All motivated reasoning is not equal. This feels important to note, given the rise of the term to explain how we’re all just seeing what we want to see and easily integrating discomfiting news into our already comfortable paradigms. Make no mistake: reasoning that is motivated by fear of ideological or cultural opponents is bad, dangerous, and never healthy.

But that reasoning would be motivated is not disqualifying of itself. All reasoning is motivated by something, either the as-impartial-as-possible search for truth or partisan loyalty.

Not all motivated reasoning is bad, because some motivations are better than others.

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