18 THE INTELLIGENT SOLUTION OF PROBLEMS and varying standards of conduct, even the most scientific person finds it difficult to make wise decisions. Success is a measure of one's correctness in solving problems. STUDY QUESTIONS 1. Make a list of the various attitudes, such as indifference or selfishness, which influence men in voting, and consider the results. 2. a) Select from the following list those adjectives which describe the scientific attitude: open-minded, dogmatic, opinionated, humble, cocksure, narrowminded, conceited, intolerant, prejudiced, skeptical, gullible, orderly, objective, subjective, imaginative, persevering, persistent, conservative, radical, constructive, truthful, accurate, dishonest, suspicious, patient, impatient, careless, impulsive, emotional, foresighted, indiscreet, discriminating, curious, haughty, confused, indifferent, lazy, industrious, cautious, methodical, orderly, efficient, creative, imitative, inquisitive, flighty, composed, superstitious, rational, modest. b) Which of these adjectives best describe you? c) Which of these adjectives would you like to have someone use in writing a recommendation for you? 3. Do you think that one should be scientific in selecting a mate? Granting that it is too late to use one's intelligence once he has "fallen in love," could one use his intelligence previous to that time so that he would be more likely to "fall in love" with the right person? 4. Which of the following common errors would be avoided by one who has the scientific attitude? attitude would oppose the error. Point out in each case which attribute of the scientific a) To expect others to conform to our standards of right and wrong. b) To measure the satisfactions of others by our own. c) To find perfection in our own actions. d) To expect perfection in the actions of others. e) To be indifferent to human suffering. /) Not to make allowances for the weaknesses of others. g) To consider anything impossible that is impossible to ourselves. h) To be swayed by mobs. i) To refuse to consider conclusions which do violence to our own beliefs. 5. Why do many people prefer fiction to truth, unreality to reality, acting to living, or impossible claims to facts? 6. How does the scientific attitude differ from other attitudes? 7. List the characteristics of a man possessing the scientific attitude. 8. Why does the scientist abstain from making statements that claim to be " the absolute truth"? 9. Compare the scientific attitude with other attitudes as to their effectiveness in leading to the goal of humanity. 10. What motivates you in the solution of your life problems? 11. What is your attitude toward "the printed page"? 12. What is your attitude toward modern advertising in radio broadcasts, newspapers, and magazines? 13. Analyze your attitude toward the use of tobacco. 14. Analyze your attitude toward "cheating."
THE SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE 19 15. Are there some aspects of human Hfe in which the scientific attitude should be deUberately cast aside? 16. What should be the attitude of the scientist toward those phases of Science which he is not qualified to criticize? 17. Criticize the statement, " It is most frequently the ignorant mind which is in doubt, and the scientific mind which is ready with a positive answer." 18. Criticize the statement, "By expressing a confident opinion on almost any question which is placed before one, one thereby shows a strength of mind." 19. Criticize the statement, "It sounds plausible, what more can you ask?" 20. Criticize the statement, " Ignorance is bliss." 21. Is truth worth living for? 22. What values are so important that truth can be disregarded in trying to attain them? 23. What effect did the World War of 1914-1918 have upon the pursuit of truth and the scientific attitude? 24. Why are so many people fooled by certain sorts of propaganda? 25. How does a scientifically trained person react to a new situation or experience?