I think we lie to ourselves. We hide the truth from ourselves far more than we’d like to admit. We create narratives and we build up arguments and we tell ourselves these are the reasons we do so and so and act thus and thus.

Sometimes years later we look back and realise this for what it was. Yet we are probably still doing it right now in some way and don’t even realise it. We keep a positive self-image in spite of our flaws. Or we refuse to look at the evidence against our beliefs. Or we judge others while remaining wilfully blind that we do the same thing. Or we keep a relationship going much longer than it should because it’s scary to imagine living alone. Or a million other things.

And I can’t even say I disagree with the reasons for doing this. Humans have evolved to survive on the African plains, not to be purely rational machines. So of course we have some flaws in our critical thinking skills.

Many times when we are debating people online this is what we are debating to one degree or another. Not a cool, rational, purely logical person in search of truth, but a scared individual seeking to create and maintain meaning and stability in their lives. You’re opponent becomes an enemy to that goal if they are challenging the stability and meaning you have carefully crafted over an entire lifetime.

And while it should be our goal to live honest lives, taken from a survival point of view a little self-deception is actually healthier than radical self-honesty. And if anyone disagrees with me then I will challenge them that perhaps they have never tried for an extended period of years to try and be radically honest with themselves. I would guess that they have never made this a life goal.