I’ve started to become increasingly skeptical about the people who refer to themselves as skeptics. I consider myself a skeptic because I try not to take anything at face value and always want to analyze any available data to support assertions. Isn’t that skeptical of me? The problem is that I’ve been looking at skeptics’ websites and they seem to define the word differently. The site owners seem to have decided that some things don’t exist or work and no proof of their assertions are necessary.
I know that it’s advisable not to open your mind so much that your brain falls out, but I think it’s also advisable not to close your mind so much that no facts get in. For instance, I’ve mentioned before that I know ghosts exist because I’ve seen them under circumstances that leave no other rational explanation, but many of the internet skeptics say simply that ghosts don’t exist because they’ve never seen one. Of course they’ve never gone looking for one; they’ve never spent time in a haunted house or battlefield or any place else that ghosts frequent and they’ve never done any research on the subject. It’s sort of like only believing in the existence of animals if they can be seen from the skeptic’s front window. They are equally dismissive of any evidence collected by ghost hunters; everything’s a fake, a flaw, or a misinterpretation of data. How do they know? Well, they figure ghosts don’t exist, so supporting evidence can’t exist either.
Although you might never notice by reading this blog, my life goal is to collect knowledge and in so doing, separate facts from general assumptions. That is why I consider myself a skeptic; because I don’t automatically accept statements as fact just because I read them in a book or see them on TV, but instead reserve judgment until I see some credible corroboration. Accepting information on faith or dismissing out of hand information that doesn’t fit my perception only limit my efforts to become more knowledgeable and increase understanding. Suppression of knowledge and bending information to coincide with preconceptions are the job of religions. I try to remember that the correct answer to the question is frequently “I don’t know.”