All extremists, whether in politics or theology, are fond of propounding either false or artificial dilemmas. Either you are a X-ist or a Y-ist, they assert. That you need limit yourself to neither of these things alone does not enter their brains, any more than that you may often treat the competitives and alternatives of those false dilemmas as complementaries. It is not only wrong to take up such an extremist attitude, it is also dangerous to the quest of truth. Manifestly, both attitudes cannot be right at the same time. If we want the truth we must accept neither and search with less fanaticism for it. And we shall then discover that it is not so black or not so white as the extremists and partisans would have us believe. The choice before us is never really limited to two extremes. Philosophy refuses to confine itself so rigidly to them and points out that there is always a third alternative. But unphilosophic minds are too partisan to perceive this. They operate mechanically on the dialectic pattern. It is as natural for the ordinary enquirer to be a partisan, to suppress what is good and proclaim what is bad in an opponent's case, as it is natural for the philosophic student to bring both forward because he is genuinely a truth-seeker. Consequently, most public discussions of any case present a picture of it which varies entirely with the mentality and outlook of the discusser. Even if the philosopher finds it necessary to take one side in any controversy, this never prevents his perceiving, admitting, and accepting what is true in the opposite side. With this understanding of the relativity of all human knowledge and experience, he will understand that a multiplicity of possible standpoints is inevitable. Consequently, he will become more tolerant and less inclined to accept the hard, dogmatic "either this ultimate or that one" attitude. Nevertheless, if philosophy affirms that different views of the same subject may each be right from their respective standpoints, it does not affirm that they are equally right. It recognizes ascending levels of standpoint and consequently the progressive character of the resultant views.
-- Notebooks Category 6: Emotions and Ethics > Chapter 6: Avoid Fanaticism > # 4