Advice From 2,000 Years Ago: Buddha On The Art of Critical Thinking

In Philosophy & Culture
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This is a brilliant quote from Siddhartha Gutama (AKA Buddha). This quote is supposed to have occurred around 2500 years ago.

This was Buddha’s response to a question by a tribal clan asking who could they trust among the countless wandering holy men passing through their land.

Buddha’s answer encourages free inquiry and warns against blind faith.

Check it out:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” – Gautama Buddha

This quote is also more relevant than ever.

Why?

Because we’re living an age where advertising and marketing gimmicks are everywhere.

If we learn to think for ourselves, it gives us more control over our lives and the direction our society goes.

When you accept everything you’re told without question, you open the door to being manipulated. If you want to avoid being someone else’s puppet, follow these steps.

5 Tips to Start Thinking For Yourself

1) Ask questions.

Ask everyone, not just the so-called experts. When you get an answer, try to think of exceptions, and then ask yourself why those exceptions exist. Never be satisfied until you arrive at an answer that has very few exceptions.

2) Look for selfish motives

People just want to be seen as authoritative and trusted, so they’re personally invested in whether or not you buy into the things they say. That’s why they take it personally if you don’t automatically buy in.

3) Stop being a people pleaser

People who don’t think for themselves are often scared of disagreeing with others, and scared of “rocking the boat”. A freethinker, on the other hand, bases their self worth on something other than what people think of them.

4) Challenge yourself

What do I want to do? Why should I do it? What would I get if I do it? What am I getting for not doing 5) Look into the statements made by others. You’ll be amazed at how many times you’ll find lots of evidence to contradict the statements of others.i