The natural human mind is not reasonable. In fact, very few individuals possess the willingness to change their minds once set. They are unable to temporarily suspend their own beliefs long enough to hear the views of others. They believe that they are right and everyone else is wrong. They believe that their bible is correct and everything else is false. They are often trapped in a “holier than though” state of mind, due to group (often blind) conformity. It is very important to be reasonable in order to think critically.
The critical thinker has the power to change their mind when needed. This change can occur because of scientific evidence, analysis, or questioning what they think they know. In general, our minds typically decide what to accept and what to reject based upon what it already believes or has assumed. For example, what we our taught as children, with relation to right/wrong and good/bad tends to stick with most of us. The uncritical thinker will not question the reasonability behind those views or lessons, but simply leave them in place and accept them as the only possible truth or way.
By becoming more reasonable, you open your mind to new possibilities. You can accept the fact that you might be wrong and that someone else may be right. You know that you have nothing to lose by admitting that you are wrong. Instead, you have nothing but intellectual development to gain.
Without the ability to be reasonable, we are afraid to question things (such as religion, science, or culture), we are afraid of imperfections, and we hide our mistakes. Every one of us has, at one point or another, been unreasonable. The trick is to watch out for it, become aware of it, and try to stop the tendency.
Most Christians or other religious followers tend to be very unreasonable. They despise hearing opposing views. They hate being questioned or having their god questioned. They are close-minded. For them, there is only “one way” and that is the way of their biblical interpretations or as defined by their preacher or other.
Being reasonable, however, does not mean you should be a pushover. You have a right to defend yourself when challenge (whether intellectually or other). There is nothing wrong with standing your ground, but picking fights to prove your intellectual superiority should not be the primary goal—otherwise, you simply become as they are.
Consider the power that you can have by “hearing someone out”—remember that knowledge is power. Use that power when needed.