Keeping Errors at Bay - Four Levels and Question Answers | Mero Solution

Keeping Errors at Bay Four Levels And Question Answers  

Keeping Errors at Bay four levels and Question Answers

Four Levels of Keeping Errors at Bay

                           - Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

This suggestive essay "Keeping Errors at Bay" has forwarded some of the techniques which can be very applicable in removing our foolish errors. According to the writer, our mind is occupied with many foolish opinions that have made us more orthodox and self-centered. By applying some simple rules, we can avoid silly errors.

The first rule is observation. Many wrong concepts can be corrected with proper observation. Aristotle made a mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men without observing the fact. If he counted his own wife's teeth, he wouldn't have made this false claim. Thinking that we know everything without knowing is a fatal mistake for the writer.

Many matters however can't be brought under observation. Some religious convictions can't be tested. In such case, we should compare our opinions with our opponents' opinions. Naturally, we can't be correct all the time. If someone disagrees with us, we should realize that there must be something wrong or incomplete in our belief or attitude.

People generally make mistake of getting angry at the opinions of opponents. To keep this error away, Russell advises us to read the newspapers belonging to a party that is not yours, have discussion with people who hold different view. It helps is compare our opinions with theirs applying critical thinking. We need to bear in mind that if we find them mad and wicked, we seem so to them too.

Furthermore, traveling and learning about other's custom and culture help us to remove our prejudices and broaden our mind having multiple perspectives.

Similarly, we can be engaged in imaginary conversation with a person having different view. It is more beneficial than the actual conversation because there is no limitation of time and space in such conversations. The writer says sometimes, he indulges in such imaginary dialogue which makes him less dogmatic and thinks on the possible reasonableness of a hypothetical opponent.

Another way to get rid of foolish errors is to be away from the flattery of self-esteem. We all feel that our nation is superior to all others. Such vain self-esteem created vanity in our opinions. One example; when men and women are firmly convinced of the superior excellence of their own sex, men may state that most of the poets and scientists are male while women may point out that so are the most criminals. In fact the question of superiority is insoluble. So, such flattery of self-esteem should be removed. It is possible when we develop the thinking that all of us are just a brief episode in the life of a small planet in a little corner of the universe and other parts of the cosmos may contain beings as superior to ourselves as we are to jelly fish.

Likewise, fear is a source of mistake. We are afraid of many things unreasonably like war, enemy, ghost, disaster, death, hell etc which makes us superstitious and cruel. Many truths are overshadowed by fear within our mind. Conquering fear is the beginning of wisdom, in the pursuit of truth. When we overcome fear only then we live a meaningful and worthy life.

The essayist of this essay  trying to presents the human weaknesses and errors and the way of keeping error from these all. We human beings do many mistakes in our life because of our careless and neglecting nature. If we observe anything properly , we may not do mistakes. Also this essay tries to make us alert against the nonsensical ideas and superstitions. Therefore, for avoiding silly errors and mistakes in our life, it is necessary to have positive attitudes, awareness of language, culture, respect of opponents' opinions.

In the essay "Keeping Errors at Bay", Russell has suggested us to apply some rules which can help us to avoid silly errors and mistakes.Although this essay tries to give us a practical lesson, I have some questions regarding the essay.
i) How does it possible to make an observation of everything?
ii) Is there the existence of the soul?
iii) How does it possible to be free from fear?

Before reading this essay I used to think that I always right whatever I did and did not use to listen what my opponents said.But after reading this essay I decided to give respect to the opponents' views and ideas. I will apply the rules that essayist said to avoid silly errors.


Question Answers Of Keeping Errors at Bay 

Q.1. How can we avoid silly errors according to Russell?

ANSWER : According to Russell, we avoid silly errors by following rules:-
i) Observation
ii) Compare own opinion with opponents' opinions.
iii) Read the newspaper of Opponent party
iv) Have discussion with others holding different opinion
v) Travelling
vi) Be engaged in imaginary conversation
vii) Get rid of flattery of self-esteem
viii) Avoid fear.

Q.2. A few simple rules will keep you, not from all errors, but from silly error. Bertrand Russell forwards few rules in his essay Keeping Errors at Bay. What are they? Do you agree with his rules? Why?

ANSWER : "Keeping Errors at Bay" provides us about what are the things for making errors and how can we aroid them or what are the basic approaches for removing our foolish ideas, fear, and feeling of superiority, selfishness, and biases. Russell says that we can be free  from most of the errors and blind belief if we use scientific methods, observation, experiences, and common and critical senses.
There is no need to dispute if we observe the things. We should observe the things, rather than arguing over the problem. He gives an example of Aristotle who said that women have fewer teeth. If he had observed the teeth of his own wife, there wouldn't be dispute. So Russell says that we should make observation ourselves. Dispute can be solved by observation.

Secondly he says that if there is no possibility of observation, we should compare our ideas with opponents. If same opinions make us angry, it means we have no reason to support our own ideas. In such case, be alert you are weak or you have weakness.

Similarly, Russell says that we can remove wrong beliefs or prejudice from our mind by traveling, meeting and talking with many people. We can also read the opposite party's papers. This helps us to remove wrong beliefs from our mind.

Imaginary conversation can take place with someone who is far from us in terms of time and space. We can talk to our imaginary opponents in our own mind. Then we can become less dogmatic by changing our mind.

Similarly he says that we should be free from fear which is common source of error. Fear doesn't allow us to think about many important things. According to the writer to conquer fear is beginning of wisdom in the pursuit of truth. Fear generates superstitions.

Yes I agree with his rules. Because he has talked about practical rules to avoid silly errors. According to the writer, we should observe the things so that we can be free from errors. Actually he is right. If we observe  something directly we can know about truth or reality. Otherwise we may mistake and follow the unreality false perception.

He says that we should Compare our opinion with our opponents opinion. Yes, I agree with this view. We should listen our opponent's so that we can know the perspective of opponents. If we don't listen our opponents views, we can't know about our weak point and therefore we can't get new ideas. We can also read the newspaper of opponent party to know their opinion.

Similarly he says that we can remove wrong beliefs or prejudice from our mind by traveling, meeting and talking with many people. I totally agree with him on this view. If we learn and participate other's culture, we never hate their culture. Even we celebrate their culture with them happily. It removes the wrong beliefs about their culture. We can understand their culture in their view. By meeting different people we can learn different culture.

He says fear should be avoided in order to keep ourselves away from silly errors. Many truths are hidden because of the fear. When we overcome fear only then we live a meaningful and worthy life. If we are free from fear we can get success in life and no one can prevent to achieve the goal. If we have fear to tell the truths we have to live under the world of false. We can't do whatever we want.

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