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HAT Forum - "Necessary Illusions?"

  • The 519, Rm 304 (check lobby screen to be sure) 519 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9 Canada (map)

Are there concepts that we have of the world that are dubious intellectually but on the whole, the concepts are argued to be beneficial and should be maintained? So-called Necessary Illusions or at least Functional Illusions.

This category could contain:

  1. religion

  2. belief in an afterlife

  3. faith

  4. free will and personal responsibility

  5. the self

Is an unwavering commitment to "the truth" (being illusion free) always beneficial to us as individuals and as a society?

Are their scientific truths that should be sacrificed on the altar of societal good? Should certain fields of study be off-limits and results suppressed out of concern for their impact on our values of justice, equality, progress?

As individuals, we maintain a whole host of biases that strongly influence our perceptions and reasoning in order to protect our self-concepts, our fragile egos and even our sanity. Should we seek to rid ourselves of these biases? Can we “handle the truth”?