In my previous blog post, an excellent article explained many of the core ideas of skepticism. What I’d like to do here is simply, and in short order, explain what it isn’t. Like all personal philosophies, this varies and my take is only my own personal opinion.
First and foremost, skepticism isn’t a cynical viewpoint of the world. It’s not pessimistic and always looking for what can go wrong. It has more to do with seeking the correct information and confirming data. As the saying goes, “There are two sides to a story and then there’s the truth.”
Perhaps most importantly, it’s the pursuit of truth in information. In no other field is this more imperative than in science. The very basis for the scientific method is verification and even seeking to disprove a theory or hypotheses which would support your argument. Science is a field that, unlike many others, requires a careful collection of data, rigorous research, and peer review. Differences in research findings, hypotheses, et al. will always occur even among prominent scientists studying the same subject. Perhaps this is explained more succinctly by Richard Dawkins in this brief video clip at this link.
How does this fit in with skepticism? A skeptic, like a scientist, should be seeking an unbiased answer for a question. It’s simply a matter of seeking a solution, answer, or data in an objective manner.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been going over many thought about what it means to be a “skeptic” and the responsibilities involved with that label. Much to my surprise, and just in time, I came across a brilliant blog that literally took the words right out of my mouth. The author could not have expressed my own opinions any better. So, without any further delay, I’d like to introduce you to Barbara A. Drescher and her brilliant blog. It’s one of the best I’ve come across in some time.