I learned being skeptical from a Leonardo da Vinci book. In a book "How to think like Leonardo da Vinci" it said that da Vinci questioned much of the "dogma" of his day, and looked for ways to disprove it. I began to question or doubt what people said--but it ended up hurting me. Like for example I began to act like mental health professionals did not know what they were talking about. PROFESSIONALS, yes. I wasn't trying to act like a know-it-all--I guess I just was unintentionally after reading that book. But if I hadn't read that book, it would've been better, because I would've maybe believed what they were saying, and I would've been better off.
I also had someone warn me that I looked the saddest he'd ever seen me when I was hanging around an abusive boyfriend, yet at the time I thought he was making me feel better. Since I learned skepticism from da Vinci, I did not see what they meant at the time. If I had just listened to what they said, I may have ended up being a lot happier in the end.
Da Vinci was a proud person--read some of his stuff--he writes mean, condescending things about other people. People will say he is so attractive, so smart, so good in everything. He is overrated.
Perhaps we should just take a step back. Look at the beauty that lies all around us and for once just focus on the good things. Im not saying its bad to be a skeptiscist. Im saying stand out , be the positive voice in the crowd and remember that everything we need to achieve is possible. There is enough skeptiscism out there , lets try to balance things up.
People who use "skeptic" as a derogatory term don't seem to realize how much skepticism they employ in their own lives.
People who accept claims that fairies exist or a juice diet can cure cancer without evidence are seen as gullible. Yet somehow this attitude becomes virtuous and "correct" when the claim in question is the existence of a god.
Not accepting a claim, particularly an extraordinary claim, without verifiable evidence is just good sense.
If supernatural claims do not adhere to observed reality, then without proof, it is useless for observed reality. Meaning that if a claim is based on anecdotal testimonials alone, it has no value or necessity to interfere with our view of reality.
Even though many think certain aspects of our perceptions are subjective - which, indeed, some are - we all eventually go on our daily lives on a default objective understanding of physics and the natural functions of things. All because our common agreement is basic for survival and progress.
Usually skeptics follow the scientific method of observation and experimenting to verify a the true nature of a claim. What differs is that anyone could prove a scientific claim if they wanted to, but not everyone could try to see a ghost or an UFO. Skepticism is about having an open mind, accepting challenges and change of a theory and confirm phenomena through proper investigation. Based on evidence.
Therefore one cannot take anything researched by other people as true because they will have been influenced by their own faiths and beliefs. If nothing is 'true' then there is nothing to not trust. Therefore, one must only truly believe what they find out themselves through scientific method. Though, of course, there is not necessarily any need to understand anything since the only reason you're alive is to enjoy yourself and have fun. So if you're not enjoying your job, get a new one.
Evolution, Plate Tectonic Theory; these are examples of scientific discoveries that have changed the way we look at the world. The brilliant people behind these discoveries went through doubt and rejection by a lot of people, whether it was because they didn't have the mechanics to back up their theory or maybe it was because it was seen barbaric by those.
But they were skeptical, questioning what they were told to believe. And for that reason we are able to understand the world a little better!
Being a skeptic is healthy. We shouldn't proceed through live believing everything we're told and everything we read. It's necessary to take caution with the truth claims thrown our way. But when evidence presents itself with respect to a particular assertion, spiritual or otherwise, it's our obligation to investigate it thoroughly so we can arrive at an honest, truthful answer!
Being a Skeptic, is truly the only proper way to be. If you are not skeptical and check everything out thoroughly, whether it be in subscribing to a belief system or joining a financial get rich scheme, if you don't do your homework properly and critically (or skeptically) then you are more likely to make a wrong choice and lose out, whether emotionally, or financially.
Many belief systems only exist to make money, there are many people being robbed blind by charlatan religious leaders, Catholicism has itself always been more about money and dogma before concern for it's followers. Thus their irrational inhuman policies. People are also being ripped off constantly by online and door knocking scams.
Being a Skeptic is simply being very careful about your emotional, personal and financial commitments.
It simply means doing your homework critically and thoroughly.
I learned this at school when I was studying Theology class, but I also visited the public library and researched into the History of Christianity.
From my historical studies, I realized that Theology was leading me into idiotic delusional concepts that were empirically/practically Wrong.
Thus I ceased Theology,
I did enough homework to prove to me that Abraham based religions were Fraudulent.
Being Skeptical means doing a lot of research into whatever you think about committing yourself to.
A Skeptic is simply any person who takes such care for themselves and for their friends that don't bother taking such care.
Nothing more, nothing less.