This quote is one of the reasons that I like Nietzsche. It goes back to the most important question of why. The quote is, “It is hard enough to remember my opinions without also remembering my reasons for them. “I talk about this a lot. The most important thing we can do is ask why.
Asking all other questions about who, when, and how are important as they give knowledge. However, asking why gives you understanding. The why question allows us to apply knowledge to new circumstances. This is a big part of why I like psychology. Why did a person, or why do people, do a certain thing the way they do it?
If you have an opinion, why do you believe that? Too many people have ideas and opinions that they are passionate about; however, they can’t tell you why. If they can tell you why they are often wrong about the basis of their premise, the “facts” they have are wrong. This is because the ideals have yet to be critically analyzed.
Just look at how many people think they don’t like capitalism. I was recently on a podcast, and they asked me why everyone seemed lost and confused. My answer was that we had lost institutions like churches. Now the idea of God and the teachings are not really what I was talking about. The communion with older men and women who could pass on knowledge is breaking down.
The mentorship of youth is going away.
Instead of having older people who can explain why things happen and why they should or shouldn’t happen, we have the internet telling people what to think and believe. The search for why is hard, but it is the most important thing. The way we figure out illness and then a treatment is to figure out why the body works and then why the body stopped working.
We determine if you can trust someone by asking why they are saying what they are saying. If you or someone else has an idea, belief, or opinion, they question why they should ALWAYS be asked. If you cannot answer it fully, everyone should realize that you must go back and reevaluate your ideals. An advanced and mature mind should welcome questions that might change their direction.
If you do not ask yourself why you think and do the things you do, you should. When I talk to people about this, they often find out that they hold ideals counter to what they want.
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Dr. Matt Chalmers
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