The Sceptic

 

There is no doubt in my or there’s minds; I am a sceptic.

It’s in my blood, so to speak. Actually, it’s in my synapses; arranged and imbedded many years ago by some very influential people.

Take Mr. Baldwin for starters. A WWII veteran, ex-Spitfire pilot with one real leg and the other presumably made from the stump of a burnt iron bark tree, and a voice that sounded like the Rolls Royce Merlin engine that got him through his dogfights with the Germans and continued with his battle with Year 11 Physics.

“Dinning! Where is your homework?” And I’d feel the heat of the exhaust from the back row as it scorched it’s was across the cowering students ahead of me.

He was a sceptic of the first order.

“Believe nothing you are told”, he would roar. “Question everything”.

And we did. 

He died of cancer. 

“They think they can give me quality of life in a palliative care hospital. I’ve had my quality.” 

He just walked out of the room one day and never came back. 

Then there was the Religious Education teacher. Now there’s an oxymoron if I’ve ever seen one. RE is was called. Bigotry, my old man called it.

I was eight or nine years old. Grade 3 Granville Central Primary School.

RE was compulsory. One hour a week.

The man in the grey suit carrying a bible announced to the class that the earth was no older than 4600 years and evolution was a crock of shite (not his words. I don’t remember exactly how he phrased it but that was his implication).

“No one has ever witness any such mutation that would affect the behaviour of an organism or the formation of subspecies”, he announced to the bewildered throng before him.

Now I had read books. My sisters’ books. Science books. Loads of them, in the hope of finding the reproductive stuff and getting a glimpse of a vagina or two. Along the way I had seem photographs of fruit fly, images of Brassicas and bacteria, mutating away and producing all sorts of species and genera. I had my sisters explain all this to me. They knew lots. By the way, sisters are always to be trusted when you’re 8 or 9. They know lots.

“Excuse me, “ I said forcefully, raising my arm more in rage than courtesy. “Have you seen...” and I went into a 20 minute tirade on how he was an idiot and should go back to school.

I hadn’t heard the term ‘Atheist’ up until that point. I liked the word. It beats being called a Christian or catholic. It became my label of choice after that collision with Christianity. 

The one this that is certain: atheists are sceptics. 

Then I became a scientist. What a wonderful lot they are. Questions, questions, questions. Why, how, when, what, who (not so much ‘who’), how much? I rebelled in it. Every answer raised an other question. No one was satisfied they had the final answer. Endless, persistent scepticism.

Then I taught. What an opportunity to generate another generation of sceptics.

And now I settle back in retirement and annoy my grand children and great grand children with endless questions. Nothing is sacred. Nothing is final. Nothing is more annoying to the parents of said children when Poppy Tom asks them about Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, the Boogie man and the other boogie man: God.

“You can’t say that,” they scream. “[Its] my best slice of punishment you cutting out there” they beg.

Well, find another way. 

 

 

7 comments

        Image result for emoji icon skeptic animated gif

So, what questions do you have, Suze?

do you find yourself being  bit sceptical about issues presented to you?

im not talking conspiracy theory here, just a bit of doubt, a bit each way, a few questions before you make up your mind.

i think it’s a healthy attitude to have. It’s certainly helped me over the years although I have found that, on questioning an expert, they might feel challenge, as though it’s not my business to question them.

but surely questions are about clarification. If we understand, we acknowledge. That’s got to be a good thing.

Related image

 looks like a dingo got to The dingo!

Scepticism is great, if, after asking all the questions of who, how, what, why, you actually come to a conclusion. And - scepticism is only any good if it is accompanied by logic, knowledge and understanding - something which comes with age and experience (but not always). The problem with our society is that those with the knowledge and understanding are the ones nobody wants to listen to, and are quickly dismissed as irrelevant by the young and trendy know-it-alls.

let's face it, those with the knowledge and understanding are quickly dismissed as irrelevant by various groups of know-it-alls including the not so young. 

 

Tom

@ If we understand, we acknowledge. That’s got to be a good thing.

                                     Related image

Protocols that precede the activity of understanding and acknowledgement do not necessarily induce  good things.

Surely your goal should be to feel unconditionally good about who you are, so that do not depend on others’ reactions in order to regard yourself positively. 

                                                         

I’m not talking about self-perception, Suze. 

One might feel really good about themselves while they are beating someone to a pulp or robbing them blind. That’s the nature of psychopaths.

one can only identify with social norms as a guide to current ‘good’. We all need a reference point. Mine, like yours will be a selection of ideologies and characters you have built up over your life, most of which you collected before your teens ended.

along the way you’ll use those ideologies to test the outside world in an effort to understand it and accept it, or not.

sometimes it is necessary to observe the reactions of others to gauge the effectiveness of your actions. I might feel really good about pissing into an alley after a night at the pub but an observer might feel quite different. Collaberation with my wife on matters pertaining. I often turn a blind eye or ear to questionable suggestions from her. Some days it just ain’t worth the hassle. I assume you know what I mean.

And some days shit just happens. Questioning oneself is often the hardest form of scepticism.

Religion is so last century - now its all Climate change. Isn't it amazing how humans can so easily be led.

... and we thought the Mayans were ridiculous throwing sacrifices into volcanoes to appease the Gods.

Religion has been around a bit longer than 1 century. More like 100 and still going strong on last count.

climate change isn’t a religion, if that’s what you’re getting at.

yep. Leaders and followers. That’s us. What a mess if we were all one and none of the other.

did mayans really throw people,into volcanoes?

Yep they did, only virgins though. Wouldnt work these days - no virgins left LOL

I believe...............................I believe I will have another beer!

 

A healthy dose of skepticism can be a valuable addition to any discussion. However..there are two types of skepticism: negative and positive.

Negative skeptics are a hindrance. Their closed minds and cynicism kill objective analysis..I avoid them like the plague. In contrast, positive skepticism tends to bring about valuable critical thinking and adds understanding and fresh thought to any discussion.



Anyone knows what happened to my new ex best friend Tom the dingo? Havent seen him around fr a while.

I’m here, Reag old man.

Never far away.

just observing at the moment.

i have a dilemma. 

On the one side I like writing. Along with that comes a voice from within that challenges my own thinking and translates into stories that might challenge others. You might call it cynicism, sarcasm, or downright lies. Which ever way you go I do it to see where it might lead.

On the other side, I find myself being constantly surprised by the nature of the responses. Some are introspective, challenging, informative and insightful. Many are ill informed, biased, derogatory, irrelevant, racist, dogma and downright insulting.

now, I’m not responsible for how others might view my words. Nor am I responsible for the feelings and responses they give forth in return.

But I must admit, I grow weary at times and wonder why I bother.

so I leave the room from time to time to draw breath, to feel the wind in my hair, to smell the roses and replenish my faith in human nature.

i will be back, but at the moment I have little or nothing to say, at least, not for the viewing of some in the forum, present company excepted, of course.

Maybe soon I will return with vengeance; at least with purpose, nd try my best to ignore the idiocies of some who have little to say beyond their own fartings.

 

your NBF

Tom

Ah so there you are. Well dont let the grass grow, join the party when you like, ignore the poopers and let the thoughts flow. As Brene Brown , very smart lady said, "your critics aren't the only ones who count." 

7 comments