Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quote of the Time Being: Being Right

Thanks go to The Christian Cynic for providing it:
The desire to be right and the desire to have been right are two desires, and the sooner we separate them the better off we are. The desire to be right is the thirst for truth. On all counts, both practical and theoretical, there is nothing but good to be said for it. The desire to have been right, on the other hand, is the pride that goeth before a fall. It stands in the way of our seeing we were wrong, and thus blocks the progress of our knowledge.
---W.V.O. Quine and J.S. Ullian, The Web of Belief

1 comment:

Infophile said...

Excellent quote. I've said things along similar lines ever since high school (around when Bush was elected... coincidence?), but certainly not so eloquently.

The question is: How do we pound this point in? We need to make it less shameful to be wrong, certainly, but instead shameful to insist on being wrong despite evidence to the contrary. Unfortunately, this go against a fair bit of human nature - the mind is very good at rationalizing what it already believes, and not nearly as good at questioning it. Perhaps the best we can do for now is to take the time to applaud those who are willing to keep a truly open mind.

As long as it isn't so open their brain falls out, of course.