The Skeptics Among Us

There is something to be said of those who do not question everything. An unknown skeptic once said, “Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding” (brainyquote.com) The human race seemingly is clustering cultures together. Through a continuously expanding worldwide network, ideas, entertainment, philosophies, and values from various locations around the world can be shared to anyone who wishes to take notice. But for many in first world countries, learning does not appeal to as many as much as the value of entertainment. The United States public education, and much of the private education system is using a form of conditioning to suppress humans from learning about the real way of the world just like if we were a bunch of nobody’s, like something as if it was simply pest control. They have shielded children from philosophical ways of thought and have shoved children into a box of learning.

The world itself is a living mystery. Every step taken off the beaten path leads to a multitude of consequences. Exploring new ideas of the human enterprise provides an authentic experience for a person. We have inherited the current Earth from the generations before that have lived the same life as many else have. But I must ask, who are those that have made a profound difference on society? Is it those that have followed the established ideals of a society the one’s that can noticeably change a culture? Or is it those that question the current ideals in place that can pull the attention away from majority?

The ordinary person in the United States is set to mindlessly travel through an institutionalized system we refer to as elementary school. During these impressionable years of our lives, ideals are ingrained into our minds and we learn the focused philosophies that are a part of the curriculum that have been decided by a particular group of people. This group that decides what will be a part of the curriculum contributes to much of the way of thinking of a young person.

Many schools do not delve into the topics of political science nor philosophy. There could be a reason the United State’s Board of Education does this. Is it perhaps that they do not want the current schoolchildren questioning the beliefs set in place? If much of the children today in schools were critically thinking, they may rock the boat on the standards of society. Explicitly speaking, many of the richest in society would like a submissive population who work for a corporation, pay their taxes, go to Church, watching TV, and buying tasty fast food. There is no benefit to the rich for a critically thinking population arguing morals and questioning the established system we live in. The education system in the United States is designed to train the students for a job, essentially supplying labor to increase the wealth of the established peoples of the world. “It is time to get back to basics and to higher education programs directly related to job opportunities.” (2012 Republican Party Platform)

“You are not naked when you take off your clothes, you still wear your religious assumptions, your prejudices, your fears, your illusions, your delusions” (Terence McKenna). People go through life picking up certain ideologies that they believe make up their “self.”  Who a person appears to be is structured of their beliefs. The institutions we surround ourselves with are meant to be a temporary journey that take us from one part of our life to the next, and we can pick up the pieces of ourselves along the way. Religion, our Education, physical training, is all an avenue to bring us to our next destination in life. There is a purpose behind each of these aspects that a person can learn from, and take virtues with them.terence mckenna

Growing up in a middle class Christian household, I succumbed to many of the popular beliefs that my peers held. During my attendance at private religious schools for 12 years of my life, many of my fellow friends were being raised in the same situation I was. We were all relatable to each other. Being in the same circumstance as one another, we were comfortable. There were rules that we had to follow at the school, and the enforcers of the rules (the teachers and assistants) took pride in being able to have a strong impression on the minds of the impressionable. Questioning these beliefs led to the condemnation by those in power against those who were skeptical of the Church. And just like many others, I was conditioned to listen to what I was told by authority, and to integrate this into my “self.”

As I matured, and become more conscious of those who did not grow up in the same situation as me, I began to discover alternative beliefs. I also began to learn of opposing beliefs. This is when my world was rocked. In about the 8th grade I started to learn of opposing religions to Christianity, such as Judaism, and Islam. I learned about all of the similarities between the two, and I wondered, what was the differing factor between these different religious entities that they cannot agree about? “I’m not a follower of this or that religious leader. More wars are started because of religious leaders, and people are following and they don’t know why… That is religiosity. That is what turns people into robots” (Ashton Kutcher) I started to think along these lines when I analyzed the history of crisis’ in the Dark Ages, and in our current world. What is it that makes a person so wrong about their religion that it inspires hate in another?

I began analyzing my own situation. How was I just now being introduced to these religions without having no idea previously what they were about? I realized that most people surrounding me were usually raised on Christianity, and having not been introduced to other religions, they followed Christianity by default. It wasn’t a choice for most of them, it was their lifestyle, as it was for me.

The education system and the institutions of governments need to learn to re empower the people. The mass of people feel they must obey, serve, and be enslaved to the system or else madness will break. “It’s clearly a crisis of two things: of consciousness and conditioning. We have the technological power, the engineering skills to save our planet, to cure disease, to feed the hungry, to end war; But we lack the intellectual vision, the ability to change our minds. We must decondition ourselves from 10,000 years of bad behavior. And, it’s not easy.” (Terence McKenna) The system in place today has conditioned people against using their conscious, but the opposite needs to take place for us to progress. Those who went against the norm made a profound effect on society (Martin Luther King Jr., Socrates, Ferdinand Magellen, Thomas Jefferson). The first step for a change to happen is people must question their surroundings and what is taking place before them. “Education has failed in a very serious way to convey the most important lesson science can teach: skepticism.” (David Suzuki) People, including my peers and members of the religious society I was a part of, are not questioning the beliefs instilled. A skeptical person can critically think and by doing so, they learn more about what their beliefs truly hold.

Modern Science and understanding the mistakes of our history on this planet are what progresses a society. The education system has caused many people to not understand how to critically think for themselves. The government pushes beliefs on its citizens. People are becoming more and more transparent because they have no original thoughts. Unless a change in these institutions occurs, the human race will stagnate, and could regress.

References

“2012 Republican Party Platform Adopted by Republican National Convention.” 2012 Republican Party Platform Adopted by Republican National Convention. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.

Mckenna, Terence. “Terence Mckenna – Culture Is Not Your Friend.” N.p., n.d. Web.

Suzuki, David

Kutcher, Ashton

(I don’t like giving credit to a website for supplying me with a quote from a person, all they did was copy the quote like I did)

2 Comments

  1. Bernie Eckel says:

    The school system literally funnels people into the slave mentality of working for the few and being enslaved. Critical thinking is never really a topic focused on or discussed in school and there’s a pretty big reason. The establishment doesn’t want you any smarter than you actually are or that threatens there ideals and plans of world domination in the future. The US should be at the top of the list for writing, math, and science but falls well short of countries in Europe. Europe’s education system destroys the US by a landslide. Maybe we ought to look at how Europe does stuff in the classroom?

  2. Bernie Eckel says:

    Ancient Greece had many philosophers ranting about many of the same problems our country faces. A lot of these skeptics were challenging the status quo of society and not accepting the conclusions the system was giving back. To question something is the first step to change but the philosophers were unsuccessful at implementing a strategy that would help the world prosper, much like the US education system. The answer is as simple as juicing more money into the educational system but where’s that money going to come from?

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