Thursday, March 7, 2013

Question Everything

If I am ever a parent, the number one thing I want to teach my children is to think for themselves and  question everything.

I have always been a curious person. I always had trouble doing things I didn't want to do if I didn't understand why I should do them. When I was a child I would often stand around with the adults and listen to their conversation rather than play with other kids. I was weird. :) And now, particularly in this stage in my life (being a young adult in college), asking questions, doubting authority, questioning social norms and media messages, and seeking new truths for myself are of utmost importance.

I tend to pity people who just sit around and watch TV all day (not that I am not guilty of that on occasion haha), or follow social norms and a specific path just because they think they are supposed to. I pity people who don't ever stop to question norms and what they've been taught. This is a bit of a flaw of mine, and I'm trying to work on it, because it's not my decision how others live their lives. But I hope you can understand that since questioning everything is so important to me, I feel like it should be important to others as well.

I understand that I have the privilege to question norms, sit and ponder, and find my own truths. Some people aren't really able to do that because they are focused on making enough money to put food on the table, or taking care of their children or parents 24/7. (It is still possible to question everything if you are in this situation, I am just acknowledging that it may not be as easy.) I have time to think and ponder. As a student, it is pretty much expected of me to learn, think, and question. I am grateful that I have this opportunity.

I've never been the type to conform and go with the flow, and I love that. I think that there are a plethora of things that are not right in the world, and I don't want to just look away from them. The only way things will change is if we acknowledge the wrongness first. And in order to do that, we have to question the status quo.

Here are some things I've been questioning lately; hopefully it will prompt you to question even more (:

Why is religion (a choice) so much more protected (legally and socially in America) than sexual orientation, which is not a choice?
How did early Americans justified ruining Native cultures by oppressing and assimilating them? How did early Americans justify slavery?
How can one world religion be right, and the rest be completely wrong?
Gender is the very first thing an individual notices about someone else. Why is gender so important to us?

Realized: I am so obviously a social sciences major.. haha (: All of these questions are about society and social norms.

Thank you for taking time to read this. It means a lot to me. It would mean even more if you strike up a conversation about these ideas. (:


  1. With a title "The Brilliant Insights of Christen" I just had to read it :)

    I think you and me are very similar in many ways, the choices society makes and the issues that present themselves interest me greatly and I enjoy forming ideas about why things are the way they are and how things could be better. That being said, I am sure you realize that we will probably disagree on several issues but I hope that that's ok :)

    I would like to talk a little about the questions you posted

    1)Why is religion (a choice) so much more protected (legally and socially in America) than sexual orientation, which is not a choice?

    -This is a good example of a leading question and this type of question could not be allowed in a court of law. I can read this question and know exactly how you feel about the subject, and that forces an answer that agrees with your beliefs. I would work the question kind of like this "What role that religion play in society and what role should it play?" Or "How should society treat the sexual orientation or the individuals in that society?"

    My Belief: I believe that everyone has the right to worship however they see fit and assemble themselves together peacefully to worship together, free on government involvement of any kind.

    As far as sexual orientation is concerned, (lets start with marriage first): I also believe that the government shouldn't be involved that the marriage of 2 people either. Marriage is a deeply personal relationship and its insulting that anybody (gay or straight) has to go to the government to be married (It didn't use to be that way till the mid 1800's and I'm sure our founding fathers would be disappointed) Is legalizing same-sex marriage the answer? Not exactly, because the government would still be in charge of who and who didn't get married. Why is it up to the government to decide what defines a marriage in our country anyways?

    As far as homosexuals being socially accepted, that's a little different. I'm not sure if there is any law that could be passed to prevent discrimination that isn't already a law. The cure for hatred against gays and lesbians isn't any different that hatred towards anybody, and that's their own personal problem that they need to overcome.

    2) I do not know too much about Native Americans, nor do I know too much about the early slaves in this country but I bet if you took a history class, it might shed some light.

    3)How can one world religion be right, and the rest be completely wrong?

    - I'm not sure where this question comes from, but it implies that someone out there is saying that every religion is 100% false except one, to which I very much disagree.

    My beliefs are that there is always some truth in everything, truth is not found in one single source, but can be observed from many different vantage points and perspectives. However, if there are two opposing ideas (example, God exists or God doesn't exist) one of those ideas is just not true, but that doesn't mean that everything an atheist believes is wrong. We do need to be careful about picking and choosing what we believe though; not just having a belief because it's convenient or it sounds good. Probably the hardest thing to do is to try and remove yourself from the equation (forgetting all of your preconceived notions and ideas) and figuring out what is true

    * I say this knowing that I myself have had difficulties with this very thing, and assume that every body else does to.

    Sorry this has been so long, but I hope you can appreciate where I am coming from :)

  2. I totally appreciate you commenting and telling me your opinions! I think you bring up some good points. I agree that the government shouldn't decide what a marriage is, since it is so personal (although an age limit has purpose). And I understand the other things you said as well.
    I love that you enjoy analyzing society too and hopefully we can have more conversations like this in the future (: