Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lessons in Intellectual Humility

Here are a couple of videos that contain a very salutary lesson for all of us: We don't always know what we think we know and should therefore strive to be humble when we assert what we believe to be true. Arrogant, dogmatic pronouncements, particularly when embedded in thick layers of sarcasm and ridicule, have a way of boomeranging on the one indulging in them, and making them look very foolish:
This second video has some of the same material as the first, but some different material as well:
People may be deeply disappointed in the outcome of the last election. That's understandable, but what's not understandable is the complete absence on the part of some of the people in these videos of any inkling that they could be wrong. They were certain that a Trump win was as impossible as a square circle. They hooted and laughed at the very notion that he could win. And they ended up not only looking profoundly foolish, but also making it very difficult ever to lend any credibility to anything they ever say again.

Whether we're talking about politics, religion, a critical social issue, or any important topic, humility is far more appealing and appropriate than arrogant certitude and ridicule. Arrogance just sets folks up to be objects of derision when they turn out to be totally and utterly wrong, as these folks did.