While a useful intellectual tool, skepticism can be an exhausting social impediment, because not only do almost all people seem to have crowded their limited brain capacities with useless dogmas and fantasies, they seem to prefer to bring them up in social circumstances! Leaving me, mildly skeptical, to flounder in a lose/lose predicament - either stay silent and seemingly assent to the validity of their incoherent belief system or speak up and offend/dismay/argue all night! about the least significant assumptions and notions.
Psychology. Like metabolism, it seems that the generalisations are usually true, but as one gets closer to individuals, every situation turns into a unique example with unique traits. For example: I require very little vegetable based nutrition to remain healthy, while the general rule that it is required for human health remains true. Individual psychology viewed as a multidimensional space will permit us the analogy of identifying the useful devices and useless clutter in any given mind (or the general case) and their interconnections. It also seems that there are many "standard options" supported in our inherited "psychoscape". Are you still reading? I ramble... Anyway, religious attitudes and beliefs would certainly seem to be one of these. Readily installed, difficult to remove, uncommonly useless when it comes to clear thought and understanding, they permeate the human mental environment like cockroaches in a low rent city apartment.
Anyway, scientific thought does not seem to have this comfortable niche in the human mind. It requires constant maintenance and "purification" - removing theories that have settled into the dogma stage, removing processes that block new inputs - even skepticism can be a religion! This is why science is usually fighting uphill - the lack of "common sense" support for many explanations of how the universe really works at one level or another. My most difficult social encumberment has become something related to what I call "displaying the trait" (dumb name I know). While trying to expound on some pet theory about human nature, the objections I meet are actually couched in the language and supported by the belief system I am trying to expose.
Okay, I just got timed out and had to reconnect. Obviously I have been typing for too long. If you suffered through this meandering drivel, congratulations. The subject of healthy skepticism vs. pathetic belief has sparked some unmet need of mine to lecture extemporaneously. And probably preaching to the choir, yet. Nice site, keep up the good work, reply as necessary or sufficient...
© Huw Powell