A Wise man once said “without deviation from the norm, Progress isn’t possible".
Similar words have been used hypocritically by man, for centuries, to call for ‘free thought’ when it has suited his specific needs. The above quote singles out one of the biggest issues humanity faces in the 21st century. – ‘Indoctrination’
Living in the information age, fitted with a sponge-like ‘uncapped’ memory card, capable of converting information into ideas, thoughts, inventions, planning, reasoning and opinions, in your head, makes the argument against indoctrination rather undisputable.
The term Indoctrination is commonly linked to religion but is in no way exclusive to religion, it can be loosely described as brainwashing or simply the teaching of certain ideas which are expected to be accepted uncritically.
As an example: In South Africa (and specially on News24) individuals who voted for/support the ANC are usually accused of being ‘sheep’, the term sheep is used to sum up the individual’s blind/uncritical support/praise (most like due to indoctrination) for a certain idea or group who are ‘obviously’ undeserving of that support/praise. – Don’t get me wrong though, this criticism is usually perfectly justifiable and warranted seeing that logic coupled with the available evidence would lead one to that very conclusion.
It becomes hypocritical however when the person dishing out the criticism subscribes to his/her own set of indoctrinated views, be it religious or racial. (probably the two most common forms of indoctrination in SA and also the toughest to escape) In SA probably more than 90% of the people who are usually quick to criticize an individual for holding onto his/her indoctrinated political views are guilty of clinging to some indoctrinated view of their own.
I‘ll be unbiased in my approach and point a few fingers at ‘my own kind’ too. An Atheist or non-believer of any kind who criticizes the sheep mentality of a religious person but blindly clings onto his/her own indoctrinated racial views is definitely being a hypocrite. I realize the best of us can’t even claim to be completely free of racial indoctrination.
Quite a few of the older generation spent the biggest part of their lives in an era where racism was perfectly acceptable and perhaps even ‘more than the norm’. So while I have sympathy in terms of the challenge they face(d) , I believe there is a big difference between realizing you have racial views that need changing and using the past to justify holding onto those views. I personally would admit to not being completely freed of my racial indoctrinated views but simply in the process of removing the limitations, stereotypes and reservations that my upbringing has created. (I’m planning on writing an article on those limitations and reservations in the near future)
So how many of you aren’t hypocrites? (If you aren’t against indoctrination you aren’t even worthy of being called a hypocrite.) It is the 21st century and the existence of neither racism nor religion can be justified. We have to realize that we, as humanity, have failed, we’ve managed to create a society ruled by primitive views and teachings that have only negatively contributed to our knowledge and understanding of the universe and world around us. The only way for us to possibly redeem ourselves is by ensuring the next generation is brought up with reason and logic as their guide.