Have you ever asked yourself why you believe what you believe?
You, me, we all have been carrying these beliefs all our lives. Maybe our family members, friends and other people or the experiences that we had influenced us and planted beliefs in us.
And we let them grow without wondering why.
But can’t we question them now at a point in our lives when we do have the ability to think on our own?
Let’s find out.
What are Beliefs?
Beliefs are basically something which you believe is true or right irrespective of the reality.
A quick example would be a belief that Earth is flat. Many were firm believers of this & some still are. Even though it’s been proven wrong, the belief is so strong for some people that they can’t accept anything against it.
Talking about types of beliefs, there are plenty of them like religious, spiritual, political, historical, etc. And we have them all.
But do we ever try to question them? Do we even consider the possibility that we can be totally wrong about something??
We hardly do that, let’s try to understand this in detail.
Why You Should Start Questioning Your Beliefs
Because they are beliefs not the final truth. One can believe strongly in truth as well as a lie.
So you never know that whatever you believe is really worth believing or not. There will always be new insights which you can gain once you question the existing beliefs.
You might feel like what’s the big deal if most of us aren’t questioning their beliefs, does it even matter?
Well, it surely does.
Let’s look at it from historical point of view. You’ll notice that how great leaders, be it from any part of the world has brought change by questioning only. It all started from questioning what was followed blindly by the masses which later turned into devlopment, justice, equality and freedom.
If no one had questioned, there wouldn’t have been any change at all.
Let’s see in detail what happens when they aren’t questioned at all.
When You Don’t Question Your Beliefs
1. You Limit Yourself
You Limit Yourself from the unknown & interesting things. Things like people, opinions, data, information even art & entertainment which doesn’t match with your beliefs.
You cut the access to everything that doesn’t match your deep rooted, biased views. And that is nothing but limiting yourself from hell a lot of things which are important and should be known.
You always choose to interact with people who have similar beliefs who will not challenge you in any way. And if someone does challenge your beliefs then you can’t bear it or try understanding the other point of view.
No matter whether what you believe is wrong and there’s solid proof about that, you’ll choose to stay blind for it as you won’t be able to accept that you are actually wrong.
So you limit yourself from growing intellectually, scientifically, biologically and sometimes physically as well.
A fun example of one of my beliefs. I used to think that superhero movies are stupid as actors would just act with green screen behind them and pretend fighting things which didn’t exist.
2 years later I got so obsessed with marvel movies that I eneded up watching infinity war alone at theater. Also next year went to watch endgame at 5 am.
You see, how my strong belief was limiting myself from watching these super interesting movies.
2. You Become Biased
You take sides & stick to them whether irrespective of the truth.
Yes, we all are biased to an extent. But problem is when some people are so much biased about the side they support or an idea or a person, that even when they are wrong, they defend it.
And I’ve seen people doing this a lot. Like they would call out people for doing something wrong and when the people/community they are supporting would do the same, they will get defensive.
No, these biased people will not accept the fact that something wrong, instead you’ll see them get defensive and justifying things.
That’s what happens when you are extremely biased and can’t accept that you can be wrong at times. In fact, most of the times.
3. You Stop Learning
How do we learn exactly? It’s basically process of un-learning as much as learning. So, it’s important that we keep un-learning things to learn.
Imagine a point in your life where you think you now know everything and there’s nothing to be learnt anymore. That you know everything about people, science, technology, religion, art and everything else. What would you do for the rest of your life?
It’s the same with beliefs, when we stop questioning them we stop learning. How often it happens that we realise that few years back or sometimes months back we believed in some thing and now we don’t.
Like the avengers example that I shared. I was so sure that this is the type of movie which I would not like at all. But then look at what happened after that, how obsessed I became.
Now, this obsession might also fade away as time will pass & I get to experience new experiences through different type of movies or art.
And I feel that’s how it should happen.
I believe that any type of belief, even the ones that no one dares to question should be questioned. We should ask ourselves that why we believe what we believe.
Even the sensitive ones like religious or political beliefs which haven’t questioned as such. Not to prove anyone wrong or less, just to explore new perspectives and knowledge.
Also, this is purely my opinion and you are allowed to not agree with it. I don’t mind. I’m no expert in topics that I write about. I just write.
