Is a mark of a scholar the ability to be wrong?

I’ve been thinking about that. Fundamentalism as a mindset requires someone to always be right, to have some settled presuppositions which require them to, come hell or high water or proof otherwise, to hold and to defend them. They simply will not change them, regardless of the evidence. Can we call these people continuing scholars? I mean, sure, they may have been at one time, but what about those who simply get to one level and stay there, refusing to budge regardless of the evidence?



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2 Replies to “Is a mark of a scholar the ability to be wrong?”

  1. Anyone who seeks the truth above all else ought to accept that they could be wrong, and that the truth in all its fullness will likely forever elude them. The fundamentalist tendency to cling to an idea in spite of all evidence and proof seems to stem from a set of internal values that place comfort above truth. It is comforting to think we have all the answers, and that they just happen to lie between the pages of a book revered by the culture we just happened to be born into. It is not comforting to think that the truth may require work to find, and that even after all our work is done there may still remain questions.

    I would not call ‘scholar’ one who has raised themself above question.

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