After many years of witnessing the belief systems of people, including my own, I am convinced that real, original thinking is impossible to achieve. Something is going on all right, but it is not free thinking.
As a youth, I looked at formal logic and thought that this is a way to achieve pure truth. You can see how naive I was. If two people plug in the same facts concerning a problem, we can expect totally different results. We will be haunted by the ghost of "I still say."
Then I thought that certainly philosophy was the answer to truth finding. More incurable optimism on my part. I guess it resulted from my being more familiar with books than with human nature. After all, who did I think wrote those wonderful books I trusted in, and who devised the systems that I once believed could lead to truth? Pig headed, perverse, Satanicly twisted people--like me!
It got so bad that I despaired of finding Absolute Truth at all. This, of course, was before the age of computers, which are currently the object of so much trust. And these computers are marvelous indeed, until you ask the Big Ones, like one of my favorites--"If a man die, shall he live again?" Try that on your laptop.
Job asked this, oh so long ago, and his answer did not come from logic, philosophy, or even a computer. Rather, Job proved that if you seek to escape from human nature, and deeply inbred prejudice, you must go outside the whole damned system. Even scientists know this.
Don't ask someone if they are smart or good-looking. They do have a tendency to say "yes". But as a young man, I was unable to go outside the system. Or rather, I was unwilling. I knew there was a perfect Source of truth, but I feared Him and His judgement of me.
Mr. Science Lover just couldn't humble himself to believe in God. After all, ignorant country people could do that. So I had to be broken like the wild horse I was. And life sure did that for me. I had no way to escape except to submit to God.
How patient He has been, to work on me. I did not just need improvement. I needed a whole new heart and a whole new nature. While I vainly searched for truth, He had searched for me, and found me.