Skepticism Requires Work

It’s not easy to be a skeptic. Skepticism requires thought.

A lot of people I see out on the Internet claim to be skeptics but frequently buy into a lot of what they read on the cloud because the information happens to come from either a person or a source they believe they can trust.
For me, in order to be a skeptic, I look at what someone tells me, or what I read or see on television and evaluate the source. Does the person or source have an agenda? Is this a first person account or does this information fit into the category of hearsay? Even if it is a first person account, do I have any information about the person that would make me believe what I’m being told or reading? Is there anything that would raise even the smallest red flag to have me think that this information is not exactly true, or a complete fabrication?
I think all of us see so-called science posted somewhere on the net on a daily basis that has no basis in fact. Some of what I see actually flies in the face of known scientific principles. Believe it or not though, there are some that claim to be skeptics that will Tweet the story, or even blog about it as being believable.
The same goes for political or social issues. I always look to see if there’s an agenda between the lines of what I’m reading on both of these. Most of what all of us read in these areas is completely agenda driven. I didn’t say all, but I do consider “most”, at least in my case, to be an accurate statement. Always consider the sourcing. Then, find an opposing view. Somewhere between the two, you might actually find out what the truth is in whatever is being written about.
I know, it’s hard work and it takes time but you’re less likely to look like a fool, as some recently have, if you take time to just ask some basic questions.

2 comments on “Skepticism Requires Work

  1. It certainly does take effort, and like you suggest, it is particularly important that we are skeptical of information that appears to be consistent with our preconceived opinions, attitudes, and beliefs.

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