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Beliefs should be like fluid entities within the mind, some malleable and doubtful, others more viscous and certain. But feeling certain should never be confused with being incontestable. Once a belief is allowed to solidify, it becomes like a shackle on the mind, inhibiting exploration, learning and growth. A fluid mind should never allow a belief to be so hardened that it is beyond rational scrutiny. A fluid mind always invites rational examination upon even its most cherished convictions.

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“It appears then that a dogmatic system which is accepted on rational or other grounds, and supported by prospects of rewards and punishments, may teach a code of ethics differing from that of conscience; and that in this case the voice of conscience may be either disregarded or stifled. It is however also true, that it may be perverted. When, for example, theologians during a long period have inculcated habits of credulity, rather than habits of enquiry; when they have persuaded men that it is better to cherish prejudice than to analyse it; better to stifle every doubt of what they have been taught than honestly to investigate its value, they will at last succeed in forming habits of mind that will instinctively and habitually recoil from all impartiality and intellectual honesty.”

—William Edward Hartpole Lecky