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Friday, March 27, 2015

How Should We Make the Most Important Decisions of Our Lives?

By L.A. Paul and Paul Bloom
Originally posted on March 5, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

Of course, introspection might be a terrible guide to what we really want from our lives. I suspect that it is. But while rejecting introspection might be rational, we rarely want to abandon it completely when making important personal choices about how to live our lives. Instead, we tend to mix it with evidence in rather unstable ways. We’re often surprised at our own experiences and rueful about what we now see as our earlier, deluded predictions of how things would go. But at the same time, we’re confident about our current views.

So when I consider the major, irreversible, long-term and life-changing decision to have a baby, of course I should weigh what other people tell me about it, and I should also attend to what the best science says. But I also want to consider what I think it will be like for me. After all, I’m the one who will be spending the next 18 years raising my child. I want to base my decision, at least partly, on what I think it will be like to be a parent, and I want my thoughts and feelings about it to play a central role in what I decide to do. If becoming a parent is transformative, I can’t rationally do that.

The entire interview is here.