Skepticism With Heart

Did you mentally roll your eyes, when you glanced at the title of this post?  Do you have a negative opinion of people who espouse skeptical reasoning?  Perhaps you are of a skeptical nature and saw a clash in the addition of “with heart” to skepticism?  Good! You’re skeptical of my basic premise.

skepticism-TheodoreRoosevelt_laughingThe foundation of a skeptical attitude is where I want to go, today.  Without a basic, healthy attitude, we might well be doormats to people who would use us to further their own personal agendas.

I posit that most of us are not skeptical enough and that we are already doormats in many respects. If you are a U.S. citizen or non-American ally and waded through the detrius that passes for our political process you may have thought you were being skeptical in formulating your opinions. But what kind of filter skepticism-towerPDinfluenced your thinking?

If you’re anything like me, deep inside, you believe that you’re the fount of wisdom and that only you possess the truth and the one true way to live life on this earth.  If not, at least we can tap into the authority figures who will vindicate your beliefs.  Either way, we are rock solid certain of our certainty.  In a way, it’s a comfort to us to have this belief.  But why can’t other people see the world the way that you do?

It’s easy to discount and reject what we don’t agree with. But that doesn’t really count as skepticism. That shows only we are being disagreeable. We haven’t really walked a mile in anyone else’s shoes but our own.  There is no “heart” in such thinking, only egoism. We’re all quite capable of falling into such a state of mind.

To tap into what I call, “skepticism with heart”, we question our own comfortable skepticism-007“enlightened” viewpoints and beliefs. We can detach from our views, at least for the time that we can reevaluate them.  We can spend some quality time with our most cherished beliefs and truthfully ask ourselves if we wish to continue believing those cherished beliefs.

We can do this with an open heart.  We can let go of our fears, as we allow ourselves some genuine, personal honesty about ourselves.

What will we discover when we are skeptical of our views?  Is this scary?  The skepticism with heart might seem frightening.   The letting go of our grasping does seem scary, at first.  However, our past experiences also seem to show that when we let go of stubborness, we become happier,  more magnanimous, and whole.  Is this claim true?  Why not examine it carefully for yourself?  Is it for real or is it just a bunch of woo?

If we consider our own individual and collective benefits with compassion and heart, are we not already skeptical of the status quo?  If we insist upon remaining attached to our cherished beliefs without a truthful assessment of those beliefs, are we interacting with one another and ourselves in the best possible manner?

Can we practice skepticism with heart?  What will we learn if we do?



The Blue Jay of Happiness wonders if you enjoy traveling beyond your comfort zones, too.

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Controversy, Politics, religion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Skepticism With Heart

  1. jaksichja says:

    I found this post rather interesting–maybe it could also be worded as “compassionate skepticism.” Not only must one be scientifically oriented, but one had to take certain emotions into consideration–maybe you have found a manner in which to distill wisdom? Just a comment and thought.

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