Quote of the Day: Though everyone wants to be right, as soon as people start to air incompatible views it becomes clear that not everyone can be right about everything…

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

This is relevant for us all these days, not the least in Vancouver and Metro Vancouver, dealing with such complex and fast-paced issues. A shout-out to urban thinker and former city planner, Ray Spaxman, for pointing out the quote in his e-mail newsletter.

Though everyone wants to be right, as soon as people start to air incompatible views it becomes clear that not everyone can be right about everything. Also, the desire to be right can collide with a second desire, to know the truth, which is uppermost in the minds of bystanders to an argument who are not invested in which side wins. Communities can thereby come up with rules that allow true beliefs to emerge from the rough and tumble of argument, such as that you have to provide reasons for your beliefs, you’re allowed to point out flaws in the beliefs of others, and you’re not allowed to forcibly shut people up who disagree with you. Add in the rule that you should allow the world to show you whether your beliefs are true or false, and we can call the rules science. With the right rules, a community of less than fully rational thinkers can cultivate rational thoughts.”

From “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress” (2018) by Canadian-American cognitive scientist Steven Pinker.

More reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_Now

 

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