晨读英语美文 How to Avoid Foolish Opinions
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晨读英语美文 How to Avoid Foolish Opinions

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How to Avoid Foolish Opinions


[00:08.38]To avoid the various foolish opinions


[00:18.64] to which mankind is prone, 


[00:20.73]no superhuman genius is required. 


[00:23.26]A few simple rules will keep you, 


[00:25.98]not from all error, 


[00:27.41]but from silly error.


[00:29.17]If the matter is one that can be settled by observation, 


[00:32.99]make the observation yourself. 


[00:35.49]Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking 


[00:39.56]that women have fewer teeth than men, 


[00:41.62]by the simple device of asking Mrs. Aristotle 


[00:44.80]to keep her mouth open while he counted. 


[00:47.20]He did not do so because he thought he knew. 


[00:51.35]Thinking that you know 


[00:54.21]when in fact you don't is a fatal mistake, 


[00:57.15]to which we are all prone.


[00:58.80]Many matters, however, 


[01:01.09]are less easily brought to the test of experience. 


[01:04.61]If, like most of mankind, 


[01:07.22]you have convictions on many such matters, 


[01:09.85]there are ways in which 


[01:11.69]you can make yourself aware of your own bias. 


[01:13.78]If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, 


[01:18.48]that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware 


[01:21.54]of having no good reason for thinking as you do. 


[01:24.17]If someone maintains that two and two are five, 


[01:28.44]you feel pity rather than anger. 


[01:31.27]The most savage controversies are those about matters 


[01:36.10]as to which there is no good evidence either way. 


[01:39.92]Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic, 


[01:43.64]because in arithmetic there is knowledge, 


[01:46.49]but in theology there is only opinion. 


[01:49.33]So whenever you find yourself getting angry 


[01:53.15]about a difference of opinion, 


[01:54.91]be on your guard; you will probably find, 


[01:58.29]on examination, 


[01:59.38]that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.


[02:02.77]A good way of riding yourself 


[02:05.79]of certain kinds of dogmatism 


[02:07.69]is to become aware of opinions


[02:10.10] held in social circles different from your own. 


[02:13.16]Seek out people with whom you disagree, 


[02:15.80]and read a newspaper belonging to a party


[02:18.66] that is not yours. 


[02:19.51]If the people and the newspaper seem mad and wicked, 


[02:24.32]remind yourself that you seem so to them. 


[02:27.62]In this opinion both parties may be right, 


[02:30.67]but they cannot both be wrong. 


[02:33.28]This reflection should generate caution.




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