Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On Faith, Skepticism, and Stupidity

Blind faith and militant skepticism are on opposite ends of a spectrum of dumbass.

There, I said it. In fact, take a minute and think about what you believe to be the nature of reality, the origin of life, all that. Odds are, you're a moron.

Now, let me explain why you're probably a moron. Like I said, blind faith and militant skepticism are the extreme ends of a very broad spectrum. Every intelligent human being falls into a narrow area in the exact middle of this spectrum.

Faith is believing something without proof. A little faith is good, necessary, in fact, to being a functional human being. Skepticism is to seek evidence and not believe without though. Again, skepticism is necessary in small amounts.

Blind faith is belief in something in spite of evidence to the contrary. Militant skepticism is denial of that which has not been proven "conclusively". Either way, you're an imbecile.

I am inclined to find both unspeakably tiresome. I often find myself being told to believe something, and it is difficult for me to think less of anyone than I do of the person who when I ask why I should believe cannot form an intelligent answer.

Unless it's to think less of the one who criticizes me for what I believe.

Here, let me make this simple for you. I believe in myself and my experiences. Sensory input, and the reasoning by which we interpret it, is notoriously unreliable. However, I pride myself on many years of sharpening by deductive powers, and as I see it, to doubt what the eyes see and the ears hear is the path to madness. If I should doubt what I hear because you did not hear it, then why should I have faith that you are even truly speaking? Perhaps I am delusional. Perhaps the skeptic is part of my delusion, and that which he doubts is the truth which the delusion wishes me not to see.

I trust in abilities which have proved consistent in the past, and in sources of information which show themselves to be reliable and consistent, even if no one else is aware of them. If a thousand times a voice in my head tells me something, and a thousand times it proves correct, I am going to listen to it, regardless of my capacity to explain its nature. That is appropriate use of faith and skepticism. The same use by which you doubt the word of a complete stranger and trust the word of a friend.

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