Saturday, May 16, 2009

Take an outsider test and find a new idea

What do you believe? What beliefs do you reject? Are you willing to address your certainties with skepticism as a means of testing your certainty?

Are you willing to get back to your childhood and approach the big wide world with one question, "why?"

John Loftus challenges true believers to take an Outsider's Test of Faith at his website "Debunking Christianity". He says
"The outsider test . . . challenges believers to examine the social and cultural conditions of how they came to adopt their particular religious faith in the first place. That is, believers must ask themselves who or what influenced them and what the actual reasons were for adopting their faith in its earliest stages. "

I'm finding this test fruitful.

It seems taking an Outsider Test can keep one from inadvertently co-signing someone else's BS.

Loftus' challenge is targeted to true believing evangelical Christians but, I think the practice could be applicable to any impassioned ideology. It's a great way to twist your noggin and invite humility. The Outsider Test demands one to examine their control beliefs and humbly admit (as Loftus suggests) the truth Voltaire stated, "Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their time.”

I work in the idea industry so, something that helps me recognize my lack of novelty can be a useful creative filter.

What ideology do you hold dear? What would happen if you asked yourself why these things are important and/or superior?

You might not have the comfort of your control beliefs but you might just find a new idea.