“If what I start to read, goes against my beliefs, then I just don’t read it.”
That comment was made recently on one of my discussion forums. I had to ask the member if that was really what they meant to say and they confirmed that yes, that is exactly what they meant.
I really can’t get my head around that, it’s mind boggling to me. It reeks of mental xenophobia. Instead of being a proud and swarthy banner cry of steadfast devotion as it was meant to be taken; I see it as a very frightened and desperate tactic to retain a world view at all costs.
Is our goal in our short lives to retain the full set of our beliefs along our entire path? To walk unshaken in all things. We have that choice to be sure. There’s just one small glitch in all this: it doesn’t make the beliefs any more true.
In my youth I developed a core of beliefs, as we all do. One of them was “to study the opposite of what you believe. In that process the kernels of belief you are still left with are the truth.” Or something like that. The idea is to jump in head first challenging your beliefs, so you can see what has been in error. One of my present core beliefs is that this is a good way to be; that it’s healthy and allows room to grow with new ideas and intellectual curiosity.
With the internet there is little excuse now to hold on to urban legends, heresay and skewed facts. We have most of what we need to find at our fingertips. I am constantly amazed how many times I do a quick research on the net to find a cherished and long held belief shown to be inaccurate, or flat out wrong. It’s a wonderful feeling when I realize these. I’m not sad that I was wrong, I’m quite happy (dare I say “joyous”) to have learned more.
And if you hadn’t guessed it: Yes, the comment was made on a religion discussion forum.
“Anything that disagrees with me I will not entertain in my mind.” Not a way I choose to live.