Perceptual Truth

No belief that tries to justify itself by appeal to "faith", whether religious or of some other philosophical sort, can ever survive intellectual skeptical scrutiny. For skepticism trumps these hollow truths. No such truth can survive the corrosive effect of Skepticism; it will dissolve away at contact. The only truth that could survive is a truth that would transcend skepticism: a perceptual truth. A perceptual truth that you experience for yourself. If a person says to me, some prophet or otherwise, "I am God's chosen one; this is what I have experienced. You must take my word for it and believe what I say," my response would be, to borrow Aati's eloquent words, 'Keep your boogeyman to yourself!' But if someone says to me, "This is what I have experienced; and it is something which is accessible to all, if you are willing. Don't take my word for it. Judge for yourself." Now that would be something I would respect, and that would be something I would be willing (if i am sufficiently motivated) to explore and scrutinize for myself. For Skepticism comes in two varieties: a blind dogmatic skepticism that disbelieves without inquiry or becomes content with attacking a straw man, and an open-minded skepticism that can differentiate what is metaphysically possible from what is plainly false, and is open to further analysis and scrutiny, both rational and empirical.

When Galileo saw the four moons of Jupiter, he did not say to others, "Believe in what I tell you, because my sight is better than yours." Instead, he handed over his telescope and said, "Look for yourself."

Comments

tehzib said…
"... a blind dogmatic skepticism that disbelieves without inquiry or becomes content with attacking a straw man."

Exactly! Well-put. I must say, Awais, that you're going through the exact phase I went through about 2 years ago! You're even making similar blog-posts, lol :P.
tehzib said…
I should also mention, although you will discover this eventually, that a time will come when the healthy skepticism and mentalizing will end. It is a necessary stage, but it too will come to an end, and will give way to an innocent love.
The Me. said…
Loved the Galileo example at the end.
Malang said…
I've been meaning to say this for years. I envy the fact that you put it so well in so few words. Would have taken me a day or a book.