[A]uthoritarian followers may really mean it when they say no discoveries or facts could change their beliefs about the important things in life....
For them, one sound bite cancels the other, and there really is no difference between a widely-confirmed fact and a speculation, between fifty studies and one.
If the purpose of engaging in a debate over important topics affecting many is to actually discuss the important considerations, the benefits of that narrower approach benefit few. Recognition of that fact and a willingness to consider that the "opposition" actually has a number of valid concerns, legitimate factual evidence, and an honest intent to share important information with a public unaware of the issues would go a long way to having more rational conversations.
More importantly, more of us would benefit from open and honest debate about all of the relevant issues, not just a few cherry-picked one whose motivations are clearly designed to skirt the "open and honest debate" approach.
Good to have some hope.
* Confirmation bias is the tendency of individuals to pay attention to or believe information that confirms the personal values and beliefs they already hold, rather than allowing their beliefs to be changed by new information.
Adapted from a blog post of mine
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