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  #1    
Old January 31st, 2014 (07:25 AM).
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Quite the lot of folks all over the world seem very weary in trust of the authorities of all kinds. The question is, do you think it's a bad thing to be a skeptic? Is there a reason? Are you a skeptic? Why or why not? Discuss!~
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Old January 31st, 2014 (08:48 AM).
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Ugh, these weird titles...I don't even know what I'm clicking into.

As with everything, too much is bad for you (I guess that's in the definition of "too much" ). Skepticism is unhealthy without a reason, as is being too trusting. That said, those put in positions of authority have a rather terrible record historically of abusing their power. This pretty much goes for every society.

The understandable mistrust that comes with that can only be dissolved by addressing the root disparity between those in charge and their charges.
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Old January 31st, 2014 (08:56 AM).
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If there's one thing that I believe absolutely and completely, it's this: being a skeptic is always a good thing, and the more of a skeptic you are the better. It's never good to believe anything without any proof or evidence.
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Old January 31st, 2014 (09:26 AM).
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I don't think I can say it any better than LoudSilence.

A healthy balance between scepticism and trust is the best way to go.

If we are to sceptic of things we are never going to be able accept anything in our lives nor trust anybody - be it the government, doctors or even our friends and family. But the opposite is true of being too trusting, being to trusting opens you up to a dangerous world of con-men and people who will otherwise use and hurt you.

The way to handle something really is with a certain measure of both, so you are open to things but will not fall for an obvious lie or trick. That way you can live your life without constantly fearing that you're being ripped off but without actually being constantly ripped off.
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Old January 31st, 2014 (09:41 AM).
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I think I'm generally a fairly trusting person, but I can easily tell whether or not I'm skeptical about a certain idea and wouldn't be shy to articulate it. Is it a whacky new science discovery we're talking about? Well, I'll judge it based on my background knowledge, and perhaps read the abstract or dig deeper into article that's causing all the media attention and then judge. Either way, I think I'll be able to have a good idea as to the level of "trueness" or meaningfulness a certain science concept will have. For things like political opinions, I judge it based on what I've learned so far, and do some extra reading if I'm not very familiar with the event I'm thinking about. I think what you usually find is that the thing to be most skeptical about is yourself! I think I've gotten to the point where I can accurately judge, whether I make an opinion or not, whether I know enough or not to make a reasoned opinion in the first place.

Oh, this was about authorities? Um...

This discussion really has to be contextualized though, seeing how it comes out of a traditionally American vibe. I'm reasonably skeptical as a Canadian, but Americans who identify with a certain ideology would consider me too trusting of authority. And given that my academic interests are concerned with just how governments /can/ promote development, I really don't think you could judge me favourably on those terms haha. Let's just say that I'm not particularly skeptical towards authority. What I'm really skeptical towards is (the lack of) information. Sometimes you have to be skeptical of the skeptics, because they just might not be saying enough. Skeptiception? People can be unreasonably mistrusting, as strange as that sounds.
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Old January 31st, 2014 (09:55 AM).
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Oh wow, I missed the authority bit haha. I believe that there's not a single human being who has ever existed who can be trusted with power over another human being.

It's kinda like the One Ring of power in Lord of the Rings. You wear it, you get corrupted and want more. Unfortunately, in order to have a functional society, someone has to wear it for a limited amount of time. If you trust them with it, bad things happen. So yea...it's good to be skeptical, but it's necessary to be skeptical of those in power, no matter who they are.
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Old February 5th, 2014 (08:52 AM).
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Authorities/ politicians/scientists/experts/etc should be questioned and not trusted blindly because there is no such thing as a perfect authority in any area or subject. No human is perfect, everyone has their bias. If we lay too much trust in one person. they can fail us and hurt us. There are no absolute truths, no truth that cannot hold some extent of doubt or no truth that everyone ascends to.

For example, one of the most acclaimed physicists eve,r Albert Einstein believed that quantum mechanics were wrong and not prevalent in society. Today, many questions his authority on quantum mechanics because he was wrong. today, quantum mechanics have been used to find that electrons behave both as waves and as particles. This help us delve further into quantum theory and has made breakthroughs in science. If we put all of our trust in Einstein and not questioned his authority, then we would not have progressed in science as far today. By questioning authority, we can improve them. Through criticism most people are willing to improve and those that are not, shouldn't be leaders at all. If we had not questioned Einstein's work on quantum physics, then he could not have improved his unification theory. If we don't question our parents on why we should move out then we maybe at home playing World of Warcraft in our basement for the rest of our life.

It should be a common human emotion for rebellion. Although we don't want to admit it, we all share the traits. I believe that we should question authority on every issue. Playing Devil's Advocate can cause one to see the world in an entirely different perspective.
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Old February 7th, 2014 (08:18 PM).
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I can be naive/generously trusting yet quite skeptical of people's intentions at the same time. Sometimes I put too much thought into perceiving people as conniving and devious. Who knows what ulterior motives another person has! Naturally, I have a hard time completely believing people 100%; takes me a few months to warm up to someone. In regards to authoritative figures, it's quite hard to have faith and trust in them considering how many things have gone under their discretion. I understand it's their job to fulfill the needs of their people, but when they don't pull through with what they promised, it's hard to believe them from that point on.
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Old February 8th, 2014 (01:39 AM).
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Do you think it's a bad thing to be a skeptic? Is there a reason?
Skeptical of authority, or skeptical of the law? Those are two every different things. I think we, as a society, have every right to be skeptical of authority, considering the amount of corruption that's in the mass media and fictional works all over the place. We're almost expected to be skeptical.

Being skeptical is law is just lol. Coming from a first world country, I don't know what it's like to live in a place where being homosexual or even knowing someone is homosexual is a crime and gets you thrown in jail. So really it's not okay for be laugh it off, since people have it worse off than me. But in my country, if the law was that bad and detrimental to the public, it would have been changed by now or there'd be a social movement to overthrow the government, or something like that, lol.

But really, no, it's bad. You can be skeptical of something while still accepting it and abiding by the enforcement by it or of it.

Are you a skeptic? Why or why not?
No, because I see no reason to be skeptical over something as simple (in my instance) as authority/law when there's serious discrimination of minority going on. Things are more important than worrying about something that I know society will protect me from (for context, the Fitzgerald Inquiry has pretty ended major corruption in authority, due to the social impact something like that have. It could potentially ruin a political party, and no one wants to give up something like that).
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Old February 9th, 2014 (02:28 PM).
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A bit of skepticism is always good. Just don't take it too far... (paranoia and conspiracies are more than being skeptic)
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Old February 9th, 2014 (02:45 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Togfan:
A bit of skepticism is always good. Just don't take it too far... (paranoia and conspiracies are more than being skeptic)
Well, conspiracy theories aren't skepticism. In fact they're precisely the opposite. Skepticism is a matter of withholding belief in a claim (i.e. if someone says "I don't believe the moon landing is real"). Conspiracy theories are an assertion that a claim is false, which is a claim in itself (i.e. "I believe the moon landing is false."). Being skeptical of something is simply not having a belief either way.
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