Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The delicious taste of cognitive dissonance

From Scott Adams, commenting on a recent article in Time about Einstein and religion:

There aren’t many ideas that have the potential to change the world. But the idea that we have no free will has to be on the short list.

At the risk of ruining the joke by explaining what's funny, let me elaborate. If a racist bigot has no free will, to borrow one of Scott's examples, then his prejudices are beyond his control, are they not? So how do we change this one person's behavior, much less "change the world," by telling everyone that they are merely "moist robots," instead of moral agents?

Mmm.... That's good cognitive dissonance!


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