Nullius in verba (#148)

It’s easy to accept the most irrational ideas when one doesn’t give them any thought and blindly accepts them because they’re the most obvious ones.

It isn’t natural to humans to question their own tightly held beliefs or those of authority (whom they can’t conceive of doubting). And since we’re wired in a way to unknowingly accept deep theories about how the world works according to our environment, most of us have quite an erroneous view of the world when we actually think about some of the ideas in our bucket.

To put all that simply: we adopt ideas unthinkingly and we never question those ideas, because, well, it’s the obvious truth we think.

Until it isn’t.

Nullius in verba is something you should get tattooed on your arm.

In the Latin language, it roughly means take nobody’s word for it.

I feel this is a phrase with a deeper meaning than what would be thought at first glance. Yes, it means to question authority. Yes, it means to not just accept anyone’s theory, but to figure it out yourself.

But the deeper lesson, which seems a little ironical though it aligns rightly with the phrase is to question yourself.

As stated above, we are quite inclined toward being a product of our environment. And then not questioning that, since it’s the obvious. But truth is hardly ever obvious. It’s a never-ending quest.

If I could add something to take nobody’s word for it, it would be not even your own.

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