Now studies suggest that our minds are unconciously biased towards our beliefs. This sounds fairly obvious. The American sceptic Michael Shermer writes:
I am a libertarian. As a fiscal conservative and social liberal, I have found at least something to like about each Republican or Democrat I have met. I have close friends in both camps, in which I have observed the following: no matter the issue under discussion, both sides are equally convinced that the evidence overwhelmingly supports their position.
This surety is called the confirmation bias, whereby we seek and find confirmatory evidence in support of already existing beliefs and ignore or reinterpret disconfirmatory evidence. Now a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study shows where in the brain the confirmation bias arises and how it is unconscious and driven by emotions.
During the run-up to the 2004 presidential election, while undergoing an fMRI bran scan, 30 men--half self-described as "strong" Republicans and half as "strong" Democrats--were tasked with assessing statements by both George W. Bush and John Kerry in which the candidates clearly contradicted themselves. Not surprisingly, in their assessments Republican subjects were as critical of Kerry as Democratic subjects were of Bush, yet both let their own candidate off the hook.
Next time somebody, perhaps even me, is arguing against something you know they don't believe in, you can use this scientific finding in your argument. Or alternatively, you tell them to piss off and stop being so stubborn. Whatever works.
Note: I believe libertarians tend to support abortion, euthanasia and invididual rights in general while supporting free trade, privatisation and capitalism.