I have been wondering about arguing lately. How we argue, how we get set in our world view and dig in like a donkey sits back on its hind legs and won't budge. The reason this has been in my mind is because I've been trying to learn about determinism. When I first heard about it in a podcast by the Reasonable Doubts guys, I resisted and thought, this is ridiculous! Of course I have free will! I feel like I do!
But after 4 hours of them explaining it, I felt like I was getting it. Then we had our Morgantown Atheists group have a meeting on determinism and free will. A professor from WVU came and talked about it and I got it even more. Now I've tried to explain it to my husband Butch and my friend Jeff, who are both extremely resistant and argue against it. Part of that is probably because I don't understand it enough to explain it well. But part of it is because the idea of determinism is huge. It rocks your world when you hear about it.
What I'm really trying to get at, though, is how we, as humans, seem to always fight for what is most comfortable and familiar to us. We always seem to resist new ideas. And something else, we always seem to pick the other side of an argument if we're up in the air. For instance, when I was explaining determinism to my friend Jeff, he objected heartily.
But then we were talking about this topic, about how people stick to their comfort zones, and he told me that he ended up explaining determinism to his son, and found himself defending it, while his son objected.
Isn't that interesting? Why do we do this? I'd love to see some research on this. I've heard of a few studies that might apply to this, but I can't recall them clearly enough to find them for you. If I can think of how to search for them, I'll add them here. If you know of any studies please let me know!
Also, do you find this is true for you and your friends and family? Or do you see it differently?