Are there reasons to be dogmatic?

That’s another request; the exact wording was "The five best reasons to think you should be more dogmatic about the economic beliefs you are not dogmatic about." 

I’ll give one reason, namely that, somewhat counterintuitively, dogmatism can further the generation of new ideas.  Yes, this does require a special meaning of the word dogmatic.  I’m not talking about a grouchy guy who goes "harumph" whenever he counters a new idea.  I’m talking about the person who generates the new idea!  In strict Bayesian terms, most innovators are not justified in thinking that their new ideas are in fact correct.  Most new ideas are wrong and the creator’s "gut feeling" that he is "onto something" is sometimes as epistemologically dubious as is the opinion of the previous scientific consensus.  Yet we still want that they promote these new ideas, even if most of them turn out to be wrong. 

In this view, the so-called "reasonable" people are selfishly building up their personal reputations at the expense of scientific progress.  They are too reasonable to generate new ideas.

To put it another way, there are two kinds of truth-seeking behavior:

1. Hold and promote the view which leads to society most likely settling upon truth in the future, or

2. Hold and promote the view which is most likely to be correct.

These two strategies coincide less than many people think.  Which do you prefer and why?

Addendum: Here is a recent NYT article.  Excerpt:

Voters who insist that they are undecided about a contentious issue are
sometimes fooling themselves, having already made a choice at a
subconscious level, a new study suggests.  Scientists have long known that subtle biases can skew evaluations of
an issue or candidate in ways people are not aware of. But the new
study, appearing Thursday in the journal Science, suggests that
professed neutrality – sitting on the fence – leaves people more
vulnerable to their own inherent biases than choosing sides early.

Will Bryan Caplan endorse this?


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