PD came across a clipping from a newspaper written by Andrew Lang, entitled "Balance...a rare case study". Andrew discusses "a rare psychological condition termed 'balanced thinking disorder'." He states that "the sufferer appreciates both sides of an issue...it fortunately tends to afflict only people who have grown up with parents who involved the child in rational discussion and debate while eating home-cooked meals...Sometimes it is the result of an otherwise afflicted teacher when the child's thinking processes are still plastic."
If only it was more prevalent. It is unfortunate that too many people are brought up with prejudices and not taught to think. They are not taught to analyze facts and balanced debate is missing. Picking up snippets on the run from the internet or television news is insufficient to understand things as they are not in context. How many newspaper articles are biased, and how many stories are printed without verifying facts, influencing people with lies?
This of course is not new; George Orwell in "Homage to Catalonia" complains that on return to England from the Spanish Civil War he read newspaper reports about battles he had witnessed and could not believe that they were the same ones.
What is the antidote? We have to teach children to learn history and to read classic books, in-depth articles and opinion pieces from a variety of sources in order to weigh up the merits of different arguments in a case, in order for them to develop their own ability to think clearly and form balanced opinions on a variety of topics.
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