In doing so you can find that as understanding increases then the principles of the thing being studied become revealed.
@Graham: Not much to disagree with at this point, just a comment in the spirit of the discussion. One of the most important questions I think we can ask ourselves is "how do we know?" Received wisdom, either from great minds or from direct experience, should nevertheless be held as suspect until verified. How do we do this? How can we test our perceptions and feelings?
For the record, I also will make many statements as if they are self-evidently true. I think this is fine in informal discourse. But when the debate sharpens and we challenge each other for clarity and veracity, then I know I'll have to explain "how do I know" in terms that are as close to incontrovertible as is humanly possible. I don't always succeed, and it can be difficult to back down when I know I don't have the goods to back up an assertion.
@Chris: Definitely agree with the "love is as love does" idea. I know too many people who want to be excused because of their good intentions rather than accept responsibility for the effects of their actions.