That the average man covets the reputation of being right-minded and reasonable in all his thinking, goes without saying. We all distinctly prefer to be regarded as sane, and this surely is well. Moreover, the average man is entirely sure that he is sane, and much of his time is spent in trying to convey at least a modicum of his sanity to the people about him who seem to be more or less unable to see things his right way. This is the goal of most of his argument: he is not trying to get at the truth himself, but rather to illuminate the unfortunates who have not as yet come to his knowledge of it, and it is the enjoyment of this sense of mental superiority which renders common disputation so relishable. With what sweet satisfaction ofttimes have we succeeded in making it again apparent that our idea is the only tenable one in the field!

Nevertheless it is unquestionably true, and every man must face it some day, that perchance the bulk of the convictions which he has aired with such confidence, not to say pride, wilt into utter flabbiness the moment they are subjected to any real test of rationality. This fact is revealed in the noticeably increased humility of every true Christian Scientist. He has grown more modest in his assertions, because he has acquired the habit of submitting opinions, his own as well as others', to the demands of logic, the habit of asking whether they can be clearly and consistently related to his highest concept of God. For him nothing is to be relied on or given value that does not express Truth, Life, and Love.

"Things new and old"
November 21, 1914

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