Monday, July 27, 2015

How to Pick Your Wordview: Step 2

Step 2: Change your mind frequently

Most people slowly change their mind on issues of philosophy or religion. I think fear plays a major role in this: "what would my pastor think?" "what would my parents think?" "Will someone date me if I change my mind?".

This is ridiculous, because there is SO much to learn, and it is extremely unlikely that you were lucky enough to grow up with all of the right answers on complex philosophical issues.

It is important to change your mind frequently, because this is how you grow. It allows your ideas to evolve--you can test new ideas, and see how they fit into larger paradigms. You can see the world from multiple perspectives.

Changing your mind is difficult, because it takes mental exertion. This is good, because it serves to train your mind--you will get better and better at thinking about complex issues, and this will allow you to grow as a thinker.

People will also enjoy talking to you more. How many conversations have you been in on matters of religion, politics, morality, or philosophy in which neither party admits that they are wrong? Or neither party changes his/her mind?

These conversations tend to be frustrating, because they take great effort, but are fruitless--both parties are more emotionally annoyed than ideologically enlightened.

So just be willing to change your mind, and tell people when you do. Say, "That was a good point, I hadn't thought of that, you have changed my mind."

I'm not saying to change your mind just to change your mind--I am saying that you are wrong a lot more often than you think, and it is really helpful to develop your ability to sense when you are wrong, accept it, update your philosophy, and then keep making progress! The friends you make as a side effect of doing this will serve as awesome companions on your journey.

It is uncomfortable to change your mind, but it is essential for finding truth.

Biological evolution takes place because of mutations. If the mutation rate goes up, evolution can take place at a faster rate. HIV is so hard to defeat, from a medical perspective, because it's mutation rate is SUPER high.

So think like HIV. Change a lot. Test ideas, and keep the good. The faster you evolve, the more likely it is that you will find truth.

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