Us Australians really think we know it all. I don’t that we’re too different to the rest of the world, I don’t deny that we are on the right track to knowledge. But we are certainly suckers for popularism.
Many people that I respect as critical thinkers are constantly putting their proverbial feet into their collective mouths by mindlessly insulting whatever -ism seems to be unpopular with their peers or society at large.
This mindless -ism bashing trend is certainly not new. It used to be cool to think that our flat world was the centre of the universe, that a monarch was omnipotent, or that free-thinking women were devil worshipers.
We’ve gone back and forth from polar opposites throughout our entire existence. Liberalism and conservatism, for example; some of our ways of thinking are incredibly similar, yet their members ignorantly criticise each other over their different defining nuances. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism, for example.
Yes, they aren’t all -ism’s there are many -ology’s and some -lam’s or -ity’s too… but I digress.
Statistically, it is near impossible that any one of them would be completely correct. Is individualism the right path, or collectivism?
However, the reverse is actually very true as well. There is a very good chance that many of them will have elements of truth. Both industrialism and environmentalism have merit.
So, what do all our favourite -ism’s have in common? They can’t all be completely right, but they can’t all be completely wrong.
Furthermore, what has history taught us? Ignorance may be bliss for a while, but virtually no single way of thinking has lasted the test of time. And still people continue being proponents without sufficient evidence.
Maybe we’re just still early into our evolutionary path? Maybe that path will end soon, maybe that path will extend out into the universe, maybe there is more to the natural world than we could ever conceive, maybe we can be united or maybe division and segregation is in our nature.
With our current knowledge of science, spirituality, humanity, politics, economics and the universe, there is really only one option, if we want save face and escape humiliation by ignorance or hypocrisy:
Be humble, open-minded, practice healthy skepticism, embrace constructive criticism, accept when we are wrong, and, most importantly, learn to bite our tongues until we have sufficient evidence to support our claims.