Sometimes this works the other way and people's conscious beliefs and goals are called their "true" beliefs and goals in contrast to their unconscious ones.

Most examples I recall, of pointing out which - conscious vs unconscious - is the "true" motivation, were attempts to attack someone's behavior. An accuser picks one motivation that is disagreeable or unpleasant, and uses it to cast aspersion on a positive behavior.

I don't think that one self is being privileged over the other solely because of confusion as to which motivations really dictate behavior. It largely depends on which is more convenient for the accuser who designates the "true" self.

Also, you may want to put your two bad concepts into different comments. That way they can be upvoted or downvoted separately.

Bad Concepts Repository

by moridinamael 1 min read27th Jun 2013204 comments


We recently established a successful Useful Concepts Repository.  It got me thinking about all the useless or actively harmful concepts I had carried around for in some cases most of my life before seeing them for what they were.  Then it occurred to me that I probably still have some poisonous concepts lurking in my mind, and I thought creating this thread might be one way to discover what they are.

I'll start us off with one simple example:  The Bohr model of the atom as it is taught in school is a dangerous thing to keep in your head for too long.  I graduated from high school believing that it was basically a correct physical representation of atoms.  (And I went to a *good* high school.)  Some may say that the Bohr model serves a useful role as a lie-to-children to bridge understanding to the true physics, but if so, why do so many adults still think atoms look like concentric circular orbits of electrons around a nucleus?  

There's one hallmark of truly bad concepts: they actively work against correct induction.  Thinking in terms of the Bohr model actively prevents you from understanding molecular bonding and, really, everything about how an atom can serve as a functional piece of a real thing like a protein or a diamond.

Bad concepts don't have to be scientific.  Religion is held to be a pretty harmful concept around here.  There are certain political theories which might qualify, except I expect that one man's harmful political concept is another man's core value system, so as usual we should probably stay away from politics.  But I welcome input as fuzzy as common folk advice you receive that turned out to be really costly.