Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Skepticism and Faith

To me, skepticism is an attitude about certainty and not truth. One can be a thoroughgoing skeptic and still believe there is an objective truth associated with propositions. Despite that, people often link skepticism to subjectivism. Being a skeptic does not commit one to being a subjectivist regarding truth.

When someone claims certainty about difficult and important matters of fact, alarm bells go off for the skeptic. When the certainty arises from articles of faith, the skeptic sees his neighbor’s house on fire. This would not be a problem for the skeptic if we were not all related in many different ways. When a neighbor’s house catches fire, it often spreads to other houses.

Truth matters. So does certainty. Faith is not a virtue to the skeptic.

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