Evidence Derived Worldview | INFJ Forum

Evidence Derived Worldview

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by BallentineChen, Mar 21, 2009.

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  1. BallentineChen

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    I was reading the thread Homosexual relations, natural or not?. It was obvious in the thread that people on both sides of the issue had strong beliefs, which reminded me of this principle I've applied in my life - Evidence Derived Worldview.

    The idea is basically about how people form worldviews; worldview can represent any belief you have. Do you form your worldview from reality based observations or does your worldview select the observations you make from reality? Almost everyone will be inclined to say that their worldview is derived from reality for the sake of maintaining credibility, but there are a lot of factors that work against us in actually practicing this; for example, ego, psychological reactions that signal comfort vs. discomfort with an idea, which may bias the forming of our worldview, etc. The risk of allowing our worldviews to select our observations is illustrated by cognitive bias .

    If we do undergo cognitive bias, is there anything actually wrong with it? What are the implications of selective observation and of the disparity between reality and our perception of it? One current example is the financial crisis right now. Before it turned, the market believed that the securitized mortgages had relatively healthy underlying assets and that credit rating agencies assessed the risk properly. This began to turn as people began defaulting on mortgages, and the market was forced to re-examine the risk of these mortgages (this is only part of what happened, in my limited interpretation). The point isn't "if you use selective observation, cataclysms will happen." It's more that if we choose to ignore certain realities, they will continue to persist with or without our acknowledgment. In some cases these realities will force themselves into our lives, giving us no option other than to acknowledge them. In other cases our cognitive biases are allowed to persist. But the absence of a correction doesn't mean that our worldview is correct.

    Therefore, statements like:



    can be problematic. If we believe in the strength of our worldview, we ought to challenge it to affirm its validity. This isn't easy, because our worldviews are (at least in part) an extension of our identities, and we attach our pride to our worldview - to be "right." We ought to humble ourselves and take a walk on the other side. If you're a moderate liberal like me, take a walk through the pages of the National Review. An adherence to reality means better informed decisions - and the solutions that reality, reality that is indifferent to our worldview, require.
     
  2. Naxx

    Naxx Permanent Fixture

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    With animals being naturally gay since the beginning of their existance it's hard to say it's a mental disorder..
     
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  3. OP
    BallentineChen

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    Though I agree, I didn't want to take sides in this thread for the purpose of keeping distractions at bay. The OP is about this specific quote.

     
  4. IndigoSensor

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    I am not going to pretend; it is extremely hard for someone to change my opinons.
     
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  5. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Something to remember is that these words in themselves are a worldview.

    I believe what you are referring to is critical thinking. My favorite definition for it is...

    Critical Thinking: a willingness to ask any question, no matter how difficult; to be open to any answer that is supported by reason and evidence; and to confront one’s individual and cultural biases and prejudices openly when they get in the way.

    To apply critical thinking to a worldview which values critical thought, such as your own (and mine), yields the idea that sometimes there is no objective or tangible means by which to measure a conception and sometimes there is an infinite number of ways to interpret the evidence that is available. Just think of ideals such as love and freedom. How can these concepts be measured? Does everyone share the same interpretation of these concepts? These abstract values may even only exist in the mind, which would make them inherently subjective.

    These limitations of critical thought are fine in themselves until humans subscribe value or significance to evidence which is immeasurable or from which there could be derived limitless interpretations. Just think of the Bible. Those people who accept it as credible evidence still interpret it a million different ways. So how do you treat that which cannot be proven right or wrong but which people still assign value or significance? If a person holds a different conception of freedom than my own, but which is equally as probable based upon the available evidence, then what course of action should be taken? Who is even to say that there is only one correct view of freedom?

    To apply critical thought in such situations, will inevitably lead to turning to your own biases, because ultimately, even when we are accepting beliefs on evidence, we accepting them on faith. How certain are you of your evidence and that it has not been swayed by the biases of the humans who gathered and interpreted it? Repetition may yield the same result, but it could also yield the same human miscalculation or misinterpretation.

    If you apply critical thinking to science and the evidence gathering process, then you realize both are based on inductive reasoning, which also makes assumptions.

    Inductive reasoning makes the assumption of generalization...

    Inductive reasoning also makes the assumption of constancy...

    You have to subscribe value to the concepts of generalization and constancy in order to use evidence. If I say homosexuality exists in 450 species of vertebrates, then I am generalizing when I say that means it is natural. I've seen enough species to assume, based on my faith in generalization that I have a large enough sample of observations, to conclude that homosexuality is an inherent part of nature. When I say that homosexuality existed in ancient human cultures and is therefore a constant part of human's nature, I am putting my faith in the assumption of constancy.

    So basically critical thought has its limitation, as does evidence, but if you wish to accept it into your worldview then I can't see how you would be any worse off than someone who accepts something on blind faith. Humans who use critical thought have been shown to contribute the most to progress. If you value progress, then critical thought is a probably a good thing. If you value the status quo, then you are probably resistant to critical thought.
     
    #5 Satya, Mar 22, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  6. OP
    BallentineChen

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    Nice. It's interesting you make an effort to include "if you value progress" versus "if you value the status quo," because these are the assumptions that basically determine whether critical thought would be valuable to you or not. In the thread I linked to, if you have a difference of opinion between choosing progress or status quo, there's really nothing to debate re: whether it's natural or not. I think the debate would boil down to the basic assumption of progress versus status quo.
     
  7. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    That debate was a bit more complex since it came to a causal versus teleological contradiction in worldviews and as a result our definitions of "natural" were completely different. However, you are probably right. The underlying debate was probably whether or not homosexuality should be accepted as natural. The progressive view says "yes" and the status quo view says "no". Ultimately, it is humans who get to decide what constitutes as "natural" and what doesn't.
     
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