You see that quote at the top of the blog? Well… It’s true. Look at today’s society. We get our knowledge from books, from teachers, from the internet, from magazines, from the TV, from newspapers. But we know nothing.
What did we learn in high school? We learned simple facts. We learned many things that would never prepare us for the “real” world. So when we were going through high school, how many of us sought education OUTSIDE of school? How many watched the news? How many read non fiction books? Not many.
And we graduate. We go to college and often we only learn about subjects in our major. We still don’t know what happens in the world. Often, way too often, we are taught our opinions. I can’t say I’m not guilty of it. Someone tells me a political opinion and maybe I’ll start to agree with them. Sometimes I won’t check out the matter for myself. But I shouldn’t let others shape my opinion. I should find the truth for myself.
Anyhow, it makes me think harder about reliable and trusted knowledge. For current events, I understand you check out a bunch of news sources. However, what about when it comes to other subjects. History? Religion? Politics? Now there are some things you can’t mess with. Like WW2 did happen, and there is a such thing as feminist political theory. But when we pick up books do we check how credible the author is? Do we see where they studied? I mean, I think I realize this more because when I’m reading up on Islam I have to screen the authors. I need to know where they studied and see what others think of him. But too often, I don’t do this with other subjects. I should.
Obviously since I’m Muslim, I’ll bring back examples of this in Islam. Many people are all ready to learn about Islam from people with Muslim sounding names. Especially when they have problems with Islam. For some reason this gives them legitimacy in the eyes of the public. Need names? Tariq Ali? The born Muslim who turned atheist. I started to read his book on Fundamentalism. But he attacked Islam so much that I felt he had a personal connection with Islam that was clouding his writing. To talk about Fundamentalism you need to talk about Islam (It was on Islamic Fundamentalism). I understand. But you don’t need to criticize it and Christianity as well. Irshad Manji? The lesbian Muslim who calls for reform? She’s now viewed by some as a know it all on Islam. Please. She talks about the lack of ijma (consensus by Islamic scholars) in these days. But does she realize that Islamic scholars still meet to discuss new issues that arise (like the Muslim astronaut and how he can pray in space with short days).
I just feel that we could all do with a little more knowledge. We talk our mouths off without knowing anything. We pick up a book on a subject and start talking about it as if we know. I know nothing, you know nothing, we know nothing. I emphasize… we know NOTHING. :(