Chapter 6

* * * * * * * * * *

Sometimes you hear people criticizing a politician or public philosopher for being "inconsistent" or for changing his position on some issue or another.

Critics who do this are mentally inferior.

An intelligent, honest person will change his response if the stimulus changes. An intelligent, honest person will move to a more appropriate position if new circumstances prevail or new information arrives. An intelligent, honest person will even distinguish a situation in one context from a similar situation in another context, if the differences between the two contexts necessitate different responses.

The critic who is ruled by dogma cannot understand this. Critics whose belief systems control their perceptions don't analyze the situations that they encounter, they merely hold the situations up to their philosophical template. Either the specimen that they are examining conforms to their template for "proper behavior", or it doesn't. And, since such critics don't actually analyze, they are blind to the contexts, priorities, and environments that define appropriateness to the situation at that moment.

I am told that traditional Japanese are very respectful to their environments. They will act differently in the kitchen, living room, bedroom or wherever they are. I once knew an American guy who worked for a Japanese company. He was perplexed at how the Japanese people would change from situation to situation, or from place to place. To them it was harmony and respect. To him it was insincerity.