The most recent two MindMatters shows are a little like bookends concerning the process of thinking and forming beliefs, and what's involved. While we didn't get into Thinking Fast And Slow specifically, as you'll see, there's quite a bit of overlap of the subject matter discussed. Not to mention tie-ins to other subjects and several of the big news events of the day. Enjoy!
Covid-19. Trump. Social Justice. War. Human rights. Economics. Whatever the issue, it seems that every day we are being told we must adopt a particular position. And to do so "or else". Under incredible pressure to be in the right and to feel good about ourselves, we are bombarded with "ways to think" that are quite often delivered by overt propaganda, but that are also, perhaps more than we realize, covert and not aware to us consciously. How do the social programmers do this? Who are they? And what knowledge of psychology do they use to meet their agendas? Is it possible that many of the views which we hold dear are actually prefabricated for us?
This week on MindMatters we delve into some of the big social, cultural and political issues of the day, the perspectives we take on them, and how it is we come to a specific understanding or stance on something. Questioning what we believe - and why we do - is a responsibility we all take upon ourselves, for ourselves - but also for others. At a time in human history when truth is under egregious attack, how might one effectively examine one's own thinking? And how do we know when our thoughts are or aren't our own?
We all have belief systems, maps to reality that inform our perspectives and help us form the bedrock values we have about ourselves, others, and the world at large. This means thoughts on everything from religion and politics to how we interact with friends, and the specific truths about reality we have come to know and adapted to in our everyday lives. But when it comes to taking in new facts, what are the psychological and emotional processes involved in bringing ourselves to a higher or more constructive "place" with this new information? And how does the weaker part of our character seek to stifle new information in its desire to "be right" and remain "comfortable"?
This week on MindMatters we discuss the difficulties and challenges of looking at our own thought processes, default beliefs, and sometimes obsolete "knowledge" of things. There's a reason people don't like discussing politics or religion at the dinner table, but that won't stop us from doing it here. Did Mohammad really exist? Did Jesus? Are Democrats or Republicans always wrong? And how do our thoughts on such things prevent us from looking at data that might otherwise change our minds? With some determination, and truth as the ultimate value, we have the tools to form a more constructive view of ourselves, and of the world in which we live.