My challenge to you, is to give things some thought. That crazy conspiracy theory, give it some thought. Check it out. Who cares if people think you’re crazy, some of the world’s greatest innovators were considered crazy before they blew the world’s mind. Same goes for religion, politics, and food recipes. Research them, study them. Just don’t be surprised if you find your views changing.
I do a lot of thinking in my spare time. I’m one of those people who constantly thinks and rethinks everything. It doesn’t make me very good at quick decisions, but it does help me make important ones. I love a good philosophical argument just to get the old grey matter working. Because of my love of thinking, it shouldn’t surprise you that one of my pet peeves, is a lack of thinking things through or a flat out refusal to think about something at all.
Have you ever written a “Devil’s Advocate” paper? A paper attacking the school of thought you ascribe to? It is perhaps one of the best ways to understand your oppositions thoughts and ideas. No matter how wrong the other sides ideas seem to you, they still hold onto them for a reason. Would it not benefit you to understand this reason? If your beliefs are the better ones, than surely the other sides’ ideas will not hold up under scrutiny. Unfortunately, many people flat out refuse to see the other sides point of view, or they merely take a quick glance at it and then dismiss it. In Thomas Edison’s words, “Five percent of the people think, ten percent of the people think they think, and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” Seems about right. To put it another way, “ignorance is bliss.” The general public shows an interesting revulsion of critical thought. Most people just seem to be afraid of what they’ll learn.
So many people come forth claiming to “know” something or to have some piece of truth that you don’t have. I’m guilty of this, and so is just about everyone else. It is really easy to be persuaded by someone’s words into doing something. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be so many advertisements. The crazy thing about rhetoric, is that it does not discriminate. It can be used to help raise money for a charity organization, or to convince someone to bomb a building. It can include true fact and blatant lies that are so well masked by a person’s speech, that it becomes impossible to tell what is true and what is not. So how do you find out what is legitimate and what is empty words? Ask questions. Break down their words to find the gaps, the lies, the inconsistencies.
Lets use an advertisement as an example. You see an advertisement on TV and you’re considering buying the product but you’re not sure about it. So ask questions. Why was this advertisement made? How was it made? Did it use any special effects? How come? Is it trying to hide something? Is the effectiveness of the product being exaggerated? These are questions you can ask to break through the front that has been presented to you and to gain access to the inner workings.
Pop the hood on your sports car and see what the engine looks like. All the looks in the world aren’t going to do you any good if the engine doesn’t work.
When you ask questions about everything; again everything, you are less likely to get hurt in the long run, you can make informed decisions, and are less likely to get suckered. Asking questions is one of the greatest ways to learn. So ask a few, about things you take for granted and see what comes up.