It’s normal in our world to place the burden of proof on what’s new or different. We don’t trust what we don’t know; we need it to prove itself to us.
But what if we demanded the beliefs we take for granted to take on the burden of proof?
What if we demanded our world view to prove itself? No matter what the world view that is; whether it’s a religious world view, a New Age world view, or a scientifically based world view. Would these things meet the standards we impose on new ideas we are confronted with?
What if you demanded your way of eating to prove itself? What if you examined the reasons you eat as you do, as opposed to any other way, and put your justifications under the same suspicion as if someone was trying to convince you to eat that way?
What if you demanded your life choices to prove themselves? Is school a good choice for you? Is working a job a good choice for you? Does it make sense to take showers, or wear clothes, or say “bless you” when someone sneezes?
I say all of this because when we come into the world, we tend to take on new opinions and viewpoints with absolutely no judgement whatsoever. We have the same worldview as our society, the same habits as our society, and do the same things as our society. We often walk a path of the “American Dream” or its equivalent, studying, getting a job, getting married and having kids. A lot of people never consciously decide to do that, it’s just what society pushed on us.
From an alien’s standpoint we could look at this blind uptake of old ideas in childhood and deduce that the human race would tend towards becoming utterly insane. Generation after generation of unscrutinised beliefs and habits detach from their origins, mutate, and lose touch with any semblance of reality.
And so it is.
The only solution is to start from the bottom up. Break down every single thing you think you know or you think is good to do and be, and place on it the burden of proof.
You can look to the experience of other human beings to see what alternatives there are out there.
Indeed, a consciously chosen alternative is more likely to be worthwhile than an unconsciously chosen default belief/action/identity. You can also consciously choose the default of your society, but after putting it through the burden of proof you can rest a lot safer.
You may also find that after this the default takes on a new meaning, as you’ve found out the exact whys and hows of that thing. Instead of mechanically going through the motions you can believe/do/be in a much more responsive and empowered way.
Assume your forebears were wrong. Put the burden of proof on anything you took for granted. What’s the best way to live?