What are our convictions and how strong are they?

Our personal convictions are our strongly held beliefs. A quick definition cut from Quorum says “Personal convictions are a special set of our beliefs, that determine (for you) what you believe to be right and wrong. They drive your behaviours and actions in every decision involving right and wrong. They determine your response to other people’s actions, including both your actions and your emotional response.”

I was wondering how the subject of personal convictions may change from generation to generation – as some topics heat up and some cool down; and if younger people now hold their personal convictions in a less strong or more fluid way than previous generations.

Convictions may centre around topics like political parties, or wealth redistribution, human rights, abortion, gun control, trans rights, fox hunting, LGBTQ+ equality, capital punishment, republicanism, national service, welfare payments, climate change, mass immigration, Islamophobia etc etc.

I will look at the types of personal convictions held by people over the coming months. Yet for now I make three points:

Many of us crave certainty – so we may prefer leaders with clear and strong convictions – as we will know what they are going to get.

Yet there is research that shows that we are often blind to evidence or arguments that disprove or undermine our convictions. Especially where our personal conviction form part of our self-representation. Once something is a personal conviction it seem one loses objectivity and balance. So there is a good and a bad side to holding strong convictions.

Finally, I wonder about the impact of becoming more mindful – does that reduce the strength of one’s convictions – or perhaps it make one more accepting of the convictions of others?

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