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August 7th, 2019
Being a critical thinker is all about putting your beliefs at risk.
Think of it this way: Mother nature is a pretty ruthless mother, in the sense that she leaves the front door wide open for any thing to waltz in and try to gobble up her children. If those children make it through the battle, then they get to stay. Clearly she’s a parent who is all about independence for her children. Most parents are a bit more protective of their children, locking the front door, and the backdoor to make sure nothing can get in.
We have the same tendency with our thoughts and beliefs. We protect them. We lock the door to keep them safe from risk, same from anything that might waltz in through the door and potentially destroy those beliefs.
In some sense this is a hold-over from blasphemy laws, which governed against the ability to speak offensively towards things held as sacrilegious. This is an attempt to protect an idea from another idea that turns out to be better, stronger, fitter.
At the end of the day, it’s a tendency that’s fueled by fear and laziness.
Fitness, literally and figuratively is something that requires constant testing and exercise in order to be maintained. Just as our bodies do best when constantly tested, so too, our ideas evolve into more robust forms as they are challenged by new ones. And this requires a genuine open-door policy.
It requires Mother Nature’s courage: the sort of courage that tosses up every beloved conceptual child for potential risk to the unknown.
The difference of course is that there’s no pain and no reason to mourn when an idea fails to endure and falls prey to something better.
The real tragedy is when actual people fall victim and suffer due to an idea that someone isn’t willing to put at risk for fear of a better idea that might crush it.