I'm gonna hold on--
'cause what I believe in is so strong
No matter how long, no one
Can tell me I'm wrong--I ain't goin' down
--Shania Twain's "I Ain't Goin' Down'
Twain's song plays through my head as I write this, and I'll admit to body movements in keeping with this song's tune as I type. For whatever reason, I wake up to a different song playing in my head each morning and it sets the stage for the day ahead, accompanying me throughout the day. Now sometimes when it's a song I don't like and it gets stuck for days, I'm less than thrilled, but that's another story.
This chorus should resonate with most of us. It's about getting through the rough times, believing you are capable of making it through, not just barely, but with gusto. It immediately made me think, though, of those who follow debunked theories and hold onto ideas past the point of all reason.
It's one thing to believe strongly in one's capacity to endure and thrive despite all obstacles, to hold onto the firm conviction that no one can make you believe otherwise. It's the right way to believe. I can endure. I can thrive. I will. Self-fulfilling prophecies play a huge role in what we make it through and what we don't. The platitude that god never gives you anything you can handle works whether there is a god or not. If you believe it, you handle it. You set yourself up to cope, to move through.
I am all for believing in your capacity to make it through, to grow and thrive, wherever you may be, whomever you might be. Hold onto that, don't go down.
Placing considerations of personal well-being aside, this whole philosophy does not work when dealing with questions regarding the objective world and the things in it which can be subjected to rigorous scientific testing. There, the need to hold onto one's belief rigidly is a huge mistake, one we see the AoAers make repeatedly.
It also impedes one's ability to relate to others and grow when we use it on personal philosophies (think folks whose death-grips on their personal opinions are at odds with the reality of the situation. There, this conviction hampers communication, creates discord, and works to isolate the person. It also allows them to set themselves up as martyrs to their singular causes.
We should all hold on tightly to the idea that we "ain't goin' down" while working to be open to other ideas, to evidence, to other people and willing to hold onto everything else we believe with a tenuous grasp. We should not change with the wind, but we should learn and grow and change our opinions and beliefs as the evidence warrants.