions. One somewhat wrong answer might be better than another. This shit is difficult.

  2. robert61 says:

    I can’t see any way around holding contradictory beliefs. Partly this is because morality is based on emotion rather than reason, and it is the glue that holds society together. Partly it’s because we are always working with incomplete information. Valid observations from one location or level of resolution may contradict valid observations from another. An elephant is coarse and bristly; an elephant is soft and squishy. Absent a unified theory of the elephant, who knows which observation is more important?

    As for the paradox of wise rubes and foolish dons, I think the right tends to overplay it. The rube may be wiser in specific contexts (e.g. HBD), since it takes a lot of learning to come round to certain received stupidities. On balance, though, more intelligent and educated people are more reliable. And certain truths – especially those involving statistical reasoning – are not accessible to the dull and/or ignorant.

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