You have to change your mind even at the risk of being accused of being a weather vane or a turncoat

You have to change your mind even at the risk of being accused of being a weather vane or a turncoat

If you haven’t changed your mind in too long , you have an intellectually uninteresting life, or you’re not characterized by being epistemically hungry.

If you’ve never changed, you were always right. But it’s not like that. Most likely not. On an ideological level, you find yourself as if on a nutritional level you were still drinking Pelargón.

The multipurpose knife

Basically, that happens because there is too much data in the world (it would be weird if you already knew all of it) and, moreover, this data is largely changeable, it is updated. And even more: the data you have can be used to solve certain situations, or tackle some thorny problems, but it is enough that you change a variable so that this data is no longer so useful.

In that sense, having an ideology is a sure way to be wrong, because ideology is the closest thing to a prejudice to stop thinking, searching, research, reflection and, above all, the ability to get involved. the skin of the ideological adversary .

An ideology should resemble a multipurpose knife as closely as possible : each tool, of the dozens that can be deployed, corresponds to a set of recipes. Each tool serves a different purpose. Each problem and each context in which we find the same problem requires a different tool. Being a capitalist or an anti-capitalist, for example, are two different tools.

Pyrrhonic skepticism

The ancient philosophers already faced this problem by adopting forms of thought that, by system, went against everything, looked for the seams to any affirmation, were afraid of embracing with too much conviction any idea, no matter how beautiful, elevated or true. we would like.

That is basically what so-called Pyrrhonic skepticism cultivates. It is a philosophical current based on doubt, represented in school by the Greek philosopher Pyrrho , who said that "he did not affirm anything, he only gave his opinion." Thus, he speaks out against dogmatic thinking. The Pyrrhonians (or Pyrrhonians) can be subdivided into those who are effective (a "suspension of judgment"), Zeetics ("who are dedicated to searching") or aporetic ("who participate in the refutation").

Pyrrho Pyrrho

Pirrón did not leave anything written , but phrases such as:

  • You will never get to know the truth.
  • Do not say "so it is", but "it seems to me that it is".
  • Diversity of opinion exists among the wise as well as the ignorant. Any opinion that I have can be repudiated by people just as smart and prepared as me, and with arguments as valid as mine.

This skeptical philosophy is also the origin of the Münchhausen trilemma or Agrippa’s trilemma : however a proposition is justified, if what you want is absolute certainty, it will always be necessary to justify the means of justification, and then the means of that new justification, etc. This simple observation leads to one of the following three alternatives: An infinite regression of justifications, An arbitrary cut in the reasoning, or A circular justification.

Given all this, the change of opinion should be a laudable position , unless it has been very clearly carried out in favor of the majority, due to populism or demagoguery, to avoid punishment or to obtain revenue of some kind. Expressions like weather vane and backgammon, then, should be ostracized in our dictionaries. Get of the type "I am like that, so I will continue, I will never change", they should be relegated to the category of stupid.

Naturally, this raises another no less important problem : our changes of opinion may be due to study and reflection or to fashions or currents of thought, even to mere whim. In this case, we can summarize everything in one point, raising the level: there are exogenous causes that encourage you to change your mind as well as necessarily there will be exogenous causes that encourage you not to change your mind … so whatever you do, whatever you do. you do for reasons beyond your control. Ergo, they are somewhat irrelevant because they cannot be easily discriminated from each other.

  • Summary : An exogenous cause shaped your opinion (correct, good, applauded).
  • Cororalio : it is better to be contaminated by some viruses than others, but it is difficult to choose.
  • Apothegm : that the virus that infects you is to change you and not to fossilize you, if possible, because it is a lot of coincidence that you end up right the first time. And the second.
  • Contraindication : what is the appropriate procedural moment to change your opinion "you have to change your mind even at the risk of being accused of being a weather vane or a backgammon"?