To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Wednesday, May 22, 2002
A book that made a vast impression on me and one I have had occasion to remark on before -- The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan. Would love to share a few gems from it....

* The British Physicist Michael Faraday warned of the powerful temptation "to seek for such evidence and appearances as are in favour of our desires, and to disregard those which oppose them ... We receive as friendly that which agrees with us, we resist with dislike that which opposes us; whereas the very reverse is required by every dictate of common sense.

* At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes - an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense.

* In his celebrated book, On Liberty, the English philosopher John Stuart Mill argued that silencing an opinion is "a peculiar evil". If the opinion is right, we are robbed of the "opportunity of exchanging error for truth"; and if it's wrong, we are deprived of a deeper understanding of the truth in "its collision with error".

* The claim is sometimes made that science is as arbitrary or irrational as all other claims to knowledge, or that reason itself is an illusion. The American revolutionary Ethan Allen had some words to say on this subject: "Those who invalidate reason ought seriously to consider whether they argue against reason with or without reason; if with reason, then they establish the principle that they are labouring to dethrone; but if they argue without reason (which, in order to be consistent with themselves they must do), they are out of reach of rational conviction, nor do they deserve a rational argument.

His Baloney Detection Kit includes tools for logical reasoning and definitely worth more than a look…..