Inner Convinction Based on Truth Versus Wrong societal beliefs

It is important to note that most of the times, the society is not always correct in her assumptions, which constitute the root of certain practices in the society. If we take a look at history, we would observe a lot of misconceptions and false beliefs strongly held by people in the past. For instance, in the olden days certain tribes in Nigeria believe that having a set twins is an abnormality, and due to this belief any set of twins born among the tribe are always killed, but kudos to Mary Slessor who helped in stopping that. There was another tribe too who believes the best gift they can offer a male visitor is to allow him to have sex with their wife.

In ancient Egypt when a  king dies, he would be buried with his wife, servants, clothes and so many other things because of the belief that those things buried with him we assist the king in the afterlife. The fact is that as at when these things were practiced in the aforementioned societies, no one dare question the veracity of the assumption that led to those practices.
Like the people that lived in the past, the world has not really changed that much and our current society still hold strongly to so many dogmas that in no way would be of help to the advancement of human civilization. In view of this, some races still see themselves as superior to others, some religions of the world believes that they own the monopoly of true religion and that anyone who is not a member of their own sect is lost, some see themselves as the children of God why other belongs to Satan based on certain criterion documented in their holy book, some see their tribe , or social status as superior to others, thereby discouraging their children or relatives from  getting married to another tribe or social status they perceived less superior to theirs and so on.

 Having known that the society can be sometimes wrong in their perception of reality, how then can we liberate ourselves? And what should be the determinant of our actions or decision, should it be based on inner conviction or wrong societal beliefs

John Locke, a philosopher once said that the human mind at birth is a tabular raza, meaning it’s a clean slate with no inscription, and as the child grows in the society where the child find himself, the society begins to drop ideas which would constitute the child’s thoughts, beliefs, and perception through his interaction with the environment, which will later determine the child's paradigm when he becomes a grown up. This reality is true for every one of us. Since we never have the sufficient reasoning ability as at when we were made to believe certain things and perceive life in a certain ways, it will be of good help now that we are mature to begin to question while we perceive things in a certain way, and as well ascertain the credibility of the rationale that constitute such a belief system. It is only through this way that we can differentiate dogmas from true reality, and consequently liberate ourselves from false beliefs that are holding us back. This was the thinking that ushered science in, and has helped to advance human civilization.

Due to the fact that so many of us are mentally lazy, or clueless about logical reasoning, we have unconsciously accepted societal erroneous beliefs, and adopted them as tools to drive our lives.

Buddha once warned his follower against the tendencies of being a victim of this, he said “believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

As for inner conviction versus wrong societal beliefs, I suggest that in as much you are convinced that certain belief or perception held by the society is wrong, it’s better to base your decision on personal conviction based on truth irrespective of how universally accepted such a wrong belief is, by so doing you can end up being the next person that will turn history on its head in your generation. It is important to note that any moment we face the challenge of making a choice that is not consistent with wrong societal belief, a kind of fear would show up, called the fear of criticism, telling you how people will condemn or even mock you if you go against wrong societal belief, but that is not a reason why you should do what will hurt your conscience. The society may condemn you, but time will one day reveal to them that you were right, they may kill you in the course of defending the truth, but they can’t kill the truth, it will definitely establish the veracity of your claim someday.

 For so many years the church, and probably the whole world held on to the belief that ‘’the earth is the centre of the universe, and that the sun revolved round the earth.’’ But a time came when Galileo discovered with the aid of his newly invented telescope that “the earth revolves round the sun.” A discovery that went directly against the teaching of the church, though he was persecuted by the church, but that never alters the credibility of the truth of his discovery.

Above all, we should strive hard that the underlying principles that dictates our actions and behaviour are based on inner conviction based on truth.

Stop following the crowd, choose to stand no matter what!

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