Rationalist through and through
I am so much a rationalist requiring valid and reliable reason and evidence that even if somehow a god was proven to exist that doesn’t mean all the unsubstantiated claims about it are to be believed without proof. As we all should reasonably follow the ethics of belief, thus, even a somehow proven god something, must prove everything they are saying. The rationale is not skepticism of beliefs it’s a rationalist call for accuracy and truth reached by justifiable beliefs supported by facts.
Belief that is not justifiable is reckless, because unjustifiable beliefs are agreeing with unsubstantiated and/or unreasonable/ridiculous claims that are not supported by facts. Don’t forget taking a position “To Believe” without knowledge, proof, or even investigating and questioning is a violation to rationalism as well as the ethics of belief and it is almost guaranteed to lead to limitations or errors in thinking. What if an entity claiming to be a god was supernatural but not a god at all and only claiming to be a god? Or if they can prove they are a god that still would not be proof in and of itself that it was not just claiming to be a god that created the universe, a god like anyone would need to prove those claims before it would be warranted to believe.
Faith is not a reasoned, be a rationalist willing to look and be a truth seeker. If I never look, I will always find only what I am looking for, which is, simply, nothing. However, if I truly seek truth, I may find more than I could imagine. If you only look for nothing, you will find nothing. However, to look earnestly, you will always find a new truth waiting to be found. Be willing to look and be a truth seeker. When you believe, you can have little or no facts and need only faith, you demonstrate no real love of truth. I implore you be a rationalist and accepting nothing but facts upon facts connected to reality. Faith is a proclamation of belief in the absence of or contrary to evidence.
Faith is not a reasoned virtue; it is the voice of emotionalism. If it requires faith to see a thing as real, then you are admitting such a thing has nothing to do with reality. Can you not see that in the acquisition of knowledge faith, as a method is not worth believing in? Critical thinking requires you to work on your thinking continually, to make your thinking the object of thought, to make your behavior the object of your thinking, and to make your beliefs the object of your thinking. For example, take your religious thinking: All over the world, there are many belief systems and each is certain of its truth on the evidence devoid property of faith. As such, on average if you are raised where buddhism is most common, then you become a buddhist. If you are raised where hinduism is most common, then you become a hindu. Christian, you become a christian. Etc.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, you have 500 choices. Honestly, how many study religions before they pick one rather than it being picked for them? As a rationalist atheist, when in doubt, applying skepticism at this point is also a highly rational position. Certainly, it is more rational to be skeptical than trying to pretend to know something when you do not know or accept something on faith. Philosophical views are typically classed as skeptical when they involve advancing some degree of doubt regarding claims that are elsewhere taken for granted.
Varieties of skepticism can be distinguished in two main ways, depending upon the focus and the extent of the doubt. As regards the former, skeptical views typically have an epistemological form, in that they are focused on the epistemic status of certain beliefs. For example, one common variety of skepticism concerns our beliefs about the past and argues that such beliefs lack positive epistemic status – that they are not justified, or are not rational, or cannot constitute knowledge (and perhaps even all three). Where skepticism does not have this epistemological focus, then it tends to be of an ontological form in that it is directed at beliefs about the existence of some supposedly problematic entity, such as the self or God. Here the target of the skepticism is not so much one’s putative knowledge of these entities (though it may be that as well), but rather the claim that they exist at all.
Are you a Rationalist?
If you think that you are a rationalist and you have come to some conclusion of supernatural or supreme supernatural “i.e. gods” to the natural only reality of this world, you expose how on this issue you’re not a true rationalist. Well, I am a rationalist and I am not a skeptic, though I somewhat am a fan. Lol
I do not call myself a skeptic, I do not doubt that which is unreasonable to require doubt. I am a rationalist who uses methodological skepticism and also may utilize scientific skepticism.
*Methodological skepticism is a way of using the process of doubting in order to arrive at certainty. And scientific skepticism is the practice of questioning whether claims are supported by empirical research and have reproducibility, as part of a methodological norm pursuing “the extension of certified knowledge.” Some people who doubt what is rational or proven say they are skeptics or being skeptical they are denialists or possibly using philosophic skepticism.
*Philosophical skepticism is distinguished from methodological skepticism in that philosophical skepticism is an approach that questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge. Whereas methodological skepticism is an approach that subjects all knowledge claims to scrutiny with the goal of sorting out true from false claims. Methodological skepticism, is a systematic process of being skeptical about (or doubting) the truth of one’s beliefs, it is similar to scientific skepticism.
*Scientific skepticism is different from philosophical skepticism, which questions our ability to claim any knowledge about the nature of the world and how we perceive it. Scientific skeptics believe that empirical investigation of reality leads to the truth, and that the scientific method is best suited to this purpose. Scientific skeptics attempt to evaluate claims based on verifiability, reliability, and often adhering to falsifiability discouraging acceptance of claims on faith or anecdotal evidence.
There does seem to be a lot of improper use of the term skeptic attached to conspiracy theories and denialism. In human behavior, denialism is exhibited by individuals choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid dealing with an uncomfortable truth. Then again, I have skepticism for “extreme philosophical skepticism or universal skepticism philosophy”. Radical skepticism about the external world is the idea that we cannot have accurate knowledge about the physical world outside of our minds. That idea, if true, would block the truth-seeker’s attempt to gain knowledge by assessing the natural world. Sure, reasonable skepticism gets us to a good solid starting point to remove flawed beliefs but there is a need to move beyond skepticism if it removes any sureness of things that are actually demonstrative as true then to me it can become pseudo skeptic and denialist thinking.
Granted, I do think all claims or beliefs we think are true should be open to challenge and reassessment and if found wanting corrected or abandoned. Scientific skepticism is also called rational skepticism, and it is sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry. I see philosophy as a set of tools, some are viral, some not needed as much but still useful, other not very useful but still needed and others just some gimmick people were conned into buying that is entirely unusual and even harmful.
I am not anti-skeptical or anti-skeptic it is just not the accurate label for my thinking. if the term “Skeptic” was limited to only methodological skepticism I would champion the term as well. I think skeptic should automatically infer the methodological skepticism approach and likewise denialist thinking should not be seen as a true philosophical approach to skepticism as there is a difference between a skeptic and denialist.
*Denialist “pseudo-skeptics” are often religionists, magical thinkers, conspiracy theorist, supporters of woo woo, and other whack jobs these days. Religion and other magical thinking woo woo distorts reality. How can we expect people to make rational decisions when they believe in non-reality as if it is reality?
Reasonable skepticism to me is or should be more about the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity or reliable reason or evidence. It’s the process of finding a supported conclusion, not the justification of a preconceived conclusion.
By Damien Marie AtHope
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