I believe in actively viewing everything from multiple perspectives. Across cultures, individualistic or collectivistic, industrialized or developing, the overwhelming majority of people possess a tendency to rely excessively on their preexisting beliefs and expectations in behaviors such as decision-making and perception in day to day life.
I believe that religion has a place in lives that require a tangible reference (in the form of statuary text and traditional institutions) for morality and spiritual well-being. An aspect of human nature is the desire for something constant, and churches and temples that persist through history provide a form of this. Unfortunately, I believe that those truly necessitating such an institution lack internal moral development and self reliance. Furthermore, religion, because of the extent to which the masses rely on its “unquestionable” word, which happens to be in contradiction of other religions’ or sects’ “unquestionable” word, has perpetually divided and antagonized mankind. As a result, the in-group bias of cultures, ethnicity, and even sexual preferences, is stressed over the conceptual, personal benefits of religion. People are enslaved. People are murdered. Confined to their single elitist state of minds, religious followers are led by self-serving high officials through pursuits such as The Crusades, with political or economic agendas. The power of conformity and acceptance evidently assassinates the rebellion that is the objection of true ethics in these situations. Deny Nazi Germany and you would embody the most irreversible fixation in preconception and submission to the accepted standards of morality.
To use the word “ignorant” to describe this position of stubborn fixation would confine the characteristic to being a label, the use of which contradicts what I believe. The reality I experience on a daily basis, that is hallways of iPod-sporting self-absorbed products of suburbia, has instilled an increasingly factually-based narcissistic mindset in my group of wealthy maturing youths. I believe in operating more slowly than instant satisfaction and absolute productivity dictates, in taking the time to analyze situations from a less conventional perspective. As I’ve found, behaving and processing like that across academic and social situations ends you up in the god-forsaken out-group. Finding someone who would take the time out of their grand day to think twice about an absurdist statement by a passing acquaintance reminds me that others that think this way do exist.
But face value consumes the controlling majority. And we see what we want to, what we expect. I believe we need to slow down our thought processes that are lost in forests of our own beliefs and expectations, that are mainly devised by others to begin with, and consider another perspective on the issue at hand, developing a dynamic analysis of initial perceptions. This I believe.