One of the biggest points I try to get across to my readers is this: QUESTION EVERYTHING. I may appear to you like a preacher of atheism, but at the root of all my arguments I try my best to answer (and ask) questions. And I’d like to think of myself as a preacher of critical thinking, not a preacher of evolution or atheism.
There will be people among you who claim to know the answers to some or many things. And I am one of these people. In fact, everyone claims they know at least something. Your science teacher, your PE coach, your mother, your pastor. But it is no crime to question teachers. No crime to question authority. (And if it is a crime to question authority then you know something isn’t right.) No crime to question your own mother. As long as you’re polite about it. There’s a saying in science, that goes something like this: “Extroadinary claims require extraodinary proof”.
Children ask a lot of questions. It’s part of their learning process. I read somewhere that the average child asks more than 200 questions a day. (Here I’ve made quite an extraodinary claim and therefore you should question it — ask me for my sources, do some research yourself, etc. — and to be honest I don’t have any sources.) Asking constructive questions is constructive. So do it sometimes.
Question me. Question everything you read on this blog. I am not trying to convert you into anything. Only priests do that. They think for you. What I want is for you to think for yourself. And when you see me using the words “I think” or “Perhaps” or “Maybe”, then immediately raise a flag in your head and think for yourself. If you don’t agree with me, question me. Leave a comment, I don’t bite (unless you’re a Ray Comfort). Ask for proof. It’s constructive for the both of us.
Question science. Question the validity of theories. Ask for evidence. Study the evidence from both sides. I’ve read articles by the pseudoscientific Discovery Institute. I still go on AnswersInGenesis. I’ve watched creationist lectures by Behe and Demsky and you name it. And I suspect anyone who takes creationism seriously has ever read a book on the evidence for evolution. I suspect anyone who takes creationism seriously has ever been to the Natural History Museum. Either that or he is simply very religious that nothing is going to convince him otherwise. Know your opponent. If you are not well-read, then take the neutral ground until you are. Don’t jump to conclusions just because the conclusions sound better to you. Don’t jump to conclusions just because lots of people you know believe it too. Otherwise the world would still be flat.
Question religion. What is religion? Where does it come from? How did Zeus come about? Was he purposely invented just because primitive people didn’t know what lightning was? How did Allah come about? How did Yahweh come about? Can the Qur’an be held as evidence for Allah’s existence? If not, then how so can the Bible be held as evidence for Yahweh? Where is the real evidence? Are personal revelations or miracles actually good enough? And if so, then are you simply going to ignore all of Hindu or Buddhist relevations and miracles? Have you studied enough about other religions to claim that your one is the right one? Why are you a Christian? Why are you a Muslim? Was it not just the accident of birth by which you find yourself a Seventh Day Adventist, or a Mormon, or a Muslim, or a Theravada Buddhist?
The moment you stop questioning is the moment you become most susceptible and vulnerable to all sorts of propaganda and lies. And in the rapture of great illusions and false hopes, only illogic can, and will, prevail.