Are you brainwashed?
Yes, I am asking you! Do you consider yourself a smart, educated, and rational person, or do you believe that the state and big media have brainwashed you since the day you were born?
If you replied right away, then no matter what your answer is, think again. Throughout our lives, we use sensory organs such as our eyes, ears, and hands to interact with the world, learn and gain useful experience. And yet, most of our knowledge comes from other people.
You heard that the North Pole exists, but you have never personally been there.
At school, they told you about the Roman Empire, but how do you know that it was real? You have virtually no way to directly verify the facts in the textbook.
You are convinced that the Earth is round, but you have never traveled around the world to confirm that it is true. Let me guess, you have never been to outer space either.
What about science? We presume that some smart people carefully check and prove every scientific fact. But have you personally ever split an atom, reproduced penicillin, or tried to measure the speed of light? No? But, at least, you have flown a kite during a thunderstorm or built a pendulum to confirm the Earth's rotation, right?
In the 16th century, the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei, was said to have dropped balls of different weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to test Aristotle's theory of gravity. As a result, he refuted a claim that everyone had taken on faith for more than two thousand years. Have you tried to verify the results of the Galileo experiment lately?
Of course, you have not. We do not have time for those childish games. Everything we need to know, we learned at school and read in books. However, these days, people prefer watching YouTube and reading Facebook. But does it make any difference?
Whether you like it or not, the answer is depressing: if you are a modern, educated, and rational person, then, of course, the big media and the state have already brainwashed you.
For many years, you consumed the propaganda of the news channels of television and Hollywood. You form your opinions based on the ideas of your colleagues, classmates, and even your parents. That does not mean that you are stupid and gullible. It just means that you are human. You belong to the only species on Earth that uses collective knowledge to advance progress. Laziness is our natural habit. It motivates us to learn from others.
As we are all lazy, we always hope to find easy answers. How can we tell the difference between genuine facts and propaganda? Is there a simple way to distinguish education from indoctrination? I have bad news for you - it's impossible. Your personal experience is the only way to verify the value of knowledge. Moreover, as a human being, you must make every effort to do so for yourself and for others. The moment you give up, you become brainwashed.
Photo by Marc Schaefer on Unsplash