The following was posted on a martial arts forum I’m part of. It was in response to some nit who set forth an idiotic opinion and got it shot down. He just kept insisting on holding his opinion anyway and whining that he had a right to his opinion. Tink (online nickname of the author of the response), in response, set forth an excellent manifesto for the honest thinker. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. [P.S. the 'nit' vanished from the forum and has not been heard from again.]
The base element of martial arts is a little more tactile than spirituality. However, if you want to go through an argument, equation, or thread based on the concept of some kind of universal intent, then most religions can be broken down into a basic description of varying concepts of what is generally referred to as “God”.
Where it fails, and only where it fails, is when people say things like “That is my opinion.” and refuse to let it be challenged.
Beliefs though are what make a person feel placed in the world around them. Mostly they are flawed beliefs that they kinda patch up to keep them going and get them by. The problem then becomes one of massive insecurity and ignorance. If you challenge a person’s beliefs, you are challenging everything about them. Our fears and egos get in the way and we feel personally threatened. So instead of taking in everything that showed the cracks in their beliefs, and allowing a little self-doubt, they put up their barricades and call the, “I’m entitled to my opinion” card.
Right or wrong, they don’t wanna know because in their tiny little world everything they allow themselves to see works. Challenge these tiny minds too much and their whole world falls apart, they put up defenses and turn their minds off. But the world is bigger than you and me, and everyone else’s mind put together.
I state my opinion to have it challenged. So I can learn. So I can rid myself of faulty beliefs and ideas. So I can allow what I do believe to be distilled, fortified and enriched.
Personally, I’d rather have everything about me ripped apart than to go one more day more believing in something that was weak, faulty, plain wrong, untested, unchallenged and hollow. To do this, I put my opinions where they will be challenged. Sometimes this means a battle, sometimes just a point in the right direction, but always with the utmost respect I can muster.
You state your opinion for what? Just to give people the perception that you have one? Even if it is weak, pointless, hollow, untested and could not for one second undergo the scrutiny of a simple challenge, even when people invite you to clarify, distill and fortify your ideas, opinions and beliefs?
Sure, you go cling to your belief, because that’s what it is, a desperate clutching to a straw in a sea of hands trying to lead you to greater understanding, enrichment, knowledge and communication.
But, you follow that path, it’s your right.
Boyo it’d be nice to be so knowledgeable, confident and just damn certain that your opinions never needed to undergo a little scrutiny now and then. I sure wish my life was so well put together.