Saturday, July 24, 2010

Blog of the Moment: Eli Cryderman

Cliché as it is, can you really think outside the box? What I mean by this is can you intelligently entertain ideas or notions that are not in line with your current beliefs? This is a difficult task as one is most comfortable with what they know, or at least think they know and are not easily moved from the normalcy security blanket in which they most often wrap themselves.

... willing are you to take in and digest an idea that seems foreign, unpalatable or even dangerous? If someone serves you with a big helping of the “all drugs should be legal for a person to ingest as long as they don’t hurt anyone else”, will you devote a few minutes and synapses to hear that argument from beginning to end or will you put up the verbal equivalent to an out-stretched palm, saying “You’re crazy” and refuse to fully consider the opposing opinion? Similarly, if someone is devoted to the state military and indicates that “every young person should serve, it would straighten them up and make adults of them”, can you sit patiently and hear their reasons?

Just because you listen and think about another viewpoint doesn’t mean you agree with it. In fact, the best way to refute an argument is to learn as much about the topic as possible so that you may thoroughly dispense with each and every falsehood. One who is steadfast in their beliefs should relish the opportunity to hear the other side in order to more vigorously defend their own. And if they can’t counter each and every point, maybe there is something to learn about an alternative theory.


  1. It seems most difficult to "think outside the box" when the idea seems just plain silly, rather than dangerous. For example, I have read that the problems involved in designing zip fasteners for space suits was solved when designers were asked to imagine that they were stick insects.

  2. I agree listening to opposition up and until they present a valid point.

    If that threshold cannot be met, then I ask what is the point in further debate?

    If my opposition cannot produce a valid arguement then it really is no debate but rather an excersise in futility.

    Does this put me in a box or them? I argue; them, being without validity they are trapped in the box of ignorance.

    Stupidity I can forgive, ignorance I cannot.


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