received wisdom

Reading through The Socratic Way of Questioning this morning has got me thinking about received wisdom—those beliefs and ideas we all seem to take for granted.

You know, the stuff passed down from your parents or other authority figures in your youth that you accepted without much questioning. Think of your received wisdom as the factory settings of your thinking. It’s good enough to get you started, but now it’s time to customise it and update your software to the latest truths based on current evidence. What was true five years ago, or even yesterday, isn’t necessarily true today.

It feels to me that questioning your received wisdom is almost an obligation, especially if you don’t want to just be a herd animal following along with what everyone else believes, even those closest to you.

Don’t think of questioning received wisdom as an act of rebellion. Instead, see it as taking an active role in shaping your own understanding of the world.

Here’s some received wisdom for you, something I’m sure you’ve heard before: “The truth shall set you free.”

Is this true? Explore it and see what conclusions you come up with.

Happy thinking.

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