The default psychological setting for human beings is an unavoidable self-centeredness. We each stand at the center of our own thoughts, feelings and needs, and thus experience them in a way that we cannot experience the thoughts, feelings and needs of others.
“ … Everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe, the realest, most vivid and important person in existence … it’s pretty much the same for all of us.”
This self-centeredness comes as a part of the packaging – a natural part of our human experience. Yet it isn’t hard to see how it can be problematic. Take a step back from your own life to take in the whole of humanity, and you can see how this self-focus might easily distort your ethical sensibilities, leading you to overinflate the value and importance of certain lives over others and the “rightness” of your values and way of life over those of others.
You can also see how it might similarly interfere with your ability to change your beliefs in pursuit of the truth – it’s hard to let go of false beliefs when they feel true because you believe them. It’s hard to imagine things from perspectives that are not your own. It’s hard to accept that you are limited and fallible, prone to error.