Biased Thoughts, and Scientific Temper

Sometimes, when I’m walking down a road by myself, I can’t help but notice the things around me. I can’t help but to hear things around me. I see people going by their daily lives, and sometimes, I, by chance, over hear a casual conversation between a group of people, who are perhaps sitting next to me, or walking right behind me.
Usually, it would be a conversation about nothing in particular, something random perhaps, that they derive a little amusement from. But it is the more serious and debatable topic which comes up once in a while, that tends to catch my attention. On occasions, the conversation turns into a heated argument about whose points are more valid, and whose explanation and idea is right. Upon reaching this stage, I wonder, whether it is meaningful to argue in such a violent and heated manner at all. Take any point. It must be based on some logic thought up by the person who comes up with it. There is no way in hell that an idea just randomly pops up in one’s head (unless you would like to consider divine intervention, which in this case I’m not) . Any thought that comes into one’s mind must have a build-up, a series of ideas and steps to arrive at a thought. No doubt someone might have gotten their logic wrong at some point, hence leading to a wrong statement. But the question I ask is “Why will the other person not even consider a SLIGHT possibility that there may be some basis and explanation on which the other person’s view is based?”. Why is it that some people wish to rubbish an alternate view in the blink of an eye, without even thinking? Why are some people so much bent on their own ideas, that the thought of a new idea seems unacceptable?
It is what people call ‘scientific temper’. Though I agree this is a term I can very loosely base this question upon. By definition on the internet, “Scientific temper describes an attitude which involves the application of logic and the avoidance of bias and preconceived notions. Discussion, argument and analysis are vital parts of scientific temper. It is thus necessarily open — admitting every point of view, however heterodox it might be, or where it comes from. Elements of fairness, equality and democracy are built into it.”
One must be able to understand that along with him/herself being right, there are chances that he/she MAY be wrong. Also, one must understand that along with the other person being wrong, there are CHANCES that he/she may be right. In the end, what happens is a different story. One may be right, and the other person may be wrong. But why do we, being intelligent beings, not wish to welcome a new idea? Why do we wish to keep sticking to the views already existing? Is there not a possibility that one new idea from somewhere may be strong enough to over throw a current belief, and lead to a betterment of sorts?
The difference between what we think is right and what is wrong may also be due to cultural conditioning. We may perceive an idea as a wrong one. But we not only think it is wrong, we think everyone should agree that it is wrong. This is not to say that something is wrong just because everyone agrees it is wrong. There is a logical possibility that we are all mistaken and it is just our cultural conditioning that tells us that something is wrong. By a different and perfectly meaningful logic, what we think as ‘wrong’ may be harmlessly ‘right’. I just ask one question. Why do a portion of us not even bother to wonder about the other side of things, and just jump onto our own thought, and stick to it? Why would one want to look at the ‘heads’ side of the coin, and immediately deduce that the other side is ‘tails’? Perhaps the coin you are holding may be biased, and both sides may have a ‘heads’. There is no need to accept anything, but at the least, perhaps one should ask questions, and put an idea through enough analysis first?
  • Anonymous

    uhm – wrong spelling in the headline

  • sry bout tht…it correct now 🙂