Question Everything

Sean - Santa Fe, New Mexico
Entered on April 11, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: question
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My sister believes what her textbook tells her. I believe in questioning everything. I was recently sitting in the living room with my sister and we were debating whether or not people can have different levels of conscience. My sister’s argument was that either you have a “full” conscience or you have no conscience at all, which would make you a sociopath. My argument was that no one has a full conscience, but we all have different levels of conscience, stronger and weaker consciences and the people who have no conscience are sociopaths.

My sister tried to tell me that I was wrong because in her ethics class they were talking about conscience and her textbook said that either we have a conscience or we don’t. I told her that she should question her textbook. Just because it is a schoolbook and deemed strictly factual and information-based, its claims and facts should still be challenged to the fullest extent. The main reason I feel this way is because the people who wrote the textbook should be questioned and the people who created the facts and concepts that they based their textbook on, I think should be doubted in every way as well. We are programmed at a young age to just take a fact for granted and accept that it’s a fact and always correct, the problem with this is that, facts are created by humans for all other humans, so to take them as indisputable fact can make one gullible.

I believe in questioning everything, also known as critical thinking, and that whenever we don’t, we hinder our own self-development and growth of wisdom. I feel that it is impossible to call yourself knowledgeable if you are not questioning the knowledge you hold. I think for any knowledge to be helpful or guiding for anybody it has to be constantly questioned by the storer of that knowledge.

When I question facts, assumptions and beliefs, I try to look for a source I feel I can trust. I feel this way because I think you are going to need some trust. When you doubt everything, it can be very difficult to find fully provable fact. I think it is important to go on whatever seems to have the most truth to you from the knowledge you already have (but are still continuing to question).

One question that I do have my own personal answer to is:

Should you question facts?

The answer I have got is:

Yes. You should.

I have questioned many things throughout my life. I feel my sister is set in her ways now and does not question everything in the way she should, and this may slow her exploration of knowledge. I still question almost everything, from whether or not God really exists, to whether or not my family really loves me. What conclusions have I come to? Most I haven’t found a real answer too, and expect not to for many years to come, but that constant skepticism and patience to learn is the beauty of questioning everything.