Freedom of Thought (Part 2)

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I have received a lot of feedback about my last post, “Freedom of Thought”.  I would like to continue along those lines in this post.  In this post I really want to challenge you.  I challenge you to be honest.  Evaluate your beliefs. 

I.  Challenge

Put your beliefs to the test.  Challenge them.  Ask the tough questions.  Do not just ask, “What do I believe?”, but “Why do I believe it?”  Why should I believe what you believe?  Do you believe things because of fear, faith, or fact?  Do you do things a certain way because that’s the way it’s always been done?  Asking questions is a great way to cut to the core of an issue and find the truth.  I feel that if somebody says that something cannot be questioned, it is because there is something to hide.  Suppose a politician was accused of embezzling government funds.  Bank records indicate that the same amount of money that was stolen was deposited into his account.  The IP address used to make the transfer came back to the politician’s computer.  The media becomes aware of the facts in the case and decide to question him.  He says, “I am an elected official and should not be questioned because of my position.”  Would this be acceptable to you?  Wouldn’t your first assumption be that he was trying to hide something?  

II.  Consistency

Applying the same standard to your beliefs as you would to others beliefs.  You reject one religion’s claims because they are illogical, immoral, or indecent.  Will you apply the same thinking if your religion’s claims are pointed out to be the same?  Say you are a Republican and you point out a failed promise made by a Democrat.  Will you also point out when Republicans fail to keep promises?  Everybody likes to think they’re right and it can be difficult to admit when we’re wrong.  Consistency brings honesty and fairness to the discussion.  

III.  Change

This is the tough one.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  Are you willing to change your beliefs if they are found to be wrong?  This takes courage and commitment.  Don’t be afraid to change your beliefs because of what someone else may think about you.  True friends will accept you based on your character.  Something I really want you to ponder…Should I believe something just because others say I will be punished for not believing it?  This is just a fear tactic.  You should believe something because of the truth and validity of the claim based on sound reason and solid evidence.  

Conclusion:  I am not telling anybody to change their beliefs.  I am just posing a challenge.  You have to apply these principles and answer these questions for yourself.  If we are not willing to apply these rules to our own beliefs (whether religious, political or otherwise), then we are being intellectually dishonest.  Never be content with the amount of knowledge you possess.  Ever since I have freed my mind to think outside the box and the book, I have a hunger to learn.  A whole world has been opened to me!  Science, history, logic, and philosophy are my main interests at the moment.  We have more access to information than any time in history due to the internet.  It would be a shame to waste it.  I am trying to add my two little cents worth by writing this blog.  Please consider what I have written.