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"Too much of our knowledge revolves around ourselves as if we are the most important thing in the universe" (adapted from Carlo Rovelli). Why might this be problematic?

The fact that our knowledge largely revolves around ourselves is a problem because this prevents us from understanding others and makes us more likely to attribute evil motives to them. Religious fanatics, for instance, often have a very extensive knowledge of the religion in which they have been raised, but very little understanding of other traditions.

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The way in which our knowledge, along with our priorities and interests, revolves principally around ourselves clearly creates problems. Conflict and hostility are often the results of failing to understand others and appreciate their perspectives. The French proverb , “Tout comprendre c’est tout pardoner,” (to understand all is to forgive all) is equally true when inverted. To understand nothing of a person’s background, culture, and history is often to attribute evil motives to...

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