Another Brick?

Bricks_by_BlueSunset2006A worldview is not some kind of coherent whole, it is not something that can be easily summed up by 1 “ism” word. Each of us has assembled their view over the years piece by piece. A little from our friends, some from our teachers, a chunk from the media we’ve absorbed, a lot from our parents with a dash of our own independent thought.

If I was to describe my worldview it would differ at many points to the views of other skeptics, just as it would differ from the view of many Christians or conspiracy theorists or drug addicts. There would also likely be many points of agreement in all of those cases.

When I was a Christian I wrote a few posts on the idea, to quote myself:

Now of course a worldview isn’t just one idea or concept, it is like bricks in a wall — a whole group of ideas connected together to form a cohesive whole. Some bricks aren’t that important to the other bricks, so if they are changed, it doesn’t make much of a difference. So if you change your mind about what is the quickest way from North Ryde to Epping, it doesn’t really affect your whole worldview. Some ideas though, are like the bricks at the foundation of the wall, if you change them, the whole wall crumbles, and you have to rebuild it.

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So if our worldview is like a wall, and if we don’t have a view on something, it is like a hole in the wall. Similarly, if our view on something is wrong, it won’t fit with the rest of the wall.

Many of us have gaps in our wall, or areas within that wall where we have yet to shine the light of critical thinking. Those places are weak points, places where we can be destroyed, discredited or otherwise damaged when our opponents and the tribulations of life are pushing against us. Sure there are obvious areas where skeptics are less likely to apply critical thought, like religion and politics, and the idea of examining such areas are being promoted by some of the big names like Michael Shermer.

What I find more interesting is the other areas, the stuff we just take as a matter of opinion like: sport, hobbies, music, books and the stuff that we all seem to accept unthinkingly like: love, hate, jealously, and our other “core” emotions and desires.

If we are true skeptics we shouldn’t be afraid of using our reason to examining ALL areas of our personal worldview. Especially the areas we don’t usually examine.

Pic from here