My journey of skepticism started when I was about 11 years old. It was sparked when two uncles of mines among others where arguing about Religion, African Black magic and myths for hours one night while we were drinking Ataya (a tea) under the moon. That night i went to bed lost in thoughts barely sleeping, wondering and analyzing both arguments; because that night I’d realized that there are more than one side to every story, and sometimes our upbringings have a lot of weight on how we believe and tell certain stories. From that day forth, belief became more of a math equation, than just an answer to me.
This newfound ability i started to acquire was strengthened further down; as I was furthermore puzzled by different answers I’ve received from religious leaders of the same faith answering the same questions; and dare activities I’ve done to “violate” certain “myths” while growing up in-between urban Conakry and rural Lelouma (Foutah Djallon).
This skepticism that i’d acquired while still a very young mind, have helped shape my growth to the stage that i am right now. It really opened my eyes to reality and made me understand that humanity’s greatest fear is the unknown; and people will go to the farthest extreme to protect this unknown. And when this unknown becomes cultural; it will take a lot for a household to let it go; hence it have become dogmatic. It has also taught me that beliefs all around the world are interrelated as foreign they may sound to each other; they are all different isles leading to the same door. Each culture produces explanation to help ease life and keep order; and sometimes this order is achieved by using fear. Fear is the strongest of all weapons.
And this explanation that each culture produces to explain life is based on humanity’s oldest question; “WHY?”. “WHY?” is the father of all cultural beliefs. From the dawn of time, humans have been curious. From sunrise to sunrise, humanity stared at the sky, the ocean, the forest, the night, the sun asking the magic question: “WHY?” Why I’m I here? Why alive? Why death? Why pain? Why love? Why? Why?!
The answer of this “why” have stuck with humanity as we spread around the world, and each landscape helped us define these answers to fit our customs and keep order. These answers become embedded so deep in our hearts that we turn blind to reality and become so stubborn to what’s in front of us that we get lost in ignorance. An ignorance that can only be cured by skepticism.
I’ve grown to learn that once you become skeptic to everything you’re being fed; you’re less likely to get fooled by personal agendas, and is more likely to be open minded toward others and their cultural upbringings.
Well this is just a one man’s words.