The Eight Causes of Disagreement

There are an incredible range of subjects that people disagree about, but only a small number of core reasons that people disagree. When we encounter complex and difficult to resolve disputes, it can be helpful to break them down in terms of these reasons. This process can help give us insight into what is preventing a consensus from being reached. Disagreements can be caused by: 1. Facts. People have access to different information. One person has studied physics, another hasn't. One has spen...
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Your Beliefs as a Temple

Your beliefs form something like a temple. The temple has many columns, rooms, and towers. The columns are facts and reasons that support the rooms. The rooms of the temple represent your major beliefs. The towers correspond to beliefs that build on each other. For example, you have rooms corresponding to aspects of your moral philosophy. On top of these rooms, supported by your moral philosophy, are rooms corresponding to your political philosophy. On top of these are still other rooms, corr...
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What’s So Special About Your Own Beliefs?

Suppose that Tom and Sally have a disagreement over a factual question (as opposed to one of values or preferences). She claims that the argument he is making has errors or is unconvincing, but Tom feels the same way about her argument. They debate the question for an hour, but afterwords are still each adamantly convinced that his or her own reasoning is sound while the other person's is flawed. In this instance, is each person really more justified believing in his or her own belief than he or...
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