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How to be a skeptic


From childhood, everyone knows the expression "Thomas the unbeliever." Moreover, it is seldom that the same Thomas is called a person in a positive sense. Often a skeptic is perceived as a stubborn and even “armored person” person. But is such a statement true? Perhaps you should trust others around you? Could there be negative consequences for a skeptic because of his behavior? Or does incredulity, on the contrary, facilitate a person’s life, protecting him from negative consequences? In this case, being a skeptic is even better. But why then they are not much loved? We will confidentially talk about all this further.

Who is a skeptic

A skeptic is a person who is distrustful of any incoming information. In fairness, it is worth noting that we are all a little skeptical in childhood, checking the warnings of adults on our own skin. Until we fill our own “bumps”, we do not begin to become more careful. This quality of personality is called skepticism..

Then, making sure several times of the effectiveness of other people's advice, people are divided into two opposite camps. In one trusting representatives of humanity gather. In another camp - inveterate skeptics. Someone prefers to listen to others, while others continue to stuff “bumps” with their own efforts. To say that this is good or bad will not be correct, since everything depends on the specific situation. We will talk about the pros and cons of skeptics a little further. The main thing to learn is that since they did not become extinct as a result of social evolution, this type of personality has its own competitive advantages. Moreover, they took shape at the level of public thinking, claiming to be one of the ways of perceiving the world.

So skepticism, as a philosophical doctrine, originated in Ancient Greece, in the period after Aristotle. The origins of this trend can be considered the works of the philosopher Xenophanes. Further, skepticism was formed under the influence of Pirron, Arkesilaus, Enesidius, Agrippa, and Sextus Empiricus, who doubted the possibility of finding the truth. If this is not possible, then it is better to be guided by the criteria of practical behavior, based on "reasonable probability." The totality of knowledge and attitudes framed in the process of everyday life are called common sense. People should rely on him in any incomprehensible situation.

Skepticism received a new round of development in the Renaissancewhen European philosophers became interested again in the teachings of the ancient Greeks. This was caused by the rapid growth of knowledge and the expansion of the human worldview, which required a balanced approach in their interpretation.

Scientific and technological revolution that began in the twentieth century, only reinforced the appearance of skeptics. In 1992, the international Skeptics Society even appeared, which publishes its Skeptic magazine, audio and video materials, holds speeches and conferences, and actively disseminates its ideas on the Internet. Most of them go to astrologers, occultists, homeopaths, ufologists and other representatives of alternative science. On the one hand, this prevents the activities of various charlatans, but on the other, it complicates the work of talented scientists who are trying to push the boundaries of science.

Do not confuse the pessimist and skeptic. If the first tries to exaggerate and find the bad, then the second is simply looking for the truth. For example, in the case of meeting a girl. The pessimist decides that she is interested, only for the sake of money. The skeptic will question her sincerity, but after a series of checks and life situations, she can stop doubting.

Being a skeptic is not bad but if in moderation. Assuming an exhaustive search, one can noticeably complicate one's and other people's lives. Fortunately, extreme skepticism is not so widespread. More common are moderate forms of this way of thinking. We will talk more about the classification of this type of personality in the next section.

Types of Skeptics

At the household level, there are several types of skeptics. This is a fairly general classification. Conventionally, they can divided into doubters, moderate and pronounced. The former are not very different from the average person, just a little more suspicious. The latter are much more likely to show skepticism and distrust, while not overstepping a certain line of prudence. The tritium species demonstrates all the “charms” of a real skeptic, sometimes falling into paranoia and universal denial.

Cynical people who do not believe in the positiveness of the motives of human behavior can be considered one of the varieties of skeptics. Cynicism develops in response to life situations that demonstrate the validity of such judgments. It is not characteristic of children, appearing and progressing in adulthood. Many leaders, as a rule, are incredulous and cynical people who always calculate hidden motives.

Extreme skepticism can be considered nihilism - the complete denial of any kind of knowledge. This approach has a destructive effect, because it rejects any truths and foundations. A person with this type of thinking is distinguished by the shakiness of his eyes, the extreme degree of distrust and the complete denial of everything that is possible.

If we talk about skeptics in a global philosophical context, then the most widespread scientific skepticismrejecting all judgments that cannot be proved experimentally.

This variety is the most productive.but since it is the foundation of science. A skeptic, by and large, is a classic scientist who denies all pseudo-scientific hypotheses. One of the tools of scientific skepticism is called the Occam’s razor, a logical principle that cuts off any untenable worldview.

A skeptic is a common phenomenon and there is a chance to stumble on him anywhere. We will talk further about how to quickly recognize this type of personality in the interlocutor.

How to recognize a skeptic

The fact that you are a skeptic can be determined quite quickly. First of all, in the manner of communication. Such a person has reduced emotionality. He shows stubbornness, distrust, which can even border on rudeness. Any new information instantly requires confirmation by facts, concrete examples, situations from life. It is not enough for him to hear that the earth is round. The skeptic wants to see this with his own eyes, at least in photographs from space. Although, in the case of extremely pronounced skepticism, he will not even believe in the photo, considering it to be fake and installation.

Physiognomy experts say that a skeptic can be recognized externally. This type of personality corresponds to a thin physique, pointed features. This approach should not be absolutized, but a rational kernel is present in it.

