Man's physical universe

xanabras

14 THE INTELLIGENT SOLUTION OF PROBLEMS

the only changes which he can bring about are those which are in conformity

with the laws of the universe. He learns that behind every

result there is an adequate cause and that the same causes will always

produce the same results.

3. He Is Curious. The truth seeker is definitely curious about cause

and effect in the world in which he lives. He is interested in everything

that happens. He realizes his ignorance and seeks to know. He is not

complacent or indifferent to personal and social needs. He is never a

disinterested bystander, but his curiosity is impersonal and disciplined

because desire must be subordinated to reason.

4. He Is open-minded and Unprejudiced. The truth seeker has

seen in our own generation how violent, unreasoned prejudice, class and

personal hatred, and insane fear bear frightful fruits of death, destruction,

and persecution. He does not want merely to obtain support for

his preconceived notions — he wants to know the truth about the

natural world, about politics, business, and morals, in short, about life.

He is willing to lay aside lifelong convictions, the traditions of history,

the morals and customs of his social class long enough to see whether

or not a new fact will change his point of view. He never laughs at new

ideas.

Indeed, he distrusts his own feelings and, at times, refuses to

their defi-

believe the evidence of his own senses because he realizes

ciencies and the possibilities of error. The truth seeker welcomes new

ideas, especially those with which he is not now in agreement.

5. He Is Aggressively Tolerant. The truth seeker must be ready to

admit that other people may know more than he does and that they

may be right and that he may be wrong. But his tolerance will not

extend so far as accepting other people's ideas unless the evidence at

hand supports these ideas.

He seeks to discover the elements of agreement

and disagreement between himself and others in an effort to

increase his knowledge.

The truth seeker does not ask others to accept his own point of view.

Where the scientific attitude reigns, there is no regard for party, race,

creed, or nation. Thus Marconi, an Italian, devised the wireless telegraph

which was based on the researches of Hertz, a German, who, in

turn, got his inspiration from Maxwell, a Scot.

6. He Does Not Accept Conclusions unless They Are Supported by

Adequate Evidence. The truth seeker is definitely skeptical. Skepticism

is not cynicism or suspicion, but it does involve the scrutiny of

every belief, custom, and conclusion to discover the data, if any, upon

which it rests.

Anyone who wants to solve problems should first develop skepticism,

for unless he is very critical of all of the information which he obtains.

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