I don’t get it. Why is it so difficult for people to admit when they’re wrong? I’ve been there myself and at some point I’ve wanted to attempt to say something in defense but then I realize it’s much easier to just admit my error and move on. No one’s perfect and we’re all subject to holding onto beliefs or ideologies that won’t stand up to scrutiny.
The reason I’ve been thinking about this is due to the Joy Reid kerfuffle. Unless anyone’s been living in a hole in the ground, this is a story that just won’t go away. Without going into too much detail, some years ago, on her now defunct blog, she wrote several posts that were not very positive toward the LGBT community. She apologized, then came back and said those archived posts were somehow hacked.
On and on, she keeps doubling down. The story survives because she keeps it in the news. Wouldn’t it be simpler to just say something like this: “A long time ago, I wrote several posts on my personal blog that were unkind and ill-informed about the LGBT community. I am no longer that person. I have come to realize that my beliefs then were absolutely wrong and I am sorry for any emotional distress I have caused.” Story over.
This is a problem with a lot of people and atheists are not immune. We all have prejudices that we have been raised to believe by our family or community. People can and do change though. As atheists, we already accept that a prior belief in gods have no basis in fact. We can do the same with other beliefs as well.
A large part of being a skeptic, at least for me, is examining what I thought I believed as true. In my life I’ve come to recognize that I may be wrong. I accept I have been wrong. I’m far from finished. Every once in a while I run face first into one of those concrete block walls and it’s a bloody mess. Its hard for anyone to admit that what we once thought was true is in fact false. Our egos sometimes won’t allow it.
It’s important though that we place our ego aside. We become better skeptics and although we might go through a momentary humiliation, better persons.