There are a few beliefs that people have picked up along the way which immediately shut down any conversation.
Turning rational inquiry into silence.
They are often used by teachers to shut up annoying students who are asking questions and using their minds.
One student says “i think what that other student said was wrong”, and instead of actually engaging in dialogue, or finding what is the truth, of having a debate the teacher will often say one of;
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, who’s to say what’s right or wrong.”
“What is true is relative to our perspective, we all see from different perspectives, so everyone has their own truth”.
“The human mind is flawed and there are no patterns or laws, and even if there was they cannot be understood with your mind.”
“You are speaking because you are arrogant, talking with your “ego”, a lowly student, an ass hat, so you are to be ignored.”
“Sit down and shut up because i have a hangover and i cant be bothered dealing with you stupid kids with all your annoying questions!”
Politicians use these arguments too in order to shut down any rational conversation and pursuit of truth.
Religious officials use the same ones.
And i think its very likely that the shitty state the world is currently is because of these false beliefs.
The irony of them is no one actually believes these things, they only use them to avoid questions.
People say “each opinion is equally valid” but when there is an emergency they all act as though some opinions are right, and others are nonsense.
Like if they broke their leg, they would go to the doctor. Trusting that their opinion about medicine is more true than other people’s.
People say that “truth is relative, so if something seems true to someone its “their truth” and is no more or less true than the perspective of anyone else”.
But if, during a flight, a drunk person stood up and said he thought he was just as good as flying planes without any training or experience as the pilot, no one would let him land the plane.
People say things like “enlightenment/god/the universe/the mind/love cannot be understood”.
But in doing so they are making statements about the nature of these things, that its un-understandable, and expressing it in words; thus meaning that they think they have some sort of understanding about these things!
Understanding enough t be able to talk about the nature of these things!
So people use these claims to avoid questions, not because they actually believe them.
Perhaps the most interesting question is; who convinced people of these beliefs?
For they are very common beliefs, and are the cornerstones of political, religions, and economic systems.
So they are extremely important and influential!
Obviously it’s not reason as they are self-contradictory.
It’s not evidence because we can easily see from such examples as the doctor and the pilot that they don’t actually apply to the real world.
So if it’s not reason or evidence, what else could have convinced you that the most important things such as the universe, the human mind, and enlightenment cannot be understood?
The only other think i can think of is a person who looked very convincing and people believed him because of his image or charisma.
Often parents have the image of being wise, loving, beautiful, strong, caring, knowing or “good”, and they pass on such beliefs. But we get it from teachers, politicians, actors, priests, and other people who pass on such things due to their image of knowing.
Perhaps if we are to save humanity we must address these beliefs that cause use to shut down conversation and rationality, ignore and atrophy our minds, and which leave all the people who have power over others to be impervious to criticism.
Addressing these key beliefs may be the first steps to reclaiming our minds, and restoring sanity and health to the human race. And to do this we may need to uncover from our past those people in our lives who LOOKED good and convincing so we can see why they were able to convince us of these false, harmful beliefs.
The process an individual goes through to uncover those people, remove those false and limiting beliefs, free themselves from the repetitive cycles of pain and failures that result from those beliefs, and reclaim one’s ability to see clearly and simply as well as engage in reason effectively; is called Philosophical Midwifery.