What are people's journeys to caring much more about others?

What are people's journeys to caring much more about what is really true even if that is inconvenient?

An example of an inconvenience to changing your mind (the classic example): changing your beliefs about the world can often mean having a gap between what you say you value, what your life has looked like up until now and what the world is truly like (which human beings don't like and makes us want to change either our claimed values, our actions or our beliefs about the world). 

I was curious about what people's intuitions are (maybe from their own experience of how they changed over time or from observing others). 

EDIT: I posted this question ages ago then decided to take it down and edit it for clarity and then it's just sat in my drafts for a weirdly long time so my apologies to the people who replied whose replies disappeared for a while while this was unpublished. 

I've since put more of my thoughts on how this question relates to community-building in this post and my replies (the top-level reply outlines the various threads because I had way too many thoughts for just one coherent comment) to this lovely comment on it




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I still cannot say with confidence that I value what is true above what is convenient. I just feel pretty detached from my past self/identity/opinions, which makes it easy to accept when my past self/identity/opinions were wrong. If all your beliefs are detached from your identity they just don't feel important enough to make you bend over backwards to defend them from valid counters.

I could be wrong but I think that is a lot easier to do than becoming someone who stoically seeks truth at all costs. I like to let the truth come to me and accept it like everything else.

For me, I feel like the big difference was around taking action, more than the other two. I heard about EA years ago, but only took action when I had already developed the habit of doing a good deed, however small or unimpactful, each day. Acting on a moral impulse, for me, became habitual. So when I revisited EA, I decided to actually start donating, because the move from "Someone should do something" -> "I should do something" -> Doing something had become much more a force of habit for myself.

I guess the lesson for this is that for people like me, something like Try Giving and committing just 1% of income or something small would have been a solid entry point, getting me into the habit of doing good.

One of the most inconvenient truths for me is that we are much less rational than we think. We don't judge rationally, we rationalize. Our decision processes are mostly sentimental. Most of the time, half of our brain reaches a decision quite quickly, and then the rational part comes in and tries to make sure there aren't many obvious flaws.

It takes serious work to distance yourself and identify your biases and double standards. And you can't do it without reliable information, that's why fake news have disrupted our judgement so thoroughly. Flat-earthers are close to impossible to convince they're wrong because they are so emotionally invested in their belief that even a few poor arguments are enough to make them disregard all our scientific progress.

More inconvenience: Being rational wouldn't be good for you anyway. Most of the world is complex. Politics are complex, machines and systems are complex, human relationships are complex. Even if you had all the necessary information, you couldn't process it in real time. But often you need to do so, because something is always happening and people expect you to take a stance. You need to have rules of thumb, shortcuts to quick answers. We call them principles, gut feelings, "the ways of our people", and they have been bestowed upon us through hundreds of years of experiences, trials and failures. You can't prosper without them, you can barely survive.