Pledging allegiance to anything other than the human race is a bad idea. Here’s why: By accepting something preexisting as the truth and claiming it to fit one’s own thinking can only mean one thing – precluding oneself from developing one’s own thoughts.

We live in an age where categorisation is our primary occupation. Everything has to fit into a box with prefixed limits. I say we live in an age of categorization, but it is probably true that ordering everything around us into different categories is a preoccupation deeply rooted in our minds because since the beginning of time it has helped us to make sense of this world and to forget the mind-boggling questions that arise the very instant we are uncertain about our place in the universe. And therein lies the rub, because yes, living is easier when one feels a sense of purpose and thinks of oneself as having a certain place in this world but it seems to me a daunting prospect to want to perpetually stay in the same state of mind without the faintest chance of progress in sight.

We need to break free from the shackles we lay upon ourselves by wanting to be part of a certain group whether it may be a school of thought, a religion or a lifestyle. In case one should climb the Mount Olympus of philosophy, it is the task of historians to posthumously define one’s amassment of thoughts over the years as belonging to a certain school of thought, but belonging to any should never be the goal of any man who prides himself in his free thinking for in so doing he would preclude himself from deviating from a path he has predefined for himself.

Another crippling blockade of progress and reason is the wish of man to sound coherent. And yet again: what simpler way to sound coherent than to subscribe to an already existing idea and defend it against all reason? A man who cannot change his view after new information is available to him or an error of logic in his thinking has become apparent to him commits an act of betrayal to all reason for he becomes a promoter of the alas far too old tradition of obscurantism. Indeed, complacency is the main reason why people choose to ignore evidence in favour of a belief they already hold.

Many a man or woman may ask him- or herself: Why bother asking myself agonizing questions or hypothesizing when I can just bask in the knowledge (unfortunately people think that is the right term to use for their beliefs) that I am a certain way and that nothing beyond my basic human needs is of any importance to the outcome of my life?!

My answer to this is clear: Because the humility of not knowing everything but the willingness to try as hard as possible with all the information that is available to form solidly founded opinions which remain open to future amendments lends an extra layer of beauty to the perception of this world we have.

Let us therefore not enslave ourselves to conformity or complacency, let us break free from our desire to have an answer for everything without the evidence needed to support that answer! Let us accept not knowing while still striving to understand by the proper means, which are evidence and reason!

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