Why why?

If you don’t believe the same things I do, you will burn in hell for eternity. Or, you are a heartless racist. Or, you are incompetent.

Sound familiar?┬áThis is the argumentation method of most people. Here is a conclusion. If you don’t agree with me, I will attack, scare, demean, and/or disregard you.

It seems odd that so many arguments end up failing to change either side’s beliefs. Wouldn’t it be great if discussions actually led to shared conclusions?

Most people will only tell you what they believe versus why they believe. The result of this is most people not knowing why they believe what they believe.

Think of your worldview as a tree. Every conclusion radiates from the trunk (your thought process). From fundamental beliefs, we build more sophisticated and specific conclusions. We should be cautious believing anything which is based on a faulty or unknown process.

One simple tactic for self-discovery of your thought process is simply to ask, “why do I believe what I believe”. This is equally powerful when asked to somebody else. Arguments can move from specific conclusions to deeper, more important philosophical discussions extremely quickly this way.

If you find a question mark in either your thought process or somebody else’s, it is always correct to take a position of temporary agnosticism versus clinging to an unjustified conclusion.

This entry was posted in How to Think Critically and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Why why?

  1. Lauren Kozma says:

    There was a series published by Focus on the Family called The Truth Project. It was really interesting. If you have some free time I think you should take a look. http://www.thetruthproject.org/

  2. Pingback: The secret to finding truth, part 1 | one free mind

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