Dare to be Curious

Dare to Be Curious – Think for Yourself

This is the transcript for my the latest episode of Sapient Saturdays. It’s my new channel trailer. Enjoy!

Thomas Westbrook:
I am an atheist. And that’s OK.

The notion that ancient, primitive people in isolated, emerging proto-civilizations somehow discovered everything important about life, purpose, and morality is insane! I would no more rely solely on the moral and philosophical advice of ancient gurus, prophets, or philosophers than I would seek their age-old texts for information on general relativity or quantum mechanics.

Plato wasn’t aware of the germ theory of disease and Newton was clueless about string theory. I say this not to downplay either of their observations and discoveries, but to emphasize the absurdity of the notion that those who lived before us had everything figured out – that sacred texts are infallible solely because they’re ancient.

If anything, human civilization is older now. We are the ancients, not those pondering existence in the infancy of civilization. They don’t become wiser, just because they’ve been dead longer.

Now far be it from me to denigrate their brilliant, history-worthy contributions or downplay the leaps and bounds society made thanks to them. We see further because we stand on the shoulders of giants. But we still see further, gazing over the walls and hurdles that obstructed the vision of ancient societies.

The advances made by brilliant minds of the past were achieved because they questioned the status quo. Don’t we owe it to them to do the same? They pushed against societally adopted norms and notions, putting forth new theories to be tested. And sometimes that even got them killed.

Some of their ideas have stood the test of time and others haven’t, but it was curiosity and questions that advanced civilization, as open minds dared to ignore dogma long enough to ask, “Why?” – even in the face of great opposition and persecution. They dared to face the stigma because they believed the quest for truth superseded maintaining the status quo. And so should we.

Now whether through extreme luck, or divine intervention, ancient texts may have nailed everything on the first try. It’s highly unlikely, but they may have gotten everything perfect the first go-around. But don’t we owe it to ourselves to find out for sure? To ask without bias or presupposition, “If this is true, how can we know?” And if and when it’s proven false, shouldn’t we have the courage to accept that?

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I know it’s a terrifying question that brings with it the ire of those who put tradition before truth. Who wrong-headedly value faith above fact. Who condemn with hatred and judgement those who are different. And unfortunately, as king these questions can have serious repercussions, and it’s sadly not without personal sacrifice. For religion has the almost unique characteristic of severing families and inciting hatred towards loved ones. But a message of love will always overcome a doctrine of fear. The world is waking up. The non-religious, unbelievers, skeptics, and atheists are the fastest growing group of people in the world. Isolated as it may feel, we are not alone.

Knowing that society progresses through inquisitive curiosity, aren’t all these difficult questions worth asking? I don’t claim to have all the answers. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life. I’m only here to put a pebble in your shoe. Dare to be curious! It’s ok to think differently and to not drink the koolaid.

“I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”Richard Feynam

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WOAH! The above books cover are hand picked readables by myself (Thomas Westbrook). These are also affiliate links, which means it costs you nothing to click on them, but if you do, I get a small commission from Amazon every time you buy something on their site, within 24 hours of clicking one of these links! Pretty sweet! Also, to anyone interested in what I’m currently reading, I have a Goodreads account.

More Atheist Resources

Dare to be Curious - Think for Yourself
Dare to be Curious - Think for Yourself

The notion that ancient civilizations had everything figured out and are somehow wiser because they’ve been dead longer is insane. If anything, we society is older now. We are the ancients, not those pondering existence in the infancy of civilization. We see further because we stand on the shoulders of giants, but we still see further. But progress is only made when we dare to be curious, to think for ourselves, and to question the status quo. Don’t be afraid to ask and explore difficult questions. The repercussions can be harsh, but you are not alone.

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