Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute tells a story about Julian Simon, the late and great economist.He was at some environmental forum, and he said, “How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?” Naturally, every hand shot up. He said, “Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?” Nothing. Again: “Is there any evidence I could give you — anything at all — that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?” Not a stir. Simon then said, “Well, excuse me, I’m not dressed for church.”Think about how pervasive these fixed beliefs are in today's society. Think anthropogenic global warming, the welfare state, affirmative action, progressivism, conservatism, etc. How many people holding such beliefs couldn't be persuaded to change their views by any evidence whatsoever?
I love that story, for what it says about the fixity of these beliefs, immune to evidence, reason, or anything else.
And what beliefs do I hold that I couldn't be persuaded to change?