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Short Inquisitions #6: Is Ideological Consistency Good?

1 min read
Short Inquisitions #6: Is Ideological Consistency Good?
Photo by cyril mazarin / Unsplash

Table of contents

Short Inquisitions is a series of blog posts where I share my questions and thoughts, hoping to retain an ever-curious soul.

A while ago, I heard on a podcast (I think it was PhilosophizeThis!) that belief systems are definitions of rules and, more importantly, their exceptions. The claim seems undoubtedly true. My liberal ideologies, for example, are riddled with seemingly nonsensical exceptions.

I believe that all women have the right to abortions, but guns should be heavily regulated; social media should be censored (prevent idiocy from Nazis), but books shouldn’t (protect Mein Kampf). Generally, I’m in favor of personal liberties, but there are obvious exceptions.

The difficult question is whether my ideologies should be more consistent. I’m leaning toward yes. People often have a certain set of beliefs but cannot defend them against rigorous scrutiny. However, with consistent belief systems, justifications become easy.

Easy isn’t the goal, though. Furthermore, if ideological consistency is good, isn’t radicalism good, too? Radical beliefs are often very consistent.

Michel Liao

Michel Liao

Boise, Idaho, United States
Hello! I'm a sophomore studying computer science at Princeton. I like reading, rock climbing, and running.