PERENNIAL QUESTIONS
Why are you so determined to undermine people's cherished beliefs?
     

I'm concerned with only the consequences, to the people of the world, of holding and acting on beliefs that people claim they know to be true even though those claims are unable to be verified.
      Most of our prejudices and social, ethnic, racial, military, and political ills of the world come from holding such beliefs.
      We grow into adulthood believing what we have been told to believe.
      Our "educational institutions" school and train us through rote learning with very little benefit of education in the true sense of the word.
      We conform to and accept the teachings of our elders, teachers, and clergymen with only superficial questioning if any.
      Even while we are young and rebel against authority, we blindly accept the claims of some other authority: our peers, the leaders we admire, advertising, text books, our family's political party, the teachers we like, the "in thing," our church's teachings, and the like.
      Rarely have we been taught to recognize and then to examine the underlying assumptions of the claims foisted upon us all our lives.
      Our methods of schooling stultify the inherent curiosity with which we were born.
      By the time we leave school and go out into the world, we are so burdened or conditioned by a lifetime of an acquired complex of false beliefs that the imprint of ignorance is indelibly stamped on our brains and prevents us from being able to understand which of our beliefs are false.
      We have been schooled to become too ignorant to know what our areas of ignorance are.
      Consequently, the "good life" is predicated on everything but the inclusion of the ability to think clearly, critically, and analytically.
      The further consequence, however, is that we become the victims of those who have become expert in manipulating language to their advantage and to our detriment.
      If we fill our minds all our lives with false beliefs, then false claims are all we will ever be able to utter.
      The false beliefs that we are CONVINCED we know to be true are the greatest barriers not only to being able to distinguish between truth and falsity but especially to LEARN how to do it.
      It is not our ignorance of what there is still to be learned that we should be concerned about.
      It is our history of false beliefs, our sense of comfort with them, our tenacious convictions that they are true, and our inability to escape those convictions that prevent us from learning to think clearly, critically, and analytically.

 

 

1997 by Pasqual S. Schievella