What is Skepticism
What is Skepticism?
Skepticism is about the search for knowledge. Its foundations are the scientific method and relying on empirical evidence. Skepticism is the process of applying critical thinking, reason, and reality to a given matter. A skeptic is someone who applies vigorous and systematic research to any claim, regardless of its political, religious, or social implications.
Skepticism is not about the outright denial of knowledge but a request for carefully crafted evidence, belief is withheld until a skeptic is satisfied that a reasonable explanation is provided.
The goal is to neither to outright accept claims or reject them, but to subject them to careful scrutiny.
In skepticism, the burden of proof is on the one making the claim. To quote Carl Sagan “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” When a new claim appears skeptics will neither accept nor deny it. Rather, they will inquire, seek evidence and understanding before reaching a decision. Skeptics do not need to prove or disprove a claim, but merely interpret the evidence, the same way a court of law works.
Skepticism is not a belief system. Skepticism is a methodology.
Skeptics are not close minded or pessimistic. When a claim is thoroughly disproven, like homeopathy, skeptics are constantly accused of being close minded. But in reality skeptics withhold opinion on something until suitable evidence is brought forward, which is the definition of being open minded.
Skeptics don’t believe in nothing. Many skeptics hold religious beliefs. The notion that skeptics don’t believe in anything is a misconception of philosophic skepticism.