Skepticism is a virtue



skep·ti·cism - /ˈskeptəˌsizəm/ noun

  1. a skeptical attitude; doubt as to the truth of something. "these claims were treated with skepticism" synonyms: doubt, doubtfulness, dubiousness, a pinch of salt, lack of conviction

  2. PHILOSOPHY; the theory that certain knowledge is impossible.

I did a live video today on my Facebook page, soulnotskin radio, dealing with this idea. After I asserted a straightforward, “I used to think this was true, now I see it as a negative attitude” type stance, I decided it deserved more exploration.

Here’s why. Skepticism as defined above, ‘doubt as to the truth of something’, can be a tool or a weapon. As with most things in life.

WEAPON: An incessant doubt as to the truth of something might lead to an overall lack of trust in self/humanity/God. I used to read it this way. I used to read this statement as if calling BS on everything around me somehow empowered me and sharpened my intellect. No one can make a fool out of me!! Which is ultimately fear, and any time that fear is driving my life, life-giving spirit is stifled.

Doubt as a weapon can develop ignorance through dismissive-ness. Doubt in this way can serve the underbelly of humanity - namely strengthening distinctions, differences, and stigmas. Strengthening these things serve to disconnect us from ourselves and each other.

TOOL: ‘doubt as to the truth of something’ can also drive me to find out for myself – I may be encouraged by this statement to develop my own opinions, find a way to distinguish my own experience with something that others try to dictate can only be seen one way. I might use doubt to craft my humility. I’m not talking about being naive or meek. I’m describing intentional willingness to NOT KNOW everything and how it ought to be perceived by others, but rather getting clear on my own perception of things.

Doubt as a tool can develop pause to precede impulsiveness. Doubt in this way can serve the unconditional love of humanity – namely strengthening compassion, empathy and autonomy. Strengthening these things serve to connect us to ourselves and each other.

I welcome your thoughts.


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