The benefits of skeptics

A skeptic is much less susceptible to suggestion and manipulation. He is less likely to be the victim of scammers and publicity stunts. It is unlikely that such a person will believe in the sincerity of a fortune-teller, another presidential candidate, or a sales agent who is obsessively promoting his product. Moreover, the skeptic will not believe that a ton of gasoline accidentally evaporated from the tank, and several hectares of the forest themselves disappeared from the face of the Earth. These qualities make this type of temperament suitable for regulatory and law enforcement agencies, as well as auditors. But he also has its drawbacks, because not everyone wants to live with the “inspector” under one roof.

Skeptics' disadvantages

The greatest manifestation of the shortcomings of this type of personality falls on the sphere of interpersonal relations. Extreme suspicion and incredulity complicates communication with the opposite sex, friends and relatives. The meticulousness of a skeptic sometimes bores his interlocutors. After all, people do not always keep in mind the source of their knowledge; they cannot, on demand, refer to factual material. Especially when it comes to generally accepted truths.

The skeptic himself from time to time is not happy with his character. For example, when you need to quickly make a decision, without analysis and long deliberation. And if the cry “go away, the tree falls”, the skeptic with his usual manner will begin to meticulously analyze the rightness of the screaming one, he risks becoming a “hero” of the next news release. So, skepticism does not always protect a person from the sad consequences.

How to behave with a skeptic

First of all, you need to acquire a whole arsenal of arguments and facts. A skeptic loves clear reasoning. If you invite him to do something, it is advisable to foresee all possible risks. For example, there was a “burning” ticket to Turkey for two. Why is it so cheap? Perhaps others simply refused it? What if the sea is not the season now? There may be a million questions, and one must be prepared to answer everything.

On the other hand, having received a skeptic in your team, you can be sure that he will carefully consider all the scenarios and warn against possible "pitfalls". This quality is very useful in any team, because it helps to correct the actions of romantics and idealists, “landing” their wild imagination.

How to educate a skeptic

To begin with, it is worth answering the question, why should a skeptic be brought up at all? More precisely, why develop skepticism in a person? Of course, to teach children that you should not trust outsiders is right. But to develop cynicism and distrust of everyone and everything is also not an option.

Socialization of a person is based on interaction with others. Trust is an important component of this process. Without it, it is impossible to build a normal family, friendship, cooperation. Of course, trusting everyone indiscriminately is not right. But also pushing people away with excessive suspicion is fraught with bad consequences.

It is best to raise a child in a spirit of harmony with himself and the world around him, developing in him, in addition to critical thinking skills, the ability to trust people.

Do not think that a skeptic is necessarily a stale and rude person. It all depends on the severity of this quality. Sometimes the ability to doubt helps to avoid fraud and deception. This type of personality is less susceptible to external influence, thereby always having an opinion. On the other hand, excessive doubts interfere with establishing contacts and building relationships, which should be taken into account by all incredulous people. It is best to trust in moderation, and not oppress others with their suspicion.

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A skeptic is a person who does not trust rumors, widespread information, dubious ideas that he himself has not verified for truthfulness. The meaning of the word skeptic comes from the Greek "skeptikos". Greek skeptics represented a philosophical trend, according to which they raised doubts about the real possibilities of thinking and doubts about the reliability of truth. The ancient philosophers of skepticism were able to find a weakness in the theories of knowledge and logic of different philosophical directions, as well as to find vulnerabilities in these teachings and criticize them.

What does a skeptic mean in the current sense? The meaning of the word skeptic in a modern interpretation speaks of a person who constantly doubts the reliability of everything around him, so his attitude is riddled with mistrust.

A skeptic is a person who will never say that he knows for sure the correct answer to anything. He never rejects anything and does not immediately take it on faith. He first examines the question that has arisen, checks the incoming information, seeks arguments, and only after analyzing all this does he express his own judgment and conclusions.

Why are skeptics right

Cynics, faced with new information and suspense, usually sweeps everything as they do not believe in success. A gullible person agrees, hoping for the best. The skeptic will say that he still does not know the correct answer, that is, he does not reject anything and does not accept anything on faith. He examines any question, checks the incoming information and only then makes his judgment.

Of course, it is impossible to study absolutely all aspects of the case, but this is not necessary. We need exactly as much knowledge as will allow us to come to a preliminary opinion. As long as the judgment is consistent with the facts, it remains valid. Upon receipt of additional fresh information may change.

Healthy skepticism helps to correctly evaluate almost everything: current events and past actions, different theories, personal relationships, etc.

Skeptic: friend or foe?

In our time, the concept of skepticism has changed its philosophical meaning to purely behavioral. Millions of skeptics live among us and their behavior by society is estimated ambiguously.

The concept of skepticism is quite simple. Although skeptics are often confused with pessimists. Apparently, because both of them are extremely rarely cheerful. This is where their similarity ends. For a pessimist is a person who does not believe. He does not believe in a successful outcome of anything. But the skeptic does not trust. No, of course he may not believe either. For example, such a well-known fact that the earth revolves around the sun. But only until they convincingly prove it to him. The pessimist, on the contrary, will believe in this universally recognized fact, but he will always be sure that this law of the universe will not lead to anything good.

So, a skeptic is a person who casts doubt on any statement that is not supported by strong evidence.

Do not forget that children are all-around skeptics. In most cases, they do not trust the words of adults. If a child, for example, says, “don’t touch the iron, it’s hot, you’ll burn yourself,” the child will certainly touch him to make sure of this in practice. What to do. He knows the world around him.