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Switch to Forum Live View The Poison of Skepticism"
5 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2010 - 9:05PM #1
2bme
Posts: 1,145


"The poison of skepticism becomes, like alcoholism, tuberculosis, and some other diseases, much more virulent in a hitherto virgin soil."  Simone Weil

  

When I first read this it didn't make sense to me.  How could someone who valued the intellect so much and the necessity of doubt say such a thing?

  

Then it began to make sense when I remembered  "apatheia" and what it meant to both Stoicism and Christianity.

 

Apatheia is freedom from emotion.  The intellect to serve its purpose must be free of emotional bias and the negativity associated with it.  Otherwise associative reason is used as a tool to serve a bias.

 

Now it became clear.  Simone was not referring to doubt but rather to emotionally colored doubt: negative pre-conception that indeed is a psychological poison.

 

This is what I read in atheism and what I've experienced on the Internet.  The positive atheist exudes negative emotion that ruins the inner psychological benefit of doubt.

 

I was pondering this today and then it became clear how important apatheia is for anyone seriously interested in the great questions of human meaning and purpose that the essence of philosophy and religion seek to address.

 

Where Stoicism was primarily concerned with suppressing emotion, Christianity was concerned with allowing the heart to experience higher emotions that are normal for a higher level of being but are normally blocked. We can experience them and their help for awakening..


But these negative emotions are too satisfying just to surrender for the sake of reality.  So everything continues as is.


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5 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2010 - 11:22PM #2
Ken
Posts: 33,859

Jan 17, 2010 -- 9:05PM, 2bme wrote:

Now it became clear.  Simone was not referring to doubt but rather to emotionally colored doubt: negative pre-conception that indeed is a psychological poison.


This is what I read in atheism and what I've experienced on the Internet.  The positive atheist exudes negative emotion that ruins the inner psychological benefit of doubt.


No, that is not what you've experienced on the internet. When you have expressed yourself in vague and pompous abstractions, you have been asked what they mean. When you have made unsupported assertions, you have been asked to support them. When you have made statements that appear to be untrue, you have been confronted with objections to them. This is what you must expect in a debate forum. You should be prepared to define your terms, support your assertions, and counter any objections - and if you aren't prepared (and you clearly haven't been) you should blame yourself, not those of us who have exposed your inadequacies. We are not psychological poisoners. We are not exuding negative emotions. When a debater resorts to such absurd and insulting accusations simply because he is disappointed by the reception he has received, it is time he stopped making excuses and took a good, hard look at himself.   


 


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5 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2010 - 12:16AM #3
Blü
Posts: 24,871

2bme


"The poison of skepticism becomes, like alcoholism, tuberculosis, and some other diseases, much more virulent in a hitherto virgin soil."  Simone Weil


The alternative to skepticism is gullibility.


I can see why you don't like skepticism.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2010 - 9:11AM #4
Kwinters
Posts: 21,922

And let's start out with a REAL definition of skepticism, not some wafty bs:


 


'Contemporary skepticism (or scepticism) is loosely used to denote any questioning attitude, or some degree of doubt regarding claims that are elsewhere taken for granted.'


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skepticism


 


Skepticism is what drives knowledge forward.


Blind acceptance of dogma and 'received wisdom' has been tried in the past.  When it happened in Europe we now refer to that time period as the Dark Ages, because the light of inquiry and intelligence was smothered out by the Christian church.


 

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2010 - 10:12AM #5
2bme
Posts: 1,145

It is curious how no one recognizes this idea of the corrupting influence of negative emotion on doubt.  Everyone wants to defend the  necessity of doubt but no one recognizes the influence of negative emotion on the quality of doubt.


What the stoics came appreciate from experience, the atheists are still unwilling and prefer basking in the poison of negative emotion justifying their doubt.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2010 - 10:26AM #6
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,744

Jan 18, 2010 -- 10:12AM, 2bme wrote:


It is curious how no one recognizes this idea of the corrupting influence of negative emotion on doubt.  Everyone wants to defend the  necessity of doubt but no one recognizes the influence of negative emotion on the quality of doubt.


What the stoics came appreciate from experience, the atheists are still unwilling and prefer basking in the poison of negative emotion justifying their doubt.




I think skepticism is a good thing. I'm comfortable with uncertainty and questioning.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2010 - 10:53AM #7
F1fan
Posts: 11,315

Jan 18, 2010 -- 10:12AM, 2bme wrote:


It is curious how no one recognizes this idea of the corrupting influence of negative emotion on doubt.  Everyone wants to defend the  necessity of doubt but no one recognizes the influence of negative emotion on the quality of doubt.



Many theists who cry foul at skepticism do so because they believe that the ideas being scrutinized are somehow sacred and off limits.  Those who believe in these ideas don't realize these are just ideas, they have no authority, no special quality.  Skeptics have the personal and intellectual authority to deny any claim made by another person when that claim does not meet standards of reason.  So there is no corruption except the easy ride faith gives certain concepts.


What the stoics came appreciate from experience, the atheists are still unwilling and prefer basking in the poison of negative emotion justifying their doubt.




"Negative" is YOUR emotion, YOUR reaction to reason.  That you don't know yourself well enough to understand your own emotional reaction and instead project it onto others is narcissistic. 

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2010 - 10:58AM #8
Ken
Posts: 33,859

Jan 18, 2010 -- 10:12AM, 2bme wrote:

It is curious how no one recognizes this idea of the corrupting influence of negative emotion on doubt.  Everyone wants to defend the  necessity of doubt but no one recognizes the influence of negative emotion on the quality of doubt.


That's because no one has been experiencing any negative emotion.


What the stoics came to appreciate from experience, the atheists are still unwilling and prefer basking in the poison of negative emotion justifying their doubt.



Nonsense. This is a debate board and the atheists here have been debating you. "Negative emotion" has nothing to do with it. It seems to me that all the bad feeling is on your side.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2010 - 11:40AM #9
2bme
Posts: 1,145

As Spock would say: fascinating!

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2010 - 11:42AM #10
Wendyness
Posts: 3,012

Human nature is fascinating!  

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