Whatever I believe, there’s an extremely bright person who has devoted their life to studying the topic in question, who has come to a conclusion incompatible with my own. This person has likely presented compelling arguments for their position, arguments strong enough to make me change my mind, except that there are equally strong arguments for my own position.
Too often, I write off certain viewpoints as being ignorant or irrational, when in all likelihood someone smarter than me has already considered all of my arguments against it, and has their own rational counter-arguments.
I suppose this could be considered as an opportunity to get over myself but I sometimes struggle to see the value in that approach.
I rarely miss an opportunity to voice my opinions. When I voice them, I do so with great confidence because I’m not typically content to believe where knowing is possible. I’m not content with just knowing if understanding is possible. When I don’t know or understand, I try to keep an open mind.
John Locke said “Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”
I guess this is why I struggle to entertain educated opinions that clash with my own educated opinions. I study to understand. I think things through to the best of my ability. I make what I’ve read mine.
What’s the right approach in these situations? I guess I don’t really know. What I do know is that none of us can allow our egos to rule out the possibility that we might be wrong.
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