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Page last edited on 12 March, 2003

What makes a good search? 

Active open mindedness

Baronís criteria include allocating importance and searching in accordance with this, confidence appropriate to the amount & quality of thinking done, fairness to other possibilities than the one we initially favour. The search needs to be active rather than passive: we ought to be active in seeking out knowledge and we ought to be open minded in considering new possibilities, new goals etc.

To illustrate one aspect of the way we search, consider the nine dots problem.



Draw these dots onto paper. The task is to join all nine dots together without removing the pen from the paper using no more than 4 straight lines. (Drawing back over the same line counts as drawing another line.)

Give it a try. If after 5 minutes or so you still don't get it click here for a clue:

Justifying active open mindedness as part of rational or good thinking is done easily from the perspective of Islam and I will return to this further on. From an academic's point of view they will probably recognise the elements of active open mindedness as continually being taught indirectly within their (scientific) institutions. Quite simply within the realm of seeking verifiable knowledge of reality these principles are generally found to work. Whether they work for goals that aren't as noble as the seeking of knowledge is not so clear.

If you are not 'actively open minded' in your thinking your thinking may well become quite bad. Examples to the opposite of 'active open mindedness' include:

Biases in the search.

Inactivity in the search

Searching not in accordance to the importance of what the search is for

Confidence in the results, not appropriate to the amount and quality of thinking that has gone into reaching them.

It is useful, now, to examine these in some more detail and how they relate to morals concerning thinking.

Continue to ...

Sub-topics in this Chapter

02a - What is 'good thinking'? What is 'bad thinking'?
02b - How can rationality be defined?
02c - Some examples of aspects of good thinking
02d - What makes a good search?
02e - What makes a bad search?
02f - What makes good reasoning?
02g - What makes bad reasoning?
02h - In what ways can probabilistic reasoning be bad?
02i - Thinking about Morals
02j - The Ultimate
02k - The Design Argument
02l - Ultimate explanations
02m - Revelations
02n - The nature of signs of revelation
02o - The general concept pf sin in Islam
02p - Problems with Christianity

Main Chapters
01-  The Basis of Knowledge ] 02 - The Sin of Disbelief ] 03 - The Amazing Quran ] 04 - The Teachings of Islam ] Table of Contents ]

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Last updated on 12 March, 2003

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Hate Hurts. Love Cures. Conjecture Fails. Truth Prevails.
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Seek Understanding from Knowledge/ Information
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