Truth is Not Afraid of Questions

Truth is Not Afraid of Questions

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Truth cannot be weakened by questions. The opposite is true. Truth can only be strengthened by questions.

Truth solicits questions. Truth wants to be questioned and challenged. This is the very essence of scientific research.

The art of truly curious research is to consider nothing as certain, no matter how certain or obvious it may appear. Einstein’s research is a prime example of this. He questioned what appears obvious: the nature of space and time. He questioned the centuries-old teachings of Sir Isaac Newton, the “pope of physics.” And his curiosity paid off. He found that space and time indeed are different from what everybody believed.

If we want to find the truth, we do need to not only allow deviant and alternative perspectives, questions, and challenges, we need to even solicit them. This is the very essence of truth finding.

And we do need to question our own findings. Once we discover something, we must immediately question it and test it. There are a thousand ways to err. There are a thousand ways to persuade oneself. Only what has been challenged, questioned, and tested over and over again and has passed all tests, only that has a chance of being true.

This is a deep truth; the following quotes relate to this:

I never lose. I either win or learn.
(Nelson Mandela)

We learn little from victory, much from defeat.
(Japanese proverb)

But I tell you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you.
(Matthew 5:44)

Galileo Galilei claimed that Earth orbits the Sun. This contradicted the official teachings of the church at a time when the church was the social authority that science is today. Galileo was sentenced to livelong house arrest.

Albert Einstein was a very curious student. He permanently questioned what his teachers said. Some well-meaning professors had warned him that the way he behaved would be bad for his career. After graduating with a master’s degree in math and physics education, he was the only student in his year who did not find employment at any university in Europe. The reason was that he had the reputation of questioning established results. But Einstein remained true to himself and performed his research privately. To do this he went to considerable lengths. He often went hungry and so developed lifelong stomach problems. Today his findings are the basis of global time keeping, space travel, and GPS.

One of the greatest science geniuses of all times could not gain a foothold in the scientific establishment and had to perform his research privately. Only after the value of his private research was obvious, was he acknowledged in professional circles.

Truth will ultimately prevail
where there is pains to bring it to light.
(George Washington)

Be curious. Ask questions. Find answers.

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The title of this article, “Truth is not afraid of questions,” is a quote credited to Yogananda.

Further reading: Book “Curiosity: The Mental Hunger of Humans”

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