Man's physical universe

xanabras

STRAIGHT THINKING 45

with a rational set of reasons to support it.

A boy who wants a bicycle

or a girl who wants a new dress will soon be able to present very convincing

arguments to back up these desires.

Any arguments to the contrary

are brushed aside as being irrelevant because they are not liked.

This process of unconsciously selecting only those facts which support

an idea precious to us is called rationalization.

A test of whether a person's conclusions are prejudiced or not is that

of determining whether he will show anger when the bases for his conclusions

are questioned.

A still more stringent test of prejudiced thinking is that of determining

whether or not a person is particularly pleased with a speech or bit

of writing. It is a common experience to experience pleasure when we

discover people who agree with our own point of view.

One possible cure for this prejudiced thinking is to develop the habit

of arguing with those who agree with us and of trying to understand

why still other people disagree with us. Deliberate effort should be

made to expose ourselves to points of view radically different from our

own, not with the idea of strengthening our own points of view, but

rather to discover the areas in which both points of view agree and to

reconsider our ideas in the light of the added information obtained.

Many politicians and preachers and the majority of speakers and

writers try to influence you not by an appeal to reason but by the use

of "color words" (words carrying a high emotional charge).

There is no objection to the use of color words to try to sell ideas to

others. The thing to avoid in the use of color words is the attempt to

put over an idea not justified by the data that one is presenting. If you

ever catch yourself thinking in terms of highly charged, emotional

words, you should recognize that you are already well along the way to

that kind of crooked thinking which is called emotional thinking.

The choice of the following color words depends upon whether you

are for or against something.

For

Against

firm

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