The Block Of Close-Mindedness, Concluded

Our attitude toward new information determines the extent of our learning. If we are “soldiers” who seek only to defend the beliefs we already have, we don’t grow or learn. But as “scouts” we learn for its own sake, reaching out in curiosity and receptivity. We aren’t afraid of the truth; instead we actively seek to learn from it and improve ourselves.

We all have a native perspective, a set of assumptions, a non-neutral attitude and even unconscious bias. Yet, we all believe that we are the unbiased ones who look at everything objectively and without letting our emotions cloud our judgement. We only develop as people when we become conscious of these fallacies—and conscious of our ability to choose something different.

Part of critical thinking is deliberately seeking out evidence against our chosen beliefs, rather than only seeking data that confirms them. Look for reputable sources and inform yourself about various things that are important to you. Inevitably, you’ll discover that some of your beliefs were mistaken or simply naïve, but that is a surefire sign of growth as well.

If all else fails, abide by Darwin’s Golden Rule of trying to poke holes in your own argument. After all, it’s better if you do it rather than someone else.

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