Why is it important to question faith?
Let’s change that to why is it important for you to question what you know. This line of thinking is the foundation of moral philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. It has appeared in medias such as film, books, and television. This question has even plagued parts of my own life and maybe yours as well.
A famous story that you may have heard is that of Socrates himself. He would wander the streets, markets, and town square of Athens. And there he introduced a new teaching method that questioned the obvious and added a depth of critical thinking. He would ask why.
Why would you say that?
Why do you think I asked that question?
Why was that question important?
This developed into a method now known as the socratic method. The point is that by asking why, he could stimulate his student’s thinking and have them look deeper into the roots of their knowledge. Socrates’s teaching methods have spread and permeated itself into society. It has been taught to us and we’ve seen it appear in the media that we consume.
In the book Siddhartha it is a question that follows the main character throughout his journey. During Siddhartha’s search for true enlightenment, he questions the spiritual and religious world. He questions his teacher’s teachings and argues with them.
There is a particular moment, in which when disagreeing with an important figure, Gotama, he found a flaw in his teachings. This facet of his character is contrasted with Govinda, someone who paid his allegiance to Gotama and while he searches for enlightenment – does not question what he is learning.
For films such as The Seven Samurai, a movie released in 1954, worldviews are questioned. When it is found that the farmers hunt down fallen samurai and kill them, they are initially admonished. It is only after Kikuchiyo points out that samurai have oppressed farmers for centuries that they consider this fact when judging them.
The farmers themselves also have an already set view of samurais. It was believed that no respectable samurai would accept only food from farmers and fight a battle that had no glory. The samurais subverted this expectation of the farmers and society at the time. In which the farmer’s view on samurai changed.
When I thought of this question I wondered how this applied to my own life. Recently, I participated in an Ancient Wisdom project in which I practiced the traditions and ideas of Hinduism for a week. The point of this was to study the wisdom that was put into practice centuries ago. I wanted to see how these values lined up with mine and question what I already knew. By studying ancient Hindu scriptures from decades ago I find that they spoke more about the self. How one could improve oneself and how to improve your overall quality of life.
I found that it is important to question what you already know. It improves critical thinking and you can increase the depth of your knowledge. This has been shown many times in media and has been around for a long time.