How dialectical thinking can sharpen your worldview
In life, we have a worldview to see the world around us. Worldview is a way to understand how life works, it’s a framework and background of your thinking, it shaped the way you think and interpret life. it also shaped your value and belief to guide you on how to life live.
We gain our worldview through lifetime learning, it’s including things we read, things we heard, things we witness. from what we learned we combine them all into our belief system. that’s why everyone has different beliefs and worldviews because everyone experiences different things.
We might have a worldview that “education is key to success” because we see that the most successful person is also well-educated person. But at one point we also presented strange evidence that also many successful people didn’t finish their education and still be successful. They also encourage disadvantaged people who cannot access education to work hard and remind them education is not that important. And after we learned their opinion, were convinced by their opinion.
That kind of moment in our life makes us rethink the validity of what we believe because we think something we believe is the truth. But no one ever really has the truth. What we see the truth is only things that we experience and proven by ourselves. Meanwhile, the world is a big place filled with billions of people with their own beliefs from their own experiences. And no one really knows the truth because we only see things from our perspective.
As Kant said, there are noumena and phenomena. Neomena is a state of things independently (objective matter or truth), phenomena is our judgment toward things (subjective matters). We cannot understand the thing purely as what they are. We are always biased by our perspective, that’s why we need to learn things from multiple perspectives so we can learn the truth. It can be done through arguing, discourse, and critique. Thus, the statement “education is key to success” is not entirely valid because people’s perspective on education and success itself is different from one to another.
If you cannot process the previous paragraph, let’s see the picture below. The wooden shape is the truth (Neomena) meanwhile the shadow is our perspective (phenomena). If we only see things from its left side, our judgment of the wood’s shape is a triangle, if we see from the right side what we see is square, and if we see from below what we see is round. To understand better about the wood’s shape is to see it from multiple perspectives. So does truth, to find out the truth or valid statement we need to see things from multiple perspectives.
To be closer to the truth we need to learn as much as we can from multiple sources and gather all the information, including the opposite ideas. We can’t only learn one narrative and believe it as truth. Always think skeptically by questioning and challenging your beliefs. Because from learning lot of things we got a better understanding of things itself and we get a better understanding how life works.
If we are questioning the statement “Education is important” we need to learn about it more. We need to learn about the correlation between education level and someone’s achievement. We also need to read the biography of successful figures from various backgrounds to find out are education plays a huge role in making someone’s success, we need to ask for others’ opinions and figure out the decisive factor behind one’s success.
From learning multiple facts we might not able to bear the paradox that arose from our learnings. If someone has a firm belief in their belief then they will close their eyes from the evidence that didn’t suit their belief. But in finding the truth, it’s not the right thing to do.
Learn all the stuff, from one narrative and the opposite narrative and find the silver lining between them also find out the gap that makes two right ideas becomes opposite, because if two things are entirely right then they won’t be opposite from one to another. If from what we learned we find out two strong ideas from “education is important” and “education is not important” then we need to find the gap between those ideas that makes them seem opposite. Try to learn the context so you get a better comprehension.
Dialectic is a method popularized by Hegel to find the truth. To get closer to truth we need a thesis and antithesis to form a synthesis (conclusion). Things that we learned that suit our belief or popular belief is the thesis, then opposite things that don’t suit our belief but are also right are antithesis. From thesis and antithesis, we can create a synthesis, a new idea based on two previous ideas.
By thinking skeptically and paradoxically we might be able to develop a thesis and antithesis to be more complete.
Old thesis: Education is key to success
New thesis: Education is key to success and it’s important if we are planning to be engineer, doctor, scientist. Even for businessman it’s important because we can make better calculations in building business so we can minimize the business loss in the future.
Old antithesis: Education is not key to success
New antithesis: Education is not key to success and it’s not that important if we are want to become a businessman, because we can learn it by doing and find a mentor to teach us to do business. Besides that, to build a business requires no education background, also paying tuition fees for some people is just a waste of money that they can use for another urgency.
From the new thesis and new antithesis, we understand better the context and it makes more sense why both statements are true, and we can make a new synthesis from a thesis and antithesis that sounds
“education is key to success if you want to become a doctor, engineer, or lawyer because to get that job you need to learn that through formal education and to get that job you need that certificate. meanwhile, if you want to become a businessman, that occupation needs no formal education background so you don’t need to get formal education. a lot of things in business can be learned by doing. But formal education is also helpful for businessmen because it can make businessmen make better calculation, take better decisions and it can train them to be great businessmen. Learning by doing often costs a lot and is not efficient for some people”
By doing a dialectical method we will get a better understanding of how the whole thing works. And it will be helpful for us to develop our worldview, Perhaps we cannot change our worldview entirely but we can develop it based on our current learning. If we have sharp comprehension of how life works then we can act accordingly following life’s law. Thus everything we do is effective and it will be easier for us to reach our goals. because we are not moving against nature’s law.