A Sceptic’s Lament

Roger - Victoria, Canada
Entered on July 20, 2008
Age Group: 65+
Themes: integrity

THIS I BELIEVE.

I believe that people who I trusted did not tell me the whole truth , as they knew it, when I was young , when I was middle aged and now that I am young old. Some believed that they were telling me the truth , some dissembled , hiding their own uncertainty and doubt ,perhaps unwilling to lay their pain on another. Some feared the personal and social consequences of their frankness and if they were in authority ,the horror of being thought radical and “irresponsible” and not being a team player ,a maverick.

As a result I am a respectful skeptic a person with an open mind but one wanting to see the amount and quality of the evidence for any point of view. The result is that I respect the scientific method and abhor a priori reasoning. The downside is that whatever I live by is on the basis of what is possible and probable on a percentage basis. I have a 0% belief in Santa Claus but a 90% belief that Love is central to the meaning of my Life. I have a 99% belief that I am a primate and perhaps a 60% chance that I have a transcendent spirit. You can begin to see that CERTAINTY is not part of my life pattern and it takes courage and fortitude to freely admit that I just do not know but I do have the freedom to enquire , speculate and think outside the box.

I am free to suggest that there is NO evidence that Jesus was a historical figure. I am free to say that Mahomet was illiterate and did some very unpleasant things, on the evidence I have looked at. I am free to say that to label people as gay and straight is a contemporary social construct and quite far from the truth . In all of these ideas, if fresh evidence comes along to contradict my ideas and speculations then I will change them and be happy to do so.

I believe that INTEGRITY is a quality sorely missing in our world today.