James Harvey Robinson
We sometimes find ourselves changing our minds without any resistance or heavy emotion, but if we are told we are wrong, we resent the imputation and harden our hearts.
We are incredibly heedless in the formation of our beliefs, but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them when anyone proposes to rob us of their companionship. It is obviously not the ideas themselves that are dear to us, but our self-esteem which is threatened. . . .
The little word “my” is the most important one in human affairs, and properly to reckon with it is the beginning of wisdom. It has the same force whether it is “my” dinner, “my” dog, and "my" house, or “my” father, “my” country, and “my” God. We not only resent the imputation that our watch is wrong, or our car shabby, but that our conception of the canals of Mars, of the pronunciation of “Epictetus,” of the medicinal value of salicin, or of the date of Sargon I is subject to revision.
We like to continue to believe what we have been accustomed to accept as true, and the resentment aroused when doubt is cast upon any of our assumptions leads us to seek every manner of excuse for clinging to it.
The result is that most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.
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