Kevin Simler explores the concept that beliefs can be likened to employees within a company, hired by the brain not solely for accurately representing reality, but also for social and political advantages. He introduces the idea of “crony beliefs,” which are maintained not because they are true, but because they serve a person’s interests in social contexts, such as aligning with group norms or appeasing authority figures.
- Beliefs from an internal perspective feel sensible, but when examining others’ beliefs, they often appear irrational, such as conspiracy theories or pseudoscientific claims.
- The article proposes that beliefs are like employees, hired by the brain to fulfill the job of modeling reality, but also to navigate social and political landscapes for survival and reproduction benefits.
- Acme Corp. serves as a metaphor for how “crony beliefs” are maintained within a company for political advantage rather than for merit-based reasons, suggesting that our brains similarly hold onto beliefs for social benefits.
- Social and political pressures significantly shape our belief systems, where beliefs can be used to gain acceptance, demonstrate loyalty, or align with a group’s thinking.
- The article calls for recognition of the complexity behind why individuals hold certain beliefs and urges caution and humility when evaluating the beliefs of others due to the multitude of social influences involved.