Plea to my Future Self:

Do Not Alienate a Questioning Mind

Throughout my journey in academia I have encountered variant professors. Certain scholars stand out from others – the Profs passionate about knowledge and curious for new solutions to old problems. I have been fortunate. The minds I have studied under are a vibrant tapestry of diverse thought; I know poetesses and writers, historians and seekers, deep-thinkers and intense pacifists. However, lurking in unsuspecting courses, one may encounter the false teacher:  one who is concerned more with their personal life than with their responsibilities of guiding eager minds, or…worse still… one who wears the shirt of religious toleration yet demonstrates vindictive sidespeak to the secular student.

I am a secular student. I look to science and empirical evidence in efforts to discover truth. I will not apologize for this as the scientific method is the most reasonable procedure available to integral consciousness. I have many questions, and I will not be held down by traditional convention. Not in life, not in philosophy, not in theory.

What I need to remember – for that glorious time when I am the Prof – is that minds have the right to question everything. Passion can be found in doubt. I will change, over time, as human nature is apt to do, but may I hold this always:  Beauty is found in doubt; therein lies our ability to search for truth.  I want to remember that not everyone thinks the same. Many people prefer following models set by tradition. I do not want to alienate the religious minds anymore than I would want them to alienate my #FreeThinkingMind. Human beings are diverse, we work with what we relate and understand.

Picture c/o:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/76/Secular_Student_Alliance_%28logo%29.jpg

~ Neither here nor there, but…when I searched “free image darwin and women” the first page is filled with woman’s shoes. {gnashing of teeth} We are so much more than footwear.

 

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Empirical Science – Question Everything

the scientists’ choice to utilize empirical evidence instead of traditional thought is historically significant. Philosophically, I see Rene Descartes assertion from 1637 intrinsic to empirical science; he said, “And perceiving that this Truth, I think; therefore, I am, was so firm and certain, that all the most extravagant supposition of the Scepticks [sic] was not able to shake it …”[1] On one hand his theory presents the dichotomy of humankind – the experience of mind and body – but it also constitutes a specific need for science to find out for themselves, via research and experimentation, instead of accepting what was “true” for the past.

{Peer} wrote: “One thing that really struck me about the battle between the Sociologist and the scientist was how Scientist was looked upon as less important during this time.”

I agree; science was not credited with much authority – but I think that could be because for hundreds of years society had believed scholasticism to be true. The Great Minds were honored almost on a deific platform until the Enlightenment thinkers decided to question them. This could be why the original position was afforded only to gentlemen – a means to make society see the scientist as valued and respected. I, too, am shocked by the history, and horrified that prior to doctors there were barber-surgeons. I spent twenty years in the beauty industry and am no way qualified to issue any medical procedure, lol. As historian – science itself is not truly that “old” in the modern sense. If we start the clock with modern science, that puts it at little over a couple of hundred years – and that further backs up the questionable authority of science. [Not for me, personally, I would take science over religion any day, but I’ve got a thing for evidence over belief.] Darwin is coming with biological mind-boggling discoveries, and sociology is left with picking up the pieces. Society has to swallow the biological truth: humanity is an organic creature; a lesson still considered today with conflicting sides.

Bibliography

Descartes, Rene. A Discourse of a Method for the Well Guiding of Reason and the Discovery of Truth in the Sciences. Online. iBooks. London: Thomas Newcombe, 1637.

Picture c/o:  http://cdn.quotationof.com/images/therefore-quotes-6.jpg

 

[1] Rene Descartes, Discourse, pp. 58-9.