Skepticism

Skepticism

There are three major philosophical developments of post-Socrates philosophy, while they originated in Greece, they became known a lot more through the writings of the Romans.

Hedonism, that pleasure is the highest goal in life and that it can be balanced in such a fashion as to have more good experiences than negative.

Stoicism, that virtue is the only good and to be level headed and somewhat unemotional in decision making. There is no good or evil in isolation but only in context. To get a good grip of this, I would recommend reading 'Meditations' by Marcus Aurelius but do keep in mind the context of it being written by a Roman Emperor responsible for a lot of warfare.

Skepticism, to seek the a knowledge of how the world works by studying and analyzing everything feasible. The use rationality and logic to determine how the world functions. To step aside from the later named, Empiricism and use a structural argument system to study the world.

To use the right tool in the right place is a skill in itself. Don't use it for areas it cannot handle. As the saying goes, if you have a hammer then everything looks like a nail. If you have skepticism, everything is logic.

I was lightly involved in the local Skepticism movement for a good decade; but heavily researched and operating in the field personally - very rarely did I ever operate in public. Skepticism, the idea of using logic in the realms of science rather than just assuming how things work is a very good way to be in life; when used in moderation. To study the world and how it works, how all people are flawed and yet strangely predictable is a wonderful thing.

What really made me step away the active role of skepticism was that the idea is flawed to some degree. The additional factor of once having learned the tools, you do not need to continue with focusing just on the tools. As the teachings of Siddhartha put it - when you cross the river, you leave the raft on the other side. You use the tools, don't purely study the tools.

I do recommend that people look into the base ideals of skepticism, it is very useful to all people in terms of getting their process of ideas straight and learning how to read others ideas and facts from a ceramic stance, it is also a very powerful tool in learning how to communicate your own. To study the world and to learn about your own failings so that you can avoid falling for them is a powerful goal that everyone should be aware of. The power of logical fallacies is a realm that a lot of people rarely touch on or are not aware of just how complex of an issue it can be.

Logic can only go so far. For every time structure is implemented, it provides a power system that be weakened by things that exists outside the contract of the system. In trying to break everything down into bite size logic, skepticism creates a structure that can miss some of the more intangible issues. It is to boil away the human / chaotic factor and turn it into equation. It trying to fit everything into a box, it discards the ball shaped objects or tries to make the balls into a cubes.

Take pain as an example. It is logical to explain, it involves interaction with sensitive nerves, but to experience it is entirely outside of the realm of logic and rationality. Explaining colour to completely blind person is impossible to do, no amount of logic and explanation can provide what can merely be experienced - and yet skepticism tries anyway and fails.

This is the big take away from the movement. It can be powerful but only in the right context. It exists entirely in the intellectual realm but nothing else.

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