i never really wanted to be a skeptic. a skeptic’s life is no day at the beach; it would be easier, in my estimation, if i could just swallow what people feed me instead of chucking it up to inspect the contents. but i find it necessary because i value truth highly even though i don’t know what the hell it is.
my game plan is simple in principle: i figure that there is a lengthy list of competing explanations for the way the world works. at my own pace, i sift through these proposals, striving for objectivity. the best i can hope to do is to simply rule out the explanations that are hopelessly illogical or just plain absurd – these ones get crossed off the list of candidates. other ones that are too sensible to ignore get pushed to the top of the list. this brute force method is hopelessly inefficient, and i have already accepted the fact that the list of surviving theories will probably never be pared down to a workable size.
take christianity for example. i only bring it up because it’s what i grew up with; i was teethed on its hard principles and made to follow its unmarked, winding, meandering maze of a trail. when i finally became brave enough to pull out a map and admit that i was completely lost, it was the best move i have made to date. since then i have realized that christianity as depicted by the bible is both hopelessly illogical AND just plain absurd. therefore it has been scratched off the list.
and that’s how i move forward. i hesitate to call it progress, but it is a progression of sorts. the frustrating thing is that in good faith i can only claim to believe in very little – and to know even less. i will say, however, that as frustrating as that may be, i can look myself square in the eyes – it’s worse to be in the maze, pretending that you actually have some idea where you are going, where you have been, and where you are. do my agnosticism, weak atheism, and supple belief system make me a bad person? i would rather say they make me rational. would i rather that my eyes had never been opened so that i could have stayed blissfully ignorant? no.
anyway, i’m off! extended vacation, you see. i probably won’t have the opportunity to chat for a month -- maybe less if i can swing it. i just wanted to say that i enjoy this forum quite a bit with its hodgepodge of ideas, small scandals, and surprisingly articulate minds.