Healthy Skepticism

Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire

Back in the late sixties I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Question Authority.” I asked the people in the car with me, “says who?” Who are they to tell me to question authority, I asked.

I am not a skeptic, yet I have what I believe is a healthy skepticism. What is the difference between healthy and unhealthy skepticism? The answer lies in how open are you to accept information from a good source that disagrees with your current position and how trustworthy are your sources?

If you are not open, then your skepticism is very unhealthy and, as Voltaire warns above, dangerous.

So the solution is to be agnostic on that topic – which is what you are when you hold that you are not currently in possession of solid enough information from a trustworthy source to say for sure one way or another… but if some comes your way, you will be swayed. This is healthy. This is smart.

If you are open, but are basing your beliefs on dubious sources, then your skepticism is likewise unhealthy. Beginning fifteen years or so ago in my research writing class, I had the students look at the bias of news sources and they were appalled at the overt bias in reporting. I also had them look at bias in an emerging phenomenon called “fact checking” and they discovered the same thing. Bias was everywhere even in the self-described honest and unbiased organizations.

We have to be open to having information show us that we are wrong. To be otherwise is again, foolish and dangerous. Also, we have to invest the time to seek out the best sources of truth… the absolute best! Then and only then can we have healthy skepticism in our lives.

We should be open to believing all things that come from objective, impeccable, and tried and true sources!

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. II Tim. 3:13-15


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For His glory,


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