I know a lot of people like to say that reason isn't how you change people's minds and that this entire section of my site is therefore wrong-headed and in vain. I'm aware that reason isn't by itself going to convince most people of anything meaningful, but I'm also aware that it plays at least some role for most people. And most of these articles aren't actually about how to reason validly. Persuading people through debate is largely a contest of personality and charisma and manipulation of psychological biases, so that's what a lot of my articles here are about.

I should also point out against such a criticism that there is a strong correlation between how willing someone is to change their beliefs when they're wrong and how much of a role logic plays in doing so. That is to say, while most people won't be convinced to change their core beliefs by reasoning with them, most of the people who won't are the ones who won't be convinced by anything. The more willing a person is to change at all, the more likely it is that reason is how you can change them, and also the more likely that they're a good person, and are thus worth more to convince (since they're more devoted to their beliefs, and make a better friend too).

Also note that in this section of the site I often talk about "good people" and "bad people" under the assumption that whoever is arguing for something irrational or evil is a bad person and vice versa. I realize this assumption doesn't hold 100% of the time; but it's accurate in the majority of cases, and "bad person" is shorter than "person arguing for something bad".

This page was last modified 2020 Jun 29, Monday, 20:40 (UTC)