A quote from Seth Godin via his podcast Akimbo. It stands on its own. (This quote is actually from the Q&A at the end of the linked episode. Emphases are his.)
Where it’s starting to get tricky, in the last hundred years, is that the scientific method, the engineers’ approach to the world, the thought of testing, measuring, understanding processes means that many of the arguments that people make sound like arguments that are based on that engineers’ approach.
But while it may sound that way, that’s not really what’s being said. That what is really being said is, ‘This is something I believe. This is part of my identity. This is who I have chosen to be culturally, and I’m going to dress it up in the uniform of the scientific method.’
This drives engineers and actual scientists crazy, because when they’re doing their job properly, the scientific method forces them to change their mind in the face of a better argument.
But of course, as we’ve all experienced, people who are coming from a place of belief cannot change their mind in the face of a better argument because that’s why it’s called ‘belief.’ That belief withstands a better argument and we get pleasure out of believing it.