Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Being Right

A stupid person once said to me, “Everyone likes being right.”, and like most things stupid people say, it's incorrect.

Being right is an intellectual virtue. The thing that people want to do is feel right, which is an emotional drive. For example, this person re-posted a picture in this thread while complaining about reposted pictures. Some other guy called him out on it. This idiot made two separate forum posts saying the person must have seen it on another website, rather than spending thirty seconds going back and looking for the picture, as to not prove himself a moron.

This trite little story helps bring to light my point. This person did not care about being right, he wanted to feel right. He would make a post saying that someone else is wrong despite the fact it would take mere seconds, literally, to get the evidence that would overturn his statement. People who want to be right open a book before they open their mouths, the dullards who want to feel right will argue without a shred of knowledge on the subject. The creationist feels he's right. The Libertarian feels he's right. The Flat-Earther feels he's right. The Christian saying “Gays can't raise kids as well as heterosexual couple” will argue with me. It takes journal access and a couple minutes to dig up a ton of studies proving that statement to be inaccurate. The desire to delude yourself into feeling correct is an evolutionary fact. Stupid people, however, are the worst of it because they have the desire to feel correct without the intellectual virtue of wanting to be right, as well as lacking knowledge of the subject that would even allow them to understand how foolish they are (See: Dunning-Kruger effect). The average creationist is probably the physical incarnation of this fact. The people who desire to be right actually appreciate when someone corrects them if they're incorrect.

Being right is less fun than feeling right, because when you're right and you see someone spouting ignorance, you have two options: Ignore it and build up some more spite for idiots, or try to educate a moron who obviously doesn't care about being educated and build up twice as much spite for trying to get someone to learn only to have them be as ignorant as ever.

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