What is Scepticism?

Sceptic – from the Greek skeptikos one who reflects upon, from skeptesthai to consider.

Scepticism is variously described as a doubting or questioning attitude, a person who uses their mind creatively, or even someone who demands physical evidence in order to be convinced (especially when this demand is out of place).

To consider carefully with regard to evidence is the professional way to approach public affairs, or matters of considerable importance — the opposite of sloppy, credulous, reckless or even foolhardy behavior.

A sceptic is painfully aware that the casual believer is punished when reality is understated and underestimated.

-oil spill greater than first estimated
-Euro zone bailout underestimated
-USD rise underestimated
-oil’s fall underestimated
-tarp underestimated
-unemployment understated
-recession length underestimated
-volcano impact underestimated
-gold’s persistence understated
-housing slump underestimated

Some sceptical links:

The Climate Sceptics Party — The world’s first political party representing scepticism and objectivity in policy.

The Australian Sceptics — “This is not to say that such claims are rejected out-of-hand; far from it. Such an attitude would be cynicism or dogmatism, not scepticism. Skeptics sincerely assess claims of the paranormal, but always with the understanding that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It is largely up to the claimants to provide such evidence.”

The Skeptics — “The modern skeptical movement is a fairly recent phenomenon dating back to Martin Gardner’s 1952 classic, Fads and Fallacies In the Name of Science.”

The Skeptics Dictionary — A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions.

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