Welcoming controversy vs Condemning the unfamiliar

What if many people are quite challenged by the unfamiliar primarily because they have had so much regularity in their time in public school (or similar settings)? They are not used to spontaneous learning. They are used to being instructed (and then repeating back whatever they are trained to repeat back in order to get social validation from the instructor for their conformity).

Based on adapting to school settings, they have a set of familiar social habits and comfortable topics of conversation. In particular, they are used to an authority telling them what to focus on and how to interpret it.
They are trained to blindly repeat the answer given to them by the authority. They expect rewards and reinforcement for their unexamined conformity. They may be completely unfamiliar with calmly handling controversies of logic.
For instance, what if someone questions a presumption which they have been programmed to accept without skepticism? Are they curious or defensive? Do they reactively panic and justify their sacred presumption?

Do they listen with an open mind or are they suddenly scared and compulsively looking for justifications to dismiss the unfamiliar? Do they actively resist or attack unfamiliar ideas in order to preserve their comfort with their familiar but unexamined presumptions?

Of course, people who did not attend school can still display close-mindedness and hysterical panics. If their family and culture oppose curiosity as a presumed threat, then they will still flee from controversy or reactively attack unfamiliar ideas to avoid being faced with overwhelming evidence of their naivete.

A humble person may directly signal that they have no confidence in their “book-learning” because it did not come from experience. They might not be interested In a subject, but they also will not condemn unfamiliar ideas while saying “I am not interested In talking about this.” They are not reactive (defensive).

However, less humble people may also attempt to hide their lack of real competence through arrogant antagonisms. They may be terrified of their blind naivete being revealed as blind naivete.

Are they expecting their teacher to reward them for their loyalty to their programmed blind presumptions? Are they condescending toward people who dare to voice skepticism toward their sacred, unexamined presumptions?

Or, are they relaxed enough to be open to intelligent questions? Do they value intelligent questioning of their own habitual presumptions (or even seek it out and pay for it)?

Who is brave enough to admit that they have been terrified of ideas that challenge familiar presumptions? Who is so terrified of criticism that they pretend they have never been naive and are now free of all conceptual presumptions?

Presumptions can be very efficient and helpful, especially when we are committed to frequently updating them to correspond with the rest of reality. Some resist reality in a terrified effort to preserve familiar presumptions (even when inconsistent with obvious reality). They may launch hysterical campaigns to reform reality to fit with their sacred presumptions (or to prevent some disturbing controversy).

It is one thing to advocate for a particular change of policy. It is quite another thing to hysterically panic in the face of the slightest controversy or any inquiry about the logical foundations of a particular conclusion.


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