On skepticism


I wanted to write a short article about the necessity of skepticism.

You hear this word on all the ghost hunting shows. “We have to be skeptics about this,” they say, especially on Ghost Hunters International. While I am skeptical about those shows to begin with, I thoroughly believe in that statement when it comes to ghosts and other such paranormal phenomenon.

Being a skeptic does not mean not believing. It means going into an investigation/ reading a story/ looking at a photograph with the posssibility that what you are investigating/reading/looking at may not be paranormal at all. If we didn’t have skepticism dust would still be orbs and smoke would still be ectoplasm every time.

I hate to admit it but I am what I call a “spooker”. A spooker is someone who jumps pretty easily and will likely die of heart explosion if they can’t overcome the habit. I have yet to personally experience something paranormal in the room with me and if/when I ever do, I very well may die thanks to this attribute. It’ll be awesome, but I’ll jump. It is just this quality that made me want to write about skepticism. Without a healthy dose of it a spooker will never get very far in this field. The time was, before I became more intimate with the field, when just reading a ghost story would make me cold and clammy. I’m proud to say that is no longer the case and I’m much more stalwart than I used to be. But I’m still a spooker.

Learning to be more skeptical has helped with that.

In addition to helping with the jumps, being a skeptic will get you taken more seriously. Well, at least maybe a bit more seriously by the hardcore disbelievers. Alright, so maybe they’ll at least be just a little more likely to pretend to take you seriously. Anyway, it seems to be that if you don’t have at least a small dose of skepticism or willingness to accept skeptical criticism you won’t be taken seriously at all by either non-believers or believers. In a world of ever increasing scientific rationalization skepticism is one of the most important tools to have. If you want to prove anything to the world today you need to have science on your side. Of course few people are quick to point out that while a scientific approach is lovely there are really few ways to prove its effectiveness with the paranormal since we live in the normal world and the phenomenon is, in fact, para-normal, but that’s not the point. Being a skeptic and trying to incorporate a scientific approach to your work will get you not only brownie points but a bit more respect.

So folks, be skeptical. Believe but be bitter believers.

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