Thursday, 22 April 2010

How to move from doubt to self-reliance - Story of Carneades (Part 4 of 4)

Such philosophies clash with reality at every turn, since they render plans unworkable and consequences unpredictable. Sceptics, who argue that they cannot trust their senses, have difficulties to make simple decisions. Subjectivists, who preach that facts cannot be verified, show remarkable accuracy when counting their money.

The day comes for every man when he must abandon doubt and move to self-reliance. Even if a person has wasted years with wrong ideas, it is never too late to improve. While contradictions undermine serenity, consistency leads to peace of mind.

Each of us must wake up to the fact that scepticism and subjectivism don't work. Doubts paralyse initiative and prevent improvement. In contrast, independent thinking and self-reliance lead to entrepreneurship. That's the place where you want to be.

It would have been interesting to know Carneades' opinions about human relationships, health, work, and investments. Did he ever attempt to develop scepticism into a full-blown philosophical system? We simply don't know. If he ever wrote anything down, History shows not traces. Maybe, true to his philosophy, Carneades thought better to depart without leaving anything behind.


[Image by Wolfgang Staudt under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under]

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