Why do people cling so passionately to political opinions, even when a preponderance of facts suggests their views might be wrong or incomplete? To the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind (2012), the arguments and narratives we present in defense of our positions are, in fact, “mostly post-hoc constructions made up on the fly, crafted to advance one or more strategic objectives.” As such, those constructions are often impervious to new information or alternative narratives. “Intuitions come first,” Haidt writes; “strategic reasoning second.”
Can the Unsustainable Be Sustained?
Israel's prime minister has indicated it might shelve the two-state solution. How would the world react, and how much would it matter?