Purpose: The purpose of this reflection is to gain a deeper sense of understanding and compassion for the ways that other people think. We hope that you will gain an appreciation for difference, and for the common goals that you share with those who may disagree with you. You are doing this assignment to reflect upon one of the important goals of this course: empathy and tolerance for others.
Instructions: You have noticed by now that we have asked you to argue with your classmates, and they have been prompted to argue with you. We hope there have been times where you felt challenged to consider not just whether someone else was right, but how someone else might be right. Dr. Ries calls this awareness to the possibility that we might not have everything right, “epistemic humility.”
Think about a way in which you felt challenged to think, or know, in a way that made you uncomfortable. In this reflection, we want for you to go beyond the actual feeling, and explore why you felt that way. Why do people sometimes feel angry when their views are challenged? Why do individuals sometimes react defensively, or shout, or cry, when someone asserts a view different from theirs? Why are people willing to kill over religion, or politics, or science? Think about some of your own reactions, and hypothesize about the reasons that “Epistemic Humility” is so painful.
Write your reflection in 600-800 words. You do not need to use any outside resources for this assignment. This is a spiritual reflection. Look into yourself, and try to look into the hearts and minds of others, and see if you can identify some of the reasons it can be so painful when someone tells us we’re wrong.
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