Ask Why

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Ask Why

By: Candice Bell

Blogs at NonProphetess

What sparks your curiosity? What drives your passion? Whatever that thing is, dive into it fully and completely. Be it the creativity of pastry-making, the intricacies of auto-mechanics, or the selflessness of human rights activism do it. Throw yourself into it. There is no reason to ever stop learning or growing and progress is essential to humanity. Children are not the only ones who can experience wonder and awe but enthusiasm for life is lost on the majority. Adults don’t get enough excitement and it is hindering society because it teaches us to be satisfied with the status quo.

We need more people who are discontent with ignorance, people who aren’t satisfied with one word answers and minimum information. “Because it has always been that way,” should not be acceptable. Don’t sell yourself and future generations short by cleaving to the antiquated and misinformed. Find things out. We live in an age of technology that allows instant access to a plethora of information. Use it. Let’s not be deluded enough to think we know all the answers because we don’t. We form opinions on limited data and push those scraps of conjecture onto other people without ever having thoroughly researched the topic.

Searching for confirmation bias in an echo chamber is not thorough research. That’s not how you educate yourself. You cannot fully understand a position unless you understand the opposition. There is no reason to believe something without knowing why you believe it and being able to support that belief with logic and facts. It is not enough to question others’ firmly-held beliefs, we must question our own first. Political ideologies should be scrutinized. Perspectives on healthcare and medicine should be critically examined. Do you believe that homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to get married like heterosexual couples? Why? What do you know about the psychology of sexuality? What do you know about the biology of sexuality? How do you morally justify the denial of equality? Do you think Creationism is bunk science and shouldn’t be taught in schools? Why? What do you know about the alleged geological evidence for Creationism? What do you know about the philosophical arguments? It is not enough to pick a side and gather information to support it. We must look at all information and make a rational conclusion.

Too often have I seen an atheist mock religion while at the same time promoting other baseless beliefs such as conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and superstition. Education and skepticism should go hand-in-hand because that is how we learn, and that process of critical-thinking needs to be applied across the board toward all claims. If you are an atheist but you believe in astrology or Reiki or chemtrails, I implore you to ask yourself why. That is not to say we shouldn’t eventually accept and promote a claim but that we shouldn’t come to a definitive conclusion without making a cognitive effort to research and learn beforehand. Deconstruct each belief and carefully examine it. Look at all sides and all data with an open-mind and desire for thorough understanding. Accept and absorb new information, especially when it conflicts with preconceived ideas. Most importantly, encourage others. Social media is an excellent tool for educating ourselves and others and there is no reason to not take advantage of it. Ask other people questions and ask yourself questions too. Never stop learning.

Find Candice here on Twitter

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