Saturday, 22 January 2011

Mistakes were made (but not by me)

I've just started reading a rather interesting book with the above title (by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson).  If the introduction is anything to go by this will be most enlightening. 

A quote from the introduction:

None of us can live without making blunders.  But we do have the ability to say: "This is not working out here. This is not making sense."  To err is human, but humans then have a choice between covering up or fessing up. The choice we make is crucial to what we do next.  We are forever being told that we should learn from our mistakes, but how can we learn unless at first we admit that we made any?  To do that, we have to recognise the siren song of self-justification. 
We each invest hugely in our core beliefs.  If our core belief includes religious doctrine we surely must find it even tougher to admit we are wrong, for we risk the whole edifice tumbling around us as a result.  I guess I feel grateful that I don't have that pressure to constantly self-justify.  If something I have believed for a long time proves to be wrong it is much easier for me to change my belief.

Is that why many of those who are members of one or other organised religion spend so much time validating and justifying their beliefs, and condemning those who do not share their (unprovable) faith?

No comments:

Post a Comment