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November 16, 2020 at 10:53 am
I love this, and I absolutely agree with you. I believe that questioning our beliefs is incredibly useful, so long as we already have a good understanding of how to do so productively, which I think many people still need to learn. Having been raised in a religion which always made me feel very skeptical of it, that I’ve since realized is basically a cult, religious beliefs (including any of my own) are something I have questioned since childhood, and more recently I’ve been going through questioning absolutely everything, even little supposed axioms that everyone seems to accept, like “power corrupts,” for example. I recently considered whether or not, instead of simply being a truth, this phrase might be a small sort of propaganda, used to deter those who would not be corrupted from getting anywhere near a position of power. I don’t have any answers about this yet, might never have one, but I think the process of considering such possibilities is most important for expanding our understanding of what truth really is, and in particular with my example question, it is useful to remind ourselves that the things we often assume to be causative are actually only correlations. Great post!
November 17, 2020 at 12:55 pm
And I love it when someone put such important and elaborative comments under my posts. Good to know that you chose to question those beliefs even of your own religion.
And that last line sums up everything.
Thank you so much for sharing this here, I’m glad ❤️❤️
November 16, 2020 at 1:05 pm
It is how it is, in that for years we are taught what to believe instead of being shown how to question and look into things that interest us. When we follow instructions we end up floating, all will then seem lost… https://lastflyingcow.com/2020/10/27/the-language-of-survival/
November 17, 2020 at 12:41 am
I don’t know where I learned how to question, but my tendency to do so was actively discouraged in school. I was punished by my teachers (in a private religious school in the USA) for having natural curiosity and a desire to learn. I still look back on these experiences with confusion and sadness that actually thinking was disdained so much. I wonder how many others were subjected to similar treatment and succumbed to it.
November 17, 2020 at 10:30 am
Beloved, if it wasn’t for Louisa Durrell, removing her bullied son Gerald from school, taking all the family to Corfu to join her eldest Lawrence, well they might never have thrived. Gerald’s love of animals was brought out there and he studied them like our wonderful Brigit Strawbridge Howard does bees (up close and personal). However, you are now where you are, you are free from the constraints put upon you as a child and maybe you need to learn how to shake off some mental constraints? Careful does it or wild abandonment, whichever it is, because it is your life.
November 16, 2020 at 3:59 pm
November 17, 2020 at 12:56 pm
Haha, yeah 5 AM🤣 It was the first show
November 16, 2020 at 4:18 pm
This “why” part makes me question.😅 Good job!!
November 17, 2020 at 12:58 pm
I’m glad to know I could make you question😁
Thank you ❤️
November 18, 2020 at 8:25 am
November 16, 2020 at 11:48 pm
I love this! You should question everything around you… I read a quote once that said… ‘Sometimes you should question the people who ask you to question” and that just blew away my mind.
November 17, 2020 at 12:57 pm
That means you need to question me as well😂
November 17, 2020 at 1:21 pm
“Why?” 😄 😁 😆
December 3, 2020 at 7:08 am
Lol… I think we’re on the same page for now! But you’re right about questioning!
November 17, 2020 at 3:25 pm
This is an interesting read 😊, I agree on most parts because I had changed beliefs politically, religiously, and probably everything that I once believed in when I was younger because I experienced things first hand and it changed my perception on things. And, yes beliefs changes from time to time but at some point you got to hold on to at least one belief, you can be open to ideas but who are we when we question our beliefs all the time? It’s like a foundation of who we are as a person. I think there are moments when you have to be open and be curious, and there are moments when you got to hold on to what you believe in, especially right now where it’s so easy to be influenced, to be persuaded, and sometimes to be bullied by influencers and people online.
November 18, 2020 at 9:46 am
I think the point of questioning is to be stronger against those who wish to influence by bullying and to know that you have a basis for confidence in your beliefs. My beliefs have been shifting massively, as I am just starting to emerge from a part of my life I’ve seen referred to as the Dark Night of the Soul, a time when I suddenly had everything I thought I was, and everything I thought I believe absolutely obliterated. As I rebuild, I can’t help but question, and these days find I am beginning to adopt beliefs I would have scoffed at 5 years ago, because I am now seeing truth in them which I never saw before.
November 18, 2020 at 9:50 am
Rene Descartes questioned everything, even his own existence, to try to prove the existence of God. This is where the famous quote “I think therefore I am” came from, as Descartes, questioning his own existence, decided that 5he ability to think was the proof he actually exists. While I certainly feel obe could argue over his methodology, Descartes used questioning everything as a way to solidify his beliefs.
November 17, 2020 at 8:26 pm
A very interesting post! Yes, I agree you should know why you believe what you believe. Otherwise belief gets lost in life and becomes meaningless. Questioning is a continual process that helps us understand what we really believe. Writing down what we believe helps clarify our thinking as well.
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