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Friday, January 20, 2012

Understanding Backward Mentality (Philosophy)

What is backward mentality? From the word itself, it is a reverse thought process wherein the thinker thinks the other way around.

This mentality has been applied on numerous arguments made by the unwary speaker. Not only that, such mentality has also been applied on our daily lives, but sometimes we even failed to notice it until we think deeply enough to analyze such erroneous ways.

Why is it erroneous? Well, I am going to give the following arguments and analyze each, presenting a rationale on each argument to prove my point.

For example, "I am a Christian therefore I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and I follow the teachings of the bible." This kind of statement puts the speaker in a compromising, restrictive position. Why? That's because by putting the title before the things you believe in (or not believe in) along with the practice (or do not practice), you are in a position where you look for things to believe in (or not believe in) and practice (or do not practice) to support the title. Your tendency here is that to associate yourself with the title, you "have to" follow every belief and practice stated. Now, you are being "force" to meet those prerequisites because you are a Christian. This deprives you of freedom and could prevent you from actually appreciating your being a "Christian." Unless, of course, you like to be a slave to your title.

Now, observe the difference once I switch the statement to the proper proposition.

"I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and I follow the teachings of the bible therefore I am a Christian." By stating the belief and the practice before the title, you are now clearly describing yourself; without the restriction... and above all, this statement shows your willingness, and being deserving of the title.

Backward mentality applied in daily life

An example of this is in the case of parents forcing their children to acquire their title, desires, or even their religion. For example, parents decide whom their children should marry, what career their children should take, or what their children should believe. This kind of mentality is usually common among the conservatives. This affects the new generation in a negative way, although it can usually be justified saying that parents only wants what they think is best for their children because they love them very much. Still, the very fact remains - no one wants to be forced into a position they don't want. This is actually depriving children their basic rights to choose of who they wanted to be or what they wanted to become.

Perhaps, one of the negative effects to children is that they loss the sense of independence, they are more likely to rely on their parents and on their parents decision. Another is obsession - the more a person is being force to avoid, the more it craves for it. And perhaps, it may also result to unresolved stages of a child.

Of course, there are other examples, if you are keen enough to spot them, backward mentality happens every day.

Effects of backward mentality

The number one negative effect of backward mentality is slow to no progression. A society prone to backward mentality is likely to remain the same no matter what era they are in.

Backward mentality also often creates confirmation bias, ignorance, and could make one less reasonable. People with backward mentality are often narrow-minded, traditional, ignorant, and they are more likely bound by their title rather than who they really are.

How to avoid backward mentality?

There are quite many ways, but for a few examples:
  • Do not let titles dictate your beliefs, principles, or practice. Optimally, remove all labels and titles from yourself. Be what you are.
  • Be open-minded, but do not just believe anything, be resourceful enough to determine what is true and what is not.
  • Don't let any belief system blind you.
  • Do not assume to know everything. Be humble enough to be able to learn new things.
  • Never stop educating yourself.
  • Do not force your beliefs or opinions on others.
  • Respect other people's beliefs or opinions.
  • Always follow the evidence to where it leads you, but don't let your hopes too high.
  • Do not assume to know what's best for others. Learn to respect their decisions.
And the long list goes on...


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