“I remember once, it was in a bar, during the 1930s, and there was a drunken debate going on that was trending on towards violence when something so unusual happened that everyone froze in place. The silence was like a soft winter snow falling in the woods. Everyone looked on in wonder. A guy, sitting in the corner and surrounded by empty and half-full glasses of beer, announced that he was persuaded by the logic of his opponent to change his mind on a subject.
It had never happened before. It has never happened since.” (Quoting my grandfather)
Since I put up an ill-conceived piece below, properly dismantled by a commenter, I am making amends. This piece I guarantee to strike a note. It is called How I changed my Mind … About Global Warming. Here is the opening paragraph:
Most, if not all, people would consider themselves to be open-minded. Yet, if you ask someone to name an important belief that they have changed their mind about, in response to evidence and/or logic, most struggle to give even one example.
Honestly, I could make a very long list of things I have changed my mind about, from peak oil to climate change to Judy Wood to low-carb dieting (all of Italy looks fit and healthy even as they mostly live on pasta). I must be an exception, or maybe I just jump from one wrong idea to another, embracing each like a politician shaking hands in a greeting line.
But I must say in observing the behavior of others that the author, Byron Sharp is right. People rarely change their minds, and certainly do not admit error. It is as someone said (these words are attributed to several people but have landed in the lap of Jonathon Swift) that “those who are not reasoned in cannot be reasoned out.”
Take a look at the link if you have time. Anthony Watt reprinted it with permission and I don’t have permission, so am limiting myself to the brief citation above. It is a short piece, five minutes tops.