It Is Ok To Doubt What You Have Been Taught To Believe

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It is ok to doubt
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“It is ok to doubt what you have been taught to believe.”

French philosopher Rene Descartes is best known for his “Meditations on First Philosophy”, in which he introduced the method of doubt termed as the “Cartesian doubt”. Its basic strategy is to doubt the truth of almost everything including one’s senses. His mantra was “never to accept anything as true that I did not know to be evidently so.”

Voltaire noted, “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” Like Voltaire, Descartes noticed the absurdity of the scientific and philosophical beliefs in his time. He argued that doubt is the beginning of wisdom and the first philosophy. Descartes’ goal was to weed out uncertainty by doubting even what many believe to be facts. For this reason, he refused to accept previous philosophies and theories.

In the realm of science, doubt is a crucial factor for discovery. Recently, Stephen Hawking casted his doubt in the existence of black holes—or more likely the existence of firewalls which are said to destroy anything it touches. However, other scientists also doubt his claim since it’s just based on assumptions, like any other claims.

Charles Darwin himself expressed his doubts on the Theory of Evolution to his colleagues. He called his own theory “grievously hypothetical”. Dr. Denton, author of “Evolution: A Theory of Crises”, wrote that Darwin admitted privately to his friends his doubts over the evolution’s capacity to generate intricate adaptations or “organs of extreme perfection”.

To quote H.L. Mencken: “Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.”




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