12. "People's attitudes are determined more by their immediate situation or surroundings than by any internal characteristic."
Social environment does plays a more important role in forming a person’s attitudes.
1. Admittedly, people’s inborn temperament does play an important role in their attitudes.
2. However, more often than not, people’s attitudes are largely influenced by their immediate situation or surroundings.
3. It should also be noted that external factors not only influence people’s attitudes, but also shape their characters.
18. "Only by being forced to defend an idea against the doubts and contrasting views of others does one really discover the value of that idea."
1. Different viewpoints interconnect with each other. Only after careful comparison can we reach the soul of the idea.
2. Doubts and contrasting views can provide valuable use for reverences to our learning.
3. History is replete with illustrative cases in which doubts and contrasting views contribute to the consummation of our knowledge.
21. "Reform is seldom brought about by people who are concerned with their own reputation and social standing. Those who are really in earnest about reforming a government, an educational system, or any other institution must be willing to be viewed with disdain by the rest of the world."
1. Reform means the redistribution of benefits of various levels; therefore, resist and dissatisfaction is inevitable.
2. Those who are not really in earnest about reform will retreat when facing difficulties in a reform.
25. "Anyone can make things bigger and more complex. What requires real effort and courage is to move in the opposite direction--in other words, to make things as simple as possible."
1. The statement brings immediately to mind the ever-growing and increasingly complex digital world.
2. Lending even more credence to the statement is the so-called “big government” phenomenon.
3. Adding further credibility to the statement is the tendency of most people to complicate their personal lives.
27. "No one can possibly achieve success in the world by conforming to conventional practices and conventional ways of thinking."
1. Traditional ways of thinking are treasures which will prevent us from wasting time and energy on trial things.
2. However, we can create nothing if we are only confined to the conventional experience.
31. "Money spent on research is almost always a good investment, even when the results of that research are controversial."
Disagree with concession:
1. I concede that the speaker is on the correct philosophical side of this issue. After all, research is the exploration of the unknown for answers to our questions, and for lasting solutions to our endure problems.
2. While we must invest in research irrespective of whether the results might be controversial, at the same time we should be circumspect about research whose objectives are too vague and whose potential benefits are too speculative.
3. No amount of research can completely solve the enduring problems of war, poverty and violence, for the reason that they stem from the certain aspects of human nature—such as aggression and greed.