Forty-Eight

48

Is healthy skepticism a good thing? Meaning: Are there practical benefits derived from critically thinking about life stuff? By critical, I don’t mean negative. I mean thorough, questioning, and evidence-based inquiry. In the past I questioned if this was a good thing. In the past, I’d drank some of the kool-aid that suggested that too much questioning challenged one’s “faith.” I know today the mere suggestion of this kind of cockamamie credo is counter to all that’s good and honorable. Many still buy into this flawed philosophy to psychologically attempt to bring order, control, and certainty into an often uncertain world. One’s will or “god’s” will typically become key cornerstones of this concept.

Skeptic (n)a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual (dictionary.com) – Skepticism is a noble pursuit that simply requires reason, and a rational evidence-based reality to enter into the conversation.

It’s not a lack of belief as much as it’s a desire to believe in the believable >> once verified.

It’s an innate resistence to fable, in favor of fact. But alas, it gets a bad rap oftentimes. It’s not as shiny and sexy as the mass collective that assembles on weekends in nice buildings reciting words to moving songs written in major keys.

The skeptic is the outcast; the outlier; the often misunderstood outsider. But, we’re necessary for order, and to attempt to keep things honest, honorable, and intentional despite the onslaught of naysayers. Care enough to care less about the stigma. Now that’s something to believe in…

Stay tuned-in…


 

Eighteen

18

I like the concept of the term “contrarian.” Always have… It basically means to be opposed to that of the majority. If in fact it proves worthy that the majority should be opposed as is so often the case.

Contrarians are critical thinkers. Through life experience, they’ve learned to be suspicious of the majority, because the majority is often suspect. Whatever in life is favored by “most” should be subjected to deeper scrutiny. Any and all “inerrant or universal truths” touted should be put to the test. To be contrarian is to insist on validation for any particular belief system, ideology, or approach. This isn’t negative; it’s positive because only better outcomes come from this type of healthy skepticism and proactive critical thinking.

To question; to care enough to challenge; to be willing to be educated, to be willing to be wrong; to insist on evidence of claimed knowledge… this is noble, this is good.

Stay tuned-in…


 

Willis Power?

I see and hear so many posts and announcements proclaiming people’s big and small life decisions made because it’s “obedience to god’s will for my life.” Really?

“Whatchu talkin ’bout Willis?”

This is yet another episode airing on the Delusion Network

Is it “obedience” to god’s will for your life or rationalization and justification to feel better about your sometimes irresponsible decisions to do what you really, really want to do?

In psychological terms, this is called confirmation bias. This is “the tendency for people to favor their perconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true” or not.

“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” ~ Susan B. Anthony

Look, I get it. You wish to be in a better place, have a better job… a better life. You want to feel better about… well, everything. You may want to chuck your day job in favor of pursuing your passions and your dreams. I’m with you. That’s awesome! I say do it… I did.

This type of mentality is rare, and only a few actually follow through and do it.

My issue is calling any decisions that you make “god’s will for your life.” It’s your will, your decision-making process, your intentions, your plans, your desires, and your dreams. You’re dressing it up with god’s stamp of approval because to many, this somehow makes it more believable; more authentic. Anything that “god” approves carries more weight right? Labeling it “obedience to god” is a technique people use to rationalize and justify doing what they really want to do, whether good ideas or not, to make themselves feel better about taking the risks. If there’s some “higher purpose” involved, well then, it HAS to be a good idea and therefore “god’s will.”

What’s truly impressive however, is all of the false humility and covert self-congratulations that’s cleverly disguised as divine decision-making. Don’t try to sell this life-whispering fairy tale to those of us rooted in rational reality, reason, and science. It’ll never fly.

Make no mistake, I believe that there’s power in will. The question is: whose will is it?

But here’s the kicker… it doesn’t really matter where one chooses to place this power. Because the real power ultimately exists within one’s decisions to take action on their plans. The power is not in the source of the perceived power, but in the action taken afterwards and ongoing.

So whether it’s god’s will or Willis’ will, call it what you want, I’m just calling it as I see it. You may “see” it differently, and that’s OK. Just back-up how you “see things” with critical thinking and science, and be open to healthy debate. It might just be “god’s will” at work…

Stay tuned-in…