I strive to achieve a balance
between two conflicting approaches in life:
a skeptical scrutiny of all ideas that are served up to me
and at the same time a great openness to new ideas.
Obviously those two modes of thought are in some tension,
but if I am able to exercise only one of these modes,
whichever one it is,
I'd be in deep trouble.
If I were only skeptical,
then no new ideas make it through to me.
I'd never learn anything new.
I'd become a crotchety old person
convinced that nonsense is ruling the world.
(Maybe it is.)
But every now and then,
a new idea turns out to be on the mark, valid and wonderful.
If I were too skeptical about everything,
I'd miss or resent it,
standing in the way of understanding and progress.
On the other hand, if I were open
to the point of gullibility
without an ounce of skepticism in me,
I would not be able to distinguish the useful
from the worthless ones.
If all ideas have equal validity,
then I'd be lost,
because then, no ideas would have any validity at all.
practiced by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy
is to allow neither,
allowing No skepticism of Church Teaching
No new ideas.
Perhaps that's the easier approach.