wondered by Joana Galhardo Tags , ,

Think about the last time you had a spout with a coworker, family member, or friend.

You have? Well let's continue then.

So when they were shown proof that their conspiracy theory or imagination of a plot against him/her, or any other irrational reason to be arguing, was wrong; did they back down? Did they get this look of realization on their face and said "Wow…If this is untrue, then maybe the other ‘facts’ upon which I've based my fringe beliefs also aren't true. Thank you for helping me rethink my statements!"? …Well?

Yeah, that's right. That has literally never happen in the history of human conversation. Whether it's a politician whose point has been refuted, or a conspiracy theorist that has been definitively proven insane, or that friend you're thinking of while reading this; they will immediately shift to the next talking point, or conspiracy theory, or foolish argument that backs up their side, not even skipping a beat. They'll keep fighting to defend their position even after is factually shown to be untrue.

But, apparently, that's the entire reason human invented arguing.
This is called the argumentative theory of reasoning, and it says that humans didn't learn to ask questions and offer answers in order to find universal truths. We did it as a way to gain authority over others.

Yep, they think that reason itself evolved to help us bully people into getting what we want. As it seems, these cognitive flaws are adaptations to a system that's working perfectly fine. Our evolutionary compulsion is to triumph, even if it means being totally and illogically proudly wrong.

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level, and beat you with experience

Therefore, during your next argument, remember that you do this. If you're a human being, what you (some more than others) do best is ignore facts in favor of advancing your side. Selective attention/memory, some call it.

So, next time you find yourself being reasoned by more than one person, stop. See if you can put the brakes on and actually say "Wait a second. If the things I'm saying in order to bolster my argument are consistently wrong, then maybe my argument is also wrong."

Yes, it's going to be hard. Admitting you are wrong to the person you are debating with it's the hardest thing to do for some people. Notwithstanding, one of these days, being able to admit you're wrong will be the greatest skill you can develop if you want to stay in a relationship with whomever.

Wonder about that!