”The politics of scepticism”

Stuart Sim i The Philosophers’ Magazine:

”Scepticism is not just a rarefied form of philosophical discourse, therefore, primarily concerned to undermine philosophical pretension, but a method for combating authoritarianism in daily life. There’s far too much unquestioning belief and just sheer certainty around, and far too little scepticism and just plain honest doubt. Without scepticism and doubt it is difficult to keep a sense of proportion, and that’s precisely what religious dogmatists in the main lack. They know what is best for us – but of course they don’t, and couldn’t, really know, and that is reason enough to campaign for scepticism. Certainty is the enemy of everything positive that modern society stands for. There’s always far more reason to doubt your beliefs than to be certain about them, and the more you doubt them the less likely you are to feel compelled to force them onto others. Simultaneously, however, you should be doing your best to inculcate doubt in others. Suspension of certainty when it comes to belief should be the minimum we require of both ourselves and our peers. Unfortunately, politics increasingly is becoming colonised by the dogmatists, for whom “there is no alternative”. But there’s always an alternative – that is the creed of an engaged scepticism.”

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