This I Believe

Philip - Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 4, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

“What do I believe?” is a tough question for a skeptic to answer. For me, the answer lies in the nature of skepticism itself.

I believe in doubt. I believe in reason. I believe in emotion and I believe in evidence.

I believe Freud was right when he said that consciousness was only the tip of the iceberg. I believe that we know not why we do things, that we should be suspicious of our own behavior, that our conscious mind creates rational explanations for our behavior only after our behavior has occurred.

I believe in doubt. I believe in fearing people who are too certain. They too easily see what they want to see. This confirmation bias prevents a true consideration of the evidence.

I believe in being open-minded. Descartes said “I doubt, therefore I am.” I believe that learning and knowledge begin with the statement “I don’t know.” Buddhism teaches that the fundamental ignorance of humanity, the thing that keeps people from truly knowing each other, is the belief that their perception of reality is reality.

I believe in acknowledging our inescapable humanity, our undeniable subjectivity, and admitting doubt. I believe that the mysteries of life can only be approached with humility and doubt.

I believe that having no doubt is an obstacle to peace and understanding. I believe in empathy, evidence, and doubt. I believe in the power of love and the interconnectedness of all living things.