Skepticism as a cultural phenomenon

Skepticism is a cultural phenomenon. I know that many self-declared skeptics prefer to … ah … believe otherwise, or as they would perhaps say, they have deduced from pure principles using sound logic that Skepticism is rational behavior and there is nothing cultural about it. But they are wrong, and that is trivially easy to prove…

I wrote this here.

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3 thoughts on “Skepticism as a cultural phenomenon

  1. Excellent point. Skepticism is a process, not a conclusion.

    My only quibble is with Sarah’s rejecting “Skeptic” as a self-identifying noun. It’s true that the word “skeptic” is used for people who think very uncritically and are “skeptics” in a shallow, knee-jerk sense only. But I think we should claim the word and work for greater brand recognition–not to stoke our egos, but because we really want to promote the epistemology. We want Skepticism to catch on in the wider culture, and for that to happen, it will help if more people know it’s, well, a thing. A particular well-defined thing.

  2. I agree that we have to claim the word. Absolutelyu. But we also have to work to claim the community. It isn’t just that there are people who call themselves “skeptic” and are not reasonably consistent critical thinkers; there are also people who call themselves “skeptics” who might in fact be reasonably rational in much of their thinking but they are also unmitigated dickheads. A community is a community. It is not held together merely by having a small number of common needs or goals, but also, but acting communally. The “KYITC” sketpics are not part of any community I want to be part of.